Progressive Jackpot Overview

Although progressive jackpots aren’t an online casino innovation, gambling platforms have taken this idea to a whole new level to benefit poker enthusiasts worldwide.

If you don’t know what a progressive jackpot is, don’t worry— we got you covered in this post.  But, if you have ever come across an ad for a casino that offers HUGE amounts of money (usually up to millions) as top payouts,  then you have most likely encountered a game with progressive jackpot. 

If you want to win a jackpot that changes your life forever, then progressive jackpots are the games to play. Because let us face it— you will never win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing Poker, Roulette, or Blackjack. The payouts are just never high enough.

To help you increase your chances of becoming instantly rich when playing this game, we’ll explain crucial aspects of these highly-coveted payouts in this blog post.  With this information and a dose of good luck, you’ll be ready to conquer progressive jackpots.

In addition to this, we’ll also provide extensive details about what a progressive jackpot is, how it works, its different types (available both in traditional brick-and-mortar casinos and online), and why you might be interested in playing them. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin!

What Is a Progressive Jackpot?

Although there is no official progressive jackpot definition, the word “jackpot” generally refers to a large prize won in a casino slot game. You may have noticed that most casino websites differentiate classic and jackpot slot games, but as all casino slot games entail a “jackpot prize,” it’s crucial you understand the difference between them.

The simple answer to this dilemma is a progressive jackpot. A progressive jackpot is a prize that gets bigger every time someone plays the game, as long as nobody wins the pot. They’re available on all types of games, but the most popular ones involve slot machines.

A small percentage of each qualifying stake goes toward the jackpot. Thus, the jackpot prize would continue to rise until a lucky winner gets the pot. Once there’s a winner, the progressive jackpot resets itself to a predetermined value, and the entire cycle starts over again. Remember that the win can be random or won by navigating a special bonus game.

How Do Progressive Jackpot Games Work? 

As we mentioned earlier, progressive slot jackpots generally take a percentage of every bet placed and accumulate it over time— this sum is sometimes called the “meter,” and it’s usually taken from numerous slots linked with the game simultaneously— till a player wins. 

However, progressive jackpot slot games need maximum wages to qualify for the jackpot amount. So, even if you hit the required hand or combination to win the progressive jackpot but have failed to wage the right amount, you wouldn’t win the prize.

This loss might be the worst feeling in the world for you, so ensure you understand both the minimum betting requirements to qualify for a progressive jackpot and that you are always wagering at that level or higher when you are playing progressive slot jackpots.

Most progressive jackpot machines may ask you to bet at least five coins to unlock the top payouts. Hence, if you’re playing a quarter video poker machine, the total stake at five coins will be nearly $1.25 (£0.91) per hand.

If you wager less than this amount and luckily hit the top paying hand, you’ll only win the sum listed for your number of coins, not the progressive jackpot. So if you are someone who is not comfortable wagering huge sums, we suggest you play for a lower amount per coin.

Tips to Win Progressive Slot Machines

Here are some tips to help you win progressive jackpot games:

Stick To Your Budget

Keep in mind that while playing games on jackpot slot machines, you’ll end up losing money most of the time, and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change that. Although, sometimes you will win at jackpot games and perhaps even win big.

So, be sure to enjoy those times whenever they come. However, never wager money you cannot afford to lose, and ensure you play games that align with your bankroll. As a general rule of thumb, your betting bankroll must cover 250 wagers to provide you with a 90% chance of lasting at least three hours.

Bet Enough to Be Eligible for a Jackpot

As previously mentioned, you need to make sure you bet enough to qualify for the jackpot and also ensure to always wager at that level or higher when playing progressive slot jackpots

Set Your Goals

Are you looking for jackpot games that offer you extended plays with frequent tiny wins, or maximum jackpot opportunities, or maybe both? Remember, progressive jackpot game designers experiment with different formats. For instance, a 3-reel game emphasizes its top jackpots but entails lower hit frequency and losing spins.

This type of game offers you the best chance to win big, as well as the best chance to lose fast. On the other hand, there are video slots with “pick’em” bonuses; you can open gift boxes, pick alien creatures, restaurant dishes, or other game icons to get rewards. 

