Progressive Jackpots: The Complete Guide

Gamblers Connect presents you with the ultimate progressive jackpot guide: Tutorial for learning what exactly runs the most lucrative jackpots on the market.

Progressive Jackpots Guide

Progressive jackpots are the most popular slot types of all time. And while it is true that many online slots have a jackpot prize, not all of them are progressive jackpot slots. This difference may seem small, but it is rather substantial. That is because the jackpot prize is a fixed reward set up by the provider to be released at some point in the session. Progressive jackpots on the other hand are constantly (progressively) growing, often without a limit. The result is one of the most potent casino rewards you can win, period.

That is why whenever you hear about someone winning millions at the slots, it is always when playing progressive jackpots. Consequently, it is no surprise that most online casinos decided to create an entirely separate section for these amazing rewards. The demand for the progressive jackpots is simply overwhelming for the online casinos to just put them with the regular games. As such, knowing how to differentiate between all progressive jackpot types, as well as the mechanics behind the progressive jackpots, is imperative if you want to win big.

However, one interesting fact about progressive jackpots is that you can trigger them even while playing table games such as Blackjack or Roulette, for example. That is because the progressive jackpot can be released at any moment, by any event. This means that it can drop anywhere, anytime, for anyone. And if we take into account that everyone chips to increase the stakes, the progressive jackpots are simply no match for any other reward, regardless of the slot.

How Progressive Jackpots Work?

Progressive jackpots start at a certain base figure and progressively grow depending on the percentage of each bet that is wagered on the game/slot. This so-called ‘meter’ is where all of those bets usually end up, and consequently, the same place where you can track the jackpot amount. The more players play for the same jackpot, the bigger the contribution towards the total amount of the jackpot. In other words, the players are the ones that have the biggest influence on the reward.

After hitting a certain amount (it can be astronomical), one lucky player will claim the winning jackpot amount. Certain casinos create prize pool tournaments where up to 10 players can win a prize. However, winning the progressive jackpot is the ultimate prize in online casino gaming, not just at the tournament.

This type of progressive accumulation of the reward usually means that the popularity of the jackpot will increase correspondingly with the total jackpot pool. This means that if you are planning to ‘hunt’ for multi-million jackpots, aim for the most popular that the casino offers at that particular moment. This is fairly easy to notice since in 99% of instances the casino will proudly advertise its multi-million jackpots and prize pools.

As soon as someone claims the progressive jackpot, the slot/game/machine will reset. Or as they call it, ‘seed’ to a pre-set base value. It is fair to mention that some of the biggest progressive jackpots even set this base value at several million dollars. That is depending on the provider. These are the jackpot slots that you wish to pursue, since with a million-dollar amount base price, pretty much the sky is the limit.

Win Mechanics

Learning the mechanics that run the progressive jackpot can drastically increase your chance of winning a progressive jackpot. And this is a piece of cake if you ask us. We have created a list of several basic key points that are an integral part of the process behind the progressive jackpots.

  • The Stake

Depending on the progressive jackpot slot, you may encounter certain jackpots that require a maximum stake in order to release a win. This is not a common occurrence, yet regardless it comes with no deposit flexibility whatsoever. This usually deters a lot of players.

Certain jackpots (usually high-stakes) will award you a ticket each time you deposit, i.e. spin the reels. Consequently, the more bets you place, the more tickets you get. If your ticket happens to match the right algorithm, that means that you’ve just won the jackpot.

  • Symbols

Watch the symbols. Hitting a progressive jackpot is all about lining up the right combination symbols on a certain payline. Depending on the jackpot, they can appear on any reel, at any time, ranging from the 1st up to the last one.

  • Bonus Game

Online progressive slots usually come with a bonus round that you can trigger while you are in the base game. Depending on the slot, the bonus round will offer several bonus features such as choosing a card, spinning a wheel, etc.

  • Random Jackpot

This type of jackpot can drop anytime, and they don’t require any particular action (hitting specific symbols or triggering a bonus game) in order to be triggered. The only drawback is that there are slots that require a maximum bet amount to release the jackpot.

