Jackpot Slots Explained
What are jackpot slots?
Jackpot slots are essentially the same as regular slots but differ in one fundamental way—they contain one or more jackpots elements that can offer prizes well into the millions.
While the base game in all slots has a maximum win amount achieved by landing the best combination of symbols or multipliers during a bonus round, jackpots usually exist as an addition to the game and often don’t form part of usual gameplay.
Some jackpots are awarded for hitting a certain combination or via a special bonus round, but often they are randomly awarded during normal gameplay. Usually this happens by entering a special jackpot mode where a ‘wheel of chance’ is spun or you’re prompted to uncover matching symbols. The outcome will determine whether you walk away with the top jackpot, one of the smaller jackpots (if there are multiple), or nothing at all!
Having a huge single payout available obviously means that some lucky winners will see the occasional massive prize, but it can reduce the overall RTP of the base game in order to pay for the jackpot prizes.
Some players prefer standard slots over jackpot slots, and each player has their own preference. Despite their obvious benefits, jackpot slots also have some downsides, so keep reading to learn about their advantages and disadvantages…
Advantages of jackpot slots
This goes without saying, but the biggest attraction for the majority of players is the potentially enormous prizes available.
Some jackpots may be fairly modest and only represent a win that is a few hundred times your stake, but there are others that don’t care about your bet size and can award millions of pounds for even the minimum bet.
Easy to play and understand
For many players, the priority is to hit the big jackpot, so most jackpot slots are fairly easy to play. There’s no benefit to loading a slot with complex mechanics and confusing features if players are only really interested in one thing—the payout!
While there might still be many brilliant features in the best jackpot slots, they won’t be over complicated or take hours to figure out what's going on.
Most slots can be played on pretty much any device whether that be PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and jackpot slots are no different. These fun and potentially extremely lucrative games can go with you everywhere while offering the opportunity to bag a massive win at any time.
Variety of themes and mechanics
The best jackpot slots cover a vast range of slot themes to suit every taste. Whether you're into sports slots, lucky Irish games or fishing-themed productions, you'll find loads of variations, all with huge winning potential.
You can also enjoy various features and game mechanics while playing for the big bucks. There are several Megaways jackpot slots available, as well as grid slots (aka cluster pays) with jackpots—Star Clusters Megapays being one good example.
Disadvantages of jackpot slots
As we mentioned before, having tremendous paying power can create its own set of downsides that you need to watch out for. Here are a few of the negative points to consider.
Jackpot slots tend to have a lower RTP than regular slots. This is due to the fact that a small percentage of each bet must contribute to the jackpot prize. This is especially true with progressive jackpot slots where the prize amount continually increases until it’s won.
Some players prefer not to play jackpot slots for this very reason. Typically, they aren’t interested in winning the jackpot, and prefer the better and more achievable returns offered by standard slots.
Some jackpots only available on maximum bet
Whilst most jackpots can be awarded on any spin regardless of bet size, others are only activated when playing with the maximum bet.
The Age of the Gods jackpot and Mega Moolah jackpot are awarded randomly on any spin regardless of bet size. However, the game rules do state that the higher the stake the greater the chance of the jackpot feature being triggered.
Types of jackpot slots
You’ve probably already noticed that jackpot slots come in all shapes and sizes offering different themes, features and mechanics. One of the most significant differences between them is the type of jackpot…
Progressive jackpots are those that keep increasing on every spin. A small percentage of every bet placed on the slot contributes towards the jackpot, often allowing it to reach well into the millions.
Once a progressive jackpot is won, it resets back to a minimum amount known as the seed value, which itself can be several hundreds of thousands.
Some jackpots are a fixed amount based on a multiple of your stake. They may be expressed as a monetary value, but adjusting your stake will also adjust the potential jackpot value. This kind of jackpot is often found with re-spin mechanics such as Hold the Jackpot and Link & Win.
