Casino Tournaments are a fun spin on the traditional casino game format, which allow you be more social, and more competitive. They level the playing field, because rather than playing against the casino, you are playing against other casino fans. They also allow you to limit your losses, because you know ahead of time exactly what you stand to win or lose.
The way they work is a number of players will enter and create a prize pool, so 100 players in a $5 tournament would create a $500 prize pool. The prizes are then determined based on the number of players and prize pool, so in this instance first place might get $200, 2nd might get $100, 3rd might get $50, 4th might get $25, and so on. The payout structure varies from tournament to tournament.
Each player is assigned a time and place to play, then given a certain amount of time and credits/chips to play with. In card format tournaments like Blackjack, you play against each other and take chips directly from your opponents if your hand beats theirs. The tournament is over when there is just one player left standing.
In house game formats like slots and roulette you are given a set amount of time to play, and play as normal however, any credits won are put into a separate winnings meter and cannot be used again during play. The aim is then to use up all your credits in the allotted playing time. Any credits not used within the playing window are lost. The players with the highest scores in their winning meters after all sessions are played are the winners and take part of the prize pool.
Although you are not playing against the casino, the odds remain the same and luck plays the biggest part in determining the winners. There is an element of skill and psychology in Blackjack tournaments. The only real element of skill in slots and roulette tournaments is that those players who can play quickly stand a better chance of using up their credits before the session time expires.
Most of all, tournaments should be considered a bit of fun and a reason to socialise with other players.