  • Must-Drop

These types of jackpots are one of the most sought-after since they are pre-scheduled to drop. This means that there is a specific deadline/countdown when the jackpot is released. Consequently, as the release of the jackpot approaches, so does the number of players increase.

  • RNG (Random Number Generator)

Random number generators ensure that you get a transparent and fair outcome. As such, progressive jackpots also belong in the category of slots that work with random number generators. Their purpose is to determine when the jackpot is going to be released.

Types Of Progressive Jackpots

There are three main types of progressive jackpots. And while they all come from the same progressive jackpot family, they certainly have rather similar attributes.

  1. Standalone Progressive Jackpots

The meaning of this jackpot lies in its name. Meaning, that a standalone progressive jackpot slot is not connected to other machines, i.e. ‘stands alone. When it comes to online versions, there can be several machines that can play the same game for plenty of players. While your chances to get the jackpot decrease, the more players join the battle the bigger the total jackpot amount.

Regardless of whether it is an online or a land-based casino, this type of progressive jackpot is usually lower than the others. The only difference is that at land-based casinos you have to sit throughout the entire game session if you wish to win the jackpot.

2. Local Progressive Jackpots

Opposite to the standalone, local progressive jackpots, or ‘in-house’ jackpots, are all linked at the same location. When it comes to online casinos, operators have the liberty to personally select which game title will have the jackpot. As a result, this can range from a single game, up to many different slot games, all from one provider. Land-based casinos are somewhat similar, being that all slot machines that have the jackpot are linked to one single setting at the casino. These can be scattered around the floor, or form straight lines, depending on the casino.

3. Network Progressive Jackpots

The most wanted of them all, network progressive slots, or ‘wide-area’ slots, have the biggest prizes out of any progressive jackpot type out there. Online casinos have the option to offer wide-area jackpots across several different games, as long as they come from the same provider. One such example is Mega Moolah, one of the most popular online slots by Microgaming of all time.

This slot game comes with a progressive jackpot that is available in hundreds of online casinos that work with Microgaming. Yet, any player, regardless of the operator, can win the jackpot. It is fair to mention that the network progressive jackpots are the hardest to hit. However, should you do so, get ready for retirement.


How Big Can a Progressive Jackpot Get?

he best part about progressive jackpots is that there is basically no limit on what the total amount can be. One rule of thumb when it comes to progressive jackpots is that the lower the entry, the more players, and as a result the bigger the jackpot. Speaking of attracting players, the vast majority of progressive jackpot ‘hunters’ opt for jackpot slots that haven’t been won in a while. This means that there is a huge stack in the prize pool, i.e. a big jackpot.

One such example where a small deposit won a huge jackpot, is the case of the anonymous Android smartphone player. In particular, the anonymous player wagered a total of 75 cents on the slot Mega Moolah. Around 50 spins into the session, the slot released the Mega Moolah jackpot which is worth a whopping £22.3m.

In the previous record, on the other hand, a soldier from the UK by the name of Jon Heywood wagered 33 cents and later won £21.1. At that particular time, that was dubbed as the Guinness world record for the ‘Largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game’, ever.

Consequently, progressive jackpots are not the most rewarding slot experience without some serious numbers to back that up. Just take a look at some of the biggest progressive jackpot wins up-to-date.

  • Mega Moolah Mega: 30 January 2019 – $20,057,734
  • Mega Moolah Mega: 27 April 2021 – €19,429,358
  • WowPot Mega: 14 April 2021 – £15,183,085
  • Mega Moolah Mega: 28 September 2018 – €18,915,721
  • Mega Fortune Mega: 20 January 2013 – €17,860,868

Progressive Jackpots In Other Games – Table Games Progressive Jackpots

It is fair to assume that it is a common misconception that progressive jackpots are strictly reserved for slots. However, that is far from the truth. There are a plethora of casino table games that come with hefty progressive jackpots such as Blazing 7’s Blackjack or Caribbean Stud Poker. The difference between the progressive jackpots in online slots and the ones in the table games lies in the way you trigger the jackpot. This means that table games don’t require a maximum wager to release the reward.