There are some advantages to playing a fixed jackpot slot. Firstly, everybody knows exactly where they stand and what the maximum prize is. When a progressive jackpot is won, the jackpot resets back to the seed value which can be substantially lower than what it was before it dropped. However, fixed jackpots are typically lower than progressive jackpots.
Although lower, bets placed on a fixed jackpot slot don’t have to contribute to the jackpot prize. As a result, the RTP on fixed jackpot games is typically higher than on progressive jackpot games, so theoretically the slot pays out more to players over time. Check out Thunderstruck Wild Lightning for a great example of a fixed jackpot slot with a top prize of 15,000x stake.
Networked jackpots are progressive jackpots that are available on multiple different slots. Each bet placed on one of those slots contributes to the same jackpot. The Age of the Gods jackpot is a networked jackpot, as are most of the other popular progressive jackpots such as Mega Moolah, Dream Drop and WowPot. Being available on multiple slots means there are more players contributing to the jackpot leading to a larger prize overall.
Local jackpots are also progressive jackpots, but are only available on one slot game. Players from all over the world can still contribute to the jackpot, but they would have to be playing the same game.
Tiered jackpots are the most common type of jackpot these days. This is where you play for one of 4, and sometimes even 5, different jackpots of varying sizes. They’re usually referred to as mini, minor, major and mega jackpots, or words to that effect, but each jackpot has its own terminology and branding.
Mini jackpots will usually be quite modest, ranging from a few pounds to a few hundred, but the top jackpots can be several hundred thousand or even millions.
How to win on jackpot slots
To win on any slot, it helps to have a good understanding of how to play them, their features and bonus rounds. But, as with any slot, jackpot slots are games of chance, nothing is guaranteed, and in the long run the house always wins.
That being said, here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your gameplay and adhere to best practices.
Time and financial limits are both incredibly important. Spending hours on a jackpot slot is never advisable as the fun factor will disappear and you will end up playing for the wrong reasons. Setting a budget is also a key part of maintaining a fun hobby.
You shouldn't be tempted to increase your budget just because the potential payout is greater.
Ensure the jackpot is activated
If you are aiming for the big one, then make sure you understand the rules for activating the jackpot. Minimum bet play isn’t eligible for jackpot wins on some slots, so check the rules of the game first. Most other jackpot slots award the jackpot randomly on any size bet, but the chance of triggering the jackpot feature increases with the size of the stake.
If you do increase your bet size, ensure you’re comfortable with how much you’re risking.
Understand the jackpot feature
Most jackpot slots are easy to understand and the jackpot feature is self explanatory. However, jackpot mechanics can vary from game to game, so it might be helpful to understand what to expect if you do enter the jackpot feature.
- Wheels of chance - jackpots that are randomly awarded on any spin typically present a wheel of chance that determines which jackpot you’ll win, if any at all. Simply spin the wheel and hope for the best!
- Pick-and-click - some jackpot features involve a grid full of overturned symbols or cards each bearing one of the various jackpots available e.g. mini, minor, midi or major . Simply pick and click a symbol to reveal the jackpot and match three to win that jackpot.
- Matching symbols - the jackpot on some slots can be won by landing specific symbols on the reels, just like any other winning combination. The combo might trigger a jackpot win directly, or it might grant access to a jackpot round where a wheel of chance, pick-and-click game or other nerve-racking feature might be waiting!
Aim for high RTP jackpot slots
A higher RTP theoretically means more is returned to players in winnings. Jackpot slots typically have lower RTPs than other games when playing for the jackpot, so don’t lose out any more than you have to and find a good mix of high RTP, engaging features, and jackpot potential.
Which are the biggest jackpots?
If you’re the type to aim high, then you’ll probably want to know which jackpots are the biggest, and here they are in descending order of largest payout...
- Seed: £1 million (Mega Jackpot)
- Largest payout: €17,879,645.12 (online) / €18,915,872.81 (land-based)
Mega Moolah holds the Guinness world record for the largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game. It’s available on more than 10 different slots that all present the same 4 jackpots - mini, minor, major and mega.
