Online Slot Tournaments: A Comprehensive Guide

Online gambling is usually built around community. Players can interact through chats and share the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But sometimes you want to prove yourself as just a little bit better than your fellow players. Enter online slot tournaments. They're everything you lie about playing your favorite slots but come with the added excitement and suspense of competing against your fellow players for some serious prize money. Today we're going to take a look at these tournaments, the different kinds, how to enter and what to expect. Let's dive in!

1. What is an Online Slot Tournament?

The first thing players should realize is that just because these tournaments have a little extra presentation to them, they're really not that different from regular slots. These tournaments will be advertised on an online casino's main page and will also be located in their slot section. These tournaments allow players to compete against each other with their scores being displayed on a leaderboard - which usually shows the top 10 or top 20 players.

There's a predetermined set of REAL money that is distributed out to the winners - with the top players getting more.

There are many types and variations of slot tournaments - which we'll get into - but overall, the two versions of online slot tournaments are free tournament and a buy-in tournament. Let's take a look at those-

  • Free slot tournament

These tournaments are just what they advertise to be - free! These tournaments typically come with a predetermined amount of 'prize money' - which is bonus funds. Usually these tournaments give prize money to the top 100 or 200 players, with the top players being awarded the highest amount.

Players will be given a set amount of 'tournament funds' and can change their bet sizes. Once those funds are gone, the player is out. However, some of these tournaments even allow players to buy back in after their initial tournament funds are gone - but they'll have to spend real money to do so.

All players need to do to be eligible for these tournaments and their prizes is have deposited the minimum amount - usually within the last 30 days. Any bonus funds you win will come with a rollover requirement so be sure to read the conditions and rules first.

  • Buy-in slot tournament

Buy-in slot tournaments cost players a fee to enter, but unlike free tournaments, they come with real money prizes. The entry fees will vary by online casino and the playing field will be set at a certain amount of players. Whatever the entry fee that all the players pay will then become the prize pool.

So let's say that a buy-in tournament costs $20 to enter and has 100 players. That means the prize pool will be $2,000 and the prizes will be spread out amongst the top players.

With the amount of online casinos out there, more and more of them are offering some pretty lucrative tournaments - sometimes with prize pools in the thousands!

2. Types of Online Slot Tournaments

There are a wide variety of online slot tournaments floating around out there. Let's break down some of them now-

  • Leaderboard Tournaments

Leaderboard tournaments are used for both free entry and buy-in tournaments. Usually players will be playing one slot and will move up - or down - the leaderboard based on how they're playing. These tournaments use either points or money totals in determining the position of players. For example - if a tournament is using points - players will be awarded points for big wins. The more winning spins you hit the more points you'll receive and the higher up the leaderboard you'll go!

  • Welcome Tournaments

These tournaments are an added little perk for players joining a new online casino. Players are given an entry to these - they're free - after registering for a new casino. The prize money is typically pretty low and comes in the form of bonus funds, which will come with a predetermined rollover requirement.

  • Reload Tournaments

Reload tournaments allow players to continually buy back in if they run into a cold streak. They usually don't come with a reload limits, so players can buy back in as many times as they like.

  • Scheduled Tournaments

One of the more common tournaments out there, scheduled tournaments will be plastered all over a casino's home page and slot page. They'll be set on a certain day and come with a predetermined amount of time. Typically these require players to buy-in, but offer real money prize pools.

  • Single Shot Tournaments

These tournaments come with different rounds, but players are only given one shot at advancing. You'll have to reach a certain amount of points to reach the next round. If you don't - you're out. There's no buy backs here.

  • Head-to-Head Tournaments

These are a personal favorite of this author. Head-to-head tournaments pin two players against each other. They'll be playing the same slot and will compete in a timed round. Whoever ends up with the most points - or win total - after the time has expired moves on to the next round. The loser is out.

As long as you keep winning you keep advancing, and can play yourself into some big wins!

  • Sit-and-Go Tournaments

Sit-and-Go tournaments come with a set amount of 'seats' available. Once all the seats are filled the tournament will begin. If you're not doing well you can leave at anytime - but some of these are buy-in tournaments so you'll be risking real money to enter.

  • VIP Tournaments

Reserved for casinos that offer loyalty programs, these tournaments usually come with much high buy-ins - but also much higher prize pools. So if your preferred casinos has a loyalty program, it might not be a bad idea to see what kind of slot tournaments they offer.


So there we have it! Our look at the exciting world on online slot tournaments. So the next time you log on to your favorite casino, take a stop at the tournament section. Who knows, you could spin your way to #1!