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Roulette Tournaments – A Beginner’s Guide

Roulette tournaments are an unsung aspect of casino Roulette and these events amount to a huge amount of fun. Whether you are playing online roulette or are shoulder to shoulder with others in a brick-and-mortar casino, you can enhance your Roulette experience and increase rewards by participating in Roulette Tournaments.  

By following along through this short guide, you will learn all you need to know before getting started. Do not pass up the opportunities Roulette tournaments present. With our help, you will be poised to take the top spot in your next Roulette tournament. 

Roulette Tournament Basics 

In a regular Roulette game, you are only playing against the house. In contrast, tournament play pits the players against one another in a free for all to see who takes home the top prize. This free-for-all begins with a buy-in of a specific amount. For casual and novice roulette players, the stakes may be small. For high-rollers and other big-money players, the stakes can climb quite high. Keep in mind that this means the total prize money available scales alongside those buy-in amounts. 

IN exchange for their buy-in, players will receive a set amount of casino chips to use as they play on the various tables available for the tournament. All players participating will have the same amount of chips at the beginning of the tournament. 

Roulette tournaments will also generally take place within a specified time limit. Whether this is a full hour or a full day, the tournament will continue to run for as long as it takes. 

In any case, players will participate in the tournament until time runs out or their chips run out. Whichever comes first. Once the time has expired, all remaining players gather to count their chips. The player with the most chips after the time has elapsed will win the grand prize. Often, the casino will provide additional prizes for second, third, and perhaps other players who ranked within the tournament behind the top player. By contrast, some tournaments will state that the top X amount of players will share the prize money. 

In some tournaments, players have the option to re-buy into the event after they have lost all their chips. Be careful though, players may only be able to take this action once or twice during the tournament. 

Different Roulette Tournament Formats 

While nearly all Roulette tournaments work in the same way, there are a few different formats players may find when playing in online casinos or brick-and-mortar casino venues. 

Freeroll Tournaments  

Roulette Freeroll tournaments, as the name suggests, do not charge players a fee to buy-in to the event. Anyone can participate and play roulette for a chance to win real money prizes. Players will generally not be able to re-buy into a freeroll tournament. If this is an option, it almost certainly will not be free to gain re-entry and more chips. 

Casinos will often post scheduled freeroll events on their blogs, in their program schedules, and via email communications. These can be regularly occurring events or part of a larger promotion. Land-based casinos will most often send roulette freeroll invitations to players to get them in the door. Once in the casino, there is a good chance that players will stay and take advantage of other services the casino provides. So, this is a common marketing tactic that costs the casino very little to execute. 

Freeroll prizes tend to be of modest amounts. What casino could make a healthy profit with a weekly $100K roulette freeroll? Nevertheless, Roulette freeroll tournaments are very much worth considering if you are trying to either have some fun at no cost or want to build your bankroll with minimal investment. 

Buy-in Tournaments 

Roulette tournaments that charge players an entry fee are referred to as buy-in tournaments. 

While the fee to gain access to the tournaments are generally nominal, they are there, nonetheless. Fortunately, this means that prizes are generally higher for those finishing high in the standings. 

The overall mechanics function in much the same vein. Players will buy-in, get their chips, play through the allotted time, and if they are still holding chips, see how they measure among the remaining participants in hopes of winning a prize. 

Winner-Takes-All Tournaments 

This Tournament format proceeds almost identically to most other tournaments, except, in this case, the top finishing player is awarded all the prize money.  

Elimination Tournaments 

Another slight variation on the standard Roulette tournament, Elimination tournaments turn up the heat with intervals for dismissal.  

In these unique tournaments, Roulette players will stop play after a set amount of time or spins. Whether that interval is after 15 minutes or fifteen spins, players holding several chips below a certain threshold or simply the bottom performing will be kicked out of the tournament. The interval or chip count will be amended and the cycle will continue until only one player or one group of players at the top remain. 

Live Money Tournaments 

In most Roulette tournaments, participants buy into the game by paying a fee and are given several chips that have no real value.  

In live money tournaments, players buy-in with real money and get real money to play with at the tables. The money is theirs and can be exchanged for cash at the end of the event if the player remains in the black. The biggest difference is the real-money factor and how it will influence players to be more cautious or reckless with their bets.  

Live money tournaments are a very dynamic version of the game indeed.  

Loyalty Tournaments  

These tournaments are usually specific to a given casino and add rewards on top of the cash prizes promised following the event’s conclusion.  

In this case, a casino will heap on loyalty or comp points in addition to a Roulette tournament cash prize. These are a great way to earn added benefits when playing at your online or land-based casino of choice. 

