Progressive Jackpot Slots

Offering mind-blowing jackpots of millions of dollars, progressive slots are among the most popular casino games on the market today. Although experienced players are well aware that there are plenty of games with a much lower house edge such as blackjack or poker, they still flock to popular networked progressives. Their motivation is obvious – no other game can provide such high payouts.

Progressive jackpots started appearing in some slot machines across Las Vegas several decades ago but their jackpots were fed by only bets on specific machines and the payouts rarely went beyond $10,000. This type of slot machines is still widely spread in brick-and-mortar casinos all over the world but its popularity has slightly sunk after the rise of web-based casinos. Today, progressive video slots attract thousands of online players each day and often accumulate jackpots of more than $10 million. Meanwhile, players know that with a little bit of luck, they can collect life-changing winnings with a single bet worth only a few dollars.

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How Progressive Jackpots Work

Unlike most slot games where the jackpot is fixed, progressive slots have incrementally increasing jackpots that grow with every bet placed on them. The idea is quite simple – a small percentage of every wager feeds the pool of money until one lucky player hits the winning combination that triggers a jackpot payout. Logically, the highest jackpots can be won on games with the highest bets and the most players. Several interesting things should be taken into consideration before investing your time and money into a progressive game.


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One of the essential things players need to learn is the how to qualify for the jackpot because not every bet on a progressive slot can lead to winning the attractive payout.

Jackpot Meter

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There is another important component in this kind of games. Once the jackpot is won, the amount of the highest payout resets and gets back to the level from which it started.

Odds and Expected Return

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The odds of hitting a progressive jackpot on a slot game are extremely small – often smaller than winning the lottery, and if we remove the jackpot from the calculation, the house edge becomes very different.

Most of the largest casino game developers have added slots with progressive jackpots attached to them. Yet, the majority of slots in any given online casino would not fall into this category, so in order to find a good progressive game, you may have to do a proper research and check more sites than you would like to. Still, there are several progressive games which are just as lucrative as they are fun to play. Designed by some of the most respected companies in the gaming software development industry, they attract huge crowds with the promise of once-in-a-lifetime winnings.

Mega Moolah

mega moolah logoWith a jackpot starting at $1 million, Mega Moolah is among the most generous and popular slot games around. It is developed by Microgaming, one of the giants in this industry, widely known for the many progressive jackpot games it has in its impressive portfolio. Interestingly, Mega Moolah is considered a penny slot, because the minimum bet starts from $0.01 per line and reaches $0.05, while the max bet is only $6.25. Mega Moolah is linked with other games and is part of Microgaming’s large Progressive Jackpot Network. This is the reason why the payouts are often above $5 million.

Mega Moolah
Supplier Microgaming
Release Date 2006
RTP 88.12%
Bet Limits $0.25 – $6.25
Seed Amount $1,000,000.00
Jackpot Tiers Mega, Major, Minor, Mini
Winning Criteria Randomly triggered
Average Drop Time 8 weeks
Average Win $6.1 million

Mega Fortune

mega fortune logoAnother incredibly popular online slot with a progressive jackpot is the 5-reel, 25-line Mega Fortune game. It was created by Net Entertainment (NetEnt) which is one of the largest and most respected casino software providers today. The slot is inspired by the life of the rich and features a Yacht as a Wild symbol and a Champagne bottle as a Scatter symbol. Players can choose the number of active pay lines they wish to bet on while the maximum bet size is $50.

Mega Fortune
Supplier NetEnt
Release Date 2012
RTP 96%
Bet Limits $0.25 – $50
Seed Amount $150,000.00
Jackpot Tiers Mega, Major, Rapid
Winning Criteria Wheel symbols unlock jackpot game
Average Drop Time 10 weeks
Average Win $3.9 million

Jackpot Giant

jackpot giant logoJackpot Giant is a 5-reel progressive slot which boasts 50 pay lines and some of the highest quality graphics ever created. The attractive game features a friendly giant who apparently lives in the Stone Age and spends his free time tossing coins into volcanoes. The company behind this exciting game is Playtech, an innovative developer and supplier of casino software solutions that rely on cutting-edge technologies. The company offers modern games with superior graphics, beautiful animations and tons of special symbols and bonus features.

Jackpot Giant
Supplier NetEnt
Release Date 2014
RTP 94.22%
Bet Limits $0.50 – $4.00
Seed Amount N/A
Jackpot Tiers Single-tier jackpot
Winning Criteria 5 wild symbols on line 1
Average Drop Time 2 and a half years
Average Win $5.8 million

Hall of Gods

hall of gods logoHall of Gods is an adventurous, 5-reel progressive slot which has 20 compulsory pay lines and offers some of the highest jackpots ever recorded. It was developed by NetEnt and since this is a Swedish company, it apparently knows how to create a truly superior game based on the Nordic gods and the Nordic mythology. There are plenty of Scandinavian gods such as Odin, Idun, Freya, Loki, and Thor, while the expanding Wild here is represented by a dragon. The Scatter symbol is two ravens and if you get at least three of them anywhere on the reels, you get up to 20 free spins.

