Progressive Slots

When walking through any given casino, there are a lot of things that are designed to grab your attention. Flashing lights, shiny new cars, spinning wheels, and giant TV screens combine to make for a rather overwhelming experience.

But as you wander through the rows upon rows of slot machines, you’re bound to notice the progressive slots. They’re usually designated by a scrolling ticker telling you how much you could win if you just put in your quarter. It’s the mecca of slot machines – you could win hundreds of thousands – even millions of dollars with just the pull of a lever.

Of course, as with most slot machines across the country, the machines are mostly digital, and progressive slots in particular are automated to add a percentage of the money you put into the machine to the potential grand prize. Many progressive slot machines are also connected to several other machines producing even larger jackpots, but more on those machines later. For now, suffice it to say that these games offer some of the largest payouts available in most casinos.

What gives these slots the potential to pay out so much more than a standard slot machine? Because they work in a similar manner to a state lottery. The more people who put in money, the larger the jackpot grows.

Progressive Jackpots


Progressive jackpots are affected by the number of people playing.

These progressive slot machines may be stand-alone or linked to various other machines. As players put money into the machine or machines, a percentage of it is applied to the top prize and the potential jackpot continues to grow. If a player hits the designated symbols, he or she will win the entire jackpot, though there are smaller prizes available as well.

Usually, once someone wins a jackpot, it will reset to a designated minimum and start to build up again.

While the concept is the same for most progressive jackpots, there are a few different types of slots available.



7-2-Max-Bet-ButtonIf you’re attempting to win the top prize, make sure you read the directions on the machines. Typically, only maximum bets will qualify you for the top prize, though every bet put into the machine is going to be put towards that jackpot. Because of this, it’s really only worth your while to play the maximum bet while sitting at a progressive machine. If you are looking to gamble a little less money, there are lots of other machines where you’ll have a better chance at winning. Though the top prizes will be lower, you likely aren’t going to win all that much on a progressive slot without betting the maximum amount available.

Stand-Alone Progressive

Stand-alone progressive slot machines hold to the same concept as all other progressive machines – each time a player puts money into the machine, a percentage of it is funnelled into the jackpot. Usually, the prize can be found on a counter on the face of the machine. In reality, the stand-alone progressives don’t necessarily offer a larger payback than any other slot machine that can be found in a casino.

These machines are popular, however, because of the novelty that comes with an ever-changing jackpot and the fact that the potential winnings are posted on the machine.

In-House Progressive

With in-house progressives, your potential winnings are higher than at a stand-alone machine. However, as always, higher winnings mean you have a much lower chance of hitting that jackpot.

Instead of each machine displaying a potential jackpot that is comprised of a percentage of all of the bets that have been placed, there are multiple slot machines linked together and compiling their potential top prizes.

Depending on how many slot machines are linked together, you have a shot at fairly generous payouts that are usually much larger than those available at non-progressive slot machines.


Wide area progressive slots can link machines in more than one casino.

Wide Area Progressive

These link machines together from various casinos. These machines lure players in with multi-million dollar prizes. Usually, these machines are owned by third-party operators unrelated to the casino. Because of that, the percentage of money put into the machine that actually goes into the jackpot is much lower in order to cover the cost of linking the machines.

While your chances of hitting the grand prize on a wide area progressive slot machine are quite slim – even compared to other slot machines and casino games – it’s hard to resist the lure of a multi-million dollar prize. These wide area progressive slots are some of the few machines in a casino that can offer life-changing, retire-comfortably-at 35 money with a relatively small gamble. When it comes down to it, though, your chances of hitting the jackpot are similar to those of winning the lottery.

Changing Numbers

Playing progressive slots is different from playing any other slot machine in the casino for one specific reason: If you win the jackpot today, you could win thousands of dollars more than if you won yesterday, or millions less than if you won three months ago. Because the potential jackpot is constantly changing, it’s worth keeping an eye on various progressive slot machines in a casino and zeroing in on the largest jackpot you can find. The signs will be easy enough to spot, and they continuously update the totals as players from around the casino, town or even state play.