Slot Tournaments: A 2018 Guide

By Dale Shelabarger, Updated:

BGO slot tournament

With the launch of bgo’s brand-new slot tournaments, including every Friday night’s bgo Big One, Inside Casino explains what they are and how to play them. At the end, we also give our three recommended online casinos for playing slots tournaments.

The History of Slot Tournaments

Ever thought to yourself that you are so good at slots that you wished it was a competitive sport? Have you also thought that you are really smart to come up with that idea?

It may surprise you to know that slots tournaments have existed online and in bricks and mortar casinos for quite some time. If, for example, you’ve ever been to a casino in Las Vegas, you may have noticed a gathered crowd, and a few hardy, athletic beings furiously hammering away at slot machines with the quickness of a thousand rabbits. Chances are, you have just witnessed a slots tournament.

Although they are not an everyday occurrence, many casinos will offer them as special events. Sometimes, these will be only for members and VIPs, and other times they will be open to the general public. Likewise, they can be free to enter, but often they will charge an entry fee ranging from some back-pocket change, to thousands of dollars.

Are online slots tournaments similar?

For the most part, yes. The concept is often very similar. At a bricks and mortar casino, a player will be given a certain number of credits loaded onto a slot machine, and they’ll receive a certain amount of time to play them. Tournament players will then bash their way through, hoping to use all their spins in the allotted time, to maximise their points totals. However, unlike usual online pokies play, your winnings won’t turn into any sort of credit that you can play. Rather, your winnings total at the end of the allotted time will be added to a leader board. The person who has the most credit/points wins. It is as simple as that.

paris hotel
Slot Tournaments are popular in Las Vegas

How do you enter an online slots tournament?

Online slot tournaments operate in a very similar way, albeit with some variations. Often, there is some sort of entry criteria. Firstly, you must have signed up to the casino that is running the tournament. These are some of the other potential entry requirements:

  1. Some tournaments require their players to make a deposit in the casino to render them eligible for a tournament. A tournament will say how much a player must deposit and how close to the event it must be. If a tournament requires you to make a deposit in advance, this usually means the tournament itself is free to enter.
  2. Others are called Freeroll tournaments, where you won’t have to pay to enter.
  3. Some tournaments require you to buy-in. This flat fee is often quite small on online casinos, compared to a physical one. Often, these competitions will be more exclusive, and the chances of winning a top prize will be higher.
  4. There are some tournaments where you wager your own credit. All you have to do is opt-in to a tournament, and then follow the tournament rules to win prizes. For example, there will be a predetermined minimum bet range, as well as a minimum amount of spins that players must complete. This will also likely be on a designated slot. For competitions like this, the winner is often determined by who has completed the most game rounds in the tournament’s allotted period.
  5. For VIP and reward tournaments, players often must attain a certain “level” in the casino before they are eligible for these tournaments. Again, the competition will be more exclusive, and the potential prizes much bigger.

Are there mobile casino slot tournaments?

bgo big one screenshot

Yes, some casinos offer slot tournaments on your mobile phone. For example, you can enter the new bgo tournaments on your smartphone or tablet, on Android or iOS. However, for others, you can only play on your desktop. On Video Slots’ Battle of Slots, you can only play the on your desktop computer. This is in part due to the technology that Battle of Slots runs off.

What are the rules of online slot tournaments? Is there a strategy?

These often vary between different online casinos. You should always read the rules of each individual competition before you engage in battle. This would be our main point of advice. In terms of strategy, slot tournaments, like regular slots, are based around chance. Often, you are just trying to get the highest score in a set number of spins. The wins you get from these spins are dictated by RNGs (Random Number Generators). Therefore, by chance. However, we do believe that you should do your homework before entering a competition. Here are some of the things that you need to look out for:

  1. Each individual tournament is usually confined to just one slot.
  2. Usually, there will be a set number of tournament spins granted to you by the casino. If it is a tournament where you are wagering your own credit, then there will be a minimum and perhaps maximum number of spins in order to be eligible.
  3. There will always be a set period of time when the tournament takes place. This can vary depending on the type of tournament. Some take place over an hour or two, some a few hours or even a whole day. There are even certain types of competitions, especially when you are wagering your own credit, that take place over multiple days.
  4. Different tournaments will measure different criteria to determine the leader board. It could be points, credit, winnings or even number of rounds played. Make sure to check before you spin.
  5. Some tournaments may reward tens or even hundreds of players on the leader board. Other may reward only the winner, or the top three. Check who the potential prize winners are before you enter, and what amount players receive for each corresponding position.

