Progressive Jackpots Explained


Progressive jackpots are prize funds that are added to little by little every time someone playing the game makes a wager. By shaving a small fraction off every wager to put into the progressive jackpot fund, which is triggered when a player hits a particularly rare combination, these jackpots can build up to vast sums well into the millions. The most common progressive jackpot games are slots but progressive jackpots can also exist for casino table games such as poker. For example, some casinos may have a progressive jackpot fund set aside for a royal flush. So if a player gets a royal flush they will win not just the round of poker being played but also the progressive jackpot.

Types of Progressive Jackpot

Progressive jackpots can either be linked to an individual game at a single casino or be a fund shared between several casinos all offering the same game, powered by the same software. The latter, for obvious reasons, tend to be the largest progressive jackpots. How the contribution towards the progressive jackpot fund also differs between different games. Slots will have this built into the overall percentage of takings paid out so there will be a tiny fraction fewer standard wins with the difference, probably a fraction of a percent, going into the progressive jackpot fund.

In games like poker and other casino table games a progressive jackpot fund is usually built up using side bets. Like a lottery progressive jackpots are usually not statistically financially beneficial to players but add to the entertainment value of playing. Players accept the probable loss of their contribution to the progressive jackpot fund for the chance of a potentially life-changing jackpot in the unlikely scenario they happen to be the one to hit the jackpot. There is also a significant advantage for the casinos in terms of the publicity generated by huge progressive jackpot wins.

How big a progressive jackpot win is does vary as it depends on how big a fund has built up before a player hits one of the rare combinations set as winners. Because these combinations are statistically the rarest the chances are there will be a pretty hefty fund built up before someone hits it but because of the random nature of those combinations coming out in some instances there might be two winners within a relatively short space of time. This means that the second winner will not have the luck to win a monster progressive jackpot as the fund built up since the last win won’t be huge. On the other hand if the jackpot hasn’t been hit for a long time whoever does eventually get lucky will likely never have the same life again. This is balanced to a certain extent by the jackpot fund always retaining a minimum starting point. So a big winner will most likely receive about 90% of the total fund so that it doesn’t start again from nothing. This means that if another winner follows quickly the second person will still get a reasonably sized jackpot as reward for their luck.

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