A jackpot is one of the key focal points of many online casinos; they don’t just give players the chance to win life-changing amounts of money in a matter of seconds, but they also give the casinos fantastic exposure and advertising opportunities – both in terms of the jackpot size currently on offer and when winners scoop the prizes.
What is a Progressive Jackpot and How Do They Work?
Well, while progressive jackpots are usually found on slot games, there are many differing games that now offer a jackpot total and this total is funded by players playing the games. For example, each time a player pays for a spin on a video slot jackpot game, a small percentage of that player’s stake will be used to grow the jackpot. Over time, and with thousands, or even millions of players gaming over time, these jackpots can grow to tremendous sums, often breaking through 6 or 7-figures.
Types of Progressive Jackpots
There are three main progressive jackpot types, although most players will only ever encounter two of these variations.
A standalone progress jackpot machine is one that’s found within an actual gaming institution, whether it be a casino, a bookmaker, or even a pub fruit machine. The standalone jackpot is unique to that specific machine only, and means that only money paid directly into that machine contributes towards the jackpot. When a player hits the jackpot, they’ll win that machines jackpot.
Local Progressive Jackpots
Local progressives are a type you may well be more familiar with, and instead of a specific machine holding its own jackpot, all machines, or games, within either a building, or within an online casino, share the same jackpot. For example, as this article talks primarily of online-based progressive jackpots, let’s assume an online casino offers an exclusive jackpot amount on one of their slot games.
Each time a player spins the slot, a slot portion of their stake is added to the jackpot amount, and this figure continues to total until a player wins the jackpot. Acting much like the standalone progressives, local progressive jackpots allow the prize pools to become far-higher and, due to online casinos not having physical machines, the jackpot amount can rise rapidly as hundreds – even thousands – of players play the game at a single time.
Global Progressive Jackpots
By far the most common form of progressive jackpots today, a global progressive jackpot is much like the local progressive – although instead of being unique to one casino, it’s shared amongst multiple online casinos. This allows the jackpot amount to reach substantial amounts of money, and while they can take many months, or even years to be won, they offer players, at different casinos, the chance to win huge sums of money.
Progressive Jackpot Game Types
Progressive jackpots – particularly online – are generally assumed to be specific to slots, or video slots more commonly, and while they are indeed predominantly found as parts of slot games, there are also other forms of games which incorporate a progressive jackpot element. Below, we cover some of the more popular games.
Heralded as the main type of progressive jackpot, video slots offer huge jackpot figures, and, thanks to their rising popularity, are easy to reach high 6 and 7-figures, allowing players to win – potentially million-pound-jackpots – from as little as pennies per spin. Many of the video slot jackpots are broken down in 2, 3, or 4 parts with some variations offering the main jackpot – the highest figure – alongside lower values – thought easier for players to win.
Caribbean Stud Poker
While not one of the most popular casino table games around, Caribbean Stud Poker has risen in popularity due to the rise in online casinos and many players now enjoy what used to be a classic casino game from their computers and mobile devices. Caribbean Stud Poker offers a unique progressive jackpot structure, namely because it requires you to place a separate side bet in order to qualify for the game. On most variations, this is typically £1. We won’t cover the game specifics here, but quickly – Caribbean Stud Poker revolves around poker hands, and if you play the progressive side bet, and make a winning poker hand, you will win a percentage of the jackpot. The hands that pay, generally start from 3-of-a-kind upwards, with the Royal Flush awarding the main jackpot.
Roulette Progressive Jackpot
While different casinos use a different progressive jackpot system for Roulette, the most prevalent of the progressive games available is the Microgaming version, which doesn’t require players to place a separate side bet. All of the regular Roulette rules apply during the progressive version, and when you place your bet, a tiny amount of your bet sizing is placed in the progressive fund. To scoop the jackpot, you’ll need to land the same number five times in a row, while playing on the progressive table (at which point the jackpot’s yours!).
Unlike Roulette, progressive Blackjack games are dime a dozen, and both online and offline casinos are known for offering variations. There are different options available, but as a general rule of thumb, the Blackjack rules themselves don’t change without payouts also unaffected. The jackpot is usually based on the player drawing a certain number of specific cards – either on their own, or in combination with the dealers. While this is usually four of the same-suited Ace, some games offer different card values. For the most part, players will win 100% of the jackpot for being dealt four Aces of the same suit, with a set percentage also given for four cards of the same colour, but different suit, as well as four cards of the same value, but different colours/suits.
