Online Slot Tournaments: Top Events to Win Real Money

Are you looking for a simple guide to understand what slots tournaments are and how to find the best events online? You are not alone.

Online slot tournaments are one of the hottest trends in gaming these days. From social casinos to real money sites, all the major operators in the industry increased their tournament offers.

In this new guide, you'll learn everything there is to know about online slot tournaments, including:

In other words, if you want to know how to find the best slot machine tournaments online and the best strategies to get the most out of them, this guide is for you.

How to Find the Best Slot Tournaments Online?

Finding the best slot tournaments is the easy part, since all the best online casinos offer slots tournaments nowadays.

Some casino sites are busier than others, running daily tournament schedules with tons of slot events multiple times a day. Other casino sites will keep their slot tournaments as "special occasions," celebrating the launch of new games, promotions, or casino bonuses.

To help you find the best slot tournaments to play online, we analyzed more than 100 brands to come up with a list of the top sites to consider.

The brands below are some of the best choices for casino slot machine tournaments.

How Do Slot Tournaments Work?

When you register for a slot tournament, you play the slot in front of you alone. However, you are competing with other players.

Instead of betting money to win or lose, you pay an entry fee. Everyone gets the same number of tournament tokens with which to play the slot machines. You bet tournament tokens and win tournament tokens for a set amount of time. At the end of the time period, players are ranked on how many tournament tokens they have won.

Your tournament payout is based on where you fall in that ranking. There will be a set payout for first, second, third, etc...

Usually, the payout is a percentage of the prize pool created by tournament buy-ins. However, with some tournaments the prize may take other forms like free spins or a travel package.

If you are planning to play a tournament but you are not familiar with the slot machine games included in the event, you should spend some time playing them before the tournament begins. Maybe taking advantage of the demo, play money, or free-to-play versions of the slot.

This helps you understand the slot's details in advance—including what to expect from the game's features, content, and overall experience.

Types of Slot Tournaments

There are two main types of slot tournaments, each type is available at both online and brick-and-mortar casinos. Sometimes these take the form of freerolls or promotions, but often they are paid events.

The format and the inclusion of an entry fee will influence the gameplay and (of course) the size of the cash prizes added to the competition.

Free Slot Tournaments

The best way to discover the world of online slot tournaments and not risk any money is to try out a free slots tournaments. Also referred to as "slot freerolls," these are perfect events for beginners.

The key features of a free slot tournament are:

  • no buy-in or payment to play;
  • players compete for prizes; and
  • they usually have short time limits.

If you decide to play a free slot tournament, by definition you will not need to pay anything. The casino site that holds the event will let you enter for free and you will have a chance to win prizes. These payouts are sometimes cash and sometimes prizes like free spins or paid slot tournament tickets.

The prizes in free tournament slots tend to be smaller than in paid tournaments, but can still be a pleasant bonus to boost a bankroll.

These events target beginners who want a low-cost way to learn how to play slot tournaments. As a results, they are a great way to familiarize yourself with the world of slot tournament play before you invest your money in a buy-in tournament.

Slot freerolls work just like like free poker tournaments. You register for the event, play begins at either a set time or set size of player pool, and then you fight for a share of the global prize pool.

You don't always need to have a desktop to play. Almost all the sites on this page run slot freerolls on their mobile platforms as well. So you can take part and play online from any iOS or Android device.

Strategies To Win Real Money on a Free Slot Tournament?

Because chance is a major factor in slot machine tournaments, your strategic options are limited. However, there are some key things you can do to maximize your chances of getting into a paid spot.

It is worth noting that these strategies apply to all slot tournaments, not just free slot tournaments. So the skills you learn in free tournaments will help you in real money slot tournaments too!

The main goal is to make as many bets as possible in the time limit, and not to leave any starting tokens unbet. So some key factors to keep in mind include:

  • do not waste time on animations and bonus features;
  • collect all credit wins immediately;
  • play manually, it is much faster than auto-play on the best slots; and
  • target events that run at odd hours, as this means smaller fields with fewer competitors.

Do not trust any online guide that promises you a secret way to win slot tournaments every time you play. These events have a high luck quotient, so the secret to making more money from freeroll slot tournaments is just to play a lot of them.

There's no surefire way to win money at casino gambling, so don't trust anyone who says there is.

Finding The Best Slots Freerolls

If you are looking for a free slot machine tournament to play right now? Then you can register on one of these online casino sites— some of the best internet casinos out there—and play!

Real Money Slot Machine Tournaments

Slots tournaments that feature a buy-in, as their name suggests, are not free. You must pay an entry fee to join other gamblers in the competition's field. Then you all compete for a share of a global prize pool.

The entry fee needed to play the slot game part of the competition acts as a barrier to entry and often contributes to keeping the field (i.e. the number of players in the event) relatively small.

Since buy-in online slots tournaments come in many formats, check out the short guide below to learn more.

Sit-and-Go Tournaments

In a sit-and-go tournament, the event starts as soon as a set number of players is reached. For example, a ten-player sit-and-go starts as soon as ten players register.

If there is a good player pool, these events can be a good way to play more tournaments per hour than scheduled ones. However, if there is not much in the way of players, then the waits can be much longer.

These fast paced, smaller slot tournaments, run for short periods of time and are focused more on rapid turnover. This gives you good chance to put in volume and the cap applied to the number of entrants guarantees that you won't be facing massive fields of other gamblers all at once.

Scheduled Tournaments

This is probably the most common type of real money slot tournament. You pay a fee to register and then you wait until it's time for the competition to start.

