As a player at a Microgaming download casino, you may have played the freerolls and thus have undoubtedly noticed the buy-in tournaments. This article focuses on the Buy In’s while my Microgaming freerolls article gives you more on the former. Either way you will probably end up having to invest something to get among the top prizes on offer.
The Buy In tournaments usually have a fee ranging from $3-$50 to join, with commensurately larger prizes. The ‘one-shot’ is a simple single-attempt almost like a lottery – you pay your fee and if you have a big hit on the game in question, may profit handsomely by attaining a prize. The other tournaments may offer options to rebuy the starting chips by paying another fee, or more time to play or both. There is a limit on time and/or chip rebuys. Some may be tiered so the top 100 get the opportunity to play-off for the main prizes.
In rare instances, some tournaments may be cancelled if the collected buy-ins do not cover the prizes or a certain percentage of them. Assuming your tournament is one of the huge majority that do complete, then here are the games that are usually played. As the experienced player knows, they are mostly volatile (high-variance) games to make the tournaments more interesting:
This is one of the more popular games and as such I have conducted a much more detailed review which can be found here: Thunderstruck II Slot Reveiew.
Another very popular Microgaming slot based on the 243 Ways To Win engine. In fact, it is probably their most popular slot game period although the tournament version only has the first bonus feature activated which is a shame. For more info on the game, check out this Immortal Romance slot review (popup: external site).
Like the two games above, a 243-WAY game, but with an ice-hockey theme. You have a random feature where an ice hockey player may smash into reels 2,3,4 turning any one or more wild with a guaranteed win. Unlike the above, you have stacked wilds on reels 3,4,5 for the larger wins. Your feature is 15 spins, no retrigger, with tumbling reels whereby any win will disappear to be replaced by more symbols dropping from above. This is the same as the ‘Thor’ 25-spins feature on TSII and the ‘Michael’ 20-spins feature on IR. The big difference is that Breakaway caps the multiplier at 10x for 10 or more consecutive wins, unlike the maximum 5x on the above two games. To buy and then rebuy on such a volatile game is risky and may interest the more experienced player.
Yes, you guessed it, another 243-way high-variance game. It is basically a hybrid of Thunderstruck II and Immortal Romance, with the free-spin features and quantities the same as TSII’s (10@5x freespins, 5 features allows access to the 15-spin feature and so-on.) It takes the ‘wild wine’ random in-play feature from IR’s ‘wild desire’ feature, whereby champagne corks pop under the reels and turn 1-5 wild. Now, as you may point out the features are seldom relevant in the tournaments as you play a fresh game with no achievements each time, so unless you are very fortunate you will not hit the second option. Even if you did, the higher win potential of the 5x spins is usually the best choice as it’s all about maximum coins after all!
This detestable little game looks like a 243-way’er but is actually a 40-liner with stacked wilds on all reels. Aside from the usual scatter trigger of free spins (one on each reel 1.5) you have a ‘pork chop’ pick-me bonus round when 3 alternative scatters arrive anywhere. The free spins bonus is 15 with a 2x multiplier, and can retrigger. The pork chop feature; a MG pick-me round! Need I say more? Again, you will need a rare big hit via stacked wilds to chase any top-level prize.
A 25-line game with a 3x wild. You have a ghetto-style backgound with rap and hip-hop gansta-style characters and their women. No in-play features but a simple 3-scatter trigger from Mr.777 which gives you the choice of 12@ 4x 16@3x or 24@2x multiplier. Oddly there is no retrigger here. Depending on your strategy or position you will pick the multiplier accordingly. This is one of the oldest games used in the slot tournaments but still has a lot of fans.
We conclude with the seasonal ultra-high variance Microgaming game. This game has 3 scatters for 10 free spins at 2x multiplier, and can be retriggered. The Deck The Halls symbol is wild and doubles wins, and is also stacked in the free spins. Our benevolent festive friend is none other than Santa himself and is the highest-paying symbol. He is stacked and in free spins can give massive hits when combined with stacked wilds.
Get 4 reels only out of five with 2 or 3 Santas and/or Wilds on each and watch the tinsel glitter as you get many hundreds times stake! If you see a player has had a hit like this and is way out in front in the tournament, well think carefully about rebuys as those hits are rare!
Now I must add that some of the games listed in the freeroll section are also occasionally used in buy-in tournaments and vice versa. It’s always a good idea to spend a few weeks trying the freerolls to get a feel for how they work and (if you buy extra chips or time) a low-cost option to gain experience before you take on the experienced ‘names’ of the big-prize competitions
Once again, Good Luck!