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Slot Tournaments – How and Where to Play

If you haven’t played a slot tournament before, we recommend you try one. There are several benefits to playing tournaments that you simply cannot enjoy playing regular slots.

We cover that in our guide below, as well as a bunch of other important stuff related to slot tournaments.

That includes how they work and the best casinos for online slots tournaments. We also compare online slot tournaments to live tournaments. There are differences you should be aware of if you plan to play one or the other.

Best Online Casinos for Slot Tournaments

Rank VA Gambling Site Sign Up Bonus Get Started
#1 280% up to $14,000 Visit Site
#2 150% up to $3,000 Visit Site
#3 250% up to $5,000 Visit Site
#4 300% up to $6,000 Visit Site
#5 100% up to $11,000 Visit Site

These are the best slot tournament sites that you can join right now.

Every site listed above offers a variety of online slot tournaments for you to play. The machines come from top-notch developers, so there’s plenty of reason to stick around between tourneys too.

What’s more important, though, is that your money and information will be safe at these online casinos. We can confidently say that because we have decades of combined experience in the online gambling industry.

Here’s what you can expect from each of our recommended casino sites with slots tournaments.

  • Slot machines from the industry’s top software providers.
  • Hundreds of slot games to choose from.
  • A large selection of online slot tournaments with real money prize pools.
  • Multiple promotions to claim. This includes offers such as welcome bonuses, free spins, VIP programs, and cashback deals.
  • The option to play the best slots tournaments online from your smartphone and tablet.
  • A mixture of real money slot tournaments and free slot tournaments.

Beginners Guide to Slot Tournaments

If you’re wondering how to play slot tournaments, this section is for you. We explain what slots tourneys are, how they work, and how to get started.

Let’s start by answering the most important question first – just what are slot machine tournaments?

What are Slot Tournaments?

A slot tournament is an event for a group of slot players that is very much like a poker tournament. The objective is to earn as many points as you can during your turn on the slot machine.

The players who have the most points at the end of the tournament will earn a piece of the prize pool according to the payouts.

Man Playing Slot Machine with Question Mark

Here’s an example of what a tournament might look like.

  • You register and pay your $20 entry fee.
  • You show up at the scheduled time to play and spin the reels as many times as you can in 20 minutes.
  • 50 players register for the tournament. The casino is paying the top 7 winners. First place will receive $400. The prize distribution goes down from there.
  • You earn enough credits while playing to earn the 4th place spot. This is good for a $50 payout.

That’s the general idea anyway. As we said earlier, slot tournaments are similar to poker tournaments. If you’ve ever played a poker tourney before then a slot tourney will be easy to wrap your head around.

Types of Slots Tournaments

Money SlotsThere are lots of different types of slot tournaments. The following list are the most common formats you can expect to find.

Multi-Tiered or Survivor

These start off with multiple groups of players. The highest scorer from each group will move on to the next phase, where they’ll compete against the other winners.

This is similar to a poker shootout tournament.

Sit and Go (SNG)

As with poker SNGs, the tournament starts once a certain number of players sign up to play. For example, if you sign up for a 10-person slot tourney, and there are only 9 players, the tourney won’t start until a tenth person joins.


The upside to these is that there are fewer players to compete against, which means there’s a better chance of you winning a prize. The games finish faster too.

The downside to SNG slot tourneys is that there are fewer entries, smaller prize pools, and no re-buys.


These start at a specific date and time. The upside to this type of tournament is that it attracts more players, which leads to higher prize pools and payouts.

The downside is that it’s much harder to win since there are so many players participating.


These tournaments are reserved for VIP club members.

To earn an entry, you might need to earn enough points each month or wait for an invitation from the casino.


These are interesting tournaments because the points you earn accumulate from one round to the next. For example, if you earn 500 points in round one, you’ll start with 500 points in round two. Any points you earn during that round will be added.

Futher Info:

If you have a bad round, you might be able to make up for it during a later round. The opposite also applies – just because you had a great round, that doesn’t mean you’re going to win. You can always have a bad round and lose the tournament.

These tournaments often allow add-ons and rebuys too. And some tournaments can last for as long as a month, which gives you multiple chances to increase your score.

How Prize Pools and Payout Distribution Work

Money Bag IconIf you play slots tournaments for real money, there will be a “prize pool.” This pool of money will be distributed to the top winning players.

Every casino will do this differently. For example, if 45 players sign up then maybe they’ll pay out the top 7-10 players. If 10 players sign up, then maybe the top 5-10 players will cash. If 200 players sign up, then maybe 15-20 players will cash.

Typically, the larger prizes are awarded to the top finishers. The smaller prizes are awarded to the people who cash at the bottom of the payout scale.


Let’s say that 100 people entered a tournament at $10 each. There is a $1,000 prize pool and the top 20 players will receive a price.

Here’s how the payout distribution might look.

