If you’re looking for a life-changing jackpot, then look no further than progressive jackpot slot games. Any gambling enthusiast will tell you that you’ll never win a half-million dollars on roulette or blackjack. The payouts on most casino games just aren’t high enough for that. That is, until we talk about progressive slots. In terms of entertainment options, progressive slots rate highly.

Progressive slots can have massive payouts that really will change your life. The truth is, however, that the likelihood of winning a progressive slot is extremely low. Also, all progressive slots are not the same so it pays to know how they work before you make your first bet.

How Progressive Slots Work

The easiest way to understand how progressive slots work is to think of the lottery. The odds of winning are quite low but the prize is enormous. In most lotteries, the size of the prize increases from drawing to drawing until someone wins the lottery.

Progressive slots are much the same. A slot machine is considered progressive when a portion of the bets placed on it go towards increasing its maximum jackpot. If you’re unsure if the slot you’re playing is progressive, you’ll know for sure if you see a big jackpot meter on the side that features the current size of the jackpot.

Starting with this primary jackpot, it grows at a progressive rate the more you play. The progressive jackpot increases by a percentage of whatever you bet. For example, a £1 bet may increase the progressive jackpot by £0.25.

Types of Progressive Slots

When trying to determine the likelihood of a high payout with a progressive slot, it’s important to distinguish between the different types out there. They don’t all function the same way and the maximum jackpot will depend on the type of slot.

Standalone Progressive Slots

A standalone progressive slot machine has the jackpot meter on the game, but only bets placed on that specific machine feed the jackpot. This used to be the only kind of progressive slot machine game around, since many casinos feature multiple progressives machines that are networked together.

Standalone machines are still fairly common in casinos but rarer than they used to be. Typically, you won’t find a standalone progressive slot with a jackpot higher than £10,000.

Local Progressive Slots

From standalones, casinos began to link or network slots together within a single casino. This network can include between 10 and 100 machines — it just depends on the casino. The jackpots on local progressives are big, but not life-changing big. More often than not, they’re under £100,000 and are almost always under £1 million.

Wide Area Network Progressive Slots

This type includes some of the most popular casino games in existence. A wide area network jackpot links slot machines from multiple casinos in the same state. This allows the jackpot to accumulate into colossal sums of money, usually over £1 million and sometimes even over £10 million.

One of the most well-known brands of wide area network progressives are the Megabucks games from IGT, which haeve some of the best slot designs and the most outrageously high jackpots.

Online Progressive Slots

With the rise of online gambling, online progressive slots have become more popular than ever. Online progressives work just like their land-based cousins. Every wager you make on your computer feeds a small amount into the progressive jackpot.

When you think about how many players are logging in and playing from home — far more than could fit in a land-based casino — these jackpots can become just as massive as anything you might see in Las Vegas.

The Odds of Winning on a Progressive Slot

No strategy or system can increase your chances of winning a progressive jackpot on a slot machine game. The odds of winning are similar to the odds of winning the lottery, although you do get more chances with a progressive slot.

Just like the lottery, the odds of winning a progressive slot are one in a million (or even more). It’s a long shot to win, even if you think the jackpot is “coming due”. When players see the jackpot total nearing its maximum limit, many think that it is more likely to pay out to a player at that time. It’s just not the case.

Big Money

That’s not to say, however, that people don’t win at progressive slots. They do and when they do, they win big. The highest progressive slot winnings have been registered at £39.7 million from the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas on one of the Megabucks machines.

Mega Moolah, also known as the “The Millionaire Maker” has recently paid out over £13 million and NetEnt’s Mega Fortune similarly paid out over €17 million, with the winners having made fairly small bets.

Progressive slots are definitely the highest yielding when it comes to playing slots but the chances of winning the big jackpot are far lower than regular slot games. If your goal is to have a good time, it might be better to play traditional slots, but for a chance to win really big, progressive slots take the cake.