Some casino players take part in their favourite games because they enjoy the thrill of winning, while others see it as the perfect way to pass time on their computer or mobile device. And there is a third type of casino player: the progressive jackpot hunter.
These individuals know that life-changing sums of money are up for grabs if they can spin the magic combination on a slot machine or land that perfect hand on the Blackjack table.
But what exactly is a progressive jackpot?
A progressive jackpot prize is linked to a particular game that is played across multiple casinos. As more and more players place wagers, the progressive jackpot builds and builds – and can reach into the millions of dollars! Once the unique criteria of the particular jackpot are satisfied, the player will scoop the huge sum of money….and their life will be changed forever.
The amount that the progressive jackpot has risen to can usually be seen on the gamescreen; often a ticker will be in motion to let you know exactly how much is there to be won.
What do you need to do to win a Progressive Jackpot?
Every game has its own unique requirements to scoop those big money prizes, and these are typically listed amongst the title’s terms and conditions.
Clearly it will take something special to win the big bucks, so on a video poker game you are likely to need a royal flush to trigger the prize payout and on a slot it will perhaps be spinning five cherries on a payline. So, not easy then, but the rewards are obvious!
Many casino games have progressive jackpots attached to them, so titles like Blackjack, Roulette and Caribbean Stud could all yield huge profits. But perhaps the most notable example of progressive jackpots is in Slot gaming, with a number of different games all offering six figure sums to the winner.
Some progressive jackpots are triggered from within the main game, while others require a side bet to be placed to qualify. Once the jackpot has been won, the level resets to the minimum number and it begins to build from there once again.
Often you will need to wager the maximum stake amount to qualify for entry, although again this differs from game to game. All wagers, no matter what their size, will contribute to progressive jackpots.
How high can progressive jackpots go?
There really is no upper limit as to how high a progressive jackpot can go, as he unique conditions need to be satisfied to win the big prize.
The amount that each turn adds to the fund is different from game to game and casino to casino, although a standard contribution is around the 1% mark. As you can probably imagine, with inter-linked progressive jackpots around the globe, this can add up rather quickly to a huge sum.
By way of context, the largest sum ever won from an online progressive game is €17.8 million, which was scooped by a rather fortunate Norwegian player who was playing the Mega Fortune slot. But somebody has to win the moolah, so why not you?
Progressive Jackpot Winning Strategy
It is possible to actually calculate an optimal playing strategy when targeting a progressive jackpot. Games like Poker, Blackjack and Caribbean Stud enable players to calculate a Break Even Point, which is the frequency of each payout when compared to the chance of hitting the jackpot prize.
The Break Even Point refers to a wager that has a positive expectation based on an RTP (Return to Player) rate of greater than 100%. Where the progressive jackpot amount falls below this point, the ‘house’ (the casino in question) takes the edge. So clearly, only playing progressive jackpot games when they go above the Break Even Point is key.
It is easy to calculate the Break Even Point for some slot games as they will actually print the RTP in the terms and conditions. For titles that don’t publish information, calculating the sweet spot is more difficult. For games where odds are fixed, e.g. in Poker we know the percentage possibility of each card being revealed, calculating Break Even is far easier.
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