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Online Casino Tournaments

December 24, 2008

Online casino tournaments are very popular. They not only eliminate the boredom of continuously playing against the casino but they also foster a healthy competition between players. And many competions offer huge prizes for small entry fees making it like playing for a progressive jackpot. Microgaming and Vegas Technology are the two service providers that offer a large number of tournaments at their online casinos. The tournaments are similar in structure and function as follows.

The player logs in, accesses the tournament lobby and selects the tournament he wants to play. The game for that tournament opens. The player is given a starting stack of chips. These chips cannot be cashed. Simultaneously the timer also starts. The player's objective is to have as large a chip stack as he can at the end of his allotted time. He has access to the leader board and knows the positions of the other players. When he is low on the leader board he will need to play aggressively. When he is high on the leader board he can play conservatively and try to maintain his position. When the specified time is over the game closes and the player is listed on the leader board depending on the size of his final chip stack. At the end of the tournament he may get a share of the prize pool depending on his position on the leader board

There are three types of tournaments that are very common. "Freerolls" are tournaments that do not have any entry fees. They are offered as incentives to players, especially to new players. New players use freerolls to familiarize themselves with the casino and the game and if lucky can build a starting bankroll. "Scheduled" tournaments are announced well in advance and played over a specified duration. Players can play any time during this period. Most online tournaments offered by Microgaming and Vegas Technology are scheduled tournaments. "Sit and go" tournaments are more associated with online poker than casinos. They begin as soon as the required minimum players register for the tournament.

There are several terms in the header of the tournament schedule in Microgaming and Vegas Technology online casinos that need explanation.

  • Start date: This is date on which the tournament commences.
  • End date: This is the date on which the tournament ends. Players who want to participate have to play between the start date and end date.
  • Game: Each tournament is played on a designated game offered by the online casino. Most of the tournaments are held on online slots.
  • Entry fee: Hosting tournaments costs the casino. Therefore they charge an entry fee from the players. This is automatically deducted from the players' accounts when they register for the tournament.
  • Stake: This is the starting stack given to each player. It is the same for all players.
  • Prize pool: This is the money shared by the winners in a specified proportion.

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