Progressive jackpots can also be found in Video Poker – another less-played online casino game. But again, like Caribbean Stud poker, one that has been enjoyed in land-based casinos for many years. Generally, the progressive jackpots are awarded on the player being dealt the Royal Flush, and it’s important to note you are usually required to be playing at the maximum coin/bet value in order to qualify for the jackpot. Playing at a lesser value, and hitting a Royal Flush, will often award a machine-specific jackpot – typically 1, 2, or 5,000 coins, instead of the progressive version.
Specific Jackpots Worth Mentioning
While it’s counterproductive to talk about specific jackpot amounts here (as they are subject to change at any moment), some games generally are regarded as ‘famous’ within the progressive jackpot world, and while players do occasionally win these jackpots, it’s generally not long before they climb back. The Mega Fortune range are most notable, due to them being (at the time of writing) the two highest-paying progressives, both sharing the same jackpot amount – currently over £6 million. Jackpot Giant is another notable name with its highest total reaching well-over £4 million.
Perhaps the most notable of all game jackpots is the Mega Moolah and Mega Moolah ISIS titles, which, share the same jackpot amount, and are known for their staggering payouts. In fact, one lucky player from New Zealand won just over £6 Million in 2016 playing on Casinoland.
Throughout the history of online casinos there have been hundreds of jackpot winners, and many lives have changed significantly due to a single spin on the slot machines. Below we look at 5 of the biggest progressive wins ever – who knows, maybe your name will be added one day!
- £6.3 Million – Mega Moolah: This jackpot was won by an anonymous player on the 28th August, 2016, and to date, the player’s age, location, and name have remained a secret. Playing at Zodiac Casino, the lucky player scooped the staggering jackpot using the casinos unique ’80 Chances To Become A Millionaire’ promotion, which required players to deposit just £1 to begin playing – the lucky player certainly got his ‘quid’s worth’!
- £7.3 Million – Mega Fortune Mega: Net Entertainment’s version of Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune Mega is another title that features huge jackpots. On the 28th November, 2015, Alexander – a Swedish player – scooped the jackpot! The 30-year-old went on to tell media he planned on using the money to treat him and his wife to a holiday, pay off their mortgage and purchase a new car.
- £9.6 Million – Mega Fortune: Third on the list, and already it’s the second time Net Entertainment’s Mega Fortune has appeared! Betsson Casino was where the lucky winner – Huw Thomas, from Norway – won the life-changing sum of money, and he went on to state that he couldn’t sleep until 6:00am due to the shock of winning. This win was also notable, as it set the World Record (at the time) for being the largest jackpot win in history.
- £13.3 Million – Mega Moolah: Mega Moolah, again, makes the list, this time for making Jonathon Heywood, from Cheshire in the United Kingdom a multi-millionaire. A 26-year-old soldier, the lucky player won the staggering amount of money of a singular 25p spin, and said it ‘couldn’t have come at a better time’, as his father was seriously unwell. He went on to tell media that he planned to use the money to get his dad the treatment he needed, even if it meant spending every last penny – a very deserving winner in our eyes!
- £14.4 Million – Mega Fortune: Making its way onto the list for the third time, Net Entertainment’s Mega Fortune currently holds the record for the biggest jackpot ever paid out, and coming at over £14 Million, it’s a sizeable sum of money for most! The jackpot was won by a 40-year-old Finnish man who was playing at PAF – a popular Scandinavian gambling website – and the bet was won off a miniscule 25p stake – proving fortunes can be won playing ‘micro’ stakes!
In Sum: Progressive Jackpots Do Pay Out… Eventually!
As you can see, progressive jackpots clearly have the ability the change players’ lives, and with software company’s paying out millions of pounds every year to lucky jackpot winners, these staggering sums of money are being won! With almost all casino websites now offering jackpot games, there’s no reason not to try and hit one of the lucrative wins, and as you can see from the winners above, you don’t have to be playing at large stakes to win big – in fact, the two biggest wins were both won on the minimum stake; proof you can bet at any stake and be in with a chance of winning! If you want to be in with the chance of winning life-changing money, make sure you play at a reputable casino that will have no hesitation in paying you out.