Slot machine technology has come a long way since Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell in San Francisco during the 1890s.
The three-reel model, which became the template for every subsequent machine, paid out a jackpot of just fifty cents if three bells landed on the pay line.
Fast forward to today and slots have the potential to pay out life-changing amounts of money if players hit the right combinations.
Bagging the jackpot playing progressive slots in land-based or online casinos is undoubtedly one of the best thrills you can experience.
What is a progressive jackpot?
There are generally two types of jackpots in slots – classic and progressive. Classic is a fixed sum, while progressive is a prize that increases every time someone plays a game.
The jackpot total keeps rising until a lucky player hits the correct combination of symbols to scoop what can be a massive cash payout.
Progressive slots take a proportion of each bet wagered and add it to the jackpot meter which will be located adjacent to the game.
There is no set timescale to when the jackpot is paid out, which means the longer it goes without being won the higher the total goes.
Finding progressive jackpots
Online casinos usually organise their slots into different categories such as All Games, Popular, New, Megaways, Drops & Wins, and Jackpots.
The last-named category is where the best action can be found, with each game offering players the chance to win big cash prizes.
A cash amount is listed underneath each slots game which is a running total that represents the current status of the progressive jackpot.
The lowest figures often indicate that a jackpot has recently been paid, while the highest amounts are on the games where the pot has been building up over a period of time.
Types of progressive jackpots
There are three types of progressive jackpots – standalone, local, and network. The jackpot sizes vary based on how many players contribute and the number of machines linked.
A standalone progressive jackpot builds up exclusively on one slot in the casino. It is not linked to any other games and is not part of a network.
Each game has its own progressive meter that rises when someone plays. When you end your session, the total stays at the same amount until someone else starts playing.
Local jackpots are where multiple slots are grouped together to build a progressive jackpot in the same casino.
This will often involve around at least six games, thus creating the prospect that the jackpot could rise to a six-figure sum.
When a player scoops the top prize on one of the slots, the prize pot resets at the start point across all the games linked to the local jackpot.
Network progressives offer the biggest jackpots. Also known as ‘wide-area’ progressives, these are jackpots that are linked across several casinos.
As with the other types of progressives, a proportion of each bet wagered is added to the jackpot meter which is displayed on all the linked games.
The odds of winning a network jackpot are fairly small, as you will be competing amongst a greater number of players for the bumper prize.
In some cases, the chances of winning a network progressive jackpot can be more than 50 million to one, but history has shown that it can be done.
How to win on progressive slots
While slots are categorised as a game of chance, there are strategies you can employ to improve your chances of winning a progressive jackpot.
The random number generator that powers every slot is designed to produce outcomes that cannot be manipulated, which makes it difficult to know when the jackpot will drop.
If you want to bag the progressive jackpot, make sure that you bet max on every spin to ensure that you cover all the ways you can win.
It is also advisable to avoid playing games where the jackpot has just been paid, as the chances of it landing in quick succession are extremely.
Spend time researching how often the jackpot on your chosen slot pays out, as this will provide you with information about the optimum times to play.
Generally speaking, if a progressive jackpot has broken through the seven-figure barrier, you are likely to be much closer to the time when it pays out.
Banking your progressive slot winnings
You will no doubt have seen winning players pictured smiling with an oversized cheque that advertises their success at an online casino.
However, it is worth noting that most online casino operators attach special terms and conditions to their progressive jackpots.
If you are lucky enough to win a massive cash prize, you may well have to wait for a pre-determined amount of time to receive the full amount.
Dependent on the amount, the progressive jackpot could be credited to your account balance either weekly or monthly.
This may be in line with the operator’s withdrawal limits to ensure that you are able to transfer the amount back to your original payment method.
Progressive slots – The final word
If you are looking to win big at an online casino, playing progressive slots provides an excellent opportunity to achieve the feat.
Standalone progressive slot jackpots offer the best chance of winning, as these are limited to just a single machine.
However, if you are aiming to really cash in, playing local or network progressive slots is the best way to go about it.
Get your timing absolutely right and you could be on your way to becoming the next big winner!
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