Progressive Slot Machines & Jackpots
This video titled ‘how to win progressive slots’ is a bit of a misnomer. No one can tell you how to win! However it’s worth a watch.
If you’ve ever visited a land based casino you’ll have noticed how prominent slot machines are on the casino floor, and if you play online it’ll have been equally obvious how much focus the online operators place on slots too.
There’s a reason of course – those slots are big moneymakers for the casinos, and normally money losers for us punters.
So why play?
The reasons are of course that they can be wildly entertaining, plus there are plenty of stories about big jackpot winners. Those jackpots are what we dream about, right?
And this is where progressive slots come in. These are where the biggest jackpots can be found and won.
On this page we’ll take a look at how these progressive slot machines work. What the different types are, where to find them, the best to play, and a few hints and tips around how to get the best experience playing them……
What Is a Progressive Slot Machine
Quite simply, progressive slots are those where the jackpot increases in value with every spin (not just yours, but every spin every player makes). Small percentages of the wagers on each spin go into the pot, and ultimately the player that hits the jackpot winning line gets the lot.
With those jackpot lines being highly elusive, you can see how the amounts involved can reach astronomic values. There is in fact no upper limit to the jackpot value.
If the slot involved is also networked among many different sites – as many are – there’s a chance that if you land the big one, you’ll end up with your name in the ‘top 10 progressive slots wins of all time’ list.
In total there are around 500 different slots that fall in to the progressives bracket, created by a multitude of software firms and spread across multiple online casinos.
What Are The Odds Of Winning?
Playing slots games is guaranteed to give lots of small wins mixed in with some of high value. But the odds of making a winning jackpot spin are of course heavily against you. Maybe not in lottery territory but certainly anywhere from 4 or 5 million up to around 8 million to one.
How To Win
Of course no one can tell you how to win. They’re slots after all. Winning is random. But to actually get the win you’ll either need to be lining up the most valuable symbols on the machine, or striking lucky in some for of bonus round.
What’s The Jackpot Meter?
The amount of the jackpot is shown on a meter as a money value, normally somewhere on the screen displaying the game. It’ll be constantly increasing as more money goes in. Once a player wins the jackpot, the jackpot resets to a preset minimum level.
Types of Online Progressive Slots
There are many casino software platforms – and online casinos themselves – that offer progressive slot games.
As you know, casino games run on software which is provided by a number of well known names such as Betsoft and Microgaming. So you’ll find a number of casinos that either run games solely on one type of software, or many.
So the first breakdown in types is the software platforms themselves.
Then there are three subtypes, the first of which is the networked or wide area:
Networked Or Wide Area Progressives
These are spread over multiple casinos with many thousands of players all putting cash into the overall pot. This is a key point to remember, and is the reason that the big jackpots build up.
These are specific to individual machines. The percentage of money from each spin goes into the pot the same as with other types, but for that slot only. They are of course the ones you’re most likely to win, but most likely those wins won’t be life-changers.
You can still see big prizes build up in what’s known as local progressives. These are slots games only linked to other slots in the same casino.
I’ve heard about random progressive slots. What are they?
There’s another variation on our theme in the way that you can land a jackpot spin, and that’s in how you can hit the high numbers. Random progressives are those where you can get lucky irrelevant of the stake you’re placing on a spin or how many paylines you’ve chosen to be in operation.
Choosing a Progressive Slot Game to Play
I don’t know about you, but I’d be just as happy hitting a $2 million jackpot as I would a $4 million one. When we’re talking about these types of numbers any of us will be dancing for days if we hit one.
So choosing a progressive based on the size of jackpot may be a consideration, but I’d say it’s more likely you’ll be choosing based on what types of slots you like, whether you have a preference for any slots software, and most importantly the casino itself and whether it fits all the recommended casino criteria.
When Is It Going To Payout?
Everyone is going to want to know when a machine is going to payout, but sadly there isn’t a way. They’re entirely random with the chance of any one spin being a winning one as the last spin. If there was a way we’d all be doing it right?
One thing you can do though that tips the odds very slightly in your favour is to monitor previously won jackpots and know their average payout amounts.
