Playing Big: Online Slots Tournaments

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Without a doubt, the most popular gaming experience among online casino players is the wide variety of slot machines, which are any casino's "bread and butter." Slot machines are the single symbol which comes to mind when most players think of Las Vegas or any gaming venue, and they are the most popular of all the casino games, usually accounting for eighty percent or more of a given casino's income. Players enjoy the instant gratification of the slot machine play, getting instantaneous results for each roll or pull, and slots aren't intimidating to those who are new to casino gaming, so they're a common starting-place for new players, as well as being an old standby for gaming veterans. A slots player can play strategically to win, but the game itself doesn't require specific skills, which makes it universally appealing to new and seasoned players alike.

The old-style slot machines in traditional casinos are practically iconic, with their side-arm pull-levers and their rows of cherries or symbols lining up to indicate a jackpot, often with flashing lights and bells and an outpouring of casino tokens into the coin tray at the front. Today's machines are slicker and more interesting, with a digital push-button rather than the physical lever, with exciting interactive graphics, adventure-themed games, and the same instantaneous results that players have enjoyed for decades. The play of slot machines has transitioned seamlessly to the online environment, where the fun and suspense of each roll (or "push") can be enjoyed from any remote location, even from the convenience of a hand-held smart phone or mobile device. Bottom line: anybody can enjoy the slots now, at any time—and there's an abundance of options in the online environment. For example, there are over 200 different games of slots at Spin Palace and a similar selection at Winner Casino.

How Slot Machines Work Online

The advent of internet gaming in the 1990s made slot machines and other forms of gaming available around the clock and around the calendar to anyone who has an internet connection. Software developers rushed to meet the demands of the new venue, and the software platforms for online gaming have been built up into an exciting environment enjoyed by millions. As slot machines even in traditional casinos have transitioned to the digital and interactive realm of touch screens and exciting graphical interfaces, the online versions share the inviting design being enjoyed by gamers at traditional casinos. An online slot machine allows you to play with credits (rather than the old-style casino tokens which players used to feed into the slot which gave the machines their name), and the variations of the slot games have expanded as well. Rather than the rather unexciting original versions with uninteresting symbols like cherries--although even these unexciting motifs still carried the excitement of the wager and the win--today's games feature adventure themes that add to the fun of play. Try out Monster Mayhem, Glitz and Glamor, White Rhino, Basketbull, Aztec's Treasure, the vampire game Immortal Romance, Doctor Love, Throne of Egypt, Mythic Maiden, Crocodopolis, Irish Eyes, Lucky Witch, Golden Shamrock, Ramesses Riches, Skullduggery, Cleopatra, Wolf Run, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Bejeweled, Wheel of Fortune, Ghostbusters, Monopoly Slots, Batman, Lobstermania, The Godfather Slots, Mission Impossible, Tomb Raider, Dirty Dancing, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and a practically endless list of others, including games with three dimensional graphics and video elements.

The play itself is uncomplicated: a player wagers credits on each push (the term used now that push-buttons have replaced old-style pull-levers), selects options available with the game, and touches the button to spin for a win. It's an uncomplicated form of gaming, but a gamer can still play strategically to increase the chances of winning big. Tournament play is one avenue for increasing slot winnings, and the strategies a player employs in standard slot play can be employed during a tournament as well.

Strategic Slot Play Online

A thoughtful player can increase the payouts of online slot play with some simple strategies. First, read the terms of any game you're playing to make sure you understand how this particular game pays out. The different categories of games (multipliers, buy-a-pay, progressive, and so on) pay out in different ways, so know which type of game you're playing so you can wagers accordingly. In cases where bonuses, jackpot or big winnings are tied to a maximum bet, it's to your benefit to wager the maximum and make sure you qualify for those prizes. Playing to win for a bonus or multiplier involves wagering enough to qualify for the considerable win of the jackpot or the multiplied bonus. You can also read up on the audit reports of specific games to see what the individual payout percentages are at your favorite casino, which will help you choose which games to play for an increased chance of a win. Slot games that offer bonuses on rows or rounds or multipliers, or that pay out high jackpots; can increase your bottom line odds of winning. Your odds are also better with a game that features smaller rows of symbols than those with longer rows; if you need to line up a row of matching symbols; it's a matter of simple math to realize that it's harder to get a whole matching row if there are more symbols in the row that need to match up. In the other direction, your odds get better if a game features a "wild" symbol which can be counted as a match to any row of otherwise-matching symbols. Different games have different winning probabilities, so as you choose which games to play, it's to your advantage to choose from among the games that offer better odds.

How Slot Machine Tournaments Work Online

Slot machine play can be an individual sport, but the interest (and the odds of winning cash prizes) increases when you play in a tournament with other players. The basic set-up of any online slots tournament is that players register to play in the tournament, sometimes for an entrance fee, and are given a designated period of time in which to play. The participating players earn points for their play—and for their wins—and at the end of the designated tournament-period, the player with the highest points will win the tournament prize, in addition to the winnings from the slots-play itself. The credits you earn toward the tournament generally don't count toward your loyalty or comp points with the casino (which you may be accumulating to earn a VIP or high roller status and the benefits that come with it), but your tournament winnings will be added directly to your player account at the casino.

The tournaments themselves vary, some of them with entrance fees, some of them with free enrollment (and some of them with registration fees that might be waived for a VIP player, or tournament seats awarded as a prize for other forms of play in the casino). A player can pre-register for scheduled tournaments, or sign on for a "sit and go" tournament, which accepts entries at any time and kicks off a new tournament as soon as enough players have registered. Whether you prefer to plan your gaming time ahead with pre-registration, or find yourself with some unscheduled time when you find yourself wanting to play, you can participate in a slots tournament with pre-planning, or on an impromptu whim.