You trigger the table jackpot simply by playing an additional bet, on the side of the current/normal bet. That is your ‘ticket’ that serves as a guarantee that you will qualify to win the jackpot. You can place the ‘side’ bet in a designated area of the slot, which automatically makes you eligible. The tricky part about the table progressive jackpots is that they require consistently placing side bets in each hand.

That is because, in most instances, an ‘auto-spin/bet’ option is not available for table progressive jackpots, making you the sole responsible entity to manually place your potentially winning side bet.

Win Frequency

When it comes to the question of what is the win frequency of the progressive jackpots, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the probability of winning a progressive jackpot is somewhere around several million to one. Take Mega Moolah, for example, the slot with the biggest progressive wins in history. It has a maximum payout of exactly £22.3m, yet the odds to win the jackpot are around 50 million to 1.

And this is nothing in comparison to some of Vegas’ land-based progressive slot machines. There you may encounter slot games that have odds that can range between 100 and 300 million to 1.

However, the good news about progressive jackpots is the fact that you can literally win dozens of millions just by placing a minimum bet of several cents. In other words, progressive jackpots release the biggest wins, with the smallest deposits. And consequently making the reason for the biggest deposit-to-win ratio among all online slot games.


Progressive Jackpots Payout

Needless to say, this is the best ‘issue’ you can have when it comes to progressive jackpots. When it comes to payouts and these types of jackpots, the payment procedure will depend on several different aspects. In particular, the casino itself, the software developer, and the jackpot amount. The payout is usually determined in a previous agreement between the casino and the game provider. As such, it is greatly influenced by the size of the income of the online casino. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the jackpot will be exclusively paid out in instalments

As a matter of fact, Microgaming and their Mega Moolah jackpot is a good example where a substantial jackpot amount is paid out as one single giant payment. Following universal personal privacy, Microgaming leaves it to the winner to individually determine whether they will publicly reveal their identity, or remain anonymous.

However, there are instances where the casino will pay out the progressive jackpot amount over the course of an undisclosed amount of time. This can reach up to a decade, in certain instances. If that is the case, the winner will receive the winnings on either a monthly or a yearly basis (annuity payments), depending on the casino.

Regardless of what way you will receive the money, you shouldn’t have any problem whatsoever in receiving the funds. To further ensure that is the case, we suggest playing only at regulated casino operators that visibly bear a gaming license. If that is the case, then you truly have no worries whatsoever, since you have an official gaming regulator on your side.

Final Thoughts

The first thing that comes to mind when we speak of progressive jackpots is the million-dollar reward that is part of the whole deal. It is no rocket science that everyone is usually attracted by the biggest win. And when it comes to the biggest win at slots, both online and regular, progressive jackpots take the take by a long shot. For starters, it is probably the only reward that is progressively changing as time goes by.

Also, it is probably the only game type where the players are the biggest contributors toward the total jackpot amount. When it comes to these jackpots, the more players participate and wager, the better the outcome at the end.

This usually results in online casinos constantly fighting to come up with the most lucrative progressive jackpot tournament. And consequently, as more players join, with the biggest progressive win ever. That is why progressive jackpots will allow you to bet several cents, and still win millions. It is due to this deposit flexibility that every single slot player will at some point play a progressive jackpot. The difference between your wager and the winnings at these jackpots is absolutely ridiculous.

Probably the biggest drawback of the progressive jackpot slots is the fact that they have a low win possibility. The more players join the specific jackpot, the lesser the chances to win the said jackpot. However, proportional to the difficulty, the reward at progressive jackpots is simply unmatched.

So, just make sure that you are playing only with licensed operators, and you are good to go. This complete progressive jackpot guide is all you need to tackle the biggest reward in the arsenal of any online casino.

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