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A Guide to Slot Tournaments

by Matt Bourie

Slot tournaments have become incredibly popular in recent years. Many of the top-rated online casinos have started to participate in slot tournaments as they realize how important they are for players.

Rows of slot machines

Slot machines are the most popular games in U.S. casinos

Aside from gathering more online casino enthusiasts than any other activity, these tournaments are an excellent opportunity to win big without the need to leave your apartment or travel.

You can quickly discover various buy-in and free tournament events online. Let’s get deeper into the details you should know before you decide to participate.

What are Slot Tournaments?

There’s no better way to play slots and have some fun than to join a slot tournament. Besides having a great chance of winning, sometimes at no cost to you, or, if there is an entry fee, you can clearly determine how much you will spend to play. Depending on the tournament, there are countless possibilities here.

Players can use all kinds of strategies to win these tournaments, but, mostly, you will be relying on luck to win. And, if you’re completely new to slot machines, a slot tournament may just be the best way to enter the world of slots and see how exciting these simple but fun games can be.

Slot tournaments are available at both land-based and online casinos.

How do They Work?

The trick to winning slot tournaments is, usually, just to get lucky, but it also helps to know how they work. Even though there are many variations, some basic principles apply to most online and offline tournaments.

To play in a tournament, it all starts with a buy-in. A buy-in is an entry fee that players pay to join the tournament.

Of course, you can also choose a FREE tournament or comped tournaments where the casino covers a buy-in for you. These are the only kind of tournaments you will find at and that’s why that website is so popular with slot players.

slot tournament information screen

A slot tournament information screen will show all the details of each tournament. This tournament is free and it has $1,776 in prize money! You are given 7,500 credits to start and you have a total of 10 minutes to complete your play.

In slot tournaments with an entry fee, the prize pool is usually determined by the cost of entry and the number of players. Also, in most of these “pay to play” tournaments, casinos reserve the right to keep part of the prize pool to ensure a profit for them. Therefore, make sure to check the prize pool before you decide to join any tournaments.

With free slot tournaments you don’t have to worry about entry fees, you can simply just sign up and play.

In either case, free or paid, when the tournament starts, each participant receives a set amount of credits, or spins, and a certain amount of time to play.

A good idea is The trick is to get the maximum amount of spins within the set timeframe. Once the playtime is over, the player with the highest amount of credits on their machine is the winner.

Where to Find Tournaments

There are two ways to find slot tournaments – online and offline. Online slot tournaments are available at online casinos that hold this type of tournament. For offline tournaments, you can simply visit a land-based casino that deals with such activities.

You can also find top tournaments in Las Vegas. Aside from being the ultimate destination for gambling in the world, Las Vegas is also home to a lot of slot tournaments.

Slot Tournament Rules

Basically, players receive either a set number of free spins, or a certain amount of free credits, in a slot tournament, plus they also have a set amount of time to play. Once the session starts, players can continue to play until they either run out of free spins/credits, or they run out of time.

The leaderboard will show your current score and position in the slot tournament, as well as the scores and positions of the current leaders.

Wins are tracked, and after all entrants have played, the players with the highest scores win and they are paid according to the prize schedule.

Different Types of Slot Tournaments

If you choose to go with online slot tournaments, there are two main types to keep an eye on – Sit and Go Tournaments and Scheduled Tournaments. The latter ones include a fixed start and end time. They can last for five minutes or go on for a month or more.

The condition to join this type of slot tournament is simple – if it’s open, you can join any time. The longer the tournament goes on, the bigger the prize pool. On the other hand, Sit and Go tournaments don’t have a set timeframe. They stay open until enough participants enter.

Compared to scheduled tournaments, this type includes a smaller number of players and generally runs for a short time, which means the prize pool is lower. If you’re looking for a bigger prize, scheduled tournaments are your best shot. If you want a higher chance of winning, Sit and Go tournaments are the best option.

Tips for Playing in Slot Tournaments

Once the tournament starts, there is not much you can do aside from making an effort to get the highest amount of spins during the time you have at your disposal. The results on the reels are entirely individual, and there is nothing you can do to change that.

You spin the reels, and the rest is just a matter of luck. However, we do have a couple of valuable tips to keep in mind while spinning:

  • Make sure you have a computer capable of running the casino software (for online tournaments);
  • Make sure your internet connection is fast enough;
  • If you’re entirely new to this whole tournament thing, start slow with free tournaments;
  • Since you have a limited timeframe to play, don’t stop spinning until the time is up;
  • If you use a pre-register form to sign up, don’t miss the start date and time;
  • Think twice before you use your continues and re-buys, unless they are free.


Now that you have some of the most important details on slot tournaments, we recommend starting slowly with free tournaments to get the feel of how these things work and get to know the machines you’ll be playing on.

That’s very important for the final outcome, so spin those reels like your life depends on it, and good luck!

Matt Bourie is the editor of the American Casino Guide book. He has been writing about casinos for more than 18 years and he also co-hosts the American Casino Guide YouTube channel which has had more than 65 million views. A new video is released each month that discusses a new casino gambling topic and you can subscribe for FREE at 



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