  • 1st Place – $300
  • 2nd Place – $150
  • 3rd Place – $100
  • 4th-5th Place – $75
  • 6th-20th – $20

The payouts are top-heavy, which means the top 1-3 places pay out the most and are not comparable to the lower payouts. Then the rest of the players will make a small multiple of their buy-in while the bottom payouts might double their money or just win their buy-in back.

Again, this will depend a lot on the casino. Every casino does this differently. It’s a good idea to compare tournaments if you have several options and are trying to decide on one to play. That way you give yourself every chance to win the most money possible.

Do Slot Tournaments Have Rules?

Most casino slot tournaments do have rules, though there are not as many as you might think. They are pretty straightforward, too.


The one rule you will want to look for is whether using the auto spin or quick spin button is allowed. Since slot tournaments are basically a button mashing affair, it makes sense that you wouldn’t be allowed to use either feature.

Other than that, you’ll have to check with the casino or read their terms for any rules they may have. This is easy at online casinos with slots tournaments, as they usually post their rules on their site.

7 Reasons Why You Should Play Slots Tournaments

If you’ve never played a slot tournament before, you might be wondering why you should start now. What makes slot tourneys so special?

Here are several reasons why you might want to start playing. Maybe one of them will give you just the push you need to get started.

1. Make Your Bankroll Stretch

You can go through your bankroll fast if the slot machine you’re playing isn’t feeling generous that day. It’s not hard at all to go through $20 in minutes playing penny stakes, much less if you’re wagering dollars per spin.

Casino slots tournaments can offer a change of pace because you’ll pay $20, $100, $1,000, etc. and you’ll get anywhere from 5-20 minutes for it. Sometimes more.

This might not sound like much time, and it’s not when you compare slots to games like video poker or blackjack. However, it can be a huge difference when you compare tournaments to how fast you spend money playing regular slots.

Don’t forget there are free slot tournaments, too. These offer real money prizes pools and 5-20 minutes of entertainment without you having to spend a dime of your own money.

2. Play for Free and Still Win Money

Another benefit to online slot tourneys is that you can play many of them for free. Many of them still offer real money prize pools too.

You’re not going to win life changing money. However, many of the free slot machine tournaments that we’ve seen offer at least a $100 prize pool. It’s better than nothing, and it’s not like you can play blackjack or video poker for free and walk away with anything to show for it.

3. Add Competition to Your Slots Playing

Most casino games are played against the house. Those games are fixed so that you lose in the long run.

That’s not a lot of fun. You’re destined to lose and there’s not much, if any, competition.

Playing tournament slots is a total 180 from this. You’re not playing against the house during a tourney, but the other players.

You’re still not going to have any control over the outcome, but you can still compete against other players and beat them by earning a higher score.

This adds another dimension to what’s usually a single player, one dimensional game.

4. Play Slots with Others

Traditional slots aren’t a community game. They’re not like blackjack, pai gow poker, or baccarat, where you’re playing with other players. You’re not cheering anyone on, chatting with a dealer, or talking strategy with the guy next to you.

You play slots by yourself. This is especially true and almost unavoidable if you play slots online.

If you’d like to add a social element to your slots playing, participating in a tourney might be a good way to do that.

It’ll be too difficult to chat with someone while you’re in the middle of a tournament. Everyone’s focused on mashing the buttons as fast as they can, as they should be.

However, you can talk to other players before and after. You can talk about your ups and downs, missed opportunities, and what you thought of the bonus rounds.

This be more enjoyable compared to just playing by yourself. At that point, winning might not even matter as much as you’ll have plenty of fun socializing with the other players.

5. You Can Win Lots of Money

The odds of winning a progressive jackpot depend on the machine you play. But it’s safe to say that most people will not win a life-changing jackpot in their lifetime.

However, it is possible to win a slot tournament or slot tournament leaderboard. You won’t win life-changing money, but you can win hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars.

For example, the Hard Rock Casino in Seminole was running a $20,000 slot tournament that cost nothing to enter. First place received a $2,500 free play prize.

6. Have Something Exciting to Look Forward To

For some people, real money gambling is a hobby that they enjoy every weekend or once a month.

However, it can still become routine. You log into your favorite online casino or go to your local casino every Friday night for a couple of hours and play the same slot machines.

This can become mundane after a while.

Slot tournaments can add something fresh to your routine. They’re different in that many of them are scheduled. They only run on certain days and times. You can pick and choose the ones you want to play based on your availability.

The (bigger) point, though, is that you can sign up for a tournament that’s going to start 3 weeks or months from now. That gives you something to look forward to. You have something to get excited about.

7. Try New Machines

One potential downside to slot machine tournaments is that you have little control over the games you play.

But instead of having the perspective that you’re being forced to play a machine, why not approach a slot tournament as a great excuse to try a new game that you’ve never played before?

