Progressive Slots, Progressive Network Jackpot, And Wide Area Progressive – How Do Progressive Online Casino Games Differ?

Source: Pixabay

The documented habit of gambling goes back a few millennia in human history, with pretty much every ancient civilization engaging in some sort of gambling or sports betting. Casinos aren’t new, either. The first ones came around in 17th-century Italy, and there are solid reasons to believe that old versions of roulette, baccarat and blackjack were already on the menu.

The principles of roulette were invented by Blaise Pascal around 1655. Blackjack is another French game, called initially “vingt-un”. Early accounts of blackjack in French casinos date back to the 18th century, although the game was quoted by Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote two centuries before. Baccarat is an Italian game that has been around since the 15th century. There are records of dice games since the Siege of Troy.

In this context, slots are pretty young. The first machine was invented by Charles Fey, in the United States, in the last years of the 19th century. The machine, called “Liberty Bell”, had only three reels and a single payline. Soon, the machine was all over bars, casinos, and other gambling houses. If time travels were a thing, Charles Fey would surely be amazed to see his invention today. Here, we’ll talk about jackpots that never crossed Charles Fey’s mind.

Online Casinos And Spinning Odds

When you see someone winning millionaire prizes on slots in the news, you can bet it was in a progressive jackpot game. However, it’s important to understand how jackpots work before we get to progressive jackpots and their nuances. You can also try demo versions of progressive slots at online casinos and see how they work in action without risking a dime.

You’ll understand better how jackpots work on slots if you look at them like their owners. What’s fun for you is a business for online and land-based casinos, which means it has to be profitable for them. You need to be quite lucky to have any profit at all on slots, but for their owners, profit comes by design. This fundamental principle stands for all types of jackpots, regardless of their size. In other words, the house always wins.

Random number generators, or RNGs, calculate the chance of hitting the jackpot in online casinos. Those generators make sure that results are entirely unpredictable. Also, they set the odds of the game with algorithms that define the return to player (RTP) rate. Understandably, the jackpot is the hardest combination to hit and comes out quite rarely.

Fixed vs. Progressive

There are several types of jackpots, but they can be divided into two main categories: fixed and progressive. Fixed jackpots are those where the highest prize is always the same. Three cracked bells on Fey’s machine would always pay 50 cents, no matter how many players gambled before the lucky winner.

Progressive jackpots, on the other hand, are affected by the gambling amount. It has a starting value which increases until someone is awarded. Then, the jackpot is reset to its initial value. There are no limits for progressive jackpots; they accumulate indefinitely until a winning combination finally comes out.

Progressions In Different Ways

Now that you know what fixed and progressive jackpots are, let’s have a look at other kinds of progressive jackpots. Although the basic principle remains the same, it has different nuances. Check them below.

Progressive Network Jackpot

Network jackpots are among the latest hypes in online casinos. They aggregate several machines, contributing to one massive jackpot. Mega Moolah, by Microgaming, is an excellent example of a progressive network jackpot. In 2021, Mega Moolah’s network was awarded a total of nearly €150 million. Not by chance, more online casinos are looking for jackpot aggregation solutions.

Wide Area Progressive

Wide area jackpots connect the main prize to different casinos in the same region, even from different owners. In this case, all machines in the same area contribute to the total amount. Such a system creates a possibility for much higher prizes since there are so many machines contributing to the pot.


There are also options where only bets placed on the machine contribute to the prize. Standalone jackpots were already available in land-based casinos; the first-ever winner took home $4,988,842.17 in 1987. Naturally, they became all the craze when the first online versions came out in 2016, released by IGT, the same company that premiered the system for land-based machines in the 80s.

Chasing Rainbows

Soure: Pixabay

Dreaming about jackpots is the closest most players will ever get to them. Your chances of hitting the top prize on Mega Moolah are 1 in 24,918,016. The odds for land-based Megabucks stay around 1 in 49,836,032.

It’s literally easier to be struck by lightning in the United States, according to the Britannica Encyclopedia: where the odds for this incident are around 1 in 15,300. So, don’t expect to hit the jackpot so quickly, even if you play often. Above all, gamble responsibly and have fun!

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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