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With the tantalising prospect of winning millions from a small stake, it’s no wonder that progressive jackpot slots attract so many contributions from players all over the world. Just like with the lottery, if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the jackpot. 

Looking for the best progressive slots? Take a look at our recommendations for April 2021‘s best progressive jackpot sites. Sign up today to claim your optional welcome bonus and play for some of the biggest prize pools available online. If you’re keen to learn more about how progressive jackpot slots work, we’ve got you covered on that front, too.

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What are Progressive Jackpot Slots?

Progressive jackpot slots are online slot games where the jackpot continuously increases until someone lands the big money. Unlike fixed jackpot slots, where jackpot wins are predetermined at a set figure, progressive jackpots start off very small and build over time as the game attracts more and more bets. Eventually, these jackpots develop into and even beyond seven-figure sums. 

Almost all of the top 20 progressive jackpot wins have been won on Microgaming’s legendary title Mega Moolah. The world record jackpot currently stands at just under €19m, while the British record remains Jon Heywood’s 2015 win of £13m, which he won from a 25p stake. It goes without saying that these are huge but vanishingly rare sums of money to win on an online slot, and the odds of doing so are akin to winning the lottery.  

Nevertheless, online progressive jackpot slots have become a fabled part of an online casino’s arsenal, paying winners enormous sums potentially yielded by bets smaller than the price of a packet of crisps.

Jackpot Payouts Explained

Progressive jackpot slots typically follow one of three routes to the biggest jackpot. The method by which you can win the jackpot will be clearly stated in the paytable, but here’s what each of these three routes mean.

Bonus Round

Just like in a lot of fixed jackpot slots, progressive jackpots often feature bonus rounds that give players the chance to win a big payout. You’ll often be able to tell you’ve triggered the bonus round by a change in visuals and sounds. 

Combination

Combination jackpots are won when players land on a specific combination of in-game symbols. All online slot machines are powered by random number generators (RNG), meaning the frequency of this combination appearing is completely unpredictable.

Random

Random progressive jackpot slots are potentially won on any spin, no matter the combination. 

How to Play Progressive Slot Games

If you’re familiar with how slot machines work, you won’t have any trouble adjusting to progressive jackpot slots. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help steer you in the right direction:

  1. Consult our recommended list of the best progressive jackpot casinos
  2. Find a welcome bonus you like the sound of, click through and sign up to that site
  3. Make your first deposit in line with the welcome bonus
  4. Head over to the progressive slot games
  5. Get to grips with how the game works by playing the free-to-play version first, factoring in the different types of progressive jackpot games
  6. Place your first bet!

Standalone vs Linked Jackpots

There are two major types of progressive jackpot slots: standalone jackpots, and linked jackpots. Standalone jackpots only take contributions from bets made on one specific game; linked jackpots take their contributions from multiple games, with the same single jackpot connected to them all. The number of games linked to one jackpot can range from a few to a few thousand, potentially spanning across lots of different casinos all over the world. Linked jackpots are therefore bigger than standalone jackpots, but the odds of winning shrink in step with the scope of the jackpot.

Other Progressive Jackpot Games

The slots aren’t the only online casino games that benefit from the excitement of progressive jackpots. If you prefer wagering on table games, check out the alternative options below. 

Progressive Blackjack

Progressive blackjack functions in the same way as traditional blackjack, but with a few additional payouts in play. What constitutes an additional jackpot depends on the rules of each variation, but to be in with a chance of taking advantage of these extra paylines, players must stake an additional minimum bet at the beginning of each hand, contributing to an overall side pot. Most progressive blackjack games involve paying out when a series of consecutive aces are dealt to the same player – in these games, if you’re dealt four aces of the same suit in a row, you’ll win the biggest jackpot.   

Progressive Roulette

Progressive roulette games see a small portion of a player’s wager filtered off into a progressive jackpot. Just like progressive blackjack, how players can win this jackpot depends on the game variation. In some cases, the jackpot payout is triggered at random, no matter the size of the wager; in other instances, placing bigger bets gives players a higher chance of landing the jackpot. 

Top Software Developers

Here are some of the biggest software developers in the online progressive jackpot world. 

NetEnt

NetEnt develops the full suite of online casino games – from live dealer table games to standard slots. Its progressive jackpot titles include Arabian Nights and Mega Fortune, which are available to play for free and for real money. NetEnt is one of the biggest names in online casino game development, and you can guarantee quality when you play one of its titles. 

Microgaming

With decades of experience behind it, Microgaming knows how to develop world-class casino games. Having launched both the world’s first online casino software and mobile casino software, it’s well-placed to offer punters a range of online casino experiences. Among its progressive jackpot titles are Mega Moolah, Wow Pot, and Major Millions, all of which have had several jackpot winners claiming well over a million euros. 

Playtech

Playtech’s progressive jackpot games have paid out over half a billion euros since 2009, with its Age of the Gods series among its best-known progressive jackpot titles. Other options include its DC Comics series, and the hugely popular Beach Life.

Variance Explained

Progressive jackpots always have a high variance. This means that payouts are infrequent, but when they occur, players can expect big wins. The best strategy to approaching these games is to pace yourself – although some progressive jackpot games may favour those placing large bets, the chances of winning are still incredibly small, so it’s best not to exhaust your funds. At the same time, bear in mind that a maximum bet feature is present in many progressive slot games. In these games, you only have a shot at the biggest jackpot if you commit the minimum requirement to your wager. The paytable will explain in detail all of the game’s stipulations, so have a look at this to avoid the unbearable disappointment of hitting the jackpot with a bet that hasn’t qualified for the jackpot payout.

Ready to Play a Progressive Slot?

If you like the sound of progressive jackpot slots, then check out the list of the best progressive jackpot casinos and games around. Compare the optional welcome bonuses on offer at each, and put your name in the hat for some of the industry’s biggest prizes.

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