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What to Consider when Choosing an Online Casino Tournament
If you're looking to extend your casino fun, or access huge potential profits for a minimal spend, then an online casino tournament is the perfect solution. Don't just settle for the first one you find, there's a world of options out there, and each one brings something different to the table.
Many gamblers will be looking for tournaments in familiar territory to maximise the odds of winning, but both experienced players and total beginners should keep their options open. Commonly available tournament games include:
- Video Poker
- Online Slots
An innovative online casino will find a way to make any popular game into a tournament, so keep your eyes peeled for new and unique opportunities.
Whatever the game on offer, online casino tournaments tend to have the same few basic frameworks, though each will have certain nuances to consider.
- Time Limits | Players are given a set time to play a slot or table game. When it runs out, the player with the biggest winnings or who has played the most games takes the prize.
- Knockout Tournaments | These games pit players head-to-head, and the winner progresses to the next round. The winner could be determined by the best hand in a card game (in poker or blackjack, for example) or a time-limit match where the biggest pot progresses.
- Betting Limits | Whichever format the tournament itself takes, there will be limits on how you bet, and this will have a significant impact on your strategy. Whether it's a maximum bet at the poker table or a fixed price per spin at the slot machine, players must check that the rules suit their strategy before signing up.
There are several options to consider for your entry into a tournament:
- Buy-Ins | You purchase a cash pot or chips at the start of the tournament; if you lose them before your rivals, you're out. Some tournaments allow multiple buy-ins, so you can return after a loss, but these tournaments can get expensive, and hand a huge advantage to players with a big bankroll.
- Freerolls | These are regular tournaments with no entry fee. Members simply sign up, receive a bankroll, and play the tournament. It can take the form of time limit or knockouts.
- Loyalty/Member Tournaments | These are like freerolls, but are only given to valued members after a certain period or spend with the casino. Sometimes these ask for an entry fee or buy-in, and offer exclusive prizes instead.
- Unlimited Spend | In online slot tournaments, players can sometimes spend as much as they want in search of the biggest winnings or most spins. Commitment, focus, and a large bankroll are key to victory, so this type of entry is for high rollers only. Everyone else should proceed with caution.
- Fixed Entry Fee | This is a one-off fee that buys your pot/chips for the game. These usually don't allow repeat buy-ins and offer a level playing field. They're great for beginners and players keeping tight control of their spending.
It's always the bottom line: a good cost/benefit analysis is crucial before you opt for your online casino tournament.
- Prize Pools | A percentage of entry fees/buy-ins are collected to form a prize pool, which is split between the top players at the end of the tournament.
- Fixed prize pots | A fixed prize for the top players is determined before the start of the tournament, and is guaranteed, regardless of the number of entrants.
- Jackpot Tournaments/Winner Takes All | A large grand prize is announced, and sometimes linked to the number of entrants. The overall winner takes it, and everyone else leaves empty-handed.
- Bonuses/Free Spins | Some freeroll/low entry tournaments will offer bonus rewards and free spins as the prize. These tend to be less fiercely competed, and represent good sport for those playing for fun.
Whether you're playing for fun, or for the prospect of big wins, it's worth ensuring that your online casino is doing the most to make the experience exciting.
Leaderboards that show the positions of your rivals is an excellent way to ramp up the tension and keep players' eyes on the prize, while chat features add a psychological element to gameplay to test your focus.