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Here’s How Las Vegas Slot Tournaments Work (Explained)

There are a lot of gambling competitions in Vegas. You can barely walk onto a casino floor without being blasted with advertising for an upcoming poker tournament. While we have all heard of poker tournaments, many people aren’t as aware of Las Vegas slot tournaments and don’t know how they work.

A Las Vegas slot tournament is where competitors duke it out to see how many points they can win from their slot machine in just a few minutes of rapid play. The more points somebody wins, the more likely they will win the overall tournament and the associated cash prize. 

Let’s go into a bit more depth on this. I am positive that I can answer your question ‘how do Las Vegas slot tournaments work?’. I will even share some reasons why you’d want to play in a slot tournament in Vegas, as well as a few tips for winning along the way. 

row of slot machines: How do Las Vegas slot tournaments work?

What Is a Las Vegas Slot Tournament?

Many people struggle with the idea of a Las Vegas slot tournament. After all, a slot machine isn’t something you traditionally compete on. It’s just you vs. the slot machine.

Well, in true Las Vegas style, casinos in the city have managed to make slot machines competitive.

In a Las Vegas slot contest, you are competing both against the slot machine and everybody else in that slot machine tournament. Your goal is to score more points (which roughly equals winning money) than the others in the tournament. The person who scores the most points in the casino slot tournament walks away with the grand prize, which is unsurprisingly, cash!

Some Las Vegas slot matches can last just a few minutes, while others can have dozens of rounds spread out over a few days. They all roughly work in the same way, but a multi-day tournament will normally be a knock-out style tournament where the top-placed players progress to the next competition.

How Do Las Vegas Slot Tournaments Work?

How the slot tournament works will depend on both the Las Vegas casino and the type of competition they are running. We will give you a general overview here. However, if you are looking for a complete set of rules for the tournament you are entering, we suggest you talk to the casino running the game. Some do have intricate rules that you’ll want to be aware of.

The Tournament Slot Machines

You won’t be competing on any old slot machine at a Las Vegas slot tournament. Instead, there will be specially designated machines set aside that you will use.

These slot machines are usually confined to a roped-off area and will have been configured to display a points total for the game rather than dishing out cash for winning spins.

Generally speaking, the games aren’t going to be too different from the normal slots that you play on. In fact, if you are a regular slot player, you will likely have played some of these games before. Of course, that does mean that you will head into tournament play with an advantage.

Knowing your way around the slot machine can be a godsend as it means that you will be able to more easily navigate your way around the features in the game. This could potentially put more cash into your pocket.

Slot Tournament Credits

You aren’t technically playing with real money in a Vegas slot tournament. Instead, you are playing with credits. These are purchased before the start of the tournament. The number of credits that you can get will vary. It generally costs around $20 to $30 to enter a slot tournament, but some of the larger competitions may have much, much higher fees.

(On occasion, some casinos even host free tournaments to increase the excitement on the gaming floor.)

When you enter the tournament and have purchased the credits, you will either be given physical credits or your credits will be pre-programmed into the machine. It is all dependent on how the casino opts to run the tournament.

You are only allowed to use the credits that you have been issued for the slot tournament. This puts everybody in the tournament on a level playing field. Once you have blasted through your credits, that is the end of the competition for you.

Competing In a Sin City Slot Tournament

Your credit use isn’t the only thing you need to pay attention to when you are in a slot tournament. You will also be up against the clock.

Each slot tournament round will last between 3 and 5 minutes (there are some shorter and longer tournaments too). Your goal is to win as many points as you can:

  • Within the time limit
  • Within the number of credits that you are issued

Beyond this, the slot machines will work exactly the same way you are used to. This means that you pull a lever or push a button. You will also take advantage of any of a particular games features. Everything that you do while playing the slot machine will earn you points.

Of course, a lot of this will correlate to the number of wins that you get in the casino game. The more wins you get, the more your points will stack up. Although, some slot machines will reward points for close calls, speed of play, etc.

In most cases, you will not receive any cash while playing the slot machines (there are one or two exceptions here), your goal is to score the most points to win the competition.

Winning A Vegas Slot Tournament

As you are playing the slot machines, you will gather points. The slot tournament winner will be the person who managed to gain the most points in the allotted amount of time. Simple stuff.

The winner of the tournament (and maybe the runner-up and the third-placed player, depending on the size of the tournament) will receive a prize.