Hall of Gods
Supplier NetEnt
Release Date 2010
RTP 95.3%
Bet Limits $0.20 – $50.00
Seed Amount $100,000.00
Jackpot Tiers Mini, Midi, Mega
Winning Criteria 3 bonus symbols activate jackpot game
Average Drop Time 27 weeks
Average Win $5.5 million

Choosing a Casino to Play Progressives

jackpot casino imageAlmost all online and land-based casinos offer their customers attractive progressive jackpots. At most sites, you will find at least 5 different progressive slots, while at some casinos, you can choose from over 30 titles by different providers. There is a great variety of progressives that cater to all types of players and if you are looking for a good casino where you can play for the jackpot, stick to sites with larger and more diverse collections.

Of course, players who are new to online gambling or so far, have played at a limited number of gambling sites, would want a place which has an impeccable reputation. Safety and reliability are extremely important, especially when it comes to betting on progressive games – players tend to make larger deposits and bets that are higher than usual. In addition, you will need a trustworthy casino that will pay out the jackpot as quickly as possible no matter how huge it is. Speaking of jackpot payouts, players should also check whether the casino has a policy of limiting all withdrawals or there is an exception to the max cashout limit when a progressive jackpot is won.

Progressive Jackpot Withdrawal

progressive jackpot withdrawalWinning the jackpot is undoubtedly an incredible experience. For most players, this is an unforgettable moment even if the amount they win is only $100. But it is the huge jackpot of several million that will blow your mind and change your life forever. It is an overwhelming experience for casinos, too. Often, they cannot afford to pay out such huge amounts of money. That is why jackpots, especially in online casinos, are usually paid out by the game developers.

The more important aspect of jackpot withdrawals, however, is how your winnings are paid. Many of the large brick-and-mortar casinos give players a choice – they can collect the entire amount of the prize at once, or they can receive annuities over the course of 10 or 20 years. The majority of online casinos, if not all, have fixed cashout limits that are based on a weekly or a monthly basis. In other words, you cannot withdraw more than $5,000 or $10,000 per week, for instance. And while this is not a problem with little wins, it certainly becomes an issue when talking about jackpot withdrawals.

The reality is that retrieving a huge win from an online casino may take months and even years if the gambling operator maintains a strict withdrawal policy. Fortunately for jackpot hunters, there are many casinos that do make an exception to this rule. They will pay you out in full if it is a progressive jackpot win.

Bet Sizes

slots paylines imageThere are not many strategies or systems you can use to improve your winning chances in progressive slots. One of the most important things, however, is to check what amount of money you need to bet in order to qualify for the jackpot. Many progressives allow you to play for the big prize only when placing max bets or at least the maximum amount of coins. Different games have different rules, so before putting your money in a particular slot, you should check its pay table and rules.

For instance, some jackpots can be unlocked only when playing with max bets. But there are others which can be won during a randomly activated bonus game. Of course, the bet size is essential, as it may decide whether you will end your play session as a millionaire or will lose every penny you have. The best chance of winning the jackpot is if you are betting on all pay lines and in most cases, the maximum number of coins.

What you can do to continue playing for longer without wagering your entire budget in 5 minutes is play with low-value coins. Another good strategy is to change the currency you play with if the jackpot remains the same amount when converted between different currencies. For instance, you can bet $10 per spin and in Euro, the bet size that will qualify for the jackpot will still be €10. However, while the jackpot in US dollars is $1,000, in Euro it will be €700. This means that a bet in US dollars has a lower real value, yet placing it, you can win the same jackpot offered to Euro players.

The Biggest Progressive Jackpots Won

progressive slots imageThe highest progressive jackpot payout ever recorded is $39.7 million. It was hit in the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas on one of the most famous slot games, IGT’s Megabucks. Until recently, Megabucks was available only as a physical slot machine across numerous gambling facilities around the world but IGT has also added it to its portfolio of online games. Online slots, on the other hand, still have not reached such high payouts but they are quickly gaining popularity and making more and more players instantly rich.

Mega Moolah, for instance, is known for the big payouts given quite regularly to players from all over the world. In 2015, the game often called “The Millionaire Maker”, gave a British army soldier £13,213,838.68. This happened at Betway and the soldier, J. Heywood, managed to get the jackpot by placing £0.25 bets. In fact, Mega Moolah has made a lot of people rich – in 2016, Canadian Marcus Goodwin took home CA$11,633,898, while just a few months before that, a Maori man in New Zealand pocketed NZ$10,144,395.82.

Another mind-blowing payout was the unexpected win of €17,861,813 in January 2013 at Paf Casino. The lucky winner was an anonymous Finnish man who got the right combination of symbols while playing NetEnt’s Mega Fortune. Previously, in 2011, that same game paid out €11,736,228 to a Norwegian student who was trying his luck with free spins. Other slots from NetEnt have also been quite generous – on November 23, 2012, another unnamed Finn became richer by exactly €8,636,041.54 while playing Arabian Nights. One of the slots by the same developer that is known to be won regularly is Hall of Gods. The biggest payout registered from it is €7,820,888, but players are hitting the jackpot approximately twice a year.

The highest mobile jackpot payouts have been at Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot. On August 28, 2016, a woman was playing the popular game from her mobile phone and managed to hit the jackpot taking €7,968,311.26. At the time, this was the biggest mobile win ever recorded. But this changed in less than a year when in April 2017, a mobile player at Tipico Casino became an instant millionaire claiming the incredible sum of €8,012,153.35.

Progressive Slots FAQ

What Is the Difference between a Jackpot and a Progressive Jackpot?

Is It Possible to Say When You Can Win a Jackpot?

How Much Will I Spend on Average Playing Progressives?

How Can I Withdraw When I Win the Jackpot?

Progressive Slots Glossary


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