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Casino Tournaments

Playing online casino games is exciting, but competing against other players certainly adds an extra thrill to the game. For this reason, many online casinos are offering online casino tournaments pressuring players to make the best use of their skills.

Players are put to play against each other in a virtual casino environment which fosters not only competition but camaraderie. Some players might even enter an online casino only during the tournaments and compete for the tournament price while playing the games. Usually these tournaments are freerolls which means that there is no entry fee. The prices range from a few credits and freebies to large sums of cash and can be given out as bonuses with wagering requirements. Occasionally the prices include bigger offers as well like cruises or holiday trips. These are usually for special promotions.

The objective for these tournaments many times is to end up with more credits than the next guy despite the starting stack. In these tournaments the players have a same size starting stack to play with. Another variation is to calculate the best payout percentage for the duration of the tournament in which case the starting stack doesn’t need to be the same size. Usually the payout structure includes for example three best players who will receive a price.

There are many types of tournaments and the above mentioned are just an example of what to expect. Sit and go tournaments have a participant limit and start once all spots have been filled; just like in poker sit and go tournaments. Opposed to these there are the scheduled tournaments which will start on a predefined time and have no limit on how many participants can enter. The players will just have to register in to the tournament and come back to play when the tournament starts. Sometimes casinos might even host private tournaments for families and groups of friends to play against each other. These ones are obviously not open to any other casino customers and the promoter decides the rules and parameters of the tournament.

Of course, there'll be games more popular than others each with their own features and formats. For instance, players choosing to play online slot tournaments are ranked based on how long they can keep their tournament chips without losing them all and games such as blackjack or roulette, determines who has better abilities playing face-to-face. Depending on the tournament and if re-buys are allowed, a player can pay the entry fee again and re-enter the tournament if he/she loses their tournament chips. Instead of being eliminated right away from the tournament, the player is given several chances to try their luck and hopefully put their hands on a prize. Some tournaments might set a limit for re-buys, but most of them won't.

Casino tournaments by game

Once you have entered the tournament of your choice, a certain amount of chips will be given to you. A time frame is also set so you can try and make as many chips as possible while playing multiple tournaments. In some cases, an entry fee must be paid but there are also free casino tournaments known as "freerolls" and guaranteed tournaments with a minimum but assured prize pool. Below, a list of the most casino tournament types and a brief description on each.

Slots Tournaments

Slots have become one of the top favourite games to play in both online and land-based casinos. Its popularity has taken this game to the next level, slot tournaments, which are easy to join and play. Players who join the tournament are given an equal number of credits to use during an equal time frame. The goal is to make as many credits as possible before the time is up. Whoever ends with the biggest amount of credit, wins the tournament.

Blackjack Tournaments

For this type of tournament, an entry fee or buy-in must be paid. In some cases, these fees are combined to build up the prize pool while in some others, the house will keep the entry fees. Each player will receive the same amount of chips and will play an assigned number of blackjack hands. This will be the first round. The best players out of the first round will play in round two and so on. Most tournaments will designate the same number of chips on each round but some others won't, meaning that whatever is left in your bankroll is what you'll have available to play with on the next round. After the rounds are over, the winner is determined depending on the amount of chips a player holds.

Video Poker Tournaments

Rules in video poker tournaments vary from one to another, however, most of them are time based. You'll get to play more hands the faster you play increasing your chances of getting a royal or four-of-a-kind. Usually, a player will play two rounds and the way of deciding who wins is determined by the highest score out of the two rounds. The key is to play as many rounds as possible in the least period of time hoping to get the highest number of credits.

Roulette Tournaments

In order to win a roulette tournament, keep your fingers crossed and hope to win a lot of spins. However, don't rely entirely on luck as many players do. These players are too optimistic and place high bets right from the start trying to get ahead of their opponents hoping one of their bets will get a good payout. If you play low and without causing any impressions, you can also make your way to the top.   

In some tournaments, a fixed number of spins will be determined imposing the aggressive players to show up and place higher bets. In others, a time frame will be given allowing you to play at your own pace and reassuring the amount you choose to play.

Casino tournaments by type

Free Roll Tournaments

"Free Roll" is a term used to describe a tournament that doesn't require the player to pay an entry fee but it will still give them the chance to win real prizes. These type of tournaments are available through a wide range of gambling sites, sometimes considered to be promotions or bonuses to players. Poker and slots are the most popular games for free roll tournaments and since they are free to join, it's not surprising to expect a large number of players trying their luck.

Guaranteed Tournaments

When a casino offers this type of tournament, it guarantees you the promised prize amount independently from the number of players who joined it. They are commonly advertised at online casinos sites in order to reach the largest amount of players as possible. Traditionally, the less players there is, the bigger your chances of winning a prize.


If a tournament is advertised as a Sit n Go tournament, this means that the tournament will start as soon as the minimum number of players required to play have signed in. There's no specific time or date for this, if the table is full, the tournament will begin. The waiting time is usually short as they are offered to any player on the Microgaming network.


Contrary to Sit n Go's, a scheduled tournament will take place at the time and date it has been promoted and a pre-registration is always mandatory. They are also offered to any player on the Microgaming network.

Deciding the winners

As a common rule, the winner of a tournament is determined by whoever reaches the highest score once the tournament is over. Scores are constantly upgraded, so you won't miss any updates or details. If two players have the same score, this is when playing the most rounds come into action, they more rounds played, unties the score and a new winner arises. Read the tournament details to know how the winners are chosen, however, these are the most common ways the casino uses to calculate a winner.

  • Highest equalized payout in X number of rounds: Whoever has the highest average earnings in X consecutive rounds
  • Highest equalized payout in all round: Whoever has the highest average earnings in all rounds
  • Highest general payout: Whoever has the highest cash payout
  • Highest payout over x number of rounds: Whoever has the highest earnings in X consecutive rounds
  • Highest number of game rounds played: Whoever has played the most rounds