Guide to Progressive Jackpots

Last Updated on . Written By Beth Taylor

It is fair to say that progressive jackpots are one of the most attractive features in the online gambling industry. This is because these essentially are slot games, but which pay out considerably more. With bingo sites now starting to offer slots to players, it is often the case that there are also progressive jackpots available as well which helps to make these sites more of a selling point. In this guide, we will take a more in-depth look at what these are and how they work.


The different types of progressive jackpots 

The different types of progressive jackpots 

When thinking about progressive jackpots, it is important to remember that there are different types available that players can participate in. Let’s explore the ones which are available.

Local/Proprietary/In-house Progressive Jackpots

These versions of progressive jackpots are definitely the most popular that are available to players on bingo sites and these are commonly linked to a wide network of online gambling sites.  These are often created in-house or by the gambling site’s software provider and should this be the case, then they will be linked to a network of other slot machines within a single online gambling site. When this happens, the jackpot is often bigger.

Standalone progressive jackpots

While these are commonly found in physical casinos, players can still find them online. These work by not being linked to any other slot, so usually the jackpot that is available is much smaller. As a result, the operator will keep more of a margin of the deposits that are wagered on these kinds of progressive jackpots.

Wide area progressive slot jackpots 

Without a doubt, these are easily the most popular progressive jackpots. You will find that these are connected to a vast network of online gambling sites and as a result of this, the jackpot can increase considerably due to the thousands of people who are wagering on this.

Often, these jackpots can quickly reach millions, however, due to the sizable infrastructure costs that are associated with setting these up, it means that the gambling site’s margins are reduced. Gambling sites though, know that these are a substantial hook to attract players, so it is often the case that they will have them available, in the hope that they can retain customers by offering them alternative products, such as online bingo.


What are the different forms of progressive jackpots? 

Most gambling sites offer players a variety of progressive jackpots, with three normally being available within the same network, though they operate in different ways.

One of these is where the jackpot must land at an exact time of the day and are programmed like this regardless of the total amount that the jackpot has reached. This works based on how popular the particular slot has been for that particular duration, which means that the total jackpot can vary significantly from low four figures up to seven figures.

Another is the anytime payout progressive jackpot, which means that this can payout at any time during the day right up until midnight and these are also known as ‘must drop jackpots’. Generally, the total prize winnings for these are usually into the mid seven figures (even eight), depending on how popular that the particular slot has been.

Perhaps seen as the most exciting progressive jackpot, is the one where winnings will be released once the total reaches over a certain amount and again, this can really vary in terms of when it is won. If it is very popular, it could be the case that the total is reached early in the day though this amount is often in the mid-five figures.


What are the chances of winning a progressive jackpot?

Often, people lose sight of the fact that there can actually be thousands of people wagering on a progressive jackpot at one time because they do not realise that these are linked across many different gambling sites, all of which have their loyal customer base.

This means that in reality, a player’s chances of winning a progressive jackpot is not that high, however, they are attracted by the adrenaline that comes with it knowing that there is a chance that they could well just be the one who wins. Also, because of the sheer randomness of how progressive jackpots work, it means that they have no memory so the prize pool could literally go to anyone.

A slot has what is known as a ‘hit frequency’ associated to it, which means that it relates to roughly how often that it will provide a winning combination for a lucky player. Progressive jackpots generally tend to have quite a low hit frequency, however the vast majority of them payout at each gambling site every three to six months on average, so the chances of winning are definitely not impossible.


What strategies can you apply when playing a progressive jackpot?

While there are no foolproof tips that you can use to guarantee that you will win a progressive jackpot, it is the case that there are best practice guidelines that you can follow in order to make sure that you retain an appreciation for them. Let’s take a look at some of these!

Have a budget in mind and stick to it 

The thought of winning six or even seven figures can very easily cause you to get carried away, however, what is important to remember is that if you allow it, your head can be turned quickly, especially if you adopt the ‘one more spin’ mentality. This is why it is important to set a budget, that you are prepared to lose and stick to it.

Read the terms and conditions 

Some progressive jackpots can only be won if you wager on all of the lines or if you apply the max bet, so if you are not doing this it is effectively meaningless and you are wasting your money, especially if you have been doing this for 20 spins. That is why it is important to read the rules or terms and conditions of the jackpot first, before diving in.

Play a smaller progressive jackpot 

In doing this, what you are effectively doing is increasing your odds of winning. This is because smaller jackpots typically have less players because their heads are turned by those which have prize pools of millions. These still have jackpots in the low five figures and the reduced number of players combined with the fact that they have to be won by someone means that this could be a wise decision.

Make the most of bonuses

When you use bonuses to wager on progressive jackpots, you are basically making sure that your budget goes further and the beauty of this is that if you don’t win, you haven’t wagered as much (if any) of your own money.


How popular are progressive jackpots with bingo sites?

While progressive jackpots are typically found mainly at online casinos, the bigger bingo brands have started to offer list these on their sites, as a way of attempting to retain customers and stop them from joining newer bingo brands. Furthermore, what they also do is use these as an incentive in bingo games or for VIP players, by giving them free credit to wager on progressive jackpots.

Although it is rare for bingo sites to have progressive jackpots that are in their millions, they will still have those which reach into their mid-five figures, which is still attractive for online bingo players, especially if they do not know much about slots.

However, if you are looking to play the best progressive jackpots, then signing up to one of the major online casinos is the best thing to do because you will find numerous to choose from on a daily basis.


Are progressive jackpot slots fair?

Are progressive jackpot slots fair

Ultimately every type of slot is fair and the fact that progressive jackpots are determined based on advanced algorithms and sophisticated, it means that all payouts are completely random, due to the fact that they use a random number generator (RNG). In the majority of instances, players do not realise that there may be thousands playing these, despite the fact that one progressive jackpot might have up to three daily prize funds. Essentially winning one of these is almost comparable to winning the lottery.


Final thoughts about progressive jackpots 

There is no doubt that progressive jackpots are one of the most popular forms of entertainment at an online casino, especially because of the sheer amount of money that a player can win. Despite this, some players can spend hours on these and ultimately a lot of money, seduced by the thought that they might hit the jackpot. What is important to remember when playing progressive jackpot slots is to have a budget in mind, never wager more than you are prepared to lose and do not use them as a way of trying to make money.



Beth Taylor

Editor-in-Chief Beth Taylor is Editor-in-Chief at and has been writing about online bingo for the past 5 years. She is considered an industry expert and is a regular attendee at industry events and conferences. Having studied journalism at King's College London, she combines this with her passion for bingo to produce the independent content for this website.