For the price of the entrance fee (if there is one), you'll be given a designated number of credits to play at the slot machines during your tournament. Your goal is to score the most points possible with your play, and you can watch the leaderboard to see not only your own current score as the tournament progresses, but also how you rank in comparison to the other players and the leaders. Any credits you don't play during the tournament's designated time period will be lost—and of course unplayed credits are also a loss in regard to the fact that you've essentially surrendered the points you could have won by playing them. Perhaps the most basic strategy for a slots tournament is to be sure you play the full amount of credits you have in your arsenal in order to maximize your point score, and consequently, your winnings.

Advantages of Slots Tournaments Online

In the environment of a traditional casino, a slots tournament is limited to a set number of machines set aside for tournament play, and a player is assigned to a single machine in that section. One of the advantages to the online slots tournament is the fact that you can choose your own game from the selection of online options at the casino where you're playing. In cases where the playing-time of a tournament is limited, playing quickly is an important strategy in order to play the full amount of your tournament credits. In this regard, the online casino environment can be advantageous, as it lacks the distractions of a traditional casino with all its diversions and disruptions.

By choosing to play slots online, you're already increasing your odds compared to the same play at a traditional brick and mortar casino. In addition to the ancillary expenses of transportation, lodging, food, and travel that are necessary when you have to take yourself physically to a different geographic location to play at the traditional casino, there's also the fact that conventional casinos have lower payout rates for slot machines than their online counterparts. After all, the physical gaming location is not only more expensive for you to visit; it's also more expensive for the casino to maintain, so these establishments have to set their payouts at a sustainable level to help cover the costs of overhead to keep the business operational. Conventional casinos have payout rates that usually top out at around 95% and can be as low as 70% (you can check an individual establishment's payout rates in their audit reports to see how they pay out). In contrast, the online casinos average closer to 98% payout on their slot machines, so right off the bat you're already losing less and taking home more. Add to those odds the wins you can score by playing wisely and you can make a lucrative practice of your slot machine gaming online. Try one of the progressive slot machines now at JackpotCity Casino.

For the dedicated slots player, a tournament is also a chance to enjoy the social aspect of online gaming. Unlike the multiplayer games like poker, slot machines can be a solitary pursuit—but with the tournament you add the edge of competitive play, and if you're a regular tournament player, chances are you'll come across some of the same folks and have the opportunity, if you're so inclined, to interact with them and gain some gaming friends. 888 Casino has an amazing international slots tournament.

Online gaming these days also offers the advantage of mobile entertainment, since you can access and play your favorite games and tournaments from any location when you access the internet via your smart phone or mobile device. Many casinos and individual slot games provide downloadable apps which you can install directly on the home screen of your phone, so a sit and go tournament only takes just a touch of the screen when you have a little time to fill and want to enjoy the entertainment of a tournament.

Some Popular Online Slots Tournaments to Check Out

With the wide array of tournament options, you can join in a tournament at just about any online casino. Here are some player favorites that are worth checking out:

  • 32 Red Casino has held the player-determined title of "Best Online Casino" for seven years running, and has become a virtual destination for slot tournament players. The casino offers bonuses for registration, and both scheduled and sit and go options. The casino's home page features a leaderboard of the latest winners, highlighted along with the (substantial!) amounts of their winnings in the previous twenty-four hours. 32 Red Casino also offers a mobile app you can download if you'd like to play the slots tournaments from your cell phone or mobile device.
  • Intercasino is one of the long-standing online casinos that have pioneered the online gaming industry. Offering classic slot games, progressive jackpots, and video slots, Intercasino offers sit and go and scheduled slot machine tournaments with sizeable jackpots for the winners. With some of the most award-winning gaming technology in the business, Intercasino also offers some of the biggest prize pools for tournament players.
  • Microgaming slot tournaments can be found at Royal Vegas Online Casino, King Neptune's, All Jackpots, River Belle, Jackpot City Casino, and All Slots. These tournaments include super-quick and low-entry options, as well as tournaments scoring prizes in the fifty to hundred thousand dollar range. With the sit and go options, you can enter a tournament any time at all, and you can also try out your tournament skills at a free game before you jump in with your actual wagers.

Financial Transactions for Online Slots Tournaments

If you're new to online casino play, you'll want to check out the options offered by the money management services which have been designed specifically to facilitate the financial transactions between online gamers and their favorite online gaming venues. Services like Neteller and Click2Pay allow you to create an account with funds drawn from a credit card or bank account, and then use your money management account, rather than a credit card, for all of your money movement with the casino. These services offer more security than you'll find with your credit card, due to their specially designed encryptions and firewalls, and they also eliminate the risk you face when you expose your credit card information directly at the casinos. They provide a user-friendly platform for money management and allow you to make quick deposits and withdrawals at your casino account, enable you to check your balance at any time, and protect your privacy by keeping your transaction records separate from your personal banking or credit card statements. You can download mobile apps for these services and enjoy their options from your phone or mobile device, as you can enjoy the gaming itself from a smart phone.

Tournament play adds the elements of competition and socializing to the already-enjoyable exercise of playing online slot machines, and the benefits and prizes are substantially more rewarding than straight slot-play as well. Tournament players can maximize their winnings from online slot machine play by scoring the prizes and jackpots offered in a tournament, and the excitement of the competitive nature of a tournament and the limited time-frame add new elements to the play itself. If you'd like to up the ante and enjoy your favorite games with added dynamics, tournaments are also available pretty much around the clock, with sit and go registrations ongoing all the time. If you find yourself with just a little free time on your hands and a mobile phone to hand, a slots tournament might be just the way to fill that time.