Before you enter any slot machine tournament it is important to understand how they work. While there are a lot of variations the basic principals remain the same for most tournaments both offline and online. In this article we discus the basics such as how to enter tournaments, how the prize pools work and the order of play.
The tournament starts with buy-ins. This means that you pay an entry fee to join the tournament and have a shot at winning. Some tournaments are free and others are comped in which case the casino is essentially paying the buy-in for you. The amou8nt of players and the cost of entry will determine the prize pool.
Let's say you have 100 players who all pay $50 to enter. This gives a total prize pool of $5,000. The amount of winners and prize pool distribution varies from tournament to tournament. In this example you might have a 1st prize of $3,000, a 2nd prize of $1000, a 3rd prize of $500 and 10 prizes of $50.
In the example above all of the prize pool is distributed to the winners. In a lot of tournaments the casino will keep part of the prize pool which is how they make money from running the tournaments. It is always worth checking on the prize pool distribution before you enter a tournament.
Once all players have paid their buy-in the tournament can start. In general each player receives a set amount of credits to play with. All of the players then sit at a slot machine and get a certain amount of time to play. This tends to be quite a sight as all of the players are franticly hitting the spin button as fast as possible to get the maximum amount of spins in the set time frame.
When the play time is over the winner is the player with the highest amount of credits on their machine. The places are also determined by the amount of credits on the machines. It is worth noting that you do not win the amount of credits that you have on the machine you win the prizes according to the tournament payout schedule.
Some of the bigger tournaments take place over a longer period of time with many smaller tournaments leading to a final round where the big money is won. In these tournaments you generally need to place high in the rankings in the smaller tournaments to move on to the next stage. The advantage of this style of tournament is that you tend to get much bigger prize pools.
The prizes are not always for the biggest scores. In some cases you will find that the tournaments also award prizes for the worst score. There are many different prize formats which is one of the reasons that slot tournaments are so popular.