Scheduled tournaments are carefully planned and have a set start and end time. The more players the casinos register for online slots, the richer the prize pool. So the more active the site, the bigger the tournament field.

Depending on the online casinos, the scheduled tournaments you find on the internet can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months. The curiosity and thrill of waiting can contribute to the thrill of these tournaments.

In the case of long-lasting competitions, try to keep an eye on the leaderboard at least once a day. That's the most effective way to stay on top of how other people are doing and allows you to assess whether it makes sense to continue playing or to focus on a different promotion.

Reloader Tournaments

Reloader slots tournaments are online slot tournaments where, should you bust all your tokens, you can buy back in. This will cost extra money, and tends to function very similarly to poker rebuy events.

This is especially true in that you usually have to have run out of tokens (rather than just paying to add to your stack) and you must rebuy immediately on busting. You can't wait until later and rebuy then.

One-Shot Tournaments

If reloader tournaments are like poker rebuy events, a one-shot tournament is like a freezeout. You get one chance to buy in and when your tokens are done, you are out.

Survivor Tournaments

This type of tournament features various steps that can keep you busy for a very long time.

Casinos hold eliminations in phases in all rounds and you will only advance to the next stage if you win that particular round. The rest of the players will have to pack their bags and leave.

How Much Do Slot Tournaments Cost?

The cost of a slot tournament depends on a few things, but should be clear up front. The casino will tell you what the buy-in is and how rebuys work right at the start.

The factors that determine the actual cost of a tournament are these two questions:

  • Is the tournament a free slot tournament or does it have an entry fee?
  • Are rebuys available and do you plan to use them?

Most casinos that offer a guaranteed prize pool will also increase the reward if the entry fees from the players exceed the guarantee.

How to Play Slot Tournaments?

When you play slots tournaments, you compete with other players to win prizes. If the tournament uses cash instead of tokens, this amount will be added to the winnings you collect while spinning the reels of a slot machine.

Although you play alone, you are part of a pool of players all of whom are competing for spots in the tournament leaderboard which determines the final position and therefore which prizes are won by whom.

Online slot tournaments connect your winnings to "points." The more points you accumulate, the higher you will rank in the leaderboard.

To win a slot tournament, you need to be the player who raked in the largest amount in points during the competition. This is usually directly linked to your slot winnings from the tournament.

Since slot wins are always determined by chance (although there are slot machine tips that will help you manage variance and risk). As a result, the best way to get more chances to win a slot tournament is to use the time available to play the highest possible number of spins.

More spins don't directly equal more points—but it allows you to increase your variance which makes your chances of finding a big win higher. Big outlier wins are key to topping the leaderboards.

Unless the competition is a free slot tournament (aka. 'freeroll'), you will be required to pay an entry fee to play). This entry fee is collected from all players and is added to the tournament's prize pool (usually after the casino takes a cut).

Online slot tournaments can come in all forms and shapes. Some have betting limits, while others run for long periods of time and allow an unlimited number of gamblers to join. In most events, the casino site that hosts the tournament assigns you a number of credits (aka. the "bankroll") as soon as you pay the entry fee (aka. the "buy-in").

In these events, all the players get the same number of of credits to play. This makes the competitions more "fair" as it gives everyone the same chance to win.

Most casinos disable the "auto-play" feature of the slots during the events.

How to Get More Chances on a Slot Tournament

Playing slots whether as part of a tournament format or just for fun is always the same: you spin the reels, watch them turn, and see what you win or lose.

There's no way for a player to beat slot machines in the long run and now way to manipulate the algorithms that regulate the functioning of each game. As a result, most slot strategies rely on the importance of finding a slot with the right combination of RTP and volatility—but this mostly doesn't work in the world of online slot tournaments as you are not usually able to choose which game to play.

However, there are a number of tips that can help you maximize your chances of winning a slot tournament and take down the top cash prize.

Always bet the maximum. When you play for credits, you don't need to be conservative. Once you pay the buy-in and you have your bankroll—use it as fast as you can. Betting the maximum is the most effective way to hit increase variance and expose yourself to possible big wins that can put you way ahead of the competition.

Don't obsess over the leaderboard. It's good to know where you stand and how you are doing, but don't let that dictate your style of play or mood. Slots are all about luck, so there is no reason to worry—one big win, and you can be back on top in no time.

Best Sites For Real Money Slot Tournaments

Looking for a free slot machine tournament to play right now? Register on one of these sites and play!

This article was originally published on August 7, 2020 and UPDATED on September 22,2023.

Slot Tournaments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What casino has the best slot tournaments?

A lot of online casinos offer slot tournaments these days, and finding the best depends on the format and prizes you are looking for.

We have compiled a list of all the sites that run the best online slot tournaments. Each of the sites on the list welcomes you with a different bonus. Check out that page to find out more.

Can I play online Slot tournaments from the US?

Yes, you can play slot tournaments from the US. We have come up with a list of the best tournaments that you can play in the USA. We have also included a list of free slots tournaments. Read more.

The type of prizes to win depends on the jurisdiction you are in and the casino you choose.

What are freeroll slot tournaments?

A free slot tournament is a tournament with no entry fee.

These events are great practice to do before you enter your first buy-in events and discover all the newest games available on your casino sites.

Can I Win Real Money on Free Slot Tournaments?

Yes, you can win real money on free slot tournaments. While the prizes will tend to be quite modest, you can still earn some cash when you play slots freerolls.

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