What are Progressive Slots?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Progressive slots are slot machines for which the jackpot continues to grow. The jackpot is progressive, growing with each bet gamblers make. The final jackpot, which is only determined when someone wins, is taken from a percentage of all the bets played on a group of machines or a single slot machine. On a progressive slot machine, a person may win an award without getting the progressive jackpot. This is because progressive machines only pay out their maximum jackpot when someone hits on the particular winning symbols designated for the jackpot.

Some progressive slots are linked between casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
Some progressive slots are linked between casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

It's important to note that there are different types of progressive slots. A standalone machine is not linked to other slots; this type typically has a fixed jackpot, which is calculated from a percentage of all the bets made on that machine. Like other types of progressive slots, the jackpot gets higher with each amount bet. Usually, these machines have meters on the front that let the gambler know how much the progressive jackpot is currently. In most cases, standalone machines offer a lower payout than progressive machines that are linked together.

Progressive slots are associated with large cash jackpots.
Progressive slots are associated with large cash jackpots.

In-house progressive machines are groups of slot machines that are linked together and operated by a particular casino. In some cases, however, progressive slots may be linked to machines that are not in one casino. Usually, this happens when one company owns more than one casino and decides to link its progressive slots together. These machines tend to offer big monetary awards and prizes, and they typically offer more impressive winnings than standalone machines.

There are also wide-area progressive slots; they are usually linked together but are not operated by just one casino or gaming company. Instead, these machines are linked to those in many different casinos, which may be owned by different companies. They tend to offer huge winnings; in fact, some of the jackpots listed on wide-area progressive machines are so large that a person who wins one could quit his job and lead an entirely different lifestyle. Though the awards on all of these progressive machines can be quite high, the odds of winning the prizes can be rather low. The odds of winning on one of these wide-area slots can be similar to those for winning a mega lottery ticket payout.

The final jackpot of a progressive slot machine is only determined when a person wins.
The final jackpot of a progressive slot machine is only determined when a person wins.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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