Progressive slot machines are very popular games in both land-based and online casinos. They have incredibly large jackpots and can make a wealthy man out of any slot player. A progressive jackpot is typically associated with slot machines, although there are other types of casino games that can be progressive.
A typical progressive jackpot can reach into millions, but not all progressive slots tend to have such large jackpots. In many cases you will find progressive jackpot slot machines that start with only a couple of thousands and reach not more than $200,000. Read further to find out some more.
How do progressive slot machines work?
The general principle is usually as follows: a number of progressive slots are linked together to form a network and all of the progressive slots in that network are contributing to the progressive jackpot amount, which rises with each wager made. The jackpot amount is formed by taking a small fraction of all wagers made into the progressive slots, and this jackpot amount can grow to an unlimited number. This means that as long as players make wagers into the machine, the jackpot will grow until some lucky player wins it.
The amount of the progressive jackpot rises usually by taking a fraction of the expected profit of the casino, which is the house edge for that slot machine. If the house edge is, for example, 5.5%, the casino will take 1% of this house edge and will contribute it to the progressive jackpot pool. If you want to win the progressive jackpot in most cases you will have to hit the highest paying winning line offered in the slot, but only by betting the maximum number of credits for that game, otherwise you will not qualify. However, the contributions to the jackpot don’t come just from the maximum bets made, but by all of the bets wagered on the slot. A progressive slot machine that requires bigger bets in order for the slot player to qualify for the jackpot tend to contribute more than progressive slot machines that require smaller maximum bets.
There are two different kinds of progressive slot machines, stand-alone progressives and grouped progressives. The first kind is not linked to other progressive slots as we normally see. Instead of that, the progressive jackpot is formed by taking fractions of the bets made on that machine only. That is why these kinds of progressive slot machines have much lower jackpots, but it is easier to hit them.
The most notable kind of progressive slots are those that are grouped together in a network, and all of them contribute together to the progressive jackpot. All of them can be found in the same casino or they can be distributed across other casinos, which is usually in the case of online casinos. These are the progressive slots that have the life changing jackpot amounts. In the case of online casinos, these progressive slots are operated by the software provider, but the casino can share a percentage of the winnings too.
Difference to in-game Jackpots
There is one obvious difference between progressive jackpots and in-game standard jackpots, and that’s the potential amounts that can be won. Naturally, this is the main thing that attracts players to go for the big progressive jackpot, the life changing amounts. In-game jackpots offer great amounts too, depending on the slot game, but it’s virtually incomparable to the progressive jackpot amounts. However, it’s much easier to win an in-game jackpot than a progressive jackpot. This is because if you want to qualify to win a progressive jackpot, you need to meet several wagering conditions, while winning the in-game jackpot can be won at any time with any kind of wager.
However, the bigger the wager, the higher the in-game jackpot is going to be, so in the end if you want to wager big amounts on a slot game, you might as well try to go for the progressive jackpot. However, the odds are much higher for winning the progressive compared to winning the in-game jackpot. But that’s why winning the progressive jackpot can be worthwhile in the end, and as a compensation for all of your attempts at it, you are rewarded with an amount that you can only dream of.
What is important?
As mentioned above in several occasions, there are conditions that you need to fulfill when attempting to win the progressive jackpot. The first is to bet the maximum amount. In most progressive slot games, this is the main condition. If you don’t bet the maximum bet you are actually not playing for the progressive jackpot. The other condition is that you must play with the maximum amount of paylines selected; otherwise you are not qualified to play for the progressive jackpot.
In recent years, software providers have introduced lots of new ways of hitting the jackpot in terms of what symbols need to appear on the reels. However, the max bet and all paylines selected part is still in play. The most common way to win it was to hit five identical symbols on all paylines. But, now there are progressive slots, such as Mega Moolah, where you get an attempt at hitting the progressive jackpot in a separate screen via a bonus game, and not during a regular spin. Other progressive slots require the wild symbol etc. As the industry evolves we are certain there will be more novelties in terms of how you can win the life changing amount.
Are there disadvantages at progressive Jackpots?
Of course, there are disadvantages to playing progressive slots. For example, playing them can cost much more because you have to bet the maximum amount of credits. Other disadvantage is that the odds for hitting the progressive jackpot are incredibly high. On average only once per year someone hits a progressive jackpot, although there have been cases of the same guys hitting a progressive jackpot twice in just a year on the same game. A third disadvantage is that the odds for regular spins that don’t qualify for the progressive jackpot are much lower than compared to non-progressive slots.