Progressive Casino Jackpots

Games with progressive jackpots are incredibly popular with casino patrons for a very simple reason: progressive casino jackpot payouts are enormous. It’s similar to the way state lotteries work in that the more people play without hitting the progressive, the larger the jackpots get. In some cases, they can swell to tens of millions of dollars.

progressive casino jackpots

Player's Guide to Progressive Jackpot Casinos

The way progressive jackpots grow and pay out varies from game to game and casino to casino, however. In this guide, we'll explain how the different types of progressive jackpots work.

Progressive Slot Jackpots

When people think of progressive jackpot casinos, they almost certainly think of slot machines first. Video slots are where the largest and most enticing progressive jackpots are found. Progressives in other game types usually don't grow beyond several thousand dollars, while it's not uncommon to see progressive slots in the hundreds of thousands or even in the millions!

progressive jackpot meter

You'll usually be required to wager the maximum amount of coins to qualify for the major (largest) progressive jackpot. Some games have additional minor jackpots that also grow as players make wagers and maximum coin-in is not required to hit minor jackpots. It nearly always is the case for the majors.

Generally, you'll need to hit a particular pattern of symbols in order to win a progressive jackpot. Some machines will give you the progressive jackpot just for getting the right pattern of symbols, while others tie their progressive to the game's bonus round. For example, the various Wheel of Fortune games and their derivatives like Super Wheel, require you to get to the bonus round first, then spin the wheel.

jackpot payouts

Progressive slots grow by allocating a small percentage of each wager that doesn't hit to the progressive. There's a handful of exceptions that only grow with smaller wins, however.

The size of a progressive jackpot is generally determined by how many machines are feeding into it. This is where online play offers an advantage because progressive jackpot casinos do not have the physical constraints of a traditional casino floor.

Progressive Video Poker Jackpots

Video poker progressives function the same way as slot progressives. A number of different machines are often tied together to help the progressive grow larger and faster.

The big difference with video poker progressives is that there are generally no minor jackpots available. One major jackpot is awarded when someone hits a royal flush.

progressive slot jackpots

This means that there are situations where the progressive can actually be a disadvantage. As with slots jackpots, maximum coin-in is usually required to qualify.

However, maximum coin-in at a video poker machine usually returns 4000x your wager when you hit a royal flush. If the progressive is granted on top of that amount, that's great! Some games replace the 4000x win with whatever the current progressive amount is, however.

max credits bets

So let's say you're playing a 25-cent video poker machine at a maximum coin-in of $1.25 per hand. That would return $5,000 when you hit a royal flush. However, if the progressive is only $1,000 that's all you get for a royal, so better off looking for a game that doesn't have a limit.

Progressive Roulette Jackpots

Online roulette games are increasingly offering some form of progressive jackpot casinos as a side bet. It requires that a number be hit from two to five times in a row. Some add another slot to the wheel that pays the progressive when hit, but this also reduces the expected return.

Progressive Blackjack Jackpots

Blackjack tables with a progressive usually feature it as a side bet. You'll win the progressive if a particular sequence of cards is dealt. It's often a series of four or more cards, usually four of a kind. That means the odds of hitting it are very low, but the progressive can also grow to a significant amount.

Progressive Poker Jackpots

Some progressive jackpot casinos have their own poker tables tied to the concept of the “bad beat.” A bad beat is when one player has a particularly strong hand that by all rights should win, yet manages to lose somehow anyway. Every table defines bad beats a little differently, but here's a situation that any table would agree on as an illustration.

Let's say one player winds up with a very strong hand after the flop, while another has a much weaker one. Against all odds and mathematical probability, the player with the weaker hand hangs on through the turn and the river, and somehow manages to luck into exactly the cards they need to beat the stronger hand.

mobile progressive jackpot

Most tables with a bad beat jackpot would award it to the player with the strong hand in that circumstance.

Poker bad beat jackpots are often funded by a tiny added rake on each hand, but in a tournament, they may be a fixed prize that is taken out of player entry fees.

Finding the Best Progressive Jackpot Casinos

gambling grand prize

In video poker and slots, the progressive may be “mystery” or “fixed.” This means there is a required set point for payout; if it hits that amount, the actual wager that puts it over the limit wins the jackpot regardless of the spin results.

If the progressive is fixed the machine will tell you when it is required to pay out, while mystery progressives will usually change the threshold between jackpots to keep players guessing. Playing games with fixed jackpots that are close to popping can actually give you a theoretical advantage over the house in some circumstances, and playing online makes it easier than ever to quickly hunt around for these games.

Watch a $500k Progressive Jackpot Hit


progressive casino jackpots

Some jackpots grow at faster rates, and some are harder to win than others.

That makes research important to find the biggest jackpots that you can try to win while playing online or from your mobile device.

When searching for the best jackpots that you can try to win, it helps to:

  • Learn how often jackpots are won at a particular online casino
  • Find online casinos offering dynamic payout options
  • Ensure a site is safe with exceptional security measures
  • Check third-party auditor reports and verification of a casino's operations
  • Look up the licensing information from an online casino's respective regulatory body

A little due diligence can go a long way when it comes to searching for the best progressive jackpots and online casinos offering them.

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