Casino Progressive Jackpots Explained

5 May 2016 6 minutes to read
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Most players often wonder what it feels like to win that ever-elusive mega jackpot? The past few years there’s been a couple of online progressive slot jackpots that paid out astronomical figures.

Don’t you think that the time has come for you to try your hand at a game that offers a life-changing payout? We think so. In this article we’re going to tell you how you can become become a better progressive jackpot player. It’s the ultimate progressive jackpot guide, so to speak.


How Progressive Jackpots Started

The first software developer that linked progressive jackpots to a land casino was International Gaming Technology (IGT), this was way back in 1986. As the years rolled by internet gambling started taking off in the 1990s, online casinos started popping up left right and center. It wasn’t long before progressive jackpots were added to their game libraries which became the game of choice for thousands of players looking for that ultimate payout.


What Is A progressive Jackpot?

Progressive jackpots come in many flavors and can be found in brick-and-mortar casinos across the globe. A progressive jackpot is linked to what we call a progressive network-every time a player places a bet a percentage of his bets goes towards the jackpot figure. It keeps on getting bigger and bigger until the progressive jackpot is hit. When you play a progressive the total cash amount that can be won is usually displayed at the top of the game.


Interesting Facts About Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots come in all shapes and sizes starting with progressive slots, progressive Caribbean Stud Poker, Keno, Blackjack and progressive video poker. Of all the games situated on the casino’s floor they offer by far the biggest cash prizes.

To win the top amount a player must wager the maximum bets. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah paid out the biggest online progressive jackpot of all time which amounted to a staggering $20 million. Keep in mind that all progressive wins are completely random.


Different Types of Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots are divided into three main categories starting with in-house progressive, the wide area progressive and the single progressive.

In-House Progressive

This is where you have a bunch of slot machines in a casino that’s linked to other slots owned by the casino or gaming company which runs several casinos. Progressives in this particular network pay out millions of dollars.

The Wide Area Progressive

This network is wider then the aforementioned one because several slots from different casinos owned by one company are linked together. The sums they offer are massive and can change your life in an instant hopefully for the better.

Stand Alone Progressive

This is an interesting one, as the name implies it stands alone and not linked to a slot or network for that matter. The percentage of coins played by the player awards the highest possible winning combination when it’s hit. These machines are quite popular in pubs across the UK and Australia.


How Does A Progressive Slots Jackpot Work?

A progressive slots and time have a lot in common you might be thinking how so? Easy, as time marches on the progressive jackpot in an online casino’s network will become bigger. Five percent of all wagers made are normally set aside for the progressive-the more it’s played the bigger the jackpot gets.

There are three progressive jackpots: A Major, Minor and Mini jackpot.

Major Jackpot

The major jackpot pays the biggest cash prize it also goes by another name namely progressive.

Minor Jackpot

The Minor jackpot’s cash amount is slightly smaller than that of the Major jackpot.

Mini Jackpot

The Mini jackpot is the smallest jackpot of the lot.

Progressive Games Other Than Slots

Progressive jackpot slots are hands down the most popular progressive games but they are not the only ones within the casino’s jackpot arsenal. There are other games such as progressive keno, progressive blackjack, progressive video poker and progressive Caribbean Stud Poker. Let’s have a closer look at them shall we.

In land-based venues progressive blackjack is the game of choice for many players, the good news is that online casinos offer it as well. If you intend on playing this game and before you can qualify for it, there’s a slight catch which comes in the form of a side bet. The jackpot normally hovers around the $124,000 to $130,000 mark, the edge to the house can be quite high.

Progressive Video Poker

The jackpot amount in video poker is not near as high as progressive slots it still pays out a decent sum. An interesting snippet about progressive video poker is that the the odds stays the same regardless of how much cash you wager.

Progressive Caribbean Stud Poker

Many Net Entertainment casinos now offer progressive Caribbean Stud Poker it gives player who bet the maximum the chance to win a major jackpot. Entertainment wise it’s a cracking game just a pity it hasn’t really taken off yet.

Progressive Keno

Players into lottery-based games will enjoy playing progressive keno, the game can be played at Microgaming and NetEnt casinos. Players chasing the top jackpot must keep in mind that in order to win it they must wager the maximum stake.


Tips How To Win A Progressive Jackpot

1. If your got that twinkle in your eye and you feel lucky always play a progressive where the jackpot is sky high. In other words when it’s on the verge of paying out. Keep your ear on the ground, many operators like to send out mailers where they notify their players that the jackpot is about to ‘burst’.

2. Read the terms and conditions before you play. This is important because some operators state in their terms that progressive slot jackpot wins are paid out in installments of $5,000 per month until the full amount is paid. If you’ve won $120,000 it will take 2 years before the full amount is settled. We’ve heard of case where a player won more than a million dollars, the jackpot clause was so severe it will take more than 10 years before he receives his cash.

3. Don’t overplay your bankroll. Many players are guilty of this, they simply don’t know when to stop even if they experienced huge losses. One of the golden rules when it comes to online gambling…never chase your losses! If you had a bad session stop playing or go grab a bite it will take your mind off your bad loss. The last thing you want to do is to borrow money from a family member or neighbour to pay your next month’s house rent.

4. Play a game with a high RTP (return to player percentage). Depending on the size of the jackpot progressives are normally in the high to medium variance range. Some of them offer RTPs of 93% to 95%, the higher the theoretical payout percentage the better your chances of winning the jackpot.

Players often ask, ‘How on earth do I win a progressive jackpot?’. Truth be told there’s no winning recipe when it comes to winning a progressive jackpot, it’s all based on luck. All progressives are governed by a RNG (Random Number Generator) so wins are paid out randomly. That said, to get the most out of the jackpot wager the maximum bet per spin, study the ‘Paytable’ since it tells you which symbols pay the top cash prize, how to trigger its bonus games (free spins) and how the jackpot is triggered.


Software Providers of Progressive Jackpots

When online gambling first saw the light of day during the early 1990s few software providers offered progressive games. Fast forward to today it’s a completely different story, players are spoiled for choice now and can pick and choose from up to 50 progressives.

Due to regulation not every operator will be able to offer its patrons the same amount of progressive jackpots since licensing regulation differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.


Progressive Jackpots by RealTime Gaming

RealTime Gaming software offers a bunch of progressive jackpots that can be played by American players. Our top games are Aztec Millions, Jackpot Pinatas and Shopping Spree. Keep in mind that some of the games we’ve mentioned here are not offered by all RTG online casinos. If you’re interested in playing them please consult our USA casinos page.

If you’re from the States and you’re looking for a site that lists a pool of progressive jackpots we recommend Sloto Cash Casino (


Progressive Jackpots by Net Entertainment

NetEnt is known for its colourful, vibrant, engaging but above all its multi-million pound progressive slot jackpots. When it comes to overall payouts very few vendors can match it.

Progressive slots worth mentioning are Hall of Gods, Arabian Nights, Mega Fortune Dreams and a slew of others. Hall of Gods paid out a whopping £7.8 million not so long ago. (


Progressive Jackpots by Microgaming

Few online casino software developers can compete with Microgaming’s stable of progressive jackpots. Popular titles include Mega Moolah (our favourite), Major Millions, Tunzamunni and Treasure Nile.

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