Slot Machine Tourneys

Slot machines are, by far, the most popular game in a casino. They are incredibly fun to play and don’t require any special skill level. Add in a competitive aspect and you have a slot machine tournament.

What is a Slot Machine Tournament?

People Playing SlotsCompetition is a commonly desired aspect of gameplay. Not only do slot machine tournaments offer you the chance to play your favorite game, but also the chance to compete against other players. Of course, the majority of players are more interested in winning money from the tournament.

The amount of money you can win from a slot tournament can be significant. Since slot machines are so popular, many tournaments with have a high number of participants. What this means for you is a chance at winning a lot of money.

A slot machine tournament is exactly what it sounds like; a competition between a group of players using slot machines. In a slot machine tournament, you pay an entry fee rather than paying per slot machine spin.

Each player is given a set amount of credits to play with. They also have a set amount of time to play all their credits.

When you sign up for a slot tournament, you are assigned a time and a slot machine. You need to be ready to go on your assigned machine at that time. You will wait for the person leading the tournament to tell you to begin. When they do, you play your set amount of credits.

The credits that you win are not replayed. They are added to your running tally of credits won. After all players have completed their turn, the totals are posted.

Depending on the structure of the tournament, the top players will either be awarded money from the prize pool or move on to another round of tournament play. Some tournaments will add all the tournament round credits together, while others will start a new tally with each round.

One thing to keep in mind with a slot machine tournament is that the credits won are not paid to the players. If you hit a big jackpot during your tournament round, you do not get to keep that amount of money. It does go towards your total amount won tally for placement. This means that a huge jackpot win will likely place you among the top finishers.

Types of Tournaments

Free Entry

Free ParticipationThese tournaments are usually not for anyone to enter. Sometimes you will find a free tournament with open entry but that’s rare. The majority of free slot tournaments are by invite only. These are usually put on by a casino to reward loyalty card members and frequent users.

Full Prize Pool Payout

Each player’s tournament entry fee goes into a big pot from which the winning players are paid. This is called the prize pool. In a full prize pool payout tournament, none of the money collected from entry fees is kept by the casino hosting the tournament.

If there are 100 players each paying $20, the total prize pool would be $2000. In a full prize pool payout tournament, all $2000 would be given to the top placing participants.

Partial Prize Pool Payout

In a partial prize pool payout tournament, some of the prize pool money is kept by the casino. This is due to the cost associated with hosting a slot machine tournament. If the amount taken by the casino is more than 10% of the prize pool you should most likely avoid that tournament.

One exception to that rule is to look at the freebies associated with the slot tournament. Sometimes a casino will keep 20% of the prize pool but offer several incentives and prizes. These can be anything from free rooms, to raffles and prizes, to food and drinks. Look at the overall value of a tournament you are thinking of playing.

Keep in mind that sometimes you can find full prize pool payout tournaments with these same perks. As always, research will be valuable to you in deciding which slots tournaments you want to play.

Tips and Tricks

Play Fast

The amount of time given to each tournament participant is typically just enough to bet all their credits. If you take too much time in between spins, you risk the possibility of not finishing your credits before the end of the round.

This will dramatically reduce your chances of winning. You want to maximize your chances at getting a jackpot payout by utilizing all the spins available to you.

Pay Attention to your Own Game

This is a common mistake. You hear another player hit a big jackpot and look to watch the excitement. After all, you want to know what kind of payout amounts you’re up against.

The problem with this is that it takes your focus away from your own game. Your time to complete your credits is short. This simple distraction could cost you the opportunity to complete all your spins. Once again, this is a significant disadvantage.

Play Max Credits on Every Spin

If you have researched slot machine odds, you know that the more money you play, the higher your chances of winning. Since slot machines are not altered for tournament play, you want to play max credits for your tournament spins.

Pick a Good Tournament

As we discussed earlier, there are different types of slot tournaments. You will want to look for full prize pool payout tournaments. These are fairly easy to find. Many casinos know they will gain their income for the tournament from players gambling before and after their round.

Sometimes you can find full prize pool payout tournaments that offer other incentives as well. Things like free food, drawings, or free entries to future slot tournaments are some common things to look for.

Never play a slot tournament where the casino keeps more than 10% of the prize pool without offering any other benefits. This is well above the acceptable standard for hosting costs. Any casino that takes that much from their players is a casino I would avoid altogether.


Tournament TrophySlot machine tournaments appeal to players for many reasons. For one, slot machines are the most popular game offered by casinos. Just the amount of people who choose to play slot machines makes for a high turnout.

The main downside of slot machines for many players is the quick rate in which your money is lost. Sometimes you will lose much faster than others. This makes them very unpredictable and dangerous to your bankroll.

A slot machine tournament takes this aspect out of the slots equation. There is a set amount of money you are risking, along with a set amount of time you get to play for. You will typically get more spins for your money than you would if playing the same slot machine outside of tournament play.

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you will win any money from a slot machine tournament. However, this is the same as non-tournament gambling on slot machines. Other than not being paid for a jackpot if you do spin one, there are few downsides to playing a slot machine tournament.

The odds are so slim that you will hit a jackpot that I don’t see this as much of a negative. Overall, slot machine tournaments are a fun, usually less expensive way to play your favorite game.