The point is there are several formats available, so you must understand what your goals are. It’s entirely up to you to choose where you find the most value, so think and pick wisely. 

Determine How Volatile Slots Are

Another thing live casino jackpot winners (and losers) should remember is that not all jackpot games offer a volatility rating. 

The easiest way to discern volatility is by looking at the prize size. For example, suppose a jackpot slot casino game features a massive prize, then chances are it rarely pays. Nonetheless, keep in mind that you cannot rely on the jackpot size alone. 

Some progressive slots also give out large bonus prizes, random features, Megaways, and cascading reels. Therefore, you should consider all these factors to get a better idea of a game’s volatility.  

Do Your Research

Instead of jumping straight into a new game because it looks intriguing or because of “big bonus” promises, we recommend you hold your horses and first do some research. As an online gambler, you have a vast amount of information available, so make sure you use it to your benefit.

Rather than rushing to a new slot game, head to Google and do some research on it. You’ll find countless player videos that can give you an idea of the game’s highs and lows, the lucrative bonuses, jackpot strategies, as well as the losing streaks.

Apart from the videos, you’ll also come across websites that specialize in reviewing casino games. So, before you start playing a game you’re interested in, take a few minutes to watch a demo.

Progressive Jackpot Win Mechanics

Now that you know what a progressive jackpot is and how it works, let’s look at some of the popular win mechanics of the game, which can help you win the desired prize:

Play the Maximum Stake

Some progressive slot games available online will only allow you to win if you wager the maximum stake. Nevertheless, many other progressive slots also offer lower jackpot levels, catering to lower-stakes players. 

Random Jackpot Win 

With this, jackpots are given after any spin. You’re not required to hit certain symbols or play a particular bonus game to take the win home. Although, you may have to wager the maximum stake possible to qualify. 

Play a Bonus Game

Several progressive slot games online entail a special bonus round that can be unlocked during a basic game. Due to this, you will have to pick cards from a collection available on the screen and then match three to four cards to win the prize, or you may have to spin a prize wheel to determine the jackpot size.

Must-Drop Jackpots

There are progressive slot jackpot games online that feature must-drop jackpots. This jackpot is programmed to be triggered by a deadline. So, the only thing you need to remember is that you have to play the slot within the timeframe of the jackpot drop.

Hitting Symbol Combinations

To win this progressive slot jackpot, players should line up certain symbols on a designated pay line. The strategy is simple, get the winning combination, and the biggest jackpot is yours.

What Are the Odds of Winning a Progressive Jackpot?

Players indeed have the opportunity to turn a trivial stake into a five or six-figure prize with a progressive jackpot. But, there is something else that you should also know— the odds of winning a progressive slot machine, especially the top jackpot, which can often be one in a million. So, just like the lottery, you’ll have to keep trying to defy the odds and win a huge progressive jackpot.

How Often Do Progressive Jackpots Hit?

This number varies. For instance, the odds of winning a progressive slot machine on the Mega Moolah slot by Microgaming is around one in 50 million. Moreover, there are some Las Vegas progressive jackpot games that have even worse probabilities. Some of these games provide odds of one in 150 million to one in 300 million.

Are Progressive Jackpots Random?

Yes, to hit a progressive slot jackpot, players don’t have to create winning combinations or align matching symbols. Instead, all you have to do is sit down, spin, relax, and wait for your luck to do the magic when the progressive jackpots randomly land. 

How Do You Win a Progressive Jackpot?

The ultimate secret to winning the jackpot on a progressive slot machine is to play it when it nears the maximum limit amount. This way, you’re playing and pushing it towards a win when it’s ready to payout.  

How Are Progressive Jackpots Paid?

When a player wins a progressive jackpot, they are paid via check or cash. With bigger payouts, you can split the prize. For example, a partial payout might be paid via check on the same day, and the remaining amount can be collected within a timeframe of 60 to 90 days as a lump sum or as an annual annuity.

Are Progressive Slots Worth It?

