There are few experiences as epic as hitting the jackpot on a slot machine. It is an image burned into our minds thanks to Hollywood movies and casino adverts – the ringing bells, the flashing lights, the coins spilling over the tray as the player frantically tries to collect them in a woefully inadequate cup.
But you may notice, whether you’re playing online slots or you are visiting a land-based casino, that these massive jackpots are not nearly as common as you think.
There is a very good reason for this: progressive slots.
These are a select group of slots machines that offer players the truly life-changing jackpots. To understand them we need to understand how the slots jackpot system works.
How does a slots jackpot work?
There are number of factors that influence a slots jackpot.
- The number of reels
The more reels, the more difficult it is to hit the matching pattern – and the bigger the jackpot when you do.
- The number of coins you bet
To qualify for the maximum payout you need to be wagering the maximum number of coins per spin (max bet).
- Return To Player
Also known as RTP, this is the sum of money a casino pays back to the players and is very dependent on how much you gamble and how long you gamble for. A ‘low variance’ slot machine has higher RTP but pays out smaller wins. A ‘high variance’ slot machine has a lower RTP but pays out bigger wins. You can normally find the RTP for each online slot machine as a small information table on the machine.
Most jackpots work by taking a small percentage of every bet made on every spin and adding it to a running total. This is what you get paid out when you hit the jackpot.
What make progressive slots different?
Non-progressive slots build up a jackpot by taking a small percentage of every amount wagered on every spin and adding this to a running total. If you are the only player on that machine, the jackpot grows very slowly.
Progressive slots link a number of machines together to create a bigger pool of percentages that go into the jackpot. There are three main types of progressive slots:
- Standalone progressives
The jackpot is only available on one type of machine or game. This is usually the smallest of the progressive slots you will find at an online casino.
- Local area progressives
The jackpot is linked to a number of machines or games within a specific online casino. Bigger jackpots because more players are betting on more games.
- Wide area progressives
The true jackpot of jackpots. A large number of machines and games that are linked across a number of different casinos around the world. A lot of players playing a lot of different games putting a lot of contributions into the jackpot at the same time.
Interesting factoid: the biggest online casino wins in history have all come from online progressive slots.
The biggest ever win was €17,879,645 (Euros) on the Mega Moolah progressive slots. Mega Moolah also paid out the third biggest win (€11,546,388) and the sixth biggest win (€10,710,483).
Where can you play progressive slots?
All top-rated casinos offer a variety of progressive slots games. For South African players we recommend these online casinos:
Some of these online casinos even give us South Africans the chance to try hit the big time on the Mega Moolah game, so keep an eye out for the biggest progressive jackpot in the world of online gambling.
At OSAC, our goal is to help you navigate the world of online casinos. Our staff are dedicated players who are committed to bringing the best of the online gaming world to you. We think like players. We review like players. Because we are players.
Always gamble responsibly and know when to walk away.
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