When we think of slots, we tend to picture lone wolf gamblers going for gold on their favorite machines, craving not the head-to-head tension people find so enthralling about table games such as poker and blackjack. But what if you love the slots and have a competitive streak?
Well, if you wanted to duke it out with your fellow slot slickers, you can enter a slot tournament, which, yes, sounds a little strange, but they’re enjoyable contests quickly gaining popularity across the US and beyond.
While it’s hard to imagine exactly how slot games would fit into a tournament format, it’s actually all very simple. Stick with me and you’ll be ready for your first tourney in no time!
How Do Slot Tournaments Work?
When you’re playing a slot machine, you’re making a bet that you can land some favorable paylines and beat the house, but when you enter a slot tournament, you’re making a bet on a bet.
Not only are you saying to the house that you think you’ll be able to win their money, but you’re also saying to your fellow slot players that you’ll spin so well that you’ll beat their attempts at winning money from the house. That, in essence, is what a slot tournament is all about.
Your goal is as it always is to strike as many winning lines as possible, but you’re not playing for payouts right away, you’re playing for points that will determine your position on a leaderboard.
These leaderboards are typically kept up-to-date in real time so all players know exactly where they stand throughout the tournament. Those who achieve first place or top-ranked spots on the leaderboard by the end of the contest win the money.
Parameters Of Slot Tournaments
The specifics of slot tournaments can differ significantly from tournament to tournament and casino to casino, but there are a few crucial principles that form the contest architecture no matter what slot tournament you take part in. They are as follows:
Everyone taking part in the tournament must be playing the same machine or game, otherwise, it wouldn’t be a fair fight, as some games offer more favorable odds than others.
Credits (or points) are what crown the winner. Whoever has the most credits wins the tournament.
Each slot tournament needs pre-determined start and end times to ensure everybody has a fair chance of accruing a winning amount of credits.
Everyone has to begin the tournament with the exact same number of spins or credits.
Types Of Slot Tournaments
Okay, so we’ve established the four primary rules of slot tournaments, but there are a few different tournament formats to choose from within these rules, the most popular of which are…
Sit-and-go tournaments are named so for their short duration, with some playing out in mere minutes.
As you might expect, the price pools are pretty meager, but the fact you don’t have to dedicate too much time to them makes them a fantastic choice for those just looking to have a little fun.
These are considered the standard tourney format. A predetermined date and duration are given, and in this timeframe, you have to score as many points as possible. They can last anywhere between a couple of hours and a couple of weeks.
In survival tournaments, there are a number of rounds, and the lowest-ranking players at the end of each one are eliminated. Typically, if you make it to the last round, you’ll pull in at least a fraction of the prize pool.
Any of the above may be buy-in contents requiring an entry fee, or completely free to enter.
How Do Slot Tournaments Payout?
A slot tournament will subscribe to one of two payout strategies. Either the overall winner will take home the entire pot, or tiered payouts will be awarded to the top-ranking players, with the lower-ranking players receiving nothing.
So, let’s say that 100 people enter a slot tournament with an entry fee of $10, the prize pool would be $1000 dollars. If the winner takes all, they take it all — Simple. If, on the other hand, a tiered payout system is chosen, the split might look a little something like this…
- 1st place — $500
- 2nd place — $300
- 3rd place — $150
- 4th place — $50
But that’s not to say that the top 4 players will always be remunerated. The breakdown of the pool will be determined by the host of the tournament. It could be split between 2, 3, 5, or more players.
A Note On Player Count & And Prize Pools
The more players taking part in a slot tournament, the higher the prize pool will be, which is obviously an enticing prospect, but bear in mind that the more players there are, the harder it’s going to be to secure a high ranking spot on the leaderboard when the time is up.
How To Win A Slot Tournament
There is always going to be an element of luck involved with playing the slots, but there are certain measures you can take to hedge against loss during a tournament.
Spin Like The Wind!
The more spins you can fit into a tournament, the more points you stand to accumulate, so don’t hang around. Act with immediacy!
Maximizing your bets is a no-brainer as it gives you the opportunity to land some big-win paylines.
Don’t Be Discriminating
Don’t go for any of the big paylines in particular. Bring as many into the game as possible to increase your chances of scoring.
Don’t answer your phone, don’t go to the restroom (unless it’s a long tourney of course), don’t look away from your machine… every second counts!
There you have it Slots may not seem like they can be made competitive, but they actually make up some of the most intense casino contests of all.
If you’re interested in taking part in some slot tournaments, I’d recommend starting with the sit-and-go format to test the waters and see how you like it. From there, you can move on to the higher-octane stuff and try to pull in some big wins.