If you love to play slots online, you’ll have noticed that casinos differentiate between classic and jackpot slots. However, all slots have a jackpot up for grabs, so what exactly is the difference? That, friends, would be progressive jackpots! Progressive slots offer jackpot prizes that increase each time someone plays them and keep on getting bigger until someone wins.
Progressive slots are the most popular type of slot games at online casinos. But what are they, how do they work, and how do you play them? Let’s find out.
What are progressive slots?
As the name suggests, progressive slots do not have a fixed jackpot. Instead, a small percentage of every real-money wager placed on the game goes towards the jackpot. This means that it progresses in size with each bet until someone wins it, and can range from a few thousand pounds to a few million!
While some progressive slots automatically pay out when someone hits a certain combination, most are uncapped and will continue to grow until someone claims them. Some slots, such as Gems Gone Wild, are dedicated progressives, whereas others are versions of existing games that are connected to a jackpot network.
The jackpot size is usually displayed in real time, enabling players to see what they’re playing for. When the jackpot is won, it is reset to a predetermined amount, called a seed. With each bet placed contributing to the jackpot, players contribute a few pence each time they play, so that someone will eventually claim the prize, much like the lotto.
How do progressive slots work?
The model that progressive slots are based on, which makes such huge jackpot wins possible, is as follows:
With each bet placed during a progressive slot game, a small percentage is contributed to a separate pot, which is used to fund the grand jackpot. This ranges from about 1.5% up to around 7%, depending on the online slot game and its developer.
The seed refers to the reset point after someone wins the progressive jackpot, and is the minimum starting point that is provided by the casino or game supplier. You might have noticed that after someone scores a progressive jackpot, the jackpot amount doesn’t just go back to zero. This is because no one would play a slot with a jackpot of £5, let alone £0. As an example, IGT’s MegaJackpots™ range of progressive slots have a prize pool seeded at £500,000.
As we’ve mentioned, progressive jackpots keep rising until they are won. While million-pound jackpots may get all the attention, there are many jackpot sizes below that. IGT’s MegaJackpots™ have paid jackpot wins averaging £846,000 around every 10 or so weeks. This is an innovative approach that keeps itself running by keeping players interested, therefore keeping the jackpot growing.
Types of progressive slots
Below, we discuss the three types of progressive slot machine games available to play.
This was the first kind of progressive slot available and can be played at land-based casinos only. A standalone progressive slot machine is one where bets placed only on that specific machine feed the jackpot. The jackpots available on these slot machines are usually under £10,000.
Local progressives evolved from standalone machines, and can still be found at brick-and-mortar casinos. These slot games feature jackpots within a specific casino that are linked, and the network can include anywhere from a few dozen machines to a few hundred, increasing the hype around the game and the jackpot on offer. These games usually have jackpots under £1,000,000 and often under £100,000.
Wide area network progressives
These are the most popular slots available at land-based and online casinos. Wide area network progressives link machines from multiple casinos in the same area, which allows the jackpot to accumulate huge sums of money.
Progressive jackpot win mechanics
When you play online slots, you set your bet amount and spin the reels, after which a random number generator (RNG) reveals a set of symbols. When a combination of winning symbols appears (according to the game’s paytable), the jackpot will be triggered. The following factors can be helpful (and sometimes necessary) to increase your chances of winning:
Top progressive slots
Dive into some of the best progressive slots available at our online casino. Here are some of our top picks:
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/ 22 July 2021