Trading tournaments are an increasingly popular way for traders to test themselves and win prizes. In these tournaments, entrants compete using demo accounts to see who can make the most profit, usually for free funds deposited into a live trading account. Many brokers promote their platforms with elaborate and expensive tournaments: some of the biggest trading tournament prizes are worth over one million USD. In this article, we will explore how trading tournaments work, their advantages and some of the key factors to look out for.
Top Brokers With Trading Tournaments
How Trading Tournaments Work
A trading tournament is a competition held amongst traders to see who can make the most money through demo trading. Online platforms and brokers organise tournaments both to attract new customers and retain old ones. Typically, competitors are given an equal amount of virtual credit to invest how they see fit (for instance $10,000), with the most profitable trader after a set period being declared the winner.
Tournament lengths can range from one day up to one month. Some platforms, like FXOpen or the World Cup Trading Championships, offer a cash prize to the most profitable trader in a calendar year. It is up to the tournament organiser to decide which assets can be traded, with binary options being one of the most common. Forex and crypto trading tournaments, are quite popular.
Some trading tournament platforms operate a ‘league’ system, whereby traders compete against others with similar experience levels and abilities. These types of tournaments are well suited to novice traders and those looking to hone their abilities as they are more accessible. On the other hand, some competitions allow players to compete as part of a team, offering entrants another way to develop their trading skills.
Trading tournaments are often free to enter, though some may require a fee. Some tournaments are known as ‘real cash competitions’, where contestants trade with their own money. There are also free competitions, which involve paper trading accounts to keep a level playing field, though these generally have smaller prize pools. Both free and paid tournaments often have a ‘rebuy’ option, which allows traders to reload their account balance by depositing the original amount again.
Pros Of Trading Tournaments
Chance To Win Prizes
Trading tournament winners are rewarded with a share of the prize pool. Other highly-placed entrants usually also receive some of the winnings (for example, the 10 most successful entrants). Paid tournaments, which may only cost a few dollars to enter, can have very large prize pools. Often, these contain more than just cash as trading platforms compete for attention. For instance, early in 2021 FBS set the record for the biggest trading tournament prize with a prize pool worth $1.2 million, featuring a Mercedes-Benz, 1kg bar of gold and $300,000 in cash. The size of the potential winnings is generally linked to the initial stake and the number of entrants. Free trading tournaments may reward winners with non-withdrawable trading capital, though some have (smaller) cash prizes.
Many sites run daily trading tournaments with smaller prize pools in addition to high-stakes competitions. For example, the popular binary options site IQ Option runs daily trading competitions with prizes as large as $1,000, as well as big competitions with prizes of up to $100,000.
As a precaution, it is well worth checking the terms and conditions of each trading tournament to see exactly how the prize money is distributed. For instance, winnings may need to be held in an account for a set amount of time before they can be withdrawn. Sometimes, the prize money takes the form of account credit, which can be re-invested but not cashed out.
Trading tournaments offer both beginners and experienced traders a chance to refine their trading skills. Participants usually have access to a large amount of virtual cash, allowing traders to invest more capital than they ordinarily would. Tournaments also allow entrants to experiment with riskier trades, which can often be a recipe for success. This high-risk style of trading can also be a good way to get a feel for the market. The relatively low entry fees of many tournaments make them a low-stakes environment for performing risky trades.
Platforms that offer a league-based structure, such as OlympTrade, are good for helping traders of all abilities to improve. When players are divided into leagues, beginner traders have a greater chance of being successful. This allows them to build confidence and learn strategies in a less competitive environment. Experienced traders, on the other hand, can stretch themselves by competing against similarly skilled opponents.
Connecting With Other Traders
Trading tournaments can be a chance to learn from other traders. Studying the strategies of winning competitors is a great way to improve your skills. Many clients also relish the opportunity to connect and discuss tactics. Team tournaments also encourage collaborative trading, which can help to develop trading acumen.
