Does pulling the lever of a virtual slot machine give you a thrill? If so, you definitely should check into playing online slot tournaments if you haven’t yet. I truly believe they are one of the best values you are going to find at any casino. They offer you a chance to have a tremendous amount of fun and you have a really great shot at winning—much better odds than you would get just playing on your own.
Before you get started, you should read our Crash Course On Slots Tournaments. In the crash course, you will learn about the different types of slot tournaments offered online, what you need to do to prepare for your first tournament, and what you can expect as the experience unfolds.
Now I want to do a comprehensive Q&A and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about slot tournaments!
Q: How do I look for online tournaments to join?
A: There are several ways you can look for online slot tournaments. First of all, you should keep up with the news and events posted by your favorite online casinos via their blogs, facebook pages twitter and other social media. Online slot tournaments are not held every day, so they tend to get a lot of hype and press before they happen. So it should be relatively easy to find out about tournaments long before they occur.
If you do not want to constantly check online casino blogs, you can subscribe to their newsletters. Better yet, join their VIP programs. This will not only ensure that you get tournament news delivered to your inbox, but also that you will be invited to closed tournaments which you would miss out on as a member of the general public.
If you search around, you will find that there are also third-party websites which maintain and update lists of online slot tournaments at a variety of casinos.
Q: How can I get invited to more tournaments?
A: There are several different ways you might merit an invitation to a closed online slot tournament:
- If you are a member of an online casino’s VIP program, that alone may result in invitations to closed events.
- If you stack up enough points through frequent play, you may be invited to a tournament to thank you for your loyalty.
- If you are a new customer, you may have a chance to join in a tournament specifically for newcomers (usually with free credits as the prize, not cash).
Closed events are awesome to join when you can. They usually have a much smaller participant pool, which means that your odds of winning are even higher than they would be with an open tourney.
Q: How do I figure out if a tournament is worth joining?
A: That is a complex topic, one which is already covered to some degree in our Crash Course. But here is a quick list of considerations and recommendations to help you out:
- Look for a big prize pool.
- Look for a small number of participants (where possible).
- Join tournaments with a wide prize distribution. Ten to twenty percent is quite standard. Avoid tournaments where prizes are only distributed to a small percentage, i.e. 5% or less.
- A reasonable entry fee (which is pretty common—it should be easy to meet this requirement).
- Prizes which interest you. Sometimes slot tournaments pay out cash prizes, other times they do not.
- No weird rollover requirements that make you uncomfortable. If you want to play in a tournament which requires you to meet a turnover requirement to claim your prize, that is up to you, but know what you are getting into.
A lot of this information is easy to come by. Just carefully read through the announcement for the tournament and pay special attention to the entry fee, pay tables, and any information you can find about the size of the prize pool and distribution. If you can, try to find out how many players will participate (or an estimate).
Generally speaking, unless a slot tournament is particularly expensive to join or has a hefty rollover requirement, there is rarely a reason not to play. Your odds of winning if you are just playing a slot machine game by yourself without a tourney pool are quite low in most cases. But if you are not playing at a slot tournament, you probably would just be playing slots on your own time anyway, right? So it only makes sense to join as many tourneys as you can, because that gives you more of a chance to win.
Q: What is a good distribution percentage for the prize pool?
A: Look for a tournament where the top 10-20% of the winners are awarded prizes. Avoid tournaments where only the top 5% or less are awarded (unless they are free to participate in or you really, really want to join for whatever reason).
Q: How can I calculate the odds of winning?
A: You need to know two things to calculate your chances of winning a prize:
- How many players will be participating
- The distribution model
So say that 500 players will be participating in an online slot tournament. Out of those 500 players, the top 20% will be awarded prizes. That means 100 players will walk away from the tournament with some kind of winnings! Those are awesome odds, 1 in 5. When is the last time a slot machine game gave you odds like that? Naturally the odds are much lower for winning the top prize, but still not altogether shabby.
Of course, if you cannot find out how many players will be in a tourney, you can only take a guess at the odds. It may help to look up how many players have participated in past tournaments on the site.
Q: When will I be able to claim my winnings?
A: That depends on the tournament. With some tourneys, you will be awarded your winnings immediately. For others, you may need to wait a few days or weeks for the winnings to appear in your account. Still others may withhold your prize until you meet a rollover requirement at the online casino.