Which Is The Best Progressive Slots Software?
Answering a question that begins ‘what’s the best’ is always difficult, simply because we all have different views on what ‘the best’ means. That certainly runs true when we’re looking at casino slots software, whether it’s standalone slots or progressives.
Is the best one which delivers the biggest range? The best graphics? The biggest jackpots?
The reality is that there are many software operators that regularly churn out impressive new slots titles, have a concrete base of well-regarded machines already out on the casino floor, and in their own way they could all have a tilt at landing top spot on a best list.
Names include Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and IGT Interactive. These four online gaming platforms deliver a ton of different progressive slots games, making finding one that is going to meet your own requirements is going to be easy!
NetEnt Progressive Slots
In just a few short years from their launch in 2011, Netent have risen to the top of the online casino software tree. Their multi line Mega Fortune slot game is one of the highest paying progressive machines.
Playtech Progressive Slots
With an impressive array of video slots in their catalogue, Playtech should be high on the list of anyone wanting to play for a progressive jackpot, and their Gold Rally slot is one of the top online performers.
Microgaming Progressive Slots
With many casinos using the Microgaming platform to power their games, you won’t have to look too hard to find a video slot created by this software giant. Slots like Tresure Nile, Mega Moolah, Major Millions and Fruit Fiesta all offer progressive jackpots.
Mega Moolah in particular takes high rank, with not one but four progressive jackpots on offer all of which can be won at random. While Major Millions and Fruit Fiesta take us back to the good old 3 reel days.
Microgaming casinos are one of the few that will pay out a jackpot win all in one sum, rather than staggered over time.
IGT Interactive Progressive Slots
With some sizeable jackpots awaiting collection, IGTs progressives are well worth hunting down. Versions of popular board games like Cluedo and Monopoly get the full IGT treatment, complimenting other like the Cleopatra or Wolf Run video slots.
Progressives On Mobile
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. If you don’t have one yet you’re in a minority. You’ll probably want to be able to play your slots anywhere and any time, and fortunately there are plenty of progressives which are optimised for display on smaller screens.
If you’re new to playing slots on a handheld device, you may find it takes a while to adjust, specifically to how to tap the spin buttons to set the reels into motion.
Best Mobile Progressive Slots
The software providers you’ll see in a best mobile progressives list are the same names you’ll see in any list: Netent, Microgaming, Playtech, and IGT. You cand read more about each of these is the section on best software providers above.
Hints, Tips, & Strategies
Anyone who understands the random nature of how slots work will know that any article that says it will show you how to win is misleading. There really isn’t much you can do except manage your bankroll carefully and enjoy iy.
However there are a few hints and tips you can follow to make your chances of a win as big as possible:
1. Understand the rules and paytables – this includes knowing how any potential jackpot payout can be triggered, and also what level of bet is required.
2. Bankroll Management – Recognise it’s not always solely about winning, but also limiting loses. Set a budget for a session and stick to it. If you have no cash, you can’t go for the money-winning spins. Read the fever guide on managing your bankroll.
One way you could approach this is to choose 3 or 4 slots titles, divide your bank into equal portions, and spend that amount on each slot. This will give you some variety, although your chances of winning on any one are always equal.
3. Staking Levels – if you’ve got a fairly small starting bank, it’ll probably be worth trying out the randon progressives with low stake requirements per spin. Many of the big payout machines do require you to play maximum coins to be eligible for the maximum win though, and unless the terms expicitly state otherwise you should aim to play maximum stakes on your spins.
4. Look For the Biggest Jackpot – You’ll have a better chance of landing a smaller win than a huge one, but if you really want that massive amount in your pocket then you’ll have to just go for it. You have to be in it to win it!
5. Don’t Worry Too Much About Previous Strikes – There’s just as much chance of a jackpot spin landing in fairly wuick succession as there is of it being two years apart. What you do need to realise though is the jackpot amount will be smaller on the second win, simply because it hasn’t had a chance to grow.
With starting jackpots often at figures not to be sniffed at, I’d say that the fact a machine has recently paid out shouldn’t necesarily stop you from playing.
