How Do Progressive Slots Work? An Essential Guide

Loving the thrill of gambling and the ever-present chances of winning big? 

Who isn’t, right?

So, why not learn about progressive jackpots, the sometimes-elusive but always-exciting casino game that offers each player the opportunity to win life-changing cash? That’s why we took it upon ourselves to explain everything we know about the game and give you some tips for winning big payouts

So how do progressive slots work? If you keep reading, you’ll find out!

How Do Progressive Slots Work?

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the article, let’s explain what progressive jackpots are in slots.  

A progressive jackpot is a casino game with a growing prize pool. Here, the longer the game goes on without a player winning the jackpot, the higher the pot gets. And when we say “higher,” we mean it – some progressive jackpots have reached over $20 million!

This means that by playing more, the jackpot intended for the winner gets higher and higher. Once a lucky winner comes along and acquires the prize, the jackpot resets to a predetermined amount and starts to build again as new players bet

These jackpots are available in various casino games, but they’re mostly tied to slot machines, and to some – they’ve even become synonymous. But not every slot machine has a progressive jackpot, and not every jackpot is on a slot machine. In fact, the ones that offer these prizes are usually ostentatiously displayed. 

Here’s what you’ll need to know before playing progressive jackpots:

The Contribution

As with any casino game, you’ll have to put down a deposit, a.k.a a wager, to be able to play. Such is the case for any progressive jackpot, as well. 

To have a shot at winning, players must contribute the maximum bet. This amount is different for each machine, so familiarize yourself with the conditions before hopping on to play. 

In terms of growing the money, the casino takes a small percentage of all bets and puts it toward the jackpot to increase its value. 

The Seed

When a player is lucky enough to win a progressive game, the casino resets the jackpot to a base value known as the seed. From here, it will start building back up when new players make wagers, and the process repeats itself. 

Every game with a progressive jackpot has a specific seed value that you should know. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Mini Jackpot – 10.00
  • Minor Jackpot – 100.00
  • Major Jackpot – 10,000.00
  • Mega Jackpot – 1,000,000.00

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to tell which jackpots have recently been paid off and avoid them due to the smaller value or the fewer chances of winning.  

Types of Progressive Slots

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t only one progressive jackpot. On the contrary, there are 3 primary types that you’ll come across when entering a casino

Here’s a brief overview of each one:

Standalone Slots

As the name suggests, standalone slots are slot machines that aren’t connected to any other machine. Therefore, this means that the prize pool is limited to the money put in by the players of only one machine.

Usually, these slots have smaller progressive jackpots and a lower stake due to the fewer players, but they possess higher winning odds than the other types. 

Local Jackpots

Progressive jackpots tied to a group of machines in the same casino are known as local jackpots. With this type, every time someone plays one of the machines and makes a contribution, the prize pool grows for all the games in the network. 

Thus, the more machines there are in a local network, the higher the jackpot. Although these slot games offer a moderate winning probability, they provide handsome payouts to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. 

Network Progressive Slots

And for the big guns – the wide network progressive slots. These machines are connected to other machines in casinos all over the city, county, or even the world. So, this means that the prize pools can get incredibly high (typically into the millions) because of the sheer number of players contributing.

Of course, this also means that your odds of winning are much lower than with the previous jackpots.


Progressive Slots Win Strategies

So how do you win at a progressive slot game? As these games are purely luck-based, there isn’t a strategy that can guarantee a win. 

However, there are some things you can do that might qualify as a progressive slots strategy, and we’ve even got a whole article about the topic. Here are some of them:

Winning at Random

This progressive slots strategy is pretty straightforward, as all you have to do is keep playing until you hit the jackpot. The more you play, the higher your chances of winning become. Plus, you won’t have to bet the maximum wager or play bonus games to become eligible for the payout.

Hitting Symbol Combination

You can win some progressive jackpots by hitting certain symbols on a designated payline. If you hit 7s on all reels or get a specific symbol sequence, you’ll trigger the jackpot and make yourself a happy player. 

But instead of just playing aimlessly until you hit the jackpot, ensure you know the winning combination before you start. 

Playing Bonus Games

You can only win many progressive jackpots by playing a bonus game. Usually, this requires a bonus round added to the base game that determines your jackpot. Namely, you might have to spin a prize wheel, pick cards, or match symbols to win a corresponding prize. 

Additionally, some slot machines might even give you free spins as part of the bonus round, so make sure you take full advantage of them. 

Must-Drop Jackpots

A must-drop jackpot is a progressive slots game that’s guaranteed to drop the money by a specific time. So, the longer the jackpot goes without being hit, the higher the chance of a winner soon. These machines will trigger it by a strict predetermined deadline, attracting many players looking to win. 

However, as these jackpots garner much attention, remember that you won’t be the only one rushing to play before the deadline. 

Random Number Generators

Slot machines, particularly video slots, are governed by a random number generator (RNG), which ensures fair play. Such is the case for progressive jackpots as well. Here, the RNGs determine when the jackpot or bonus will be triggered, and we regular players might call that simple luck. 

But when the machine randomly selects a winner, it can be you!


We’ve answered many questions in this comprehensive article:

  • How do progressive slots work?
  • What are the types of progressive jackpots?
  • Is there a progressive slots strategy that works best?

With this, we hope you’ve acquired enough information to be able to walk up to that progressive slot machine confidently, look at its screen, and win its mounting jackpot. 

So what are you waiting for? Start playing to be the next lucky winner!


Are progressive slots worth it?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on your personal preferences, as do all things. But if you enjoy playing slots and are looking for the chance to win a life-changing amount of money, then progressive slots are worth considering. On the other hand, your odds of winning are relatively low, so you should only play with money you can afford to lose.

How to play progressive slots?

The best way to play and win at progressive slots is to bet the maximum amount of coins. By extension, this will give you the best chance of hitting the jackpot or unlocking any bonus features that could help you win.

Is it better to play progressive slots?

There is no definitive answer here. Some people enjoy playing progressive slots because of the thrill of the chase and the possibility of winning big. But for some, the low odds of winning might be reason enough to search for slots with higher return-to-player percentages (RTP).

What triggers a progressive jackpot?

There is no one specific thing that triggers a progressive jackpot. Some machines rely on a bonus game, others on a random number generator or a deadline. The exact requirements will vary from machine to machine, so make sure to check the rules before you start playing.

What are the odds of hitting a progressive slot machine?

The odds of hitting a progressive jackpot are usually quite low, but they vary from machine to machine. Generally, your chances of winning are between 50 and 100 million to 1, but some slots might have better odds.

How do you win the progressive jackpot in Casino?

You can win the progressive jackpots if you make the maximum bet, get the winning symbol combination, play before the deadline, win at the bonus games, or just play as much as you can.


Toni always had an appetite for learning new things and random facts about almost everything, which is why when he got offered the job to work as a content writer he took it without hesitation. Writing daily took his love for words and research to a whole new level, and made him realize that this is a career he would love to pursue. Although he spends most of his time researching his next piece, you can also find him on the football court, in the gym, or at home with a book in his hand.

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