What is a Progressive Jackpot?

In online gambling, there is an indissoluble link between the risks taken and the return on investment. Small bets usually trigger small winnings, while the biggest payouts are reserved to high rollers. Slots with progressive jackpots are the exception to the rule as players can win a fortune with a tiny investment. This is possible because the odds of hitting the jackpot are stacked against you and you need to be really lucky. In many regards, chasing progressive jackpots is similar to chasing big lottery winnings.

Selected video slots carry progressive jackpots which are linked to a network of casinos featuring those slots. Each time players spin the reels of these games, a percentage of their stakes is used to fuel the jackpot. The more people play the game and the wider the network of casinos, the faster the jackpot grows. Not surprisingly, the biggest amounts ever won were claimed by punters who played slots produced by leading software developers powering many casinos.

Players know all the time how much money is up for grabs because the progressive jackpots have the cash prizes listed and updated. This provides them with the incentive to persevere and double their efforts whenever the amounts cross certain thresholds. At the time of writing, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah holds the record for the biggest jackpot ever awarded, an amazing $20 million. It is usually slots that are linked to progressive jackpots, but table games, keno, and video poker fans have a few worthy choices.

How Many Progressive Jackpots are there?

Given the popularity of progressive jackpot slots, it comes as no surprise that there are hundreds to choose from. Software developers produce new games with life-changing amounts all the time, so the number is constantly growing. On the other hand, we can safely divide progressive jackpots into three categories.

Stand Alone Progressive Jackpots

These are the smallest progressive jackpots, but also the easiest to secure. That’s because they are not links to an entire network of casinos or even several slots. A single machine produces the jackpot and players who spin its reels are the ones who contribute. These types of progressive jackpot slots are also popular in brick-and-mortar casino and land-based gambling parlors.

In-House Progressive Jackpots

Online gambling operators can run one or more casinos, powered by one or several software developers. This type of progressive jackpot is shared by several slot machines, so people can win it by playing any of the qualifying games. The advantage of these jackpots is that they pay millions of dollars and players are not restricted to a single slot.

Wide Area Network Progressive Jackpots

There are many similarities between this progressive jackpot and the aforementioned one. The main difference is that slots from several casinos have the prize linked together and more people play it simultaneously. As a result, jackpots go up faster and they set records more often. Some of these games have the prizes divide it into several tiers and even lower tier prizes can make players rich.

What are the Odds of Winning Progressive Jackpots?

This simple question doesn’t necessarily have a simple answer and that’s because of the complex mechanics of progressive jackpot slots. It is estimated that the odds of winning the Megabucks slot machine so popular in Las Vegas, is about one in 50 million. The odds of winning an online progressive jackpot are also stacked against the player. This is hardly a surprise, given the fact that one can literally win millions of dollars with a single-digit investment.

When playing online slots with progressive jackpots, one has the option of circumventing the jackpot game altogether. In order to make an educated decision, one should check out the amount currently up for grabs, the odds of winning it, and the percentage of the stake used to fuel the jackpot. Gamblers are advised to consider the return to player instead of focusing exclusively on the progressive jackpot. They need to stay afloat while chasing a life-changing amount, so it is wise to focus on the lowest house edge.