Guide to Playing Real Money Progressive Slots Online
If you want to win millions on a single spin of the reels, progressive slots are the way to go.
Our expert team has come up with the ultimate guide to finding the best online casinos to play and ways you can maximize your chances of winning those elusive jackpots.
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Progressive Slot Basics
In terms of gameplay mechanics and appearance, these slots are the same as the everyday video (and, sometime, classic) slots you’ll find at any online casino out there. They are slot machines with symbols, paylines, bonus features, etc.
However, one thing that makes these slots different from these common variety games is the jackpot that accumulates and grows over time. The more popular the game, the bigger the progressive jackpot, as with every wager placed, the amount to be won increases ever so slightly. While these are very small increments on their own, they add up quickly, especially with highly popular games.
Here’s how it works. Any slot can be deemed progressive by an online casino or a game supplier. Usually, there will be what is called the “seed” amount, i.e. the starting amount of the jackpot before even a single spin is played. For more popular games, the seed usually starts at around $250,000+, but there are many smaller games that seed at $20,000 or so.
Once the slot is made progressive, every bet that everyone plays on that particular casino (or a network of casinos when it comes to progressive slots by game providers), will contribute to the overall jackpot. As people play, the progressive amount increases, until it is won by a lucky player, at which point the jackpot resets back to its seed value.
There are multiple ways a progressive jackpot is awarded. Sometimes, it is given out randomly; sometimes, a player needs to trigger a special feature during which the jackpot can be won. It is up to the game developer to determine in what manner they want this to happen, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. All it matters is that it’s out there, waiting to be claimed.
How to Play Progressives Like an Expert
Stick to these 4 simple principles and you will be playing progressive slots like a pro in no time:
Check the RTP
The RTP (Return To Player) denotes the percentage of all wagers taken in by a slot that are returned to the player. Slots usually only keep a small amount of money, while the rest is distributed back to the players. With these slots, however, this number is usually a couple of percentages lower than with the regular slots, because the huge jackpot amount skews the numbers. Even if the RTP as such isn’t particularly low, the bulk of winning potential is contained in the jackpot, which means these games are often very volatile and require a bigger bankroll.
Play Bigger Bets
Although you can win progressive jackpots playing the smallest of bets, your chances of winning will usually go up as you increase your wager. This isn’t to say you should play beyond your means, but if you are chasing a progressive, you should play as high as your bankroll allows.
Target High Jackpots
This point directly correlates with what we mentioned about the RTP. Since a lot of value from playing progressive slots comes from the potential of scoring the huge win, you should play the most when the jackpot amount is very high. There are many progressive jackpot slots out there, so you can almost always find the one that hasn’t hit in a while and have at it. Don’t stick to just one game because you like the way it looks. After all, your primary agenda is winning money.
Win at Progressives – Our Top Tips
“Progressives are usually more volatile than the regular casino slots.”
“Playing bigger bets isn’t required, but it will increase your chances of winning a progressive jackpot.”
“The time to play the most is when a jackpot hasn’t been won in a while and has grown big.”
Live Progressive Jackpots
How to Improve Your Chances of Winning
We won’t pretend here there is a secret formula we’ll give you that’ll let you win a progressive jackpot every few months or so. However, if you are intent on winning, there are ways to increase your chances over a majority of other players out there.
We’ve already mentioned it, but here it is again. If you are chasing a progressive jackpot, play as high as you can afford it. Although this gives you only a slight boost, that’s pretty important if you are after a $1,000,000+ amount. Don’t go crazy and burn through your bankroll in a matter of minutes, though – keep it balanced.
As for the bankroll, get your casino account well-funded. The slots aren’t particularly famous for paying small and frequently, so you can expect some volatility coming your way if you plan on grinding a particular progressive slot for a while. Prepare enough funds and don’t sweat it. Try to keep it fun and don’t put the money you can’t afford to lose on the line. As long as you’re playing within your means, you are fine, and there is nothing wrong with trying to see if Lady Luck might be inclined your way.
Another thing you could do is look for less-known progressive jackpots. Everybody grinds games like Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune, and Hall of Gods. If you can find a few slots that aren’t as popular, you’ll have much smaller competition. The downside is that the amount you stand to win is usually smaller as well, so it depends on your goals and ambitions, and what makes you tick.
Progressive Slot Rules
If you’ve ever played regular casino slots, progressive slots are exactly the same in terms of rules. Before you start, you’ll choose the amount you wish to wager per line, the number of lines (although progressives often come with a fixed number of lines), and you’ll be good to go. Whether you press the spin button every time or you play in the auto-play mode, it doesn’t matter.
On each spin, the slot will randomly generate the combinations of symbols which may or may not create winning paylines. All wins are paid according to the paytable.
The main difference between progressive and traditional slots is the jackpot element. Every slot is different in the way how it awards the jackpot, and you should probably get familiar with these rules – if nothing else, it will help you have better time while playing.
Sometimes, you’ll need a special combination of symbols or a certain number of scatters to land to trigger the jackpot games. Sometimes, the slot will simply go crazy on you and award you the progressive jackpot without any hint beforehand.
Everything you need to know about playing progressive slots you’ll learn in a couple of minutes, as they usually feature an intuitive design to help you find your way around. Always check out the payout table to know what’s what, place your bet, spin away, and keep your fingers crossed.
Types of Progressive
All progressive slots are similar in a way they operate, but there are a few different types you need to know about if you’re serious about claiming that big win one day.
Standalone progressive slots are usually only found at land-based properties, as online casinos let players play almost an infinite amount of instances of the same machine. With these slots, the jackpot accumulates over time but it only adds the money from wagers placed on that particular machine, which means these usually don’t grow as big as the other types.
Often, these also have an amount by which they have to pay, so if that number is closing in, it might be a good idea to put your grinding shoes on.
Local (or in-house) progressive slots are slots that accumulate the jackpot from the wagers placed on the particular machine type located at the property or at an online casino. For example, at an online casino, all the different instances of the same slot will contribute to the progressive jackpot.
Wide area or network slots are the most lucrative ones, as they gather money from all the wagers placed on a particular slot type across the network of land-based casinos or all online casinos featuring a particular slot. Many of the most popular games by NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playtech belong to this category.
History of Progressive style Slot Games
Casino slot machines have started their climb to stardom during the 1980s, becoming the leading source of revenue for the casinos around the globe. With slot games becoming increasingly popular and casinos on the lookout to appeal to their customers, they came up with an idea of progressive jackpots.
These came about as an answer to state lotteries, which were by far still the most played games out there, offering a shot at life-changing money. In 1986, Megabucks slot was launched by IGT, with the same basic idea. The Megabuck network linked a number of slots together using the modem technology, offering a constantly growing jackpot which seeded at $1,000,000 – which was way more money back then than it is today.
From there, the idea of progressive slots continued to grow and develop, with more and more casinos and casino chains offering their own variations, with bigger or smaller amounts to be won and interesting features that kept players coming back for more.
With the advent of online casinos, the idea naturally transferred to the internet, where implementing such principles was even easier, and the player reach was much bigger, creating a potential for huge wins.
The biggest progressive slots these days include Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, which was launched in 2008, and NetEnt’s Mega Fortune, which came out in 2009. Both of these games have paid huge seven and even eight-figure amounts over the years, with Mega Moolah currently holding the record with a £13,200,000 score.
Don’t get frustrated, chasing a jackpot can be a tricky business and you need to stay realistic about it and not lose your cool.
Only chase jackpots at trustworthy casinos, as you don’t want to finally get lucky and hit big only to get scammed out of your winnings.