How Tournaments Work on Different Online Casinos

How Tournaments Work on Different Online Casinos

March 14, 2011.

Gamblers looking for a different kind of experience can certainly find it in tournaments. While normal casino game play pits players against the casino, tournaments are built to make players compete against each other on a level playing field. To keep things even more interesting, each software platform has its own unique spin on tournaments. Let's take a look at how different online casinos make tournaments for their players.

Real Time Gaming (RTG)

Real Time Gaming casinos make up a huge portion of the online gaming market, particularly in US-friendly casinos. Many casinos that use RTG software, such as Jackpot Capital, are some of the most reputable in the industry. While not all RTG casinos offer tournaments, many do.

Each individual casino can set up their tournaments how they want to. However, all Real Time Gaming casino tournaments have three common factors. The first is how buy-in works. Most of the tournaments require a fee to enter, which can range anywhere from 1 cent to $20. In addition to this buy-in rate, the house will also charge a commission, which is almost always 10% of the buy-in rate. A $5 tournament, for instance, would probably be listed as “$5.00 + $0.50” in the tournament window.

The second element of an RTG tournament is how the prizes are allotted. Rather than having a fixed prize schedule, the prizes that top scorers win adjusts as more people join the tournament. This way, contestants always get a shot at fair prizes. Thankfully, gamblers can usually wait at least a day before they have to decide whether they want to join the tournament or not while the tournament is in the registering phase.

Finally, RTG tournaments work uniquely in the actual play. Players will always be playing some kind of video slot. Once the player makes his or her first spin, the balance is deducted by an unchangeable amount, and any winnings go to the Win section. Once the balance or the timer reaches 0, the tournament ends for that player, and his or her score is his or her total winnings.


Microgaming is the largest provider of online casino software in the world. While their games are not available for citizens of the United States, casinos that use its software are typically trustworthy and well-established. Many Microgaming casinos, such as Ladbrokes, offer plenty of video slots tournaments to keep players with a competitive edge entertained.

Microgaming has two kinds of tournaments: scheduled and sit-and-go. The scheduled tournaments are very much like those of Real Time Gaming. A tournament becomes open for registration shortly after it is announced. From there, players may register and begin play shortly after on the video slot that is selected. Once a player runs out of money or time, he or she stops playing and keeps his or her winnings. The more winnings players generate, the higher up they end up on the leaderboard.

One major difference between Microgaming and RTG tournaments is the continue feature. For a fee, players can replenish their balance and be given more time to play. This has been the object of criticism from many players since it favors those with the biggest bankrolls.

Sit-and-go tournaments on Microgaming are like little surprises. Randomly, a tournament will be placed on the board that has room for only 5 or so contestants. These fill up quick, so players need to keep their eyes pealed to have the best chance of participating in one! Unlike schedule tournaments, sit-and-go tournaments do not usually let players continue playing after their time or balance is depleted.


3Dice is a proprietary casino that has grown in popularity from its various accolades at Casinomeister. These awards have been well-earned. With their stellar customer support, ability to let players chat, and no-hassle cashier, 3Dice is one of the most trusted casinos around. Best of all, their variety of tournaments are enough to keep anyone entertained.

3Dice has three main kinds of tournaments: free-to-play, VIP freeroll, and buy-in. 3Dice's tournaments have a much larger time window than other software platforms, making them more of an interactive race between players. Players' scores can be determined by either highest balance or highest peak balance, rather than total winnings. In addition, every game has a chance to be in a tournament, from table games to video slots.

The free-to-play tournaments are completely free for anyone to play. First place wins $10, and second and third places win $5 each. These prizes have a wagering requirement of 10x but no maximum cashout or banned games. They are 12 hours long each and are always scored by highest peak balance. The free-to-play tournaments are either All Slots, All Video Slots, or All Games. Already, this is plenty to keep people occupied.

Nonetheless, 3Dice also has hour-long VIP freerolls that only have 15 minute breaks in between. Anyone who deposits $50 is eligible to play these VIP freerolls for the 30 days following their deposit. These VIP freerolls always have a prize of $10 with a 10x wagering requirement and no maximum cashout. Since players only compete with other depositing players, there is less competition and a greater chance to win.

People who want a more traditional tournament experience can purchase tourney credits to enter buy-in tournaments. The buy-ins at 3Dice are still different from RTG's and Microgaming's, and not much different from 3Dice's freerolls. Peak or highest balance will be used to determine the winner. Buy-ins last anywhere from 24 hours to 5 days, so players have to stay competitive to have a shot at winning.