Progressive slots

Progressive slots are one of a number of different video slot types. These are becoming increasingly popular in recent years due to their rather high payouts.

Essentially, progressive slots are jackpot slots that have a constantly increasing jackpot. This is possible, as the slot will take a small percentage of any wager that is made by the player using it. The reason that these slots can rack up such huge jackpots is that they are linked.

In the past, in land-based casinos, these types of progressive slots were often standalone, meaning that only bets made on that specific machine would add to the jackpot. The exact same game right next to it could have a higher jackpot simply because it hadn’t been won yet or more people had played on it.

Linked progressives

The next step was linked progressives. These appeared when casinos linked these same games within their own casino, meaning that the jackpot was combined across the same game machines. This of course increased the amount of the jackpot at a faster rate. Now, though, with online casinos, progressive jackpots are linked on a vastly wider scale.

Though simply called progressives, these online versions are linked globally within the network. Even though they are linked together in the single casino, these games are spread internationally, meaning that a large number of people can all be playing the same game simultaneously and all contributing to its jackpot.

With people in all time zones, the jackpot can continue to tick upwards even when the player is asleep. This has enabled these progressives to reach extraordinary sums on a regular basis with some of the most well-known progressive slots reaching the multimillions and being won very often. In some cases, the progressive may also be linked across casinos that all run the same gaming software and can further increase the jackpot.

How to play

Playing a progressive jackpot is exactly the same as playing any other slot online. First, the player needs to find an online casino that they like and make an account there. Once that has been activated, they will need to make a deposit. This can be any value from the minimum amount permitted by the casino through to the maximum depending on their budget.

Unlike other slot games, progressives cannot be played in demo version therefore the player will need to have money in their account with which to play. Once that has been accomplished the player can then head over to the progressive jackpots.

Check the jackpot meters

These are usually displayed in clear lists and will have the jackpot meters clearly displayed above each of the games thus allowing the player to choose which jackpot looks the best at that time. Once the player opens the game, the jackpot meter will be displayed above the reels, so that the player can see the jackpot tick higher.

When playing a progressive, players can place any wager they wish. However, players should note that in order to have a chance at winning the top jackpot, they must be playing with the maximum wager. Landing the jackpot with a smaller wager amount will still reward the player with a win, though it just won’t be as large as if the player was playing at the top amount.

Bonus features

Progressives also feature a large number of bonuses throughout, which also can payout well without the jackpot. These will vary between games, but tend to be along the lines of wilds, expanding wilds, free spins and multipliers. A combination of any or all of these features can still reward the player with a very lucrative payout whatever the bet level and mean that even if a player doesn’t win the jackpot, they can still leave with a decent win.

Free spins in particular can improve winning chances, as they will play the game through a number of times completely free for the player. It should be noted that progressives are rarely, if ever, available for a free spins reward as offered by casinos in welcome bonuses.

Popular progressive slots

There are a number of very popular progressive slots online. This is due to their frequent payouts and also huge jackpots. The most popular progressive is Mega Moolah from Microgaming.

This slot is a rather fun filled Africa-themed extravaganza. The symbols are vibrant and colourful, set in a simple five reel, three row, twenty five payline setup. There are a number of bonus features, which enhance this game’s playability.

Mega Moolah’s bonus features

The first is a Wild lion feature, which is a small reward but nevertheless an easy one. Simply having a lion present in any winning combination will see the player’s money doubled. The free spins game offers a better deal, and is activated by landing a minimum of three scatter symbols. Fifteen free spins are then awarded to the player with any winnings made during this time attached to a triple multiplier.

The big feature here though is the actual progressive. This comes in four different levels, and is triggered at random throughout the game. The higher the wager, the higher the jackpot payout will be. Once triggered, the player will be taken to a wheel of fortune-style game. Players spin the wheel with the hopes of landing the Mega jackpot, which is marked by the single white segment on the wheel. If this is missed, there are still three other jackpots to aim for.

Mega Fortune from NetEnt

NetEnt’s Mega Fortune is another very popular progressive. This one bases itself on the decadent lifestyle a player might enjoy after winning. The symbols are all of expensive items such as cars, jewelry and yachts. Unlike Mega Moolah, the player can trigger the wheel of fortune style game by landing three of the bonus symbols on any of the reels. The wheel itself comprises of four smaller ones, with the centre wheel offering the biggest prizes. However, no matter where the player lands on the reel, they will be awarded with a cash prize of some kind.

Both of these progressives have consistently paid out in the multimillions and are won on a regular basis. When they are won, they will reset at a specified amount, though usually this is already set at over a million coins and the process simply begins again.