If you had to ask anyone what the loneliest game at a casino is, the most common answer would be slots. Sitting by yourself in front of a slot machine, putting in the credits, hitting the spin button. No-one around to keep you company but the lights and sounds. Until you hit the jackpot! Then everyone’s your friend, right?
Nope. Wrong. Slots, especially online slots at online casinos, is actually becoming a very social and interactive gaming option.
And it’s all down to slots tournaments.
A slot tournament is a competition where you play slots games against other players to win big prizes. Think of it like a rugby tournament or a tennis tournament or a soccer tournament except the sport is slots, the equipment is your machine or online game and your opponents are other slots players.
In general, a slot tournament brings slots players together to compete for a prize pool. You are going head-to-head, reel-to-reel and spin-to-spin against other players for a tasty prize pool where the winner gets the biggest share and the rest is filtered down to the other players.
Both online and land-based casinos offer slot tournaments, although online casinos really do excel in offering the better options mainly because online players don’t have to travel to the casino at specific times to play.
Slot tournaments work just like playing your normal game of slots except you are playing for points rather than your usual winnings.
In a normal slots game, you would get a coin or credit payout if you hit a winning pay line. In tournaments you get points that go onto a leaderboard.
At the end of the tournament, the person with the most points is the winner and gets the biggest share of the prize pool. Players in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. place then share the rest of the pool as per the tournament rules.
The two most important aspects of tournament play are the leaderboard and the prize pool.
The leaderboard shows you exactly where you are in the tournament in relation to other players and is updated in real time.
The prize pool shows you just how much is at stake.
There are three main types of slot tournament: free roll, buy in and invitational.
Free roll slot tournaments are free to enter tournaments, in other words you don’t need to buy in to play. These are most commonly offered as welcome or loyalty bonuses from the casino. The prize pools in free roll tournaments are quite small and usually sponsored by the casino but they are great opportunities to get a feel for playing in a slot tournament.
Buy in slot tournaments require you to pay an entry fee in order to join and play. This entry fee goes into the prize pool so the more players the bigger the prize at the end.
For example, 100 players each pay the buy in of R100 means you have a prize pool of R10,000.
Invitational slot tournaments are usually reserved for the big players and the big spenders. These tournaments are set up by the casino to attract their most valuable players, usually the VIPs, and can have staggering prize pools.
Some invitational tournaments are free roll as a reward to these big spenders while others have quite hefty buy ins and are for those who really want to challenge like-minded and valued players for the big bucks.
There are two other aspects of a slot tournament you should know: Betting Based Points and Winning Based Points.
Betting Based Points are points you earn by placing a bet. In this tournament format it doesn’t matter how much you win or lose, but rather how much you bet. The bigger the bet, the more points you earn.
Winning Based Points are points you earn by winning. In this case, you earn points based on how much you win – just like you earn cash or credits when you hit a combo on your normal reels except now you’re earning points.
Just like any other slots game, slots tournaments are impossible to predict and Lady Luck is the only one who can help you.
The CasinoPlay crew do, however, have a few tips to help get you moving up that leaderboard:
If you love slots, you will be absolutely stoked when you try out a slot tournament. It brings an added element of excitement to your favourite casino game and the air of competition, the speed that you play and the knowledge that you are trying to beat other players make for a very unique and totally thrilling time.
And the prize pool helps as well.