Q: What if I win a jackpot?
A: This will count toward your ranking on the leaderboard, but you will not get to claim the jackpot itself. The only prize you are eligible to win through an online slot tourney is the percentage of the prize pool which is allocated to your ranking when the tournament ends.
Q: Are online slot tournaments better than offline ones?
A: That is entirely a matter of perspective. But here are some differences between online and offline slot tournaments to give you some idea:
Online, you get to play in the convenience of your home in your pajamas if you want. Offline, you have to travel to a casino to play in a slot tournament.
Online, you get to choose from a lot more slot machine games than you do offline. Your choices are still restricted, but not nearly as much.
Online, you do not get to talk to the other participants. Whether this is a pro or a con depends on how you feel about socializing during tourneys. On one hand, chatting can be a lot of fun, but on the other, it can distract you from what you are doing.
Online, you can view your score on a continuous basis. You have to wait until after the offline tournament is over before you can view your score, but online, the leaderboards are constantly updated. This is a plus in some ways, because you always know where you stand, but it can also be very distracting.
So are online tournaments better? We think so, but you will have to make up your own mind!
Q: What are the benefits of online slot tournaments?
A: You now know some of the advantages of online slot tournaments over offline tourneys, but why play in general? Here are a few compelling reasons:
A lot of online slot tournaments offer huge prize pools and liberal distribution. That is something you are not going to find playing slots by yourself.
Your entry fee is all the money you put down, so you know your risk going in. You will never be tempted to spend more than you can afford. Some slot tournaments are also free.
Slot tournaments online are fast-paced. Your goal is to take as many spins as possible within the allotted time. You might think that sounds easy, but it is not as easy as it seems. Every minute will be action-packed.
Online slot tournaments are just ridiculously fun! Once you play your first tourney, you will want to sign up for every event you can find!
Those are just a few key advantages. There are probably others I have not thought of!
Q: What are the drawbacks of online slot tournaments?
A: Online slot tournaments do have a few disadvantages, but they are very minimal.
For some people, they may be overwhelming. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to pacing in casino games. Some people love the rapid action of slot tournaments online, but others feel frustrated by how little time they have and really struggle to keep up the pace.
You cannot chat with others. This is not a detractor for everyone, but some people miss out on the social aspect of offline tournaments.
Some tournaments have rollover requirements. This is one of the biggest drawbacks, but it is not applicable with every online slot tournament (or even most of them). You will typically encounter this in free tournaments for new customers.
You never win the payouts on the games. If you happen to hit a jackpot, it will tally toward your total on the leaderboard, but you will not actually score the jackpot itself. It just helps you win the prize pool.
Honestly, it is hard to come up with more than that!
Q: What is “re-buying,” and should I do it?
A: When you join an online slot tournament, you will pay an entry fee which will entitle you to a certain number of credits. Your goal is to use as many of the credits as you can within the timeframe of the tourney. This will maximize your chances of winning a prize.
In some cases, you may run out of credits before the tournament is over, and may be in a losing position on the leaderboards. If so, in some tourneys, you may be offered a second chance. Paying a second entry fee entitles you to a new round of credits and a second chance at winning a prize. This is known as “re-buying.”
Is re-buying a good idea or not? It depends on the entry fee and the potential to win a prize. You would need to recalculate your odds based on what you see taking place.
Then again, an argument could be made that it is almost always worth it if there is still a fair amount of time left in the tourney. If you quit the tournament now, what will you do? If you plan to play more slot machines, you may as well just stay in the tourney. Your odds of winning are probably still better if you stick around. Plus, it’s fun, so why not?
Q: Are there strategies to help me win at online slot tournaments?
A: This is also a topic that we have already covered to some degree in the Crash Course article. There is nothing you can do to control how the reels line up; slot machines are games of chance. That said, your #1 strategy at an online slot tournament is to stay focused and play as quickly as you can. That way you can use up all of your credits. Credits that go unused are chances to win which are just thrown away.
Online slot tournaments really do offer an abundance of opportunity for fun and profit. Once you start playing at them, you will probably be scrambling to find tournaments to join. Many of our recommended casinos offer public and VIP tournaments on a regular basis, so check them out!