How Do Progressive Slots Work in Casinos?

How Do Progressive Slots Work in Casinos?

Slot machines account for nearly three-fourth of the space in any Vegas casino. In fact, slot games are the most distilled essence of gambling: high rewards for high risks. So all online casinos and gambling platforms tend to have an exclusive section with a library of slot games. Slot games are also the easiest to play, and you do not need to learn any complex mechanics.

What Makes Progressive Slots Different?

Slot games are by design very plug-and-play and entertaining in nature. Sadly, they are also the least reliable if you want to actually make money. Since they take practically no skill to play, unlike something like poker, they also have a much higher house advantage than poker. The house advantage is basically the higher percentage of money the casino earns than it pays out. It is baked into slot games because if you pool together the cost of spinning reels everyone pays, it is much higher than the average payout a lucky person gets. And this is where progressive slots come in. 

A normal slot machine – or any video slot game, for that matter – has a very specific set of combinations that count as jackpots. As you can imagine, the chances of getting a jackpot are rare. But if you are lucky enough to hit it, the payout is much, much higher than the average combo reward. So the very idea is that people will keep playing in the hope of hitting that small chance because the bulk payout is so huge. 

Now, at its core mechanics, progressive slot games do not really differ much. But the one thing it adds changes the scope and scale in a big way: a dynamic jackpot. Like a regular slot game, a progressive jackpot starts out at a base fixed value, but it increases over time. 

How Does The Progressive Jackpot Change?

Basically, every time you spin the reel and it does not hit the jackpot, the jackpot changes in value. In a physical slot machine, it means that everyone who tries their luck with the spins and gets any other result than the jackpot, the cost of their spin adds up to the jackpot. 

So over time, it keeps growing until someone hits the jackpot. Then they take the current value of the jackpot as payout. And the jackpot then reverts to its base value until the next spin. Now, standalone progressive slots work is comparatively rare. For further explanation, one needs to know the other big difference from a regular slot game. That is, progressive slot games are commonly a part of a wider network. 

This, of course, goes without saying for online slot games. But even real-life casinos have ‘local progressive jackpots.’ In this, all the slot machines are wired together in a network, and every spin on every machine adds to the jackpot value. As you can imagine, daily hits on hundreds of machines bloat the jackpot exponentially and easily. This is even greater online, in a ‘wide area network progressive.’ The way these jackpots are calculated can vary from one online casino to another. But generally, it involves a connection between multiple games, and every paid click from individual users adds to the jackpot value.

How Are The Odds On A Progressive Slot?

Let’s start out with the basics of winning in slot games. How do you determine the profitability of an online slot game? Simple: by looking at its RTP. This is the average percentage of your investment that you recover in the long run as you play. But if you look at the possibility of winning a jackpot, it is much lower. On the average slot game, it is something like 1 in a 100 – which puts our chances at 0.0001%. 

With the progressive slot game, the actual game you play does not really change. So, you still have the same chances of winning the jackpot. However, you must note that some online casinos make the jackpot even more difficult to attain in a progressive jackpot version of the game. So it is always the wiser thing to check the odds on the game before you start spinning. 

So, is your money better spent on classic slot games or progressive ones? Here is the big nuance: you are not playing for the regular jackpot, but a progressive one. Imagine that no one has won a jackpot in a long time, and it has hit a large amount. But someone else wins the jackpot before you do, it resets to a regular value. 

If you win afterward, you do not get much more than you would in a classic slot game. So the real chances of winning big on progressive slots are actually much lower. But if luck is on your side, you can go for it!

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