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Progressive Slots: What Are They and How Do They Work?


Featuring jackpot prizes that can be significant or even life-changing, progressive jackpots are fascinating slot games to play online. In this article, we delve deep into the basics and other fundamentals of progressive slot games. We also explain how progressive slot machines can trigger the jackpot prize. Read on!

A look at the basics and the workings of progressive jackpots

Progressive slots are online slot games that come with progressive jackpots attached. A progressive slot game’s top payout increases until it is won by a player, unlike other slot games with a fixed payout.

Depending on your chosen progressive slot game, the jackpot prize can start at a few hundred dollars and go all the way up to millions of dollars. To offer such huge prizes, a part of each player’s wager is added to the final jackpot amount. Also, keep in mind that the regular prizes in many progressive slot games aren’t always substantial.

When playing progressive jackpot slots, players need to wager the maximum number of coins on each to be eligible for the jackpot prize. If you don’t, you may not be able to claim the progressive jackpot even after lining up the required combination of slot machine symbols.

The working of progressive slots is quite straightforward to understand. In progressive slots, the jackpot amount keeps increasing until someone wins it. Jackpots rise by adding a percentage of each wager to the total jackpot. After winning, the jackpot amount is reset to a predetermined level and rises again.

The different types of progressive jackpot slots explained

In the world of online slots, there are three main types of progressive slot games. And each of these progressive slot types differs in terms of payouts offered and the number of players taking part. Below we’ve explained these progressive slot types in more detail:

Standalone progressives

As the name suggests, this progressive jackpot type is limited to just a single slot machine. Here, a percentage of each player’s bet on that slot machine is added to the final jackpot amount. As standalone jackpots aren’t linked to a wider network, the amount offered is usually lower than the other two types.

Local progressives

Also referred to as “in-house jackpots”, local progressives are linked between several machines within a short distance. Due to their nature, land-based gambling venues usually offer local progressive slots. As wagers from multiple machines contribute to the final jackpot amount here, these machines have bigger jackpot rewards than standalone machines.

Network progressives

Also referred to as wide-area progressives, these machines come with some of the biggest jackpot prizes. This is because network progressives are usually linked across multiple online or mobile casinos. The chances of grabbing the final prize in network slots are slim, but the amount can be life-changing if won.

How are progressive jackpots triggered?

As with other online slot types, the way progressive jackpots get triggered varies from one software provider to another. While certain progressive jackpots can only be won during specific bonus rounds, others require you to line up specific symbols on slots paylines. Here are some of the most common ways to trigger jackpots in these slots:

Jackpot wheel mode

Some progressive slots with high slot machine volatility come with a jackpot wheel mode that can be activated by lining up specific symbols on the reels. Upon triggering, players are transferred to a different screen and offered the chance to spin the reels.

The different jackpot amounts that can be claimed on the progressive wheel are listed. As a player, you just need to click on ‘Spin’ to initiate the spinning of the wheel. The jackpot prize is then awarded to you as the final prize. After this, the jackpot amount reverts to its initial level again.

Matching symbols

Matching symbols is another way to trigger the jackpot prize in progressive slots. Just as in regular online slot games, there must be a winning combination to win. The number of symbols players need to match to trigger the bonus feature depends on your chosen progressive slot game.

Collect 3 symbols

This jackpot-triggering option is simple to understand. Here, you need to collect 3 symbols to claim the jackpot prize. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, lining up the three symbols that trigger the jackpot prize is the most difficult task to do in progressive slots.