How Slots Tournaments Work

Slot Tournament Guide

Who doesn’t love a good tournament every now and then? You’ve probably heard of poker tournaments, but what about slots? Well, if you’ve never heard of these and have no clue as to how slot tournaments work, stick around.

First things first…

Before you start thinking about joining a slots tournament you need to know how to play the game. Although incredibly easy to learn, slots do come with bonus rounds and extra features which do take a little time getting the hang of. So, make sure you know how the game works before you go into competition mode.

Why get involved in a tournament?

We say, why not? Tournaments can add extra fun and excitement into the game. Plus, if you’re naturally a competitive player, going up against other slots players can be pretty thrilling in itself. The tournament is not complicated, there are no special skills and anyone can play. This levels the playing field and any intimidation which can be had on other gambling tournaments. Some of the players are more comfortable with tournaments because they know ahead of time what any losses could add up to, which will only be the amount of the entry fee. Finally, winning the big title can be the main attraction of a slots tournament for some players.

Pros and Cons of a Slot Tournament

A tournament can offer a lot of advantages over traditional slot machine playing; however like anything, there are some negatives too. It’s worth taking a quick note of both of these before you get involved.


  • You know exactly how much you will spend.
  • Big prizes are offered for a small entry fee (sometimes free).
  • With a VIP status, free entry can be obtained.
  • You get to spin very quickly (which could be a downside, depending on your play).


  • You don’t get to play any slot game, it is chosen for you.
  • If you hit a jackpot, you don’t get to keep it.
  • You can only play the tournament when it is scheduled.
  • Some casinos will only invite loyal customers to join.

Getting involved in a tournament

To join a slots tournament, you’ll have to buy-in. This means you need to pay an entry fee if you want to take your best shot at winning the prize. You can come across comped tournaments, in which the casino pays the buy in for you. These are often invitation only and based upon your VIP or loyalty status. You may also happen upon free tournaments, but not often. The amount of players and the entry fee typically determines the prize pool.

How to play a slots tournament

Slot Tournament Guide

After you have signed up, you’ll be given a slot machine and session time to play. Once your time has come up, you’ll take a seat at your assigned machine. Every player is given a certain number of credits and these must be played in a certain amount of time. Often tournaments will allocate around 1000 credits to all players with 20 minutes to play them. Every time you spin the slots, the credits are deducted from your credited amount. Anything you win during your play is added to a tally. You do not get to replay any credits and you do not win actual payouts from the pay table. Once the time is up, any remaining credits are lost. The casino will compare your winning number of credits to the other players. The person with the most credits wins the big prize. Sometimes there are different stages in which winners from different rounds have to move up to. You may also see prizes for the worst score or slowest player.

Fixed Vs. Open Tournaments

There are 2 primary types of slots tournaments. Fixed, or scheduled tournaments, have a start and finishing time. These can be between 5 and 20 minutes and can last for 1 month or more. Anyone can play when they’re open, and they usually offer big prize pools. The longer they last, the bigger the prize is. With these tournaments, players can often re-buy a slot to try their luck again. The downside to these is that you often have to wait a while for the final results and because there are generally a lot of players, winning is not exactly easy.

Open tournaments have no fixed starting time. They remain open until enough players have joined. These are usually short and have a small amount of players compared to the fixed tournaments. The downside of these is that the prizes are usually smaller, but at the same time, the chances of winning are much greater.

Is there any special strategy to winning at slots?

Like regular slot playing, there is no sure fire way to win at a tournament. Luck is all you need, but these few tips may come in handy:

  • Get enough rest before the tournament.
  • Arrive early.
  • Be alert and relaxed.
  • Keep your fingers on the spin button and lightly click on it.
  • Spin the reel as fast as possible.
  • Play max bet on every spin.
  • Don't stop spinning the reels until either the time is up or you have finished your credits.
  • Avoid distraction.
  • Don’t spend time celebrating a big win.
  • Find out the score of the other players after the tournament is over.
  • Most of all have fun!

Slot tournaments can be a great value for money and time, although they are not all created equal so take a look around to find out if one is worth it for you. In any case, a slot tournament is a lot of fun and adds a new twist to traditional playing, so give it a try!

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