What To Look For In Platforms That Offer Trading Tournaments
Trading tournaments have a diverse range of winnings, from daily competitions with prize pools of around $1,000 to million-dollar one-off events. Daily competitions are usually cheaper to enter, costing only a few dollars. Large competitions, on the other hand, may require a deposit of up $100. They are also likely to feature far more competitors.
Some platforms offer in-house benefits to winning competitors. For instance, successful entrants may win trading capital that can be re-invested but not withdrawn. On some sites, like Pocket Option, traders can unlock achievements by participating in tournaments, which are used to buy trading advantages in the market.
Trading tournaments can be divided into free and paid competitions. The entry fees for paid tournaments vary, often linked to the prize pool available and the duration of the tournament. As a general rule of thumb, daily tournaments with winnings of a few thousand USD usually have low entry fees. Large, longer-running tournaments often require entry fees in the tens of dollars but will likely feature bigger prizes. On the other hand, some tournaments are free to enter, though these may require you to make a minimum deposit into an account with the platform to take part, so check the terms and conditions first.
Many trading tournaments come with a ‘rebuy’ option, allowing entrants to reset their account balance for a fee. Traders should exercise caution when using rebuys and take care not to invest more than they can afford.
Format & Assets
Trading tournaments can take many different forms. One factor to consider is the length of the tournament, which can last from a day up to a year. Longer contests, lasting for more than a month, may require entrants to invest significantly more cash. In addition, some trading platforms organise competitors into leagues comprising traders of similar abilities. Other platforms run team competitions, allowing groups of traders to work collaboratively.
Many trading tournaments provide entrants with an equal amount of virtual capital to invest. This format is more common in daily tournaments. Alternatively, some sites simply distribute prizes to the most profitable traders on their platform in a given period (usually longer than a month). These types of tournaments are usually run as a promotion and the prizes on offer can be huge.
The range of assets available to trade varies from tournament to tournament. Some of the most popular formats include forex, binary options (like the popular IQ Option) and cryptocurrency trading tournaments. Many competitions allow you to trade in the full range of assets available on the platform, which may include traditional instruments like stocks, futures, commodities and shares.
All prospective trading tournament participants should be cautious when signing up for trading tournaments with a new platform. To protect your money, always choose a reputable broker or tournament organiser. It is important to check where the company is registered and how long it has been operating. Firms that have been trading for less than a year or two may require more research. In addition, if a firm is registered offshore, it may be subject to lightweight regulation, meaning that you might not be covered legally if something goes wrong. Finally, it is worth reading online reviews of the company to weed out potential scams.
Final Word On Trading Tournaments
Trading tournaments can be a good opportunity for both budding and veteran traders to develop their skills, meet other investors and trial new tactics, assets and brokers. There are both free and paid competitions run regularly, though the latter will usually offer larger prize pools, sometimes exceeding £1 million. As always, you should be careful not to spend more than you can afford during trading tournaments, especially on rebuys. Nonetheless, trading tournaments can be a fun and rewarding way to trade.
Can I Take Part In Free Trading Tournaments?
Yes, several online platforms run free trading tournaments. These sometimes have cash prizes but contestants may also win in-house benefits like free capital or trading advantages. Free trading tournaments are a low-stakes way of getting experience in the market.
What Are The Biggest Trading Tournament Prizes?
Some trading tournaments have featured prize pools worth over one million USD, including one massive tournament run recently by FBS. The prizes keep growing in value, so keep an eye out!
How Long Do Trading Tournaments Last?
Trading tournaments can last anywhere from one day up to a year.
Are There Forex Trading Tournaments?
Several platforms and brokers run regular forex trading tournaments. Other popular tournament assets include CFDs, binary options and cryptocurrencies.
Are Trading Tournaments Good For Beginners?
Trading tournaments, particularly free or low-fee competitions, can be well suited to novice traders. Tournaments can be a good place to pick up strategies, meet other traders and experiment.