What are Progressive Slots?

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In 1894 Charles Fey, a Bavarian born mechanic living in San Francisco released his newest creation ‘The Liberty Bell’ onto the market. The device was the world’s first ever slot machine and featured three spinning reels and a fully automated payout system.

The machine was a huge commercial success and within months of its release, bar owners in San Francisco and beyond were frantically contacting Fey trying to get a machine installed in their premises.

In the near 130 years since the release of The Liberty Bell, slot machines remain hugely popular but instead of being played in the corner of bustling bars, slots are now most regularly enjoyed online by players in the comfort of their own homes.

In recent years, progressive slots have risen to the top of the popularity charts, but what are they and how do they work? Read on to find out.

What are Progressive Slots?

Traditionally when you entered a bar or a casino and sat down to play at a slot machine, the amount you were playing for would be limited by how much physical money was in the slot at that given moment.

The advent of online gambling however has removed those physical barriers and allowed players to wager for larger amounts. One way in which jackpots have been increased is through the creation of progressive slots.

The jackpots on these slots are linked to a network of games, sometimes even across multiple casinos, and every time a wager is made by anyone, a percentage of that is contributed to the progressive jackpot.

How do Progressive Jackpots Work?

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Every time you bet on a traditional slot machine in a bar or casino, you are adding physical money to the machine. A percentage of this is stored by the machine with the rest being allocated to wins, meaning the machine has an upper limit – simply put, it can only store so much physical money.

Progressive jackpots online work differently. A small percentage of every wager you make, for example 1 cent from every dollar, is contributed to the progressive jackpot fund. The same is then done to every other player who is playing that same game.

Whilst 1 cent might not sound like a lot, when you extrapolate that out amongst tens of thousands of players, you’re suddenly looking at a lot of money. Unfortunately there is no strategy to winning the progressive jackpot as ultimately that comes down to luck.

All you need to do stand a chance of winning is be logged in and playing whilst the jackpot is still active. If the idea of playing a progressive jackpot slot sounds appealing and you haven’t already got an online gambling account, you can find casino sites with the best bonuses and promotions here: https://www.bonus.net.nz/.


Despite what anyone says, the sole reason that any of us gamble is for the thrill of chasing a humongous win. Yes, it is enjoyable to sit and play poker with your friends and an evening spent going back and forth with the dealer at blackjack can be exciting, but nothing beats the thrill of winning big.

It shouldn’t be surprising then to learn that progressive jackpot slot machines are incredibly popular with players in bricks and mortar casinos, where they are available, and online.

How Much are Progressive Jackpots Worth?

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There’s no precise answer to this question unfortunately as it all depends on the game you are playing and at what stage in the jackpot you are playing as well. Typically though a progressive jackpot will be worth tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.

The largest progressive jackpot win was by a lucky software engineer from Los Angles in 2003 when he won $39,710,826 on the Excalibur progressive slot in Las Vegas. If you log in and play with an online casino here in New Zealand right now, you most likely won’t see a jackpot as big as that, but don’t be surprised to see one for over $100,000.

How Likely are you to Win a Progressive Jackpot?

In the grand scheme of things, you aren’t likely to win a progressive jackpot anytime soon. Recent industry research found that users are likely to scoop the progressive prize once every 50-600 million spins depending on the game type…

To put that into perspective, you have around a 1 in 20 million chance of being canonised and a 1 in 15 million chance of having identical quadruplets. But, you know what they say…if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the raffle.

Strategies and Tips for Playing Progressive Slots

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When it comes to playing progressive slots, having a solid strategy and some helpful tips can greatly enhance your chances of winning a life-changing jackpot. Here are some strategies and tips to consider:

  1. Set a Budget: Before you start playing, establish a budget and stick to it. Progressive slots can be enticing with their large jackpots, but it’s important to manage your bankroll wisely to avoid overspending.
  2. Choose the Right Game: There are various types of progressive slots available, so select a game that suits your preferences and budget. Consider factors such as minimum and maximum bets, paylines, and themes. Additionally, look for games with a high return to player (RTP) percentage for better odds.
  3. Bet Maximum Coins: To be eligible for the progressive jackpot, it’s usually required to place the maximum bet. Check the game rules and make sure you’re wagering the maximum number of coins to maximize your chances of hitting the jackpot.
  4. Play Within Your Means: While betting the maximum is important, it’s essential to play at a denomination that fits your budget comfortably. Don’t stretch yourself too thin financially, as playing with stress can take away from the enjoyment of the game.
  5. Practice on Free Versions: Many online casinos offer free versions of progressive slots. Take advantage of these to practice and familiarize yourself with the game’s mechanics, bonus features, and betting options. It’s a risk-free way to refine your strategy before playing with real money.
  6. Manage Your Emotions: Progressive slots can be unpredictable, and winning the jackpot is a rare occurrence. Stay calm, don’t chase losses, and avoid getting caught up in emotional highs and lows. Set realistic expectations and approach the game with a level head.
  7. Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions: Keep an eye out for special bonuses and promotions offered by online casinos. These can provide extra opportunities to play progressive slots and increase your chances of winning without additional cost.