6. Pay Attention To Bonus Rules – We’ve seen from other articles on GamblersFever that casino bonuses have benefits and drawbacks, and it’s one of these drawbacks that could cost you that huge win.
Some bonus rules state that you can’t play progressives with it. That’ll be clear in the terms and conditions, but often in the small print. It won’t stop you losing cash, but if you win it could be voided.
7. Watch Out For Maximum Withdrawal Limits – What’s the point of spinning those reels if you can’t get your money out? Most often withdrawal limits wouldn’t mean you could never get your cash, though certainly it could take years and a lot of grief.
8. Team Up – Just as with lotteries, the chances of winning (allbeit a smaller piece of the pie) increase if you can get a syndicate together. Not easy to do and fraught with dangers, but may work with good friends or family.
9. Find a Slots Club – Your chances of winning clearly get bigger the more funds you have to wager, so anything that increases your bankroll has value. Slots clubs are similar to VIP programmes, in that members can get cash back as a percentage of their overall wagers.
10. Be Persistent & Patient- In games like video poker and blackjack, you can play using strategies that improve your chances of success. You have more to play with, you can play longer, and the odds of winning the jackpot are slightly higher each time.
Sadly that’s not the case with slots. There are no winning strategies, the spins are down to pure luck. So it holds that only be playing as long as possible increases your chance to win. Unless very lucky, you’ll need to practice patience and persistance.
Top 3 Progressives Titles
There are a number of different titles to play, though three in particular stand out as worthy of a big mention.
Running since 2013 and originally introduced by 888Casino, the Millionaire Genie slot is based on an underground world filled with hidden chambers, magic books, ghosts and magic lamps. It’s one of the top titles with 5 reels giving the chance to line up winning symbols over 15 different payout lines.
There are a number of special features for players including free spins and bonuses, with the progressive jackpot value regularly hitting over $3 million.
Microgaming is behind one of the most successful progressive titles of all time. Mega Moolah is by far the most played progressive slot in the industry and players from all over the world continue to return to the game in hopes of winning the huge jackpot.
The game – which actually gives 4 separate jackpots – takes players on a Safari through the African Savannah with many of the animals you’d expect to see on the reels and in the backgrounds. There are Mini, Minor, Major and Mega jackpots all up for grabs.
It features a number of special features such as free spins, wild rewards and scatters, and boasts the biggest jackpots ever to be won with a progressive jackpot. In fact it’ll come as no surprise that it’s known as the “Millionaire Maker” amongst players online.
The Jackpot at Mega Moolah is often in the millions of dollars and with one spin of the reels it could be won. Plus you don’t have to play amximum bets to land it, with the 5 reels, 3 rows and 25 pay lines machines offering bets starting from as low as £0.01 for UK players and going up to a maximum of £6.25.
To play Mega Moolah simply seek out your favorite Microgaming casino offering progressive games. Bet365, All Slots Casino or Platinum Play are all good examples.
The 3rd biggest jackpot currently held by a Progressive Jackpot is from a Playtech game called Gold Rally. This game is one of the most popular Progressive Slots in the industry and has one of the best winning records of all time.
There are 9 reels and 8 paylines and the jackpots are regularly around the $1 million range. There is no Wild Symbol in the game but the Scatter and Bonus Round game are quite exciting. With the current jackpot likely to be hovering around the $3 million mark, you’ll be able to play at Playtech casinos like William Hill, Bet365, Winner Casino and more.
For a much deeper list, visit the wikipedia page on progressive slot machines.
Caution is a very important word in the vocabulary of online casino and slot machines in particular, but there’s no doubt that going all in and taking a tilt at a big jackpot win is downright exciting.
While it’s possible to find progressive jackpots on other casino games like blackjack (which you win by landing three diamond sevens) and roulette, it’s the progressive slot machines which will most likely take centre stage in any of your attempts to land the big one.
There’s plenty of variety and lots of fun to be had in the attempt, but always remember that casino gaming comes with risks. Take it easy, have fun, and enjoy it.
Oh, and if you do play a progessive and take down one of the huge prizes, please be sure to let us know!! We love writing about big winners!