In the world of slot machines, there are a lot of different kinds of games that might get a little loving. But all the variety also means that you might not like some games out there at all. Before putting your real money down for a spin at a machine, you should make sure you’ve found the perfect slot for you. If you’ve read our articles on what video slots and bonus slot machines are, then you’re on your way to becoming a slot machine connoisseur. If not, check them out right now!
What is a progressive slot machine?
So, you’ve learned about the first two types of slot machines – what about progressive slots? You’ve surely heard the word “progressive” before, probably in the context of progressive jackpot lotteries. Why are they so popular among gamblers, risk-takers, and general thrill-seekers?
Well, the answer lies in the jackpot. Normal jackpots of any sort have a set amount, and whether two jackpots are won in a row or they are won months apart, the amount doesn’t go up or down too much. But with progressive jackpots, a certain percentage of each bet is put towards the jackpot. So, the more people bet, the more money is allocated to the jackpot. The best part is that the jackpot keeps getting bigger until someone gets the winning combination. Whether it’s slot reels or lottery numbers, there’s no limit to how much you could possibly win! Now you can see why people can’t get enough of progressives, right?
The slots basics
If you want to play a progressive slot – and if you’ve got an inkling of common sense – you would want to play on a machine with the highest possible jackpot. The most common set up has the slot with an LCD screen somewhere on the machine. The number displayed on this screen tells you the current amount that the progressive is worth. Sometimes the number will continue to rise on the screen even if no one is currently playing. This is possible because progressive machines are often hooked up with a bunch of other machines, and the money made from each machine is put towards a joint jackpot.
While you may get worried that so many others are competing for the same prize, it also means that in a cluster of say, about five machines, the progressive fund can increase up to five times faster than a single machine! It works a little different with online slots, only because a single slots game can be played by an indefinite number of people at the same time. So, it’s harder to monopolize the machine (a.k.a. keep it to yourself) and try to win the jackpot all for yourself, but it will definitely keep going up and up until your head explodes from the amount of money accumulated!
Don’t approach a progressive slot machine like a know-it-all. Just by pulling a lever or pressing a button labeled spin, you aren’t automatically in the running for the massive jackpot. Usually, with any slot, to be eligible for the jackpot you have to bet the max. That means betting the maximum number of coins the machine accepts on the maximum number of paylines allowed. It may feel a little steep for your wallet, but trust me – it’s totally worth it. With a little more of an investment, you can exponentially increase your earnings and maybe even win admittance to the coveted millionaires club!
Different kinds of progressives slots
Since what qualifies a progressive slot machine is so basic, there is bound to be some diversity within the category. There are three basic groups that progressives fall under and they’re pretty universal, so you can refer to them anywhere and still sound like a pro!
Standalone progessive slots
The first kind of slot is the simplest, but also the least common kind of progressive. Called a “standalone progressive” slot, this machine is not connected to any other progressives. Standalone progressives actually work a lot like other slot machines, except instead of a set jackpot amount, it gets “progressively” larger with each bet. Do you get why they’re called progressives now?
The downside of these kinds of machines is that the jackpot is generally smaller because only the one machine is contributing a small portion of each bet to the jackpot rather than multiple machines at once. On the positive side, payouts for non-jackpot winnings are equal to other machines of the same denomination in the casino. For larger, more connected progressives, usually the payouts are less beneficial for non-jackpot-winning players.
In-house, proprietary, local
Aside from standalones, all other progressive slot machines are linked by a joint account. One type of slot is known by many names, but the most common ones include “in-house progressives,” “proprietary progressive slots,” and “local progressive slot machines.” These machines are the ones that are linked together in a cluster and run by a single casino.
Sometimes, if a company owns more than one casino, then the cluster of machines can span multiple casinos. This group is the next largest form of jackpot. Because more than one machine is being played, the jackpot amount can become pretty massive – surely enough to keep you satisfied – but they won’t reach the crazy multimillion dollar amounts that some others famously do. This type of progressive doesn’t cater to so many players at once, so it is more likely that you will get a lucky spin and hit the jackpot that you want so much.
Wide area progressive slots
Wide area progressives are the ones you hear about and the ones you’ve been dreaming of winning. And believe me, if you win one of these, you’ll understand why they’re worth fantasizing about. Rather than being operated by individual casinos or gaming companies, these progressives are run independently. This means that machines linked to a single progressive jackpot can appear in casinos all over the place, hence the name “wide area.”
Because so many machines feed a percentage of their bets into one account, the jackpot can shoot up into the millions of dollars. The independent company that runs a given progressive wants the jackpot to get bigger so more people will have an incentive to bet – and you can be sure that more people are going to try their hand at the winning ticket for a huge jackpot, so the likelihood of your winning is smaller. There are also unique costs associated with wide area progressives that don’t apply to other slot machines, due to the costs of bringing an independently run machine and the fees paid to that company.
Best strategy for progressive slots
The good news is that there are ways to play all types of progressive jackpots in your favor. Slots are still and always will be a game of luck, so unless you’re a wizard shaman, there’s no guaranteeing that you will win the biggest jackpot. But unlike other slot games, you can apply advantage play to progressive slots. It isn’t always possible to get clear numbers for everything, but if you do then you can determine the average payoff. When the jackpot amount gets high enough, this average number tips past the break-even point and the average return to player is greater than 100 percent, meaning that you will make back more than 100 percent of what you bet. So, the best surefire strategy to make money when playing slots is to find progressives which have reached a high enough jackpot that any money you put down becomes a “positive expectation bet.”
Sometimes advantage players form teams so they never have to stop spinning. By taking over machines when the jackpot gets seriously high, teams prevent regular gamblers from playing, so an unsuspecting player can’t distort the team’s odds. But if you find yourself doing this, make sure you wear a clever disguise or at least blend in with the background. Casinos don’t like team playing and will often kick you out if they feel that’s what you’re doing. So, if you’re hoping to make a big buck, keep a low profile, keep calm, and play on.
Those are the basics of what you need to know when playing progressive slots, but we can’t teach you everything. The best way to figure things out is by doing, so start looking for the progressive slot that speaks to you. With a wide variety, you can find the perfect slots for you at Slots of Vegas! So head over to the best online progressive slots at Slots of Vegas and start dancing with Lady Luck today!