Comp points can generally be redeemed for perks within a casino loyalty program. This may include additional bonus cash, free spins, event tokens and entries, raffles tickets, and more. 

Network Tournaments 

These tournaments expand their reach beyond the walls of any one establishment. In fact, network tournaments can include several different venues, both online and offline. 

In this case, a tournament is organized under one governing body but enacted at each included location. The tournament will follow the same rules and payout structure across each establishment. This creates the framework for very large-scale events that can award much larger prizes because of more buy-in and promotion. 

Roulette Tournament Tips and Tricks  

Understanding Tournament Rules 

The biggest mistake anyone can make when playing in a Roulette tournament is not understanding what they are getting into. Without understanding how the game is going to be played, judged, and paid, you will not understand if the event is worth the buy-in, risk, or time commitment. 

Every tournament will have different rules. The variation of Roulette being played, or those variations acceptable in the tournament may influence which you choose.   

Do yourself a favour and make it a point to read through the tournament rules and ask any questions you may have. Get a copy of the rules beforehand and make sure you understand them well in the event there is a dispute at any point. 

Understanding Tournament Prize Structure 

Many tournaments with significant payouts will collect an entry fee from players. This may or may not contribute to the overall prize structure and the player’s payout as a result. The best tournaments to participate in are those that include buy-in fees into the prize structure. 

When a tournament offers prizes in an amount fewer than the total entry fees collected, you should be wary and may even want to consider skipping the event.  

Other factors may influence your decision to participate, such as the casino providing free rooms for players or comped meals.  

The Pros of Roulette Tournaments 

Roulette tournaments deliver several advantages to players over the traditional approach to playing at a casino. Here are just a few of the benefits players can take advantage of in a Roulette Tournament. 

No House Edge 

Ina regular game of Roulette, the player faces the house, which has a baked-in edge to ensure that the house comes out on top over time. The house edge in Roulette differs depending on the style of Roulette being played. The house edge for the most common forms of roulette include. 

  • French Roulette - 1.35 percent house edge 
  • European Roulette - 2.70 percent house edge 
  • American Roulette - 5.26 percent house edge 

As you can see, in regular play the odds are still generally against the player, albeit minimally in the case of French Rules Roulette.  

In roulette tournaments, players are not pitted against the house. Instead, they face each other in the quest to be the last player standing or make it to the event’s final bracket where they can expect to be paid.  

This puts everyone on an equal footing, which allows players who are skilled to really excel. Still, Roulette is a game of chance and anyone has a good chance to prevail so long as they understand how the game is played at the most basic level. 

Less Risk with Multiple Bets 

In the event you are playing a standardized tournament where everyone receives the same number of chips, you may want to take advantage of expanded betting options. By this, we mean you should take the time to recognize you have a lot of options when betting on the Roulette wheel’s outcome.  

Making outside, inside, and side bets, you can compound your winning potential. While it might be riskier when playing against the house directly in a standard game, tournament play takes some of the pressure off the player to implement expanded betting options. 

With payouts reaching as high as 35:1 on some specific wagers, these bets can bring you back into the tournament if you have fallen behind or give a commanding lead early on. 

Less Risk 

Roulette Tournaments tend to fall on the affordable end of the scale when compared with big-time events like televised poker tournaments. 

As a result, you can buy in for a relatively low amount and play with a large supply of chips. BY playing in a tournament of this nature, you can get in more games, refine strategy, and even win more money with less risk compared to if you had made so many wagers using your own money. 

More Fun for Your Money 

Like our above-mentioned benefit of playing in roulette tournaments, you do not have to spend much to get a lot of playing time out of your entry.  

Even if you do not make it far in the tournament, you can usually get a lot of entertainment and time out of the activity for a low cost of entry. 

The Cons of Roulette Tournaments 

While there are plenty of benefits when it comes to playing in Roulette Tournaments, there are a few cons players should consider before participating. 

Rules. Rules, Rules 

Roulette can be an intimidating game for some. It has many betting options and rules for players to abide by while playing. What can confuse thinks further is the fact that there are many variations of Roulette.  

Marry those two characteristics along with a completely new set of rules unique to a tournament setting and players may feel overwhelmed. 

If you are not one to read the fine print or cover all your angles in a contract, you may rather enjoy a standard game of roulette, without the added constraints of a tournament setting. 

No promise of a Payout 

Roulette Tournaments often reserve payouts for a top-performing percentage of players. This means that even if you do relatively well and even come out far ahead of your initial stack of chips, you may not win anything. Some players might consider this pursuit to have been a waste of time if no money is gained from participation. If you are the kind of player determined to get a return on your play, know that there is no guarantee you will perform well and still get paid.