Tournament Winnings: Bonus funds, spins or cold hard cash?

This is another crucially important thing to check before you opt-in. Some tournaments will offer the winners cash prizes, which are immediately withdrawable. Other tournaments may reward winners with bonus funds or bonus spins which can be spent or redeemed in the casino. However, like any bonus rewards, these may come with wagering requirements and other terms attached. Always read the T&Cs before you enter!


Some tournaments may offer a jackpot reward, sourced from a pooled network. Before entering a tournament with a jackpot, check how much it is and how much they share out amongst players in other positions. Bear in mind, if a player does win an enormous jackpot, then a casino may have to pay out winnings in installments, as dictated by the casino’s payment policy. This is also something worth checking before you play.

Which Casinos offer the best slot tournaments?

#3 Vera & John Casino

Vera & John’s slot tournaments fall into the “wagering your own money” category. They are less rigid affairs; often they’ll last for several days. If your favourite slot or game (they also do table game & live casino tournaments!) happens to be part of a tournament that week, then all you have to do is click Participate Now. This could be your chance to win some extra bonus money, as well as be a huge boost to your self-esteem.

If the tournament ends, and you’ve come out in one of the prize-winning positions then congratulations to you! These tournaments continue consistently through the year, so you’ll never be left wanting for a Vera & John tournament.

#2 Video Slots Casino

Video Slots are known for their enormous range of… you guessed it, video slots; over 2,000 in fact. In 2015, they launched the Battle of Slots, a grand name for a very grand enterprise. As far as we can tell, no other online casino offers such volume and regularity of slots tournaments.

Throughout any given day, they offer dozens of slot tournaments. There are two types; Scheduled Battles and Sit & Go tournaments. Scheduled battles take place at a set time and players can sign up in advance. They can either be freeroll tournaments or require a small buy-in fee. Each tournament will take place on a proscribed slot and will probably have a maximum number of players. Sit & Go tournaments are available throughout the day and will take place at any time provided enough players have signed up. Once the threshold of players has been reached, then the tournament will commence. If the threshold is never reached, then the tournament will never take place.

All the tournaments can be found in the Battle of Slots database. They can be filtered by type of battle, time commencing, freeroll or buy-in cost and slot game. The image below gives you a sense of the number of tournaments that are available to players throughout the day:

battle of slots screenshot
Battle of Slots: Video Slots

#1 BGO

Our number 1 has to go to the brand-new offering from bgo. Though they don’t have the volume of tournaments that Video Pokies offers, the prizes are either cash or fair spins that come without wagering requirements! At this stage, they only offer 5 tournaments. There are three daily tournaments for VIP players: The VIP Bronze show down takes place at 6PM, the Silver at 7PM, and the VIP Gold at 8PM. For these tournaments, you need to have made a deposit, and be a certain VIP level.

There is also tournament for players who have recently made their first deposit. The New Player Battle takes place every day and 1stplace wins a £250 Real Cash Prize. There are no wagering requirements for the winnings.

However, the marquee battle takes place every Friday. The bgo Big One starts at 7PM and finishes at midnight. To enter, players must make a deposit within the prior seven days to the start. Currently, you receive 20 tournament spins on the King of Atlantis Slot. This is correct at the time of writing this article, but players should check the bgo website for the most up to date tournaments.

The player who comes in first place wins a whopping £5000 Real Cash Prize. Even second place wins £2500! Is there a more exhilarating way to spend a Friday night? This is why bgo comes top of our list of top slot tournament casinos.

Got any suggestions for other casinos that run great tournaments? Please get in touch via one of our social media channels below.

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