Frankly, this is a question only you can answer. There are indeed life-altering progressive jackpots, but the chances of ever winning one are pretty low. Nonetheless, if you have spare cash to play with and deem your betting as an entertainment outlay, then feel free to try to hit a huge progressive jackpot.

The Biggest Jackpot Wins of All Time

When you play progressive jackpots slot machines online, the aim is to win that huge sought-after jackpot. Now, although the likelihood of getting a win is rare, it’s not impossible. In fact, over the years, there have been many progressive jackpot wins.

There was a progressive slot jackpot machine in Las Vegas that did not hit for over twenty years. But when it did, Mega Moolah earned the title of being the “Million Maker.” As a result, the Mega Moolah winner is one of the biggest jackpot winners out there.

What Are the Differences Between a Wide Area & Local Progressive Jackpot?

From a player’s viewpoint, there is no significant difference between a wide area progressive jackpot and a local progressive jackpot. Wide area progressive jackpots are sometimes also called a “linked jackpot.” Unlike local progressive jackpots, they tend to build faster as they are linked and have several players.

Additionally, wide area progressive jackpots are the ones shared across games— generally among slot machines. For instance, players might find the same progressive slot games in multiple online casinos and on the same platforms, as well as in-person casinos. If they’re part of a linked progressive jackpot, all of them will fuel the same prize.

On the other hand, a local progressive jackpot is typically tied to a single game, such as Caribbean Stud poker, or connected to the individual group of games at a particular casino.

In a nutshell, if a game is related to games offered at other casinos, either online or land-based, it’s a wide area. If it’s tied to the individual group or game in the same casino, it’s a local progressive jackpot.  

What Are the Drawbacks of Progressive Slots?

While there aren’t any significant drawbacks of progressive slots, there are certain limitations to how games with accumulative prize pools are played. These are mostly related to betting and variance. 

With regular casino slot games, players can get both low variance and high variance titles, which means they can pick the size of the payouts they intend to play for, and the risk involved. They have the option to either pay out higher amounts less often or smaller amounts more often.

Progressive Jackpot: Conclusion

There is no denying that progressive jackpot has both life-alerting advantages as well as some limitations. On the bright side, players have the opportunity to win a massive prize. Whereas on the downside, the likelihood of winning that prize is one in millions.

Plus, there’s generally a worse return to players in contrast to non-progressive jackpots. Nonetheless, if you have spare cash and are looking for some adventurous gambling, then feel free to try and win a huge progressive jackpot.

The most important thing is to be responsible while gambling. After all, with gambling, the line between fun and doom can get easily blurred. Therefore, always have fun and enjoy the game, but know when it’s time to stop.


Are progressive jackpots better than standard slot games?

This is yet another question that only you can answer. However, progressive jackpots can be more advantageous for players as the prize accumulates over time, whereas standard slot machines have a fixed jackpot. A fixed jackpot means the slots developers predetermine the maximum possible jackpot win, which can’t be modified or added to.

What are the odds like?

The odds of winning a progressive slot machine, especially the top jackpot, can be one in millions. But, just like the lottery, you’ll have to keep trying to defy the odds and win a huge progressive jackpot.

Which games are better or more popular?

Some of the most popular progressive jackpot games include Mega Fortune, Mega Moolah, Arabian Nights, Hall of God, and Aztecs Millions.

What are the biggest progressive jackpots wins?

Here are the top three biggest jackpot wins: 

  • Mega Moolah Mega: $22,923,728 (£16,647,366)
  • Mega Moolah Mega: $22,360,188 (£16,238,975)
  • Mega Fortune Mega: $21,072,520 (£15,304,266)

How often do progressive jackpots hit?

The frequency varies. For example, the odds of winning a progressive slot machine on the Mega Moolah slot is around one in 50 million. But, some Las Vegas progressive jackpots have even worse probabilities, including one in 150 million and one in 300 million.

How do I win at slot machines?

With a bit of luck and some valuable hacks (head to the “Tips to Win Progressive Slot Machines” section given above), you definitely have a chance of winning at slot machines.

Are there free progressive slots?

Yes, there are free progressive slots. You may notice that several online platforms offer both “play for money” and “play for free” options to players. 

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