The online casinos with the best slot tournaments do a good job of selecting entertaining slot machines for their tourneys. These vary in style and genre, and include 3 and 5-reel games and games with a variety of features.

Online Slots Tournaments vs Live Tournaments

Slot tournaments are available in both online casinos and brick-and-mortar casinos. These tournaments are the same in many ways.

However, there are several differences too. If you’re unsure which kind of tournament you’d rather play, the following comparisons should help.

You Can Play Online Tourneys from Your Phone

One option online gambling gives you that casinos offline do not is the option to play from your smartphone or tablet.

Slots on iPhone

For one thing, this means that you can play on the go. You can play in your car or while waiting in line for an appointment. You can also play from your couch or dining room table instead of being anchored to your desktop computer that’s stuffed away in the corner of your basement.

Many of the top casino apps have slot tournaments.

Online Tourneys Have Terms and Conditions

One of the biggest differences we noticed between online and offline tournaments is that online casinos almost always have terms you need to fulfill if you win money from their tournament.


The most common clause is that, if you win money, you’ll need to roll it over so many times. We’ve seen terms that say that you need to wager your winnings anywhere from 15-35 times. If you won $1,000, this means you’d need to wager $15,000-$35,000 before you could cash out.

Another clause online casinos have is they cap how much of your winnings you can cash out. For example, if you win $500 in free play, then the casino will allow you to cash out the money you win using the free play. However, they might limit you to $100 or $200.

This is probably one of the largest downsides to playing slot tournaments online. And it’s not a downside that we’ve seen from a brick-and-mortar casino.

It’s Easier to Find Slot Tournaments Online

It can be difficult to find tournaments running offline. Casinos aren’t always good about updating their websites, and if you’re not already a member then chances are you won’t receive anything about it by mail or email.


Knowing is only one half of the battle, though. You still have to get to the casino to play the tournament. It’s much easier online. For one thing, you can join as many online casinos with slot tournaments as you want. Most of them send out emails regularly, sometimes once or more per day. You’ll know about any online slots tourneys that are running.

It’s also much easier to participate in real money slots tournaments online. It doesn’t matter where in the world a casino is located. You can access any online casino you want while sitting in your living room.

In fact, playing online allows you to play multiple slot tournaments at the same time!

You Don’t Have to Socialize Online

Something that’s hard to escape when you play in brick-and-mortar casinos is communicating with your fellow human beings. This can be an unbearable consequence of playing live tournaments if you’re a hardcore introvert.

That’s one of the benefits of playing at casino sites with slot tournaments. There’s no one in your house but you, and if someone wants to chat, it has to be through a chatbox. That’s assuming a chat box is even available.

Find Larger Buy-ins and Prize Pools Offline

If you want to play slot tournaments with the largest buy-ins and prize pools, then playing offline will be the way to go.

The best online casinos for slot tournaments do run high-stakes tournaments, but they’re not common.

You’ll find no shortage of high-stakes slot tournaments offline, though, especially in the bigger Las Vegas casinos.

Play More Freeroll Slot Tournaments Online

You’ll find plenty of freeroll tournaments regardless of where you look. However, they appear to be more accessible to online players.


Many of the freerolls tourneys we found offline were reserved for rewards members. This means that you need to sign up for that casino’s rewards program. Not everyone wants to deal with that. And not everyone will be able to make it out to the casino to play.

Not only that, but some casinos may require you to play so much every month or have so many points saved up to enter these tournaments. And in those cases, the tournaments aren’t really free to play then.

That’s not something you have to worry about at online casinos with free slot tournaments. While some probably do want you to earn so many points before you can join a freeroll, most of the freerolls are truly free to enter and have real money prize pools.

Strategies for Winning Slot Tourneys

Slot Machine FaceHere are some of the most common phrases people use when searching online for slot tournament information.

  • Secrets to winning slot tournaments
  • How to win slot tournaments
  • Slot tournament strategy

We find this a little funny.

It’s funny because slots are random. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a tournament or not. You have absolutely no control over the outcome, which means there are no real strategies you can use to win.

There definitely aren’t any “secrets” to winning.

That said, we’d be lying if we said there weren’t any tactics that you can use. You might not be able to influence the outcome of a spin, but you can still do a few things to improve your overall chances of winning.

Bet the Max

You can choose how much you bet per spin in a slot tournament. And many people make the mistake of thinking that you should bet smaller so that they have more spins. The idea is that the more spins you have, the more chances you have at getting a higher score.

That wouldn’t be a bad idea if it weren’t for following two challenges.

The first challenge is the fact that most slot tournaments are on a time limit. And when you bet a smaller amount, it’ll take you longer to get through all your credits. You might not even get through them all, which means you’re leaving potential points on the table.

The second challenge is that the smaller you bet, the smaller your wins, thus the fewer points you can earn per spin. If you’re going to lose spins (no points), why not lose while trying to go for the big scores that are only possible by betting the max?