Mega Moolah is also an interesting choice in that these games have varying levels of volatility available. If you'd like to see regular small payouts while you wait patiently for the big one to drop, then the Mega Moolah: The Witch’s Moon could be the game for you. One of the favourite medium volatility titles is Absolootely Mad and Immortal Romance is arguably the most popular high-volatility game from the line-up.
- Seed: €2 million (WowPot)
- Largest payout: €17,529,047.11 (April 2021)
The WowPot jackpot is a lesser known jackpot, probably due to it only being available on a handful of games. However, it is the largest seeded jackpot out there, and although Mega Moolah currently still holds the record for largest payout, the WowPot will soon smash that as it sits at a whopping €26.5million ready to drop!
- Seed: £500,000 (Mega Jackpot)
- Largest payout: €2.4million (March 2023)
Dream Drop is a relatively new jackpot having only launched in 2022, but already has over 10 slots in its network and has created seven millionaires. The games are produced by Relax Gaming and include some of the most innovative gameplay in the industry.
Try your hand at Snake Arena: Dream Drop, Temple Tumble 2, and Pine of Plinko for your chance to grab some of the big cash prizes. These games feature 5 progressive jackpots including Rapid, Midi, Maxi, Major and Mega.
Where to play jackpot slots
The following selection of slot sites will provide everything you need and more. Don't forget to check out the welcome bonuses available at each one that may help sway your decision.
One of our favourite jackpot slot sites is Paddy Power. This brand has years of experience and has built an amazing reputation. It offers regular exciting promotions for new and existing players and has a key focus on daily jackpots.
It has a simple but sleek website that is easy to navigate with a host of entertainment available including jackpot slots, regular casino games, live casino and sports betting.
Its range of jackpot slots includes:
- Red Tiger Daily Jackpot
- Jackpot King
- Age of the Gods Jackpot
- Gladiator Jackpot
- Kingdoms Rise Jackpot
- Sporting Legends Jackpot
- Mega Jackpots
- Grease Jackpot
- Chests of Plenty Jackpot
As a customer at Paddy Power, you will also get access to some exclusive releases that you just can't find at other sites. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse and on the best jackpot slots spin button at the same time, there is no better place to turn than this brand.
Videoslots does exactly what it says on the tin - video slots. It has one of the biggest ranges of games available anywhere in the world which includes jackpot slots. You'll find over 9,000 slot titles with regular promos for new and existing customers, plus a great choice of live and classic table games as well.
Look out for titles such as Dream Drop, Red Tiger Daily Jackpot, Jackpot King, Age of the Gods Jackpot, Mega Jackpots, Powerplay Jackpot, WowPot, Mega Moolah, Grease Jackpot and Chests of Plenty Jackpot.
MrQ offers a good range of jackpot slots including fixed jackpots such as Amazing Link Fates and Wild Link Cleopatra. Beyond these, you can also play jackpot slots that include Jackpot King, Fluffy Favourites Jackpot, Mega Moolah Jackpot and Super Lion Jackpot.
This simple and uncomplicated brand makes it easy for you to find everything you need and also offers trademark super-fast withdrawals that attract loyal players from all over the country. MrQ also offers live casino games and bingo.
LeoVegas boasts well over 2,000 games including jackpot slots. Their jackpots area hosts an enviable array of games including WowPot, Mega Moolah, Jackpot King, Hall of Gods, Mega Jackpots, Major Millions, Divine Fortune, Red Tiger Daily Jackpot, and Megapays. Don’t forget LeoVegas’s own jackpot connected with LeoVegas Cluster Gems, LeoVegas Megaways, Wild Mantra, Avatars Gateway Guardians and Star Supreme.
The LeoVegas brand has been going for over 10 years and in that time, it has built up a reputation as one of the UK's favourite places to play jackpot slots.