Progressive Jackpots explained

Progressive Jackpots Explained Hero
Charlie Vogelsang
by Charlie Vogelsang Last updated:

Understanding how progressive jackpots work, the various types available, and the best jackpots to play

If you love playing slots with jackpots - then you’ve probably heard of the term progressive jackpot. It may sound like a confusing concept but it’s easier to understand than you think. In a nutshell, a progressive jackpot is a cash prize that is open to all players on that specific slot or set of slots.

Progressive jackpots are available on a wide range of casino games but are most commonly tied to online slots. The biggest draw is that the game pot grows each time a player places a wager and continues to rise until the jackpot is won. Incredibly, the value of the pot can climb from hundreds of pounds to millions in a short space of time.

Understanding progressive jackpots

It’s simple really - progressive jackpots will keep increasing until it’s time to pay out. A small percentage of every wager that players put into the game contributes towards the jackpot. It’s impossible to know exactly when the jackpot will pay out but it’s assumed that the larger the jackpot, the closer to the ultimate payout.

It’s a common misconception that the online casino or slot site pays out the progressive jackpot, but actually it’s usually the game or jackpot provider that pays it. The reason being that all wagers across all casinos contribute to the jackpot, and so when it’s won the funds come out of the centralised ‘pot’.

Effects on RTP

Online slots with progressive jackpots often have a lower RTP than those without, due to the jackpot contribution. Jackpot contributions are deducted from bets wagered on a game, and so reduce the amount actually staked on the game itself, in turn reducing the overall percentage that is paid out to players during normal gameplay.

Types of progressive jackpots

Progressive Jackpots Explained Red Tiger Daily Jackpot

There are several different types of progressive jackpot to be aware of...  

Local jackpots

The first is a local progressive jackpot that is tied to just one slot. Only players wagering on that particular slot are contributing to the jackpot. Slots such as Beach Life and Mega Fortune have local progressive jackpots.

Network jackpots

The second type of progressive jackpot is the networked progressive jackpot and is usually the largest available. A networked progressive jackpot links different slots together, usually that form part of a series. All qualifying bets contribute to the same big jackpot. Big slot jackpots such as Kingdoms Rise, Age of the Gods and Mega Moolah each have their own networked progressive jackpots that feature on all slots throughout the series.

Daily, Hourly, and ‘Must Drop’ jackpots

The third type of progressive jackpot is similar to a networked jackpot but is often referred to as a daily jackpot, or ‘must drop’ jackpot. The most common of these are the Red Tiger Daily Jackpot, and Blueprint Gaming’s Jackpot King.

These jackpots are networked in nature, in that they are available on multiple different slots and usually have a major progressive jackpot that can be won by any player. But, they also feature smaller ‘daily’ or ‘hourly’ jackpots that must drop before a certain time or amount has been reached.  Because they’re available on multiple different slots that don’t necessarily form part of a series or have any particular features in common, the ‘must drop’ jackpots can be won randomly on any spin without having to hit a certain combination or bonus.

How to win a progressive jackpot

Progressive Jackpots Explained Sporting Legends Jackpot

Any win on an online slot is essentially random, but each progressive jackpot has its own criteria needed to be met in order to win it. 

Most form part of the game mechanics or features, and can only be triggered if a certain combination lands, or symbols have been collected. For example, to win the Gladiator Jackpot in either Gladiator or Gladiator Road to Rome, you’ll need to land three wild symbols in any position on reels 2, 3 and 4 during the main game. This will take you to a mini game section and hope to reveal 9 golden helmets to win the progressive jackpot.

Some will form part of a bonus round, with the jackpot being the ultimate prize, as in the DC Super Heroes Jackpot, where you’ll be taken to a bonus screen section after a random spin. You pick 20 different cell colours and this will determine which of the 4 jackpots you win.

Others, such as the daily, hourly or ‘must drop’ jackpots, will be dropped randomly on any spin so all players have an equal chance. Sport Legends Jackpot has 3 jackpots with Daily, Weekly and Sporting Legends jackpot. Only two of these have time limits with the Daily jackpot award every single day by midnight and the Weekly jackpot has a time limit of 7 days.

Some will also trigger for any stake size, so a minimum bet might be all that’s required. Everybody’s Jackpot has a shared progressive jackpot that can only be won if you bet a total of at least 50.00 in the last 24 hours.

Whilst jackpots like Age of the Gods and Kingdoms Rise don’t necessarily have a minimum criteria, the odds of winning will increase with a bigger bet.

Best online slot progressive jackpots

Progressive Jackpots Explained Mega Moolah Jackpot

There are so many progressive jackpots online with different rules and features that it can be tough to decide which one is the best. For the mighty jackpot hunters, here are a few of the biggest ones:

If you are looking for smaller progressive jackpots with a stronger chance to win, try out some of these titles:

Whichever progressive jackpot you decide to try, make sure that you are aware of the specific rules you’ll need to follow in order to actually trigger the jackpot.

Charlie Vogelsang
by Charlie Vogelsang Last updated:

For Charlie, it’s all about flashy slots with unique mechanics and crazy themes. Her slot experience began with Dead or Alive II, but the first slot that really caught her eye was Moon Princess and it fuelled her passion for playing online slots. Since then, she’s been determined to find the latest and greatest slots from across the world.