With the recent spate of televised celebrity poker tournaments, you’re probably familiar with the idea of gambling as serious sport. But have you heard about slot machine tournaments? It’s a trend for those in the know.
Some casinos hold slot tournaments daily. These are usually for the general public and they require a minimal entry fee. For the competition, a set of slot machines is roped off and any comers can join the fun. Other casinos market their slot machine tournaments as high-stakes, invitation-only affairs for their loyal customers. Entry fees for these tournaments may be several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Here’s the way it works: You start with a set number of credits and a set number of minutes to play. Your goal is to use up all the credits and accumulate as many points as you can during the allotted time. The credits you use are deducted as you go, so speed counts when you hit the spin button! The credits you win add up on a separate meter. When your time is up, the machine stops and your credits are totaled. Generally, tournament players will compete in several fifteen- or twenty-minute sessions. Points from each session are added and compared to find a winner.
Winnings from a slot machine tournament vary, but some offer prizes up to $25,000. If you’re a VIP club cardholder, a casino may invite you to a tournament and offer you a room and meals at a good rate, so if you can afford the entry fee, a tournament offer makes for a nice weekend diversion. Some casinos also return all or most of the entry fee in the form of prizes, so if you spend $100 on the entry fee and get a discounted room, the tournament is a good deal. Avoid those tournaments that offer few incentives and take a large cut of the entry fee. Usually, you can find a better deal.