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How to Win at Progressive Slots

Winning a progressive jackpot – the Big Kahuna of jackpots – is what every gambler dreams about. To win at progressive slots, however, you have to know what you’re doing. Learn everything there is know about progressive slots and – only afterward – start playing. Take a little extra time before you put in the first coin and that progressive jackpot could be headed your way.

When you play in online casinos, you may find the same type of slot on more than one site. Sometimes, these machines are “linked,” and, together, they offer a progressive jackpot. Because many players on many machines are contributing to this jackpot, which is constantly growing, the amount in the pot is very big, sometimes over a million dollars. The bets of all players accumulate until one lucky player hits the pre-determined combination. A computer, specifically a Random Number Generator, determines the outcome of these progressive slots.

Lines and Reels are the Building Blocks of the Progressive Slots Jackpot

The basic goal of any slot machine, including a progressive slot, is to form a line (or lines) of symbols in winning combinations. Each of these lines is called a “pay line.” The online slot is made of reels and pay lines - as many as 7 reels, and from 1 pay line to 45. The reels have symbols and, when they stop spinning, the symbols line up to form combinations, starting from left to right. Every progressive slot will pay out differently depending on the specific slot’s “pay table.” Each progressive slots game has its own set of odds, its own symbol combinations, its own special features, its own minimum and maximum bet and coin size, its own jackpot and, therefore, its own payouts. Therefore it’s always important to read, review and understand the pay table before playing a slot machine.

Did You Know There Are Three Kinds of Progressive Slots?

The big progressive slots jackpots are created by taking a percentage of all the money played into the machine. This means that the jackpot continues to grow as more and more people play the game until somebody hits the winning combination of symbols for the top prize. There are actually three different types of progressive slot machines:

1. The Stand-Alone Progressive - this machine is not linked to any other machine. Instead of having a fixed top jackpot, it takes a percentage of the coins played and adds that to the award for the highest winning combination. It has a meter on the front of the machine that shows the jackpot as it grows. The progressive jackpots for stand-alone slot machines are lower than the ones from machines that are linked together.

2. In-House Progressive (also known as proprietary progressives) - these are a group of machines linked together and owned and operated by the casino. They may be in a single casino or linked together on a few connected sites. The jackpots may not be the multi-million variety, but they can be hefty. They generally hit more often that the big wide-area progressive slots.

3. Wide-Area Progressives (also known as linked slots) - these are the machines that offer the biggest jackpots. The slots are linked together from many unrelated casinos. These machines are operated by an independent gaming company. The casinos share in a percentage of the winnings, but the operator owns the games.

The constantly growing amount of the jackpot is displayed wherever the game can be played. If a player wins – anywhere, on any site – the amount in the jackpot goes back to the beginning level and the progression starts anew. Progressive slots offer the biggest jackpots but they also take the most money – to win the big prize, you have to bet on all the pay lines (which means you have to put in the maximum number of coins). It takes money to make money – that’s the progressive-slot motto.

Is There a Formula for How to Win at Progressive Slots?

Because slots are games of chance, it’s hard to find a strategy that works. To win at progressive slots you have to get lucky – pure and simple. But there are tips that should be kept in mind when you play the slots. First, always study the pay table to know how many coins are required and which machines pay the most with the smallest investment. If you’re going for the jackpot in a progressive slot, don’t forget to play the maximum – it’d be a shame to hit the winning combo only to discover you short-changed the game. Money management is a key ingredient to happy slot playing. Set limits for yourself and decide beforehand when to stop. If you want your bankroll to last longer, find machines with smaller coin values – you may not win as much but you’ll have fun for a longer amount time.

Progressive slots usually require the maximum bet in order to win the entire jackpot. If you’re unsure about the requirements for betting and payouts, remember that all slot machines have the information you need posted on the front. Before you begin to play, take a minute to "read" the machine. Any way you cut it, progressive slots are the monster slots that everyone thinks about when they hear the word “jackpot.” The chances of winning a progressive slot are sort of like the chances of winning the lottery. Playing the progressive slots is not something one should do as a steady activity. But nothing is more exciting, more entertaining and more tempting that a great progressive slot.