Whether you are a recreational or professional gambler, everyone who has played at an online or land based casino has imagined the riches that come with winning a progressive jackpot. A progressive jackpot is a chain of slot machines, video slot machines, card games or speciality games that are linked together to create a large pooled jackpot. If you play a casino game that forms part of a network, a percentage of your wager is added to the pooled prize each time you place a bet. In other words, every time a wager is placed on the linked machines the jackpot grows, because each of the linked machines contributes a small amount to the total. A part of the thrill of playing a progressive jackpot machine is watching the total jackpot increase incrementally with each bet you make. Progressive jackpots are often associated with slot machines, but other casino games, such as Poker, Blackjack and speciality games like Bingo and Keno also offer players options.
The First Progressive Jackpots
The popularity of progressive jackpots started at land based casinos, long before the rise of online gaming. A casino group that owned a number of casinos would link machines from one casino to machines at another gambling establishment, creating the first networked jackpots. Players from different casinos thus play for the same jackpot prize and today, at online casinos, players from across the globe play for the same prize money. As many players can simultaneously contribute to the jackpot, progressives grow more rapidly than the jackpots featured on ordinary casino games. Many online casino enthusiasts monitor the progress of certain well-known jackpot games and start playing as soon as the jackpot reaches a certain size. There are dedicated sites online that inform players of the size of various popular jackpots. When word gets out that a progressive game has gathered a large jackpot and is tipping in favour of players many online gamers rush to join the play in the hope of winning. As a result, progressives can quickly swell to extremely large proportions. Some of the highest jackpots won on slot machines include £1 295 594, $4 170 128, and €374 434 – all these jackpots were won on Microgaming’s immensely popular Mega Moolah slot.
Microgaming: Leading the Progressive Jackpot Network Industry
Microgaming was the first online gaming software provider to introduce networks to the internet and has been at the forefront of progressive games ever since. The software company holds the most online progressive games, totaling an impressive 41 progressive games. As mentioned above, their Mega Moolah progressive slots are very popular. Microgaming’s network has paid out more than €375 million since its introduction to the internet.
Winning the Jackpot: Rules that Apply to Blackjack Jackpots
With many progressive games, players need to hit the highest winning combination in order to win the big jackpot. This is usually the case with slot machines, but with other jackpot games, the rules differ. For example, when you play Blackjack, an additional bet is placed on a separate part of the table to make the player eligible to win the progressive. The cards needed to win the progressives differ at different casinos, but an ace card often triggers prizes. Unlike slots, players do not need to land the exact blackjack winning combination in order to win a part of the jackpot. If you are dealt an ace card in your first cards the casino will usually pay the player a small prize. At online casinos, Blackjack progressives can reach large proportions, as so many players play online simultaneously.
Winning at Progressive Video Poker
Video Poker machines that offer progressives are also extremely popular. In most cases, players need to gain a Royal Flush in order to best the progressives on Video Poker machines. However, as with Blackjack, some Video Poker versions will award players smaller prizes for a good hand or specific cards. Microgaming’s progressive poker network game Poker Ride, for example, awards players 10% percent of the jackpot if they have a Straight Flush (at land based casinos the same rules apply).
Progressive Roulette and Speciality Games
Other popular casino games, such as Roulette, Keno and Bingo also provide players with options. Microgaming’s Roulette Royale is an exciting variant that offers players an additional win if any number repeats, even if the player did not bet on that number. The progressive jackpot in this game is unlocked if the same number repeats 5 times in a row. A single casino game can also offer players more than one prize. Microgaming has different sized progressives for certain slots, where the progressive size depends on the amount that is wagered. For example, The Dark Knight progressive slot has four different levels, depending on the outcome of the reels. These levels include the mini, minor, major and mega.
The Cycle of Jackpots
Once a progressive jackpot has been won the jackpot size will go down to the starting point and the whole process will begin again. Many players only play progressive machines once the jackpot has reached a lucrative size, believing that once a certain size is reached, the game is more likely to pay out quickly. However, as with most casino games, the size of the jackpot does not influence when the jackpot will be struck and players should be wary of the dangers of chasing progressive jackpots.