Slot Tournament Strategy

In the massive world of online gambling, slot play reigns supreme.

This multi-billion-dollar industry continues to grow, and that growth means that even the most seasoned punters should keep their eye on new developments in the slot universe.

One such development is the rise of the slot tournament.

The smartest casinos and providers seem to have realized that the ultra-popularity of tournament poker isn’t just about the game itself, but about the sense of competition. Not to mention the massive prizes available!

But before diving right in to the best slot tournaments available right now, players should stop and consider what modifications should be made to their usual strategic approach.

(Of course we we know our readers to be among the savviest punters around! For those who want to brush up on their basic strategy, however, our Sister Site RealMoneyAction offers an excellent, in-depth guide.)

Now, the million-dollar question…

What’s Different about a Tourney?

The main difference between normal play and a tournament setting is as straightforward as can be!

Traditional slots are all about increasing one’s bankroll. A win is a win, and a loss is a loss.

Tournament slots, however, are a different kettle of fish entirely. Though each player spins their own reels, it is without a doubt a competitive affair. Only the top winners will finish in the money…

… which means that some wins are actually losses, if they aren’t enough to help punter finish in the money!

In this different setting, different tactics are called for.

Just which ones depends on the kind of tourney that’s being played.

Strategy for Max Points Tournaments

Most slot tournaments fall into this category. They are also the most straightforward: whoever racks up the most points – in the form of the most and biggest bets/wins – will walk away with the top prize.

The tactics for this kind of tourney are simple: spin the reels as much as you possibly can at the best bet size possible.

To break that down a little bit:

  • Sign up early and play from the very beginning
  • Spin as many times as possible. This means a quick trigger finger, skipping every animation possible, no celebrating wins, no bathroom breaks, no texting, no calls, no distractions of any kind. We can’t state this enough: whoever spins the most will win the day.
  • Make sure all pay lines are active.
  • Whenever multiple titles are available, make certain to play on the one with the highest RTP and/or the biggest jackpots.

Most of the time, it makes sense to bet the maximum on each spin. However, this depends on the number of points earned per bet.

Consider this example. If the point distribution looks like this:

  • Bet $0.20 up to $0.99 = 1 point
  • Bet $1.00 up to $1.99 = 5 points
  • Bet $2.00 up to $2.99 = 15 points
  • Bet $3.00 up to $3.99 = 25 points
  • Bet $4.00 up to $4.99 = 35 points
  • Bet $5.00 + = 50 points

Hypothetically, a player with a $500 bankroll could bet $2 per spin for a total of 3750… but this would be a losing proposition, when bets of $5 would yield 5000 points!

More importantly, however, there would be no advantage to betting over $5 per spin!

In this case, the best strategy would be not be to bet the maximum per spin, but to bet the lowest amount possible that yields the most points per spin.

Tournament Type: Biggest Single Spin Win

This tourney type is a bit more egalitarian, and also a bit rarer. Here, the winner is the one who walks away with the single biggest win compared to the bet size.

As such, the size of a player’s bankroll doesn’t matter as much as in max point tournaments. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Always play the eligible slot that offers the top jackpot win.
  • Higher volatility / variance titles tend to be the best bet here.
  • Play the minimum bet… so long the jackpots are active at that level! Not all titles offer top payouts for minimum bets.
  • With that said, preserve your bankroll by making smaller bets whenever possible.

Note: Read the Fine Print!

No matter what kind of tournament it is, attention to detail before it begins is extremely important. An innocent misunderstanding can end up costing players serious money.

Some things to be especially aware of are:

  • Winning conditions – What precisely does it take to win? Does this mean altering your strategy?
  • Start and end time – It’s easy to miss these deadlines, and they can easily cost punters a win… especially for max points tourneys. Make absolutely sure to begin on time, and that you can play through the end of the competition!
  • What is the prize pool, and how is it split up? It’s easy to get excited about a $50,000 prize pool, but what if it’s divided among 500 contenders? At the very least, be sure the top prize is worthy of the entry fee.
  • How are prizes paid out? Some casinos and providers offer generous prizes, but only as rewards points or money that can be wagered on other games. There’s nothing wrong about this per se, but players should be aware before risking their bankrolls!
  • Which slots are eligible for the tournament? Not only is it important to make sure you play eligible titles, it’s also crucial that you play the best slots for the tournament type. Depending on win criteria, this may call for highest RTP, top jackpot, or other factors.
Samuel Read profile image Samuel Read LCB Reviewer - last updated 2020-12-07
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