Progressive jackpot games are some of the most popular, both online and at land-based casinos. What sets these apart from regular games is the possibility of the player walking away with a major win from a 'pot' of funds that builds up over time.
This pot is created as a small portion, usually around 1- 2%, of all the money staked on the game is set aside for one player to scoop. For some time, it has been possible to link machines together, first at bricks and mortar casinos, and more recently at online casinos.
As there are now so many online casinos, with thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people playing the same progressive games, these jackpots can climb very quickly, to massive amounts. To check out many of the top slots games, visit the Progressive Jackpots site, which not only details what games are available, but also the current jackpot levels, where to find them, and how to claim exclusive bonus deals from the casinos that feature these exciting games.
But what are the odds of hitting a jackpot on a slot machine, Video Poker game, or even Bingo? Are they statistically worth playing, and will you still enjoy the games even if you don't come away significantly richer?
Slot machine progressive jackpot odds
The biggest online jackpots come from slot machines. Games like Mega Fortune, Mega Moolah and The Dark Knight Rises have made people millionaires in just a few seconds of play, and there are many others that carry jackpots worth more than enough to buy houses, cars, holidays or every other luxury imaginable.
To work out the actual odds of hitting the progressive jackpot prize, you need to look at how many reels the machine in question has, and how many symbols are on that reel. You also need to consider how the jackpot payout is triggered, as all of these variables will be different across the many progressive games online.
As an example, imagine a slot that has 5 reels, and each reel has 20 symbols across it, with one being a jackpot symbol. If the progressive prize is won by lining up the jackpot symbols across a payline, the actual odds of winning progressive jackpot on it are 20 X 20 X 20 X 20 X 20 which equals a 1 in 3,200,000 chance of the symbols lining up in your favour.
However, you are just one of many players, and it could be that your next spin is the one that triggers that huge prize payout. This is just an imaginary game however, and in reality the chances of winning progressive jackpot prize can be higher or lower.
Bear in mind that games pay out a percentage to the players, usually between 90 - 97% of the amount paid in, so the progressive jackpot odds are actually slightly lower than this. Known as the Return To Player, or RTP, the remaining percentage is the House Edge, or what the casino earns. Although games can be carried across many casinos, the pot is held by, and paid by, the developer, as it would be unfair for the casino whose customer hit the jackpot to have to pay out all of the prize.
Slots that have massive jackpots, like The Dark Knight Rises will have lots of people playing them at any one time, across multiple online casinos. This means that although just a tiny bit of each wager is going towards the jackpot prize, it still grows very quickly, and the jackpot is frequently hit. The game developers make sure that even if you don't win the jackpot, there is still plenty to entertain you, so many of these games have bonus rounds, free spins, multiplier prizes and so on.
Other games like Bingo and Video Poker can often be found with progressive jackpots. For Bingo games, players typically win the major prize if they get a Full House within a certain number of calls.
Video Poker progressive jackpots tend to be hit with a Royal Flush, where the cards are the 10, J, Q, K and A from one suit, which occurs on average once every 650,000 hands. Because this is more frequent, the prizes can be somewhat lower, but still life-changing, and again the actual odds can vary from machine to machine.
Whether you like the slots, Bingo, Video Poker or all games, you can review the biggest and best ones at Progressive Jackpots, where current jackpot values, biggest wins, where to find the games and how to claim the biggest welcome bonuses can all be found.