If you’re new to online casinos, slots are one of the most popular places to start, as the learning curve is minimal and operators provide a huge range of themes, prizes and ways to bet. Also, almost everyone is aware of slots and will understand the basic premise and principles of playing this ever-popular game. This may not be the case when it comes to other casino games such as online Baccarat, poker and others.
Jackpot slots offer the opportunity to scoop huge sums of money with minimum effort. You do however need patience and Lady Luck’s presence is always welcome as with any casino game. The terminology in slots and with other online casino games though, can leave new players reeling. Read on to learn about the different types of jackpot and important things to consider before you play.
What are Fixed Jackpots?
Fixed jackpots, also known as a ‘cashpot,’ standalone or flat jackpots, are classic slots that pay out a certain amount every time they are won. Most online slots games offer a fixed jackpot. A fixed jackpot may for example be 600,000 coins, regardless of how much you bet, or it might be 100 times your wager. The prize never grows bigger, but is replenished and available to be won as soon as it’s hit.
Because the jackpot is built into the game itself, the amount you win doesn’t depend on the amount fed in. It is totally possible to hit the jackpot twice in a row and receive the same amount each time; this would be impossible with a progressive jackpot. You should however, check and be mindful of the specific wagering requirements when playing online, as many casinos may not instantly pay out the jackpot; you need to have wagered a minimum amount to be able to receive your prize.
Many players prefer fixed jackpots because they offer more consistent odds of winning and less fluctuation. They tend to have a higher hit frequency than progressive jackpots, which means that the probability of winning is higher and there is somewhat less risk involved as you know what you will win should you hit the jackpot. However, like all slots, fixed jackpot games use random number generators, so it is all down to chance. Playing fixed jackpot games doesn’t guarantee that you will win, but when you do, it can be a lot of money!
If you’ve ever bought a lottery ticket, you are familiar with the basic idea of a progressive jackpot. The pot accumulates, sometimes to six or seven figures, until it is won and subsequently cashed out. For example, a progressive jackpot may keep ‘rolling over’ until someone wins and picks up their prize. Ultimately, if no one claims the pot, then it will continue to build up and grow, making playing much more exciting.
With progressive jackpots, a small percentage of every bet is added to the grand prize. The total prize keeps climbing with every spin until all of the conditions for winning are met; once it’s claimed, the jackpot starts all over again. The rest of the money wagered is usually redistributed as smaller prizes, with a healthy amount skimmed off the top for the casino itself. It is often worthwhile to check out online casino review sites to find out which casino games and providers have the best progressive pots with the most money to be won.
How Much Can I Win with a Progressive Jackpot?
Since a progressive jackpot has no upper limit, winnings can be colossal. Slots game Mega Moolah for example, currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest online jackpot pay-out at €18.9 million Euros, roughly £16.6 million Sterling.
The downside is that progressive jackpots have a much lower hit frequency; that is, the odds of winning are significantly lower than with a fixed jackpot. Often a jackpot will run for three to six months without a win, although this is understandable with potentially millions of Pounds up for grabs.
Progressive jackpots also tend to have stricter conditions for winning. You will usually have to play the maximum number of coins per spin in order to qualify for the whole pot and wagering requirements are likely to be strict. Many players will max out as many lines as they can to increase their odds of winning. All in all, it’s best to look at progressive jackpots as a kind of lottery, rather than a game with strategy and always look out for welcome bonuses or free spins bonuses when starting out playing, as this is a nice way to test the waters.
Types of Progressive Jackpots
When it comes to progressive jackpots, you might come across terms like standalone, proprietary, network and wide area. These terms indicate the size of the pool and the number of people playing at one time.
Standalone progressive jackpots are localised to just one machine. Imagine a fruit machine in an arcade. The winner will always be somebody playing locally; the prizes are small, but the probability of winning is usually higher.
In-house or proprietary progressive jackpot links together the machines in one casino. It’s a step up from standalone in that there’s more money going into the pot, but it’s unlikely to reach huge sums.
Wide area progressive jackpots cover online casinos and larger venues. The internet means that brands can have a huge network of machines in the same city, country or even across the planet. Because of this, prizes are bigger than ever before, often running to millions of Pounds.
Some games are part of a ‘network jackpot,’ where every casino that hosts the game pools into the same jackpot. For example, if you play Jackpot Giant with Betfair, you’re competing for the same pot as players with Ladbrokes across the same online casino game. These jackpots can go sky-high, but as always, you should check the pay-table and precise wagering limits and requirements in case your preferred site has extra rules. For example, they might say that you can’t win on free spins, they may not offer online casino bonuses or may specify that you have to bet a minimum amount.
Mystery jackpots, or mystery progressives, offer another chance at winning big by paying off at random points, sometimes even if you don’t have a winning combination. The machine is programmed with a starting value and will randomly choose a point between that and the maximum jackpot. Once you pass that point, it pays out. For this reason, these jackpots are sometimes known as ‘must-hit-by’ jackpots.
Many of the bigger slots games will offer several jackpots so that you have a greater chance of winning. For example, NetEnt’s Hall of Gods has a network Mega jackpot along with two smaller, more localised pots. All three jackpots are made up of players’ wagers, but the smaller pots might be exclusive to a specific casino or region. It’s worth reading up on whether your casino of choice offers in-house jackpots.