The Ultimate Guide to Progressive Slots: What Every Player Should Know

By Craig Davies

Every Player Should Know

If you’ve visited a casino, you’ve likely seen the bustling rooms filled with slot machines. Even if you’re new to casinos, you’ve probably heard about these machines and the potential winnings they offer.

What you may not realize is that there are various types of slot machines beyond the traditional ones, including the progressive slot machine. Uncertain about what sets a progressive slot machine apart? Keep reading to learn more.

What exactly is a Progressive Slot Machine? 

Despite its name sounding complex, the concept is straightforward. A progressive slot machine accumulates a tiny portion of every wager placed, contributing it to the overall jackpot. This process continues until a lucky player eventually hits the jackpot. 

Upon jackpot payout, the machine resets to its initial base jackpot and resumes collecting fractions of losing bets until the jackpot is won again. This cycle persists throughout the machine’s lifespan, making it one of the most exciting casino games online.

Varieties of Progressive Jackpots

There are three main kinds of progressive jackpots – 

  • standalone, 
  • local, 
  • network. 

The size of the jackpot depends on the number of players contributing and the number of machines linked.

Standalone Progressives

Standalone progressive slots are machines that solely build their jackpot based on the bets made on that specific machine. In contrast, there are machines that link up with others of the same type nearby, leading to a faster jackpot growth rate. While standalone progressives may not increase their jackpot as rapidly, some argue that they offer a better chance of winning a larger prize since players aren’t competing with others in real-time.

Local Progressives

Local jackpots involve multiple slot machines grouped together to form a progressive jackpot within the same casino. Typically, at least six games are linked, potentially leading to a six-figure jackpot. When a player wins the top prize on one of the slots, the jackpot resets across all linked games to its starting point.

Network progressives

Network progressives, also known as ‘wide-area’ progressives, offer the largest jackpots. These jackpots are connected across multiple casinos. Like other progressives, a portion of each bet contributes to the jackpot, displayed on all linked games. The odds of winning a network jackpot are relatively low due to competing against a larger pool of players. Sometimes, the odds of winning a network progressive jackpot can exceed 50 million to one, but history has shown that it is achievable.

How to Succeed in Progressive Slot Games

While winning at slots mostly relies on luck, there are ways to boost your chances of hitting a progressive jackpot. Slot machines use random number generators, making it hard to predict when the jackpot will drop. To increase your odds, always bet the maximum amount per spin. Avoid playing right after someone wins the jackpot, as back-to-back wins are rare. Check how often the jackpot pays out for your chosen slot. When the jackpot reaches over a million, it’s a sign that a payout could be coming soon.

3 Surprising Facts About Progressive Slots That Will Amaze You

Let’s dive into the world of progressive slots with three astonishing facts that might just blow your mind. To start, we’ll uncover the casino’s significant edge on progressive slots, which often surpasses expectations.

The Casino Must Payout All Accumulated Funds

Progressive slot machines operate in a unique way that many players are unaware of. With every wager placed on a progressive slot, a portion of it contributes to the growing jackpot pool. While the exact allocation varies between slots, it’s essential to understand that each spin adds to the progressive jackpot. This money is kept separate from the casino’s funds and must be fully paid out to players, as mandated by gaming regulations. 

Essentially, the casino merely holds onto players’ funds until one fortunate player claims the entire jackpot. Gaming authorities often impose regulations dictating how long the casino can retain these funds, resulting in games that must pay out by specific dates or jackpot thresholds. When the grand jackpot finally hits, all payouts stem from the collective pool of contributions from countless spins.

Maximum Bet Required for Jackpot Eligibility

Although not all progressive slots follow identical rules, one consistent requirement is the necessity of betting the maximum to qualify for the jackpot. While it’s possible to win smaller prizes without wagering the max, the top award is exclusively reserved for those betting the maximum amount. 

As discussed earlier, a substantial portion of payouts in progressive slots comes from the top jackpot, making max bet crucial for jackpot seekers. If the maximum bet exceeds your budget, it’s advisable to switch to a game with a smaller max bet and wager the maximum credits. Avoid the disappointment of hitting a potentially lucrative combination only to realize you’re ineligible for the jackpot due to insufficient bet size.

Many Progressive Machines Linked Across Multiple Venues

Ever wonder how progressive jackpots accumulate so rapidly? The secret lies in linking progressive machines across various casino properties. In reality, when you play a progressive slot, you’re not merely competing against players at one casino but potentially against those from several establishments. 

For instance, the Megabucks slot pools its jackpot from hundreds of different casinos, accelerating its growth rate. When you insert your money into a progressive slot, someone in another casino, or even another country, depending on the game, might be the one to claim the jackpot you contributed to building.

Are Traditional Slot Machines Better Than Progressives?

Many individuals wonder whether traditional slot machines are superior to progressive ones. The reality is that only you can determine the answer to that question. While progressives offer larger jackpots compared to traditional slots, they also come with lower odds of winning.

It’s ultimately your choice whether you prefer playing for a smaller prize with better odds or aiming for a bigger prize with lower odds. Some argue that traditional slot machines are better due to their higher odds, but the decision rests with you.

Playing progressive slot machines is akin to participating in the lottery, which adds to their appeal. The allure of substantial jackpots draws in players who might not typically engage with slot machines. However, the lower odds contribute to the machine accumulating more funds for the jackpot when bets are lost. Hence, despite the allure of larger jackpots, it might be advisable for you to steer clear of progressive slot machines.


In summary, learning about progressive slots has been really interesting. We’ve discovered how they work and why it’s important to bet the maximum to have a chance at winning big. Progressive slots offer lots of excitement, but it’s important to gamble responsibly. By following the tips we’ve talked about, you can enjoy playing these games more and increase your chances of winning. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, I hope this guide has been helpful. Remember to play safely and good luck!

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