The prize will normally be the cash from all the credits purchased, minus a cut for the casino. In some of the larger slot tournaments, this is something that can equal thousands and thousands of dollars…not bad for a few minutes of work, right?

See also: Can you get free drinks at Vegas casinos? Find out here.

Are Las Vegas Casinos Rigged?
Are Las Vegas Casinos Rigged?

Are Las Vegas Slot Tournaments Worth it?

If you love slot machines, you will probably love playing in a Las Vegas slot tournament.

While you won’t be winning any immediate cash while playing a slot game in a tournament, there is the potential to win larger sums of money if you win the overall tournament. The amount of cash you can potentially win will be much, much higher than if you spent your day sitting around in front of a normal slot machine, hoping that you get lucky. 

If you are in Vegas, I recommend that you try out at least one or two slot tournaments. Many of them are only going to be taking up a few minutes of your time, but you have the potential to experience a big win.

Since most casinos have slot tournaments running throughout the day, you shouldn’t struggle to find a tournament to enter.

If you love it, you may be able to participate in one of the great multi-day slot tournaments that Las Vegas is famous for.

Line of slot machines: What is a slot tournament in Las Vegas

Reasons to Play in Slot Machine Tournaments in Vegas

There are several appealing benefits of playing in a slots tournament in Las Vegas. They are:

  • Large potential winnings. By pooling the entry fees, slot tourneys have a high payout if you win.
  • Knowing your maximum losses ahead of time. Since everyone is playing based on points, your losses can’t amount to more than what you paid as an entry fee.
  • Minimal time investment. Due to the rapid play, slot machine competitions won’t take up much of your time if you just want to play for a round or two.
  • It’s fun. Let’s face it, it sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Vegas slot competitions are just a different way to play the slots. They add variety to a game of chance that you already enjoy.

Related: How to Bring and Carry Money in Las Vegas (Explained)

Tips For Winning Slot Tournaments in Las Vegas 

For the most part, your slot tournament strategy for winning will not be all that different from playing standard slot machines. Although, rather than win as much cash as possible, you are looking to accumulate as many points as you can.

Let’s take a look at a few tips that should help improve your odds of winning.

Know Which Machines You Will Be Playing On

It is always worth having a solid idea of the type of machine that you will be competing on. You can get familiar with the features and the payout rates on them. Slot machines are still about luck, but those with a good idea of how a slot works tend to win a lot more cash than those who have never touched that particular slot before.

Play Quickly

Las Vegas slot tournaments are all about speed. You need to be able to play quickly. You will be surprised at how much stamina you need, particularly in the last minute or so of the tournament.

Remember, when you are playing quickly, you won’t have the opportunity to slow down the pace to celebrate wins. Focus on playing the slot. You can celebrate at the end.

Adjust Your Stake Per Spin 

If there is a way to adjust your stake per spin, then do so. It will allow your credits to stretch a little bit further. This could result in you having more of an opportunity to win the big prizes!

(Note: Some tournaments don’t offer this feature)

Check out this $200,000 slot tournament in action at MGM Grand.

How Do You Find Las Vegas Slot Tournaments To Compete In?

Las Vegas slot tournaments are heavily advertised.

If it is a major tournament, then you will often find it advertised online for weeks, if not months, in advance. If you are planning on heading to Vegas soon, I suggest that you check out some of the major casinos you plan to visit to see whether they are running any slot tournaments during your visit.

Vegas Casinos That Host Slot Tournament Series

Here are just a few popular casinos both on and off the Las Vegas Strip where you’re likely to find a tournament:

If you just want a quick slot tournament, normally a few minutes long, then many casinos run them as pop-up tournaments. This means that they will be running throughout the day in the slot section of the casino. If these slot tournaments are happening, they will be very clearly marked.

See also: Do Las Vegas Casinos Take Debit or Credit Cards? Find Out!

How Las Vegas Slot Tournaments Work – Final Word 

These competitions are fun and now that you know how Las Vegas slot tournaments work, you’re ready to join one on your next Vegas outing.

Tournaments are fantastic for those that really love to play their slot machines. While you won’t win cash for each winning spin in a slot tournament, the potential prizes on offer tend to be much grander than anything that you would be able to earn sitting in front of a slot machine for hours on end.

Well, at least if you are not playing on one of the high rolling machines. Have fun!

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