Progressive Jackpot Explained

Do you dream of winning that life-changing jackpot? Do you think about all the cool things you’d buy if you won the lottery? If so, then progressive jackpot slot games are the games you need. Blackjack and Roulette are great games, but let’s be honest, you can’t win a few hundred thousand dollars playing them – even if you’ve got the right skills, the payouts aren’t high enough.

The biggest casino payouts in casinos come from progressive jackpots, so these should be on your play radar. Here, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we get about these coveted game features, like what a progressive slot is and how to win one. We’ll also explain how to find these features in casino games and give you a few recommendations of our favorite online slot machines that have progressive jackpots.

Progressive casino jackpots are an important piece of the overall casino gaming play strategy, but there’s much more to learn about than just jackpots. For more information on how to hone your casino gaming skills, be sure to check out the ever-expanding treasure trove of online articles in our online casino, including a table games guide and online slots guide. 


What is a Progressive Jackpot? 

Progressive casino jackpots are most commonly found in slots, which include standard payouts in addition to the progressive jackpot. Standard casino payouts are a fixed amount; they won’t get any higher or lower than what’s advertised on the paytable. On a progressive casino game, however, the jackpot keeps growing as casino players put more and more coins in the machine. A small percentage of each coin is added to the jackpot every time the reels spin. The progressive casino jackpot will keep growing until someone finally hits that big payout.

Once someone triggers the jackpot, the casino reseeds it to a starting amount; it could be reset to a base amount of $5,000 for example. This gets the casino jackpot started and attracts players, who fund the rest of the jackpot with a percentage of all of their bets. In our casino, progressive jackpots are most commonly found in slots, but can also be found in certain bingo and table games.

How Progressive Jackpots Work

Progressive jackpots work in one of two ways: they are either randomly triggered, or they are awarded as the prize for landing the best winning combination in the game. Knowing the difference between these two types of casino jackpots is important because one type has eligibility requirements, while the other generally doesn’t.

Random Progressive Jackpots

The majority of the progressive casino jackpots found in our slot games are random progressive jackpots. Zombies vs. Cheerleaders II, El Luchador and A Night With Cleo are just a few examples of the many slots containing random online progressive jackpots in our online casino. Just as the name suggests, random progressive jackpots are triggered randomly with the use of Random Number Generator technology. At the end of any given spin, the jackpot could be triggered, based on a complex set of algorithms, and then added to your bankroll. Unless specified in the game rules, betting minimums are not required with random progressive jackpots, but as a rule of thumb, always read through the rules online before playing for real money.

Progressive Jackpots

The opposite of a random progressive jackpot is simply a standard progressive jackpot that is offered as a casino payout for landing the top winning line in a game. For example, in Strike Gold, the online progressive jackpot is awarded for landing three “Strike Gold” logos when players bet the two-coin max. These types of progressive jackpots require players to bet the maximum number of coins possible to be eligible for the jackpot; however, there are no stipulations for the coin denomination. As a result, the best strategy for these types of progressive jackpots is to bet the maximum number of coins, while configuring the denominations in order to stay within your bankroll budget. For example, with Food Fight, you could bet one $0.25 coin or five $0.05 coins; the total cost is the same, but betting five nickels ensures you’re eligible for the progressive jackpot should you land five Pudding icons.

How to Win a Progressive Jackpot on Slot Games

There’s no secret system or strategy for winning a progressive jackpot. The odds of winning a progressive jackpot are actually pretty similar to the odds of winning the lottery. Although, the player will get many more chances per hour to win a progressive jackpot than the player will winning the lottery.

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind here. First, progressive jackpots don’t become “due.” The chances of winning are the same no matter the jackpot size. It is possible for a casino jackpot to keep growing and not hit for years and years. Take a look at the $2.4 million MGM Grand Hotel and Casino jackpot that finally hit after sitting on the floor for almost 20 years. 

Secondly, when the player plays online slots with progressive jackpots, read the online rules of the game very carefully, as certain machines require the player to make max play bets in order to be eligible to win the money jackpot. The best way to increase the player's odds of winning a progressive jackpot is to make sure you’re eligible for it every time you play. 

How to Win a Progressive Jackpot on Table Games

Three of our poker-based table games have progressive money jackpots. Caribbean Stud, Caribbean Hold’Em and Let ‘Em Ride (both new and classic versions) all include a jackpot that pays out entirely if you land a Royal Flush, although with Caribbean Hold’Em, only the flop and your two hole cards count towards the progressive jackpot. In order to be eligible for the progressive jackpot, you must wager $1 on the Progressive side bet at the start of the round. If you land anything between a Flush and a Straight Flush, you get a portion of the progressive jackpot based on the following paytable:

Royal Flush: 100%

Straight Flush: 10%

Four of a Kind: $500

Full House: $100

Flush: $75

The progressive money jackpot pays out regardless of whether or not you beat the Dealer.

How to Find the Biggest Progressive Jackpot Casino Games at Cafe Casino

At Cafe Casino, we make it easy to find and compare casino games with progressive jackpots. All of our progressive jackpot games have banners on the game card displaying the current jackpot amount. This is the case for slots, table games, and Bingo, and is a great benefit to playing online as opposed to at a brick-and-mortar establishment where it would take a long time to compare all the jackpot amounts. 

Since we have a lot of slot games in our casino, we’ve created special filters for sorting through them efficiently. Once you open up our Slots page, there are five filtering options: All Slots, Most Popular, 5-Reel Slots, 3-Reel Slots, and Jackpot Slots. Use the “Jackpot Slots” filter at the top of the page to populate only slots that contain progressive jackpots. This will be a mix of random progressive jackpots and non-random ones, and they could be 3-reel and 5-reel games. At this time, there are no Jackpot filters for table games and specialty games, but because there are far fewer of these game types on their respective pages, it’s quite easy to scan through them and pinpoint the banners advertising progressive jackpots.

Our Online Progressive Jackpots

Now that the basics have been covered, here are our top three progressive jackpot recommendations:

    1. Aztec’s Treasure is one of the most sought after online slot games to play. Not only does it offer the progressive jackpot but it has free spin bonuses, stacked wilds and a ton of other bonus opportunities.

    2. Major Moolah offers the classic 3-reel slot machine play vibe with symbols like gold stars, triple sevens and bars. This is the perfect no-fuss slot that offers the opportunity for a massive payday.

    3. Birds of Fury based on a game you’re likely familiar with, is play entertainment at its best. With bonus opportunities like multipliers, wilds, free spins, scatters, substitutes and more, you’ll see the progressive jackpot isn’t the only way to win big.

Another way to search for the perfect progressive jackpot game to play is to simply populate them all on a page and then go for the biggest return by finding the juiciest jackpot available. After all, the bigger the jackpot, the greater the theoretical return to the player. At press time, Shopping Spree has the biggest one at $3.914 million, with Food Fight! checking in second with $717 thousand up for grabs. Whether your play preference is to make a mad dash to the mall, or sling spaghetti meat balls across a room, both are excellent options.