What are progressive slots?

When you think of big wins at the casino you picture lights flashing, alarms ringing, confetti falling from the ceiling and people stopping what they’re doing to rush over and see what’s going on.

Everyone crowds around to congratulate the winner and he or she is pictured holding a giant cheque with a huge amount on it, usually something in the millions.

This is the world of progressive slots.

Progressive slot machines

Most slot machines and slots games offer a fixed jackpot amount. Progressive slots are a whole lot different.

Introduced by IGT in 1986, progressive slots offer progressive jackpots. Every time someone plays the slot a small percentage of the player’s wager goes into a jackpot pool. While this may seem like it’s not a big deal, progressive slots add in one other huge factor: linking.

Progressive slots link slot machine and online slots games together so instead of one person adding to the jackpot, you get tens, hundreds and even thousands of people all making that jackpot grow.

What types of progressive slots are there?

There are three main types of progressive slots: standalone, local area and wide area progressive slots.

Standalone progressive slots are a single game or selection of machines. Each time someone plays on that specific set, a percentage of the bet goes into a jackpot. These jackpots can grow to good amounts but do so quite slowly.

Local area progressive slots are a number of different slot machines, usually in a land-based casino, that are linked together within a specific area. These usually feature much bigger jackpots and can tick over quite quickly.

Wide area progressive slots are the real deal, the big daddy’s, the place where life changing amounts of money can be won. These progressive slot machine and online slots games are linked over multiple casinos and even multiple countries. Watching the jackpot meter on a wide area progressive slot is like watching the stopwatch while Usain Bolt runs the 100m sprint at the Olympics – it ticks over that fast.

Thousands of players from hundreds of countries all adding their percentage to the jackpot means that these truly are the ultimate wins to strive for.

The jackpot meter

Most online progressive slots games will tell you that they are progressive slots, but a good way to see at a glance is to look at the jackpot meter. The jackpot meter is normally a prominently displayed feature that show just how much money is waiting for the lucky player.

What’s so special about progressive slots?

In a word: jackpot. The biggest ever casino wins, in land-based casinos and in online casinos, have come from progressive slot machines and games. The biggest ever jackpot at an online casino came from the Mega Moolah progressive slot jackpot – over US$20 million. The biggest ever land-based casino win came from the Megabucks progressive slot machine at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas – over US$30 million.

And amounts like these are not once offs, online progressive slots regularly pay out massive jackpots of over a million Dollars or Euros.

Where can I play progressive slots?

All the best land-based casinos offer progressive slot machines, and all the top online casinos offer an online version. The big gaming developers put a lot of investment into creating eye-catching progressive slots games because they draw a huge crowd.

What happens when a jackpot is won?

The online casinos normally have a minimum pot for the jackpot so that if some lucky player hits those millions, it doesn’t need to restart from zero. By seeding the jackpot (often with an amount exceeding a million dollars) the casino ensures that players will continue to gamble on the game for a long after the jackpot is won.

Be aware

Progressive online slots games, and slot machines, can be expensive to play. In order to qualify for the jackpot players normally have to bet the max amount for each spin. Care should also be taken that you read and understand the terms and wagering requirements at your chosen online or land-based casino to make sure you will get your winning paid out.

But with amounts regularly topping the ten million mark, the risks really are worth it.

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