For these reasons, you should bet the max. This will ensure that you get through all your credits and that you’re maximizing the number of points that you can earn per spin.

Use Your Credits

Many slot tournaments will give everyone the same number of credits to play with. These are all the credits you have (unless you can rebuy into the tournament).

Credits do not rollover or count for points if they’re not used. In other words, any remaining credits are voided and don’t add anything to your score.

The moral of the story?

Every credit is an opportunity to earn more points. And since they do nothing for you if you don’t use them, you should do everything in your power to use them up before you run out of time.

Don’t Get Distracted

Your one and only job is to mash the heck out of your spin button. This is important as most tournaments prohibit the use of automatic or quick spin features.

Even knowing this, many people get distracted by other things. Maybe they’re people watching. They might stop to talk to the pretty cocktail waitress. Or maybe they keep glancing up to see the scoreboard and their place on it.

All of this is a no-no if you want any chance of getting a high score. Until your time is up, or you run out of credits, your only focus is mashing that spin button.

Ignore everything else.

Play the Slot Machine Beforehand

If you know which slot machines will be used for the tournament, we recommend playing a few rounds on it before the tournament starts.

This will give you an idea of what the bonus rounds, free spins, and random features look like.

When you know what these features look like and what triggers them, you’ll be ready to play them. Otherwise, you might be surprised or otherwise miss out on opportunities to earn more points.

And this could mean the difference between a first-place finish and last place finish.

Be Ready Before You Sit Down

Your only job for the next 5-20 minutes or however many spins is to mash that spin button. That’s all you should be focused on doing.

As easy as that sounds, how easy do you think that will be if you’re hungry, thirsty, or have to use the bathroom?

Make sure you take care of all this before you sit down to play. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing from home and have easy access to a bathroom or food. You don’t want to have to take a break to take care of that stuff.

Every time you stop spinning the reels you are passing up an opportunity for points. And you need to try to win all the points you can if you want to win one of these tournaments.

Practice Proper Bankroll Management

Okay, so what does bankroll management have to do with winning slot tournaments? It sounds weird, we know. But trust us, there is a connection.

Winning slot tournaments is about luck. And the more tournaments you play, the better your chances are of getting lucky and winning one.

This means playing lots of tournaments.

If you have a $500 bankroll and decide to play tournaments with a $100 buy-in, 5 tries really aren’t enough to give you a good chance at getting lucky.

A much better approach would be to play $5 or $10 tournaments. Do this and you’ll be able to play 50-100 tournaments on a $500 bankroll. Your chances of winning a slots tournament will be much better with this approach.

Fewer Players Means Better Odds

This is a strategy that you’ll want to use before you register for a tournament.

One of the things that will impact your chances of winning a tournament is the number of people that sign up. In other words, your chances of winning are much better if there are only 100 players instead of 1,000.

Do you see where we’re going with this? You should try to find tournaments that have fewer people playing. That’s not all, though.

One thing that will increase the chances of there being fewer participants is the buy-in. A freeroll will attract lots of players because who doesn’t want the chance to win money for free?

The higher the buy-in, the fewer people who’re either interested and/or capable of playing. Everyone can afford a freeroll, but not everyone can afford a $10 tournament. Some people might be willing to pay $100 to play, but far fewer will want to cough up $1,000 or $4,000 to play.

The more money you’re willing to cough up for the buy-in, the fewer people that will be able or willing to do the same. This will increase your chances of winning, but of course you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford.

Some of the best online slot tournaments have low buy-ins and still don’t have a ton of people enter.

Ready to Play Slots Tournaments?

Jackpot SlotThere are many benefits to playing slot tournaments for real money.

  • They are a great way to add some competition to slot machines.
  • You can win large sums of money with better odds than winning a progressive jackpot.
  • You can play for free and still win real money prizes.
  • You can the most of the best online slots tournaments at a time that suits you.
  • You can play for free, a few bucks, or even thousands of dollars per tournament. There’s a tournament at a level that anyone can afford.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

However, none of these benefits will matter if you don’t join a safe and trustworthy casino site. That means joining a casino that is licensed, regulated, and has a great reputation in the industry.

You can find a casino like this on your own. But that can take hours, days, or even weeks between the researching and testing you’ll have to do. It’ll cost you a lot of money too. Testing sites isn’t free.

A more efficient, faster, and even cheaper approach is to choose one of the slots tournament sites we recommend.

Here’s a reminder of the best online casinos with slot tournaments.

Rank VA Gambling Site Sign Up Bonus Get Started
#1 280% up to $14,000 Visit Site
#2 150% up to $3,000 Visit Site
#3 250% up to $5,000 Visit Site
#4 300% up to $6,000 Visit Site
#5 100% up to $11,000 Visit Site