Online Gambling

Online Slots Tournaments

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Slots tournaments are a relatively new phenomena at 'real' land-based casinos, and even moreso at the few online casinos that offer them. The concept is simple, take a bunch of players, sit them in front of a slot machine, have them all play, and rank the winners according who gets the most wins.

Finding Online Slot Tournaments:

While more online casinos are likely to join the trend, at the moment there are basically two major software vendors that offer online tournaments; Microgaming and Vegas Technology. Unfortunately, Vegas Technology venues have just recently stopped taking new players, so unless you've already got an account with one or more of their casinos, you're out of luck there. There are a variety of Microgaming casinos that offer tournaments (not all of them), though if you're in the U.S. there are currently no Microgaming casinos accepting players from the States. A unique casino with their own proprietary software called Slotland also offers occasional tournaments, though less frequently than the afformentioned providers, though they are currently U.S. friendly.

Playing Online Slots Tournaments:

Tournaments come in a wide variety of formats in regards to the rules and costs to play. Microgaming in particular offers a number of weekly 'free' tournaments, which allow casino patrons to participate at no cost. These usually have the option to 're-buy' or 'add-on' however, which are optional but come at a cost for those interested. For example, a free tournament gives the player an initial 10 minutes of play free of charge, but also the ability to re-buy additional sets of 5 minutes of play for say, $1. While the luckiest of players may be able to 'win' the most and thus win the tournament on this initial play time, it's more likely that a player buying additional time will have the opportunity to win more - making it unlikely that a player not putting any money in will actually come out on top.

Re-Buys & Add-Ons:

In a slot tournament a 're-buy' is in effect 'starting over'. The initial wins the player has made are removed, and they start again with the same amount of time and/or spins as a new player entering the tournament would. This is occasionally cheaper than the initial buy-in cost, but is usually the same amount, and even free tournaments will normally have a cost to 'start over' rather than allowing an additional free entry.

An 'add-on' is an additional amount of time the player purchases to continue play, meaning their tournament winnings thus far are kept and any additional winnings are added on to their total. Add ons usually offer less time than the initial play, so a tournament offering 12 minutes of initial play may sell add-ons at 7 minutes a piece. The number of add-ons available to participants varies depending on the tournament - but are usually much higher in free and/or inexpensive tournaments than more expensive ones.

Tournament Rules and Times:

At online casinos tournaments are usually restricted to a paricular game, which means everyone will be playing the same type of machine. With that out of the way, you'll want to check the posted tournament rules to see:

How long is the tournament?
Online casinos have the advantage of not really requiring everyone in the same place at the same time, which allows tournaments to run anywhere from an hour to a week or more. There is no real 'regular' amount of time for tournaments online, be it an hour or two, day or two, or a week-long event. If you're not interested in playing over the long-haul, look for tournaments with shorter runs to avoid having people top your score in the days to come.

How many re-buys are available?
Slots are a game of luck, and most players will need to have a good run of it in their initial play time if they hope to win or place. If there are no-rebuys available, then your first attempt will usually dictate whether it's worth continuing your play with addtional add-on time. Most tournaments allow at least a few re-buys for players, though not all.

How many add-ons are available?
This is arguably much more important than the number of re-buys, because the more add-ons there are, the higher the average player wins will be. You should always take this into consideration when deciding whether to play in a tournament, because it can theoretically cost a lot more to be a contender in a tournament with many add-ons than one with few or none. For example, a tournament with a $5 entry fee may sound affordable at first, but if there's 20 available add-ons for participants at $3 a piece, it could cost as much as $65 to maximize your total wins.

You are of course, not obligated to utilize the full number of (or any) add-ons during play, but those that do will more than likely have a much higher win total that you, and it's common (depending on the prize) for people to use as many as possible to try and climb to the top of the ladder.
Generally speaking, if you're not willing to add-on to your time for additional wins assuming things are going well, you may not want to participate in the first place to avoid being disappointed by those that do beating you out.

Microgaming Casinos Offering Slot Tournaments:

Other Casinos Offering Tournaments: