What Are Progressive Jackpots And How Do They Work – 2024 Guide

Casinos, both online and in-person, differentiate between classic and jackpot slots. All slots have a jackpot prize but the difference between the two types becomes progressive jackpots.

What are the progressive jackpots?

In each game, a small percentage of each qualifying bet goes toward a jackpot that can then be won at random or by navigating a special bonus game. The longer the jackpot goes unclaimed, the bigger it gets!

Typically this total is called a meter and is drawn from multiple slots at the same time. There are even jackpots that are contributed to across multiple casinos making them even larger with each round of the game.

Once a progressive jackpot is claimed it will “seed” or reset to a certain level right away. The largest ones are reset to $1 million!

After a spin on a progressive slot machine, a set of random numbers is chosen. If the right ones are chosen, the jackpot will be triggered and you’ll get a large payout!

How to win progressive jackpots

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There are several ways to give yourself an advantage when playing progressive jackpots. With a few hints and tips, you can increase your odds of winning a progressive jackpot game.

Play the maximum stake

There’s a slight difference between online and in-person progressive jackpot games. For online games, there are a few that will only let you win a jackpot if you bet the top stakes possible. But there is a number that also allows you to buy in with lower-stakes as well.

For high-stakes progressive slots, you’re rewarded after each spin with a ticket. The more you bet the more tickets you’ll accumulate. If one of these tickets matches the combination after a spin, you win the jackpot!

Winning a jackpot at random

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These are jackpots that can be awarded after any spin of the game. There’s no special bonus game or requirement that you hit certain symbols to cash out and win big. The one stipulation that this requires is that you may need to bet the maximum possible to qualify for the payout!

Symbol combinations

This is the one type of progressive jackpot win that is most often seen on TV and in movies! The jackpot will trigger when and if you can line up special symbols on a certain pay line. Once you hit the winning combination you’ll bring home the biggest jackpot.

Playing a bonus game

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Many online progressive slots have a special bonus round that will be triggered during the base game. You send a prize wheel to determine your total jackpot size or pick cards from a selection on the screen. You then match three or four cards to win a jackpot prize as you try to play online casinos for real money on sites such as SlotsOfVegas!

How big do progressive jackpots get?

A quick rule of thumb for progressive jackpots: the more accessible they are, the bigger the jackpot will end up being. A progressive jackpot that hasn’t been won for a long time will draw the attention of more players which will drive up the total cost of the jackpot.

The record for online gambling progressive jackpots is $22.3 million in 2018 and the two most expensive jackpots won were both won on the same game! While these online slots games pay out a lot, they pale in comparison to in-person casino slot machines where some payouts have been close to $40 million!

Types of progressive jackpots

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There are three different types of progressive jackpots and the sizes of those jackpots can vary depending on how much players contribute and how many different machines are connected.

Standalone jackpots

These are linked to just one machine in a casino. They stand all by themselves and aren’t linked to other slot machines or any other wider network.

Local jackpots

These are “in-house” jackpots that are grouped among multiple machines in one land-based casino setting. These machines might be connected in one bank or spread across the casino floor. While in an online casino, a local jackpot might end up being linked across four or five different games.

Network progressive slots

These jackpots cast the widest net and are linked across many different casinos. The same wide-area jackpot can also be offered across different brands of slots as well making it a huge pool of players that will build a larger pot. Your chances of winning this jackpot are smaller but the prize can be extremely large.

Most popular progressive games

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Few progressive games are popular around the country and have paid out big time to players in the past.


This is one of the most popular progressive games and the probability of winning one of these progressive games is 1 in 50 million. The amount of money you can win in a Megabucks game varies from $10 million to hundreds of millions.

Wheel of Fortune

This game continues to be a popular slot machine and is available in several different denominations. The quarter version has a starting jackpot of $200,000 and has gotten close to $2 million in past years. The dollar version of the game starts at $1 million and can go up to nearly $10 million.

Mega Moolah

This game is the only online-only progressive jackpot available at Internet casinos that’s also powered by Microgaming software. The progressive-style game offered can reach upwards of $1 million or more.

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Progressive slots grow with each hand or game until someone wins the jackpot in any number of ways. There are three different types of progressive jackpots which include standalone, local, and network slots. Each one has distinct odds for winning and specific requirements to bring home the big bucks.

These games give you a chance to play with smaller denominations before jumping into the big games where the bets and stakes are a lot higher. The more games you play, the bigger the overall jackpot will be when you hit it big and make your millions! Playing progressive slots has a decent advantage for the player and a good payout at the end of the day.