Single Player Tournaments are a great way to start playing FUT--you earn coins and other rewards, based upon the tournament (see the section all about Coins and Currency for more details on that). There are always fourteen tournaments available to you. They range from the Starter Cup, which is on Beginner difficulty, has no requirements, and rewards you with 500 coins, all the way up to the Ultimate Cup, which is on the Ultimate difficulty level, requires you have 100 team Chemistry, and rewards you with 2,000 coins and a Gold Pack. The other Single Player Tournaments have a variety of requirements that your team must meet before your squad is allowed to play in them. An example of this is the Quad-League Classic, which requires your squad have a maximum of four leagues represented in your Starting 11.
Throughout the year there will be extra Single Player Tournaments that will pop up from time to time. These are usually based on something going on in real life. For example, two recent Tournaments were the North London Cup, which required your squads Starting 11 be made up of only Arsenal and Spurs players, and the Merseyside Cup, which require it contain only awesome Everton and dastardly Liverpool players. Evidently an Everton supporter is writing this tips guide!
All Single Player Tournaments are a best-of-16 single elimination tournament. To win you’ll need to win four games in a row. Great starting tournaments are the Starter Cup, Midlands Invitational, and Gold Challenge. Taking the time to win these tournaments will give you a nice amount of coin to start heading to the Transfer Market (more on that later).
Online Tournaments are similar to the Single Player Tournaments; the main difference is that there are only three and all the games are against online opponents instead of the CPU. The three tournaments are the Bronze Classic, which requires a squad of all Bronze players, the Silver Classic, which requires a squad of all Silver players, and the Champions Shield, which has no requirement. Avoid these at all costs until you've proven yourself in the Solo Tournaments.
As with the Single Player Tournaments, there are special ones rolled out on a regular basis.