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Learn more on progressive slot machines

What Are Progressive Slots and How Do They Work?

One of the major online gambling hits is jackpot slots. But, what is a progressive jackpot, anyway?

Today, we're answering the most common gamblers' questions, questions like what are progressive slots, how to win on progressive slot machines, and how often do progressive slots payout. Other than that, we’re talking about what are the odds of winning a progressive slot machine and everything else that comes with. 

Read the below for all the progressive slots information you've been googling so far:

NOTE: If you'd like to tune in to our podcast on progressive slots, do so here. We talk to Henrik Fagerlund, Director, Product Innovation at Evolution about progressive slots, their popularity, and some of the most impressive wins. Join us!

What is a Progressive Slot Machine?

A progressive slot machine is a slot machine with an increased portion of the bets in place, to increase its maximum jackpot. 

When the machine is first started or initialised after the progressive jackpot is won, that progressive slot machine gets an initial jackpot which is randomly chosen (it's not zero). From there, the jackpot grows "progressively" with every player spinning its reels; the progressive jackpot grows by a percentage of whatever the bet is. 

Hitting the jackpot with progressive slot machines happens before or when it equals its maximum amount.

Hitting the jackpot with progressive slot machines happens before or when it equals its maximum amount, as every progressive slot machine has a maximum progressive jackpot that cannot be exceeded. With every jackpot that is paid out, the process begins anew. 

Progressive Jackpot Meter

A progressive jackpot meter is a prominent feature displayed on a slot machine, showing the size of the jackpot. It's usually emphasised to attract players. In some circles, a jackpot meter is also called a jackpot ticker since it ticks upward, increasing the machine's jackpot. 

A progressive jackpot meter is a prominent feature displayed on a slot machine, showing the size of the jackpot.

The jackpot amount increases with every play on any connected machine. The casino ("the house") sets the amount by which the jackpot advances. So, on a machine with a, say, 5% edge, the jackpot contribution might be one-fifth of the expected profit, which is 1%. The casino usually contributes because the players are attracted by the:

  • Large jackpot amounts 
  • The novelty of progressive jackpots 
  • A continually changing meter

How Do Progressive Slots Work?

Unlike regular slot machines that have a fixed amount, progressive jackpot slots have the jackpot that rises with every player's spin. Each coin, in a way, feeds the jackpot, and therefore – the final sum increases to a certain point. In some respect, progressive slots are similar to lottery games: the prizes are huge even though the odds of winning are long. 

In answering How do progressive slots work question, it's essential to mention that progressive slots work depending on their type, too. There are three types of progressive slot games, each one carrying a certain specific - 

Standalone Progressives

A slot machine that allows winning on that machine only is called a standalone progressive. Although it, in a way, stands isolated, it still contributes to raising the jackpot, that is - playing on that machine increases the jackpot. A standalone almost always features a smaller jackpot than other kinds of machines. 

Local Progressives (a.k.a. linked progressives)

A local area progressive relates to land-based casinos. The term refers to a network of machines, typically all within a short distance of each other. Predominantly, all local progressives are in the same casino. Local progressives have bigger jackpots than standalone progressive but still not as big as wide-area progressives. 

Wide-area progressives (a.k.a. networked progressives)

Wide-area progressives have the biggest prizes as they connect all the machines in the same place. They are similar to what you see with Megabucks. Numerous machines in numerous locations feed the jackpot, and therefore build to the biggest jackpot prize.

Progressive slots are part of the conversation in the third episode of our podcast dedicated to how online slots work. Make sure to give it a listen as it provides some useful insight into progressives and other types of video slots.

How Often Do Progressive Slots Payout? Odds of Winning a Progressive Slot Machine

When it comes to how to win progressive slots, or, better yet - how to beat progressive slot machines, the answer is simple – there isn't a system or a strategy that will help you win a progressive jackpot on a slot machine game. The chances of hitting the jackpot are slim, no matter how large the jackpot has gotten. In fact, the chances are maybe as slim as winning the lottery; the only difference is, you have got more chances of winning per hour with a slot machine than you do playing the lottery. 

The chances of hitting the jackpot are slim, maybe as slim as winning the lottery, but - it happens!

Still, despite all the small chances, hitting an enormous jackpot has been known to happen, so don't lose faith that you'll be the next person on the covers for winning a jackpot. 

Hitting the Jackpot with Progressive Slot Machines: Common Progressive Slots Tips and Strategies

Whether you have been gambling for a while or you've just entered the gambling world, you must have asked yourself how slots work hoping to crack the mechanism behind them and win it all. 

By now, you know there is not a simple answer nor a single, loss-proof technique; hitting the jackpot or merely winning comes down to a lot of luck, and a lot of smart playing. But you already knew that. 

Other than that, if you are wondering how to win at progressive slots or what is the best progressive slot machine strategy, here are a few tips you may want to consider:

Create a Jackpot Gaming Budget

Going for a jackpot is never dull; it's fresh, exciting, blood-boiling and, often, you can't get enough. As things can get out of hand fairly quickly, the best thing you can do is create a sensible jackpot gaming budget and stick to it. Whether it's a weekly or monthly one, as long as you are rational about it, you'll be good. 

Play When Your Budget Is Solid

Make sure your spins qualify for a chance to win the maximum prize each time you are about to play a progressive jackpot game. Checking the game's set-up is vital as game requirements vary from game to game. Essentially, if you are not careful with this, what can happen is for you to hit a winning combination on the screen but only get a portion of the jackpot pool! So, be careful, check the rules and the game's pay-table, then decide what the best thing to do is. 

Also, it's important to find your favourite progressive games, the type of games that agree with your budget and your preferences. From that point on, spinning is easy. 

When the Jackpot is Huge, That's Your Cue

The more the jackpot meter rises, the more people spin hoping to land that huge jackpot; well, prepare to be one of those people because spinning when the jackpot is massive is the best circumstance for winning in. Hitting the jackpot even after it's been reset is still going to make your day, so – you know what to do.

Any other progressive slot machines tips? In fact, yes – you can keep track of different games and software' jackpots, then play the games with the best prize pools from week to week.

Superstition Does Play a Role

The concept of luck is a philosophical debate, and a topic we all see differently. However, luck has had its share of inspiration and effect on gamblers since the dawn of gambling, or at least that's what we are to believe. Professional players live by it; newbies rely on it as well, so including it in your gameplay might not be the worst thing to do. 

Call it luck or coincidence but try not to gamble when in a bad mood to avoid making bad gambling decisions that may lead you to disapp­oin­tme­nt. ­

Progressive Playing

With the rise of online casinos, the concept of gambling seems to have curiously changed. Although up to not so long ago it was virtually unimaginable for land-based casinos to get competition, these days the majority of exciting, colourful and fun games is taking place online, securing a broad audience. 

Spinning the reels on different types of slots is always extremely fun, but almost nothing compares to gambling to hit the jackpot, does it? On your next attempt to score on a progressive slot machine, use the information from this blog, play responsibly and trust your gut – you never know what's on the other side of it. Good luck!

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