Participating in tournaments is one of the more popular activities in online casinos. It is the only form of online casino activity in which players are pitted against each other, thus fostering not only competition but also camaraderie. There are other attractions of online casino tournaments. Many of the tournaments are freerolls, which implies that is there is no buy-in. Though these offer small prizes they enable players to start a bankroll without investing their own funds. On the other hand there are promotional tournaments that have exotic cruises and other bumper prizes.
Online casino tournaments differ from online casino games in some major respects. In casino games the player is pitted against the house whereas in tournaments the players compete against each other. In games the objective is to end with more credits than the player started with. In tournaments the objective is to end with more credits than the other players, no matter if it is less than the starting credit. Each player starts the tournament with the same number of credits, plays the same casino game for the same period of time. At the end of the expired time the players’ closing credits are compared. Usually the designated numbers of the players with the highest closing credits share the money prize in a manner announced earlier.
Though the basic structure of tournaments is as described above there are many types of tournaments. Sit and go tournaments specify the minimum number of participating players. Players keep on registering for the tournament and as soon as the minimum number is reached the tournament starts. As against these are the scheduled tournaments. The starting times of these tournaments are announced well in advance and players are allowed to register till the starting time. The tournament commences at the starting time with the number of participants registered. Some online casinos provide for private tournaments. A player hosts these for family and friends. Such tournaments are not open to the other members of the casino. The promoter decides the parameters of the tournament.
Some of the online software providers who incorporate tournaments in their online casinos are Microgaming, Vegas Technology and Cryptologic. Microgaming offers tournaments only in slots games. Their tournaments featuring the slots Tomb Raider and Thunderstruck are extremely popular. The guaranteed prize pools vary from $50 to $200,000 and the buy-ins from free to $100. Cryptologic offers much fewer online tournaments but offers them in both download and no download versions. They also have a few tournaments in Texas Hold’Em, blackjack and roulette. Vegas Technology offers the best tournaments. The tournaments are held in slots, blackjack, roulette and various video poker games. Tournaments have guaranteed prize pools and also operate on sharing pots. The buy-ins are $10 or less and several tournaments allow rebuys. Despite the low buy-ins the guaranteed prize pools go up to $10,000.