Online casino tournaments are a great way to take your games of chance to another level as you compete against other players for your spot at the top of the leaderboard. Depending on the tournament, the prize pool tends to have a few decently sized cash prizes as well as prizes for more than just the winner.
As tournament players are usually more committed and dedicated to the game than casual players, winning the tournament is a feat in and of itself as you play against others who take gambling as seriously as you do.
While online pokie and poker tournaments are quite common, many other types of casino games can be offered in the form of a tournament. Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Casino Hold ‘Em and Bingo tournaments can make an appearance at online casinos where the only requirement is for you to be a registered account holder.
Tournaments not only differ when it comes to prizes but the rules can change from one tournament to the next. If you’re new to online casino tournaments, it may be best for you to review some of the basics about different tournaments types below.
Pokie tournaments often are the most lucrative as they only require a small buy in to stand the chance of winning the biggest portion of the prize pool. This buy-in tends to make up the majority of the prize pool which means, the more people who sign up, the bigger the prize pool gets.
These pokie tournaments can take 2 forms:
- Scheduled – Where you register and then play as many games as possible within the specified time. Each game you play earns you points which then decides your position on the leaderboard.
- Sit and Go – The tournament starts when sufficient players have joined. Players then play for the duration of the tournament to earn the most points and guarantee their position at the top of the scoreboard within the time specified.
Due to the time limit and the fact that player positions on the leaderboard change throughout the tournament, the winner of the tournament can come as a surprise to those near the top.
Whether you play Blackjack online or at land-based casinos, the premise is very similar. After being assigned to a table, each player starts with the same bankroll and, depending on whether the tournament is set up to be played over a certain number of hands or over a certain amount of time, the winner of the tournament is the one who has managed to win the most money.
In larger tournaments, the winners of each section can compete against one another in the quarter, semi and final rounds until the ultimate winner snags the grand prize.
Blackjack tournaments tend to take one of two forms:
- Elimination – Where participants compete against each other at each table and the winners of each round then compete against other winners until the tournament hands over the grand prize.
- Non-elimination – Where players compete to win the most money after each round. Essentially their wins are turned into points that would decide their position on the leaderboard.
As with other types of tournaments, claiming the top spot on the leaderboard also gives you the biggest prize.
Poker tournaments are definitely the most well-known of all casino tournaments, especially as things tend to get heated when well-skilled players outplay each other in this game of chance.
Particularly popular in New Zealand, professional poker players stake their claim to fame as winners of life-changing sums of money as they use their skills to win tournaments. Played with at least 2 players on a single table, poker tournaments can include thousands of players competing on many tables all over the world.
While the winner may take it all in the poker chip sense, these chips are usually equated to points which then indicate the player’s position on the leaderboard. The person in the top spot at the end of the tournament then walks away with the grand prize.
In poker tournaments you get two kinds of prizes:
- Fixed – Players receive a prize in accordance with their position on the leaderboard. For example, a 10-person tournament with a buy-in of $20 may offer the winner a $100 prize, $60 for second place and $40 for third place.
- Proportional – Participants receive prizes according to a percentage-based scale so, the more participants, the greater the prize as each player’s buy-in grows the prize pool. As with fixed, the top 3 score the majority of the pool, but players lower down on the leaderboard don’t walk away empty-handed.
In terms of participation, land-based casinos restrict players by creating tournaments for their loyalty club. Casinos who require an invitation or membership to attend or participate include the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas such as Aria Casino, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and The Bellagio only accept players who sign up for their M Life card.
Land-Based vs Online
Both land-based and online casinos do everything they can to make tournaments accessible to as many people as possible. Even poker tournaments with high buy-ins can allow for amateur poker players to test their skills against the professionals.
Land-based tournaments offer the following:
- Smaller daily and weekly tournaments for smaller prizes with no or small buy-in.
- Annual tournaments have larger prizes and attract hundreds of participants with a higher buy-in.
- High-roller tournaments can have buy-ins of between $50,000 and $100,000 with prizes that exceed $1,000,000 and are often by invitation only for the casino VIP Club.
- Tournament sign-in or registration is followed by table assignment and restricted credits or hands for the duration of the session.
Playing online tournaments offers the following experience:
- Access to both new and existing players.
- Tournaments held over a longer period.
- A full suite of tournaments over a wide range of games like Blackjack, Bingo, Roulette etc.
- The option to rebuy even after you have lost meaning you can buy back into the tournament using more money.
Poker tournaments remain one of the most popular land-based tournaments and attract spectators who watch the live tournaments at the casino or via webstream. Tournaments like these tend to include well-known poker players who compete for massive cash prizes.