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Few online casino games generate as much excitement as progressive jackpot slots. Their huge prizes, often amounting to millions of dollars, are tempting for everyone. But what are the odds of winning one of these pots? Are all online progressive slots the same? How are they different from regular real money slots? Well, let’s find out.
In simple terms, a progressive jackpot game is an online slot that apart from standard prizes, it also offers one or more prize pools that grow progressively over a period of time until someone wins the prize. At that point, the jackpot amount is reset to its initial value, and the prize pool starts growing again.
A progressive jackpot slot features a jackpot prize that is made of two components. Either the online casino or the game provider will put up an initial amount towards the prize. This is called the jackpot seed, and this is the first component. Next, every time that a player places a bet on the progressive jackpot slot, a portion of the bet is taken and deposited into the central prize pot. This pot accumulates over time, growing larger with every spin, and the more players playing that game, the quicker it grows.
Here's a breakdown of how progressive jackpots operate:
TRIVIA: Cash Splash was the first online slot in the world to feature a progressive jackpot prize. It was launched in 1998 by Microgaming.
Here’s our top 10 of online progressive slots, ranked by popularity:
Progressive jackpots are highly volatile, which means that the odds of hitting the jackpot are typically quite low. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and we have seen many players hit million-dollar prizes. However, the odds are extremely challenging. Why?
Here are some key factors that influence the odds:
Odds vary significantly between games and players should always approach progressive slots online knowing that winning a jackpot is a rare event. Online progressive slots can be entertaining as long as you are in control of your budget and losses.
A jackpot big win payout does not happen instantly, especially if the sum is substantial. The time it takes for the money to reach the winner is usually dependent on the policies of the casino and game provider. The win must first be verified by the operator, which can take up to a few days. Once this is settled, then the casino will discuss with the winner on the best way to transfer the money. Operators tend to make a big deal out of big wins, since these offer them a way to market their online casino site. That is why we often read big win stories in the headlines.
As for the payment method, this may vary depending on which options are available at the casino, and the preferences of the jackpot winner. One thing to look out for when planning to play casino online is the payout policy. Check if there’s a maximum withdrawal limit and whether it also applies to progressive jackpot winnings.
Big progressive jackpot wins are always cause for celebration, not only by the player who wins the money but also by the online casino where the jackpot prize was won. Here we’ve listed five of the biggest jackpot payouts in the history of online gambling:
These incredible wins are but a few examples of hefty progressive jackpot wins that have made the headlines. Of course, a chance like this comes only once in a lifetime, but they are sure nice stories to remember when playing online progressive slots.
The most common types of progressive jackpot slots are the standalone games, like Mega Moolah or Arabian Nights. This means that for a chance to win the jackpot prize players need to play that specific game - however, you can do so at any casino of your liking. Any bets placed on these games, at any casino online, contribute to the game’s progressive prize pool.
Network Jackpots are becoming increasingly popular. These are progressive jackpot prizes that are linked across multiple games. This means that spins made by players playing different games, all contribute to the pot, resulting in bigger and faster-growing prizes. A great example is Playtech’s Age of the Gods series.
The term ‘must drop’ refers to Progressive jackpots that by design are set to pay out before reaching a certain amount or time limit. These type of games are often linked to special promotions, but not always. Red Tiger’s Daily Drop Jackpot Network is a great example, featuring three jackpots that must drop while playing on any Red Tiger games connected to the Daily Drops network:
If we had to compare superpopular slot games (for instance, Starburst or The Book of Dead) with blockbuster progressive slots (such as Mega Moolah or Hall of Gods) we would find that they differ from each other in several key ways. The major differences lie in their volatility, game mechanics, and features.
While regular online slots tend to have medium to high volatility (meaning that while they may not pay out massive prizes frequently, players can expect more regular, smaller wins during gameplay), progressive jackpot slots are known for their high volatility. They have the potential to award supersized sums of money, but this comes at the cost of less frequent payouts. So, while playing a progressive jackpot expect long stretches without significant wins.
Regular slots feature set payouts for winning combinations and more often than not, include bonus rounds or free spins, with their main focus being on providing engaging gameplay rather than enormous jackpots. On the other hand, Progressive jackpot slots often have specific game mechanics designed to contribute to the jackpot pool. Some require players to place maximum bets or trigger bonus rounds to be eligible for the progressive jackpot.
Cascading wins, special symbols that modify outcomes, expanding wilds, exploding symbols, bonus games and free spins rounds are quite popular on regular slots. These features engage as much as they entertain players through a rich gaming experience. Progressive jackpot slots are usually much simpler, and the thrills they offer come from the tantalizing prospect of landing that enormous jackpot prize.
Naturally, the types of progressive jackpots that depend on a physical area are common in brick-and-mortar casinos. But when it comes to online progressive slots, physical distance is not an issue. Thus, players from all over the world can play on one progressive slot regardless of their location.
Also, the Return to Player (RTP), which is the slot's payout to players in winnings, is usually considerably lower at land-based casinos. This is due to brick-and-mortar casinos having rent, labor, and other considerably higher costs than an online casino.
While brick-and-mortar casinos provide a great buzz and exciting gambling experience, they require traveling and booking time off. However online casinos are available 24/7 through any internet-enabled device.
Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.Read Full Bio
Progressive jackpot slot prizes are won on a regular basis. Although the prizes won may not frequently be in the millions of dollars, there are jackpot slots that are designed to pay out frequently, such as Red Tiger’s daily jackpots.
All progressive jackpots, even the daily and must drop jackpots, function using Random Number Generators or RNGs, a technology used to fairly determine the outcome of all online casino games. This means you can never predict when a prize will be won, or who will win it, and ensures that all players playing the game have an equal chance.
Numbers show that the online progressive jackpot with the most wins to date is Mega Moolah, a game developed by Microgaming and that remains popular among gamblers. Known as the ‘Millionaire Maker’, Mega Moolah is a simple game to play, with a fun African Safari theme and bright colours.
The largest ever online progressive jackpot win to date amounted to €19,430,723.60 and was won in 2021 on the Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah jackpot game, a game by Microgaming. Another significant win of €17,879,645 was won in 2015 by a player from the UK.
Progressive slots offer a big payout and thus could be regarded as better. Every spin that players take, will contribute to the pot size, hence winnings are always more lucrative. However, keep in mind that the odds of winning jackpot slots are slim.
Progressive jackpots can get quite massive in their amount. The more players join in the fun and hit that spin button, the more the prize pool increases. Progressive jackpot prizes can be anywhere from a few thousand to millions of dollars.
The initial sum of a progressive jackpot is put by the game developer or online casino. This is called the jackpot seed. Also, a percentage of every wager a player makes on the progressive slot will be contributed towards the jackpot prize.
All reputable and licensed online casinos have a built-in RNG (Random Number Generator) engine that assures that the outcome of every spin is random. The RNG is tested and audited regularly by regulators and independent third parties like eCOGRA. We only feature on our site casinos that are fully licensed and regulated.
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