What is a Progressive Jackpot?

by Tim | Sep 06, 2021

What is a Progressive Jackpot?

In casino games, there are a variety of prizes, with large wins more commonly known as jackpots. We explain the different types of jackpots that you can win before we look at what progressive jackpots are, how they work, and everything else you need to know regarding this specific type of incredible prize.

The different types of jackpots

When you play jackpot games at an offline or online casino, you stand a chance to win one of two types of jackpot prizes. These jackpot prizes are known as fixed and progressive jackpots. 

What is a fixed jackpot?

The first type of jackpot that we’re going to look at is the fixed jackpot. It’s important to understand what this type of jackpot is so that you can understand how a progressive jackpot differs from it.

A fixed jackpot, as the name implies, offers a specific amount when you win the jackpot prize. If you’re lucky enough to meet the criteria for the fixed jackpot, whether it’s specific symbols in a slot game or the right numbers in a lottery game, you’ll walk away with the fixed amount offered by the jackpot prize. 

If, by chance, the same jackpot criteria are met by another person playing the game at the same time, or even the same person playing the game again a few minutes later, they will win the same prize. The jackpot prize never increases or decreases depending on how many people play or win – it always stays the same amount and is immediately replenished to the same value even if someone wins the jackpot. 

These types of jackpots usually have a higher payout rate than progressive jackpots, which makes them less risky than progressive jackpots. However, this is not the case for all fixed jackpots, and players should investigate what the return to player (or RTP) is for any particular game before they decide to play. Also, a player may need to wager a minimum amount to qualify for a fixed jackpot, but again, this varies from game to game, so players will need to verify if there are any qualifying criteria for each game.

What is a progressive jackpot? 

While a fixed jackpot may be set to a specific amount, a progressive jackpot has a minimum value that grows over time. This growth may have a maximum value, with your odds of winning increasing as the progressive jackpot gets closer and closer to its maximum cap, although this depends on the game. A progressive jackpot can be as little as a few thousand pounds or grow to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds.

How do progressive jackpots work?

You may be wondering exactly how this type of jackpot works. The growth of a progressive jackpot is fuelled by the number of people playing a game and how much they wager when they play. Each time a person places a bet, a certain amount of the money goes towards the jackpot.

In order to win, it’s not enough for a player to simply play a game with a progressive jackpot. Players must wager a minimum amount to qualify for this type of prize. The minimum amount that a player must bet will vary from game to game. If a player makes the minimum wager and wins the progressive jackpot, the jackpot value will reset to a specified minimum. It will then grow again over time.

The different types of progressive jackpots

There are also different types of progressive jackpots. These are:

  • Local/Stand-alone – A local or stand-alone progressive jackpot is a jackpot that grows over time, but only bets made directly to a single game will contribute towards the jackpot’s total. This concept applies to both offline and online casinos.

  • Wide Area – A wide area progressive jackpot is also a jackpot that grows over time, but bets from multiple games contribute towards the total prize pool. These games might be in the same building or across a number of casino venues, in the case of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. In the case of online casinos, a progressive jackpot can draw on wagers from games across a single or even multiple sites.

Which games have progressive jackpots?

A rendering of different casino games, including cards, dice, and a roulette wheel.

The games that are most commonly associated with progressive jackpots are slots, but many games can have this type of mega-prize. Some of the games that might include progressive jackpots at your favourite jackpot mobile casino are:

  • Online blackjack – A game like progressive online blackjack typically plays out as normal, with a progressive jackpot that grows exclusively from side bets. For example, a game may require you to make a side wager on you getting a specific combination of cards. If you make this side bet and you win, you’ll take home the progressive prize for that side wager.

  • Slots – In most offline or online slots, a percentage of each wager goes towards a progressive jackpot. However, the only players who qualify for it are those who wager a certain amount. This value varies from game to game.

  • Online poker – In many online poker games, the progressive jackpot works in much the same way as it does in blackjack. Players can place a side wager, and if they have a certain combination of cards, they will win the progressive jackpot.

  • Online roulette – The progressive jackpot in many online roulette games works similarly to slots, in that all the players who play roulette on a certain platform or network contribute towards a progressive prize. The prize is then awarded to the person who triggers the criteria for the jackpot prize, although this may vary from a random selection, a specific size of winning wager, or specific bets.

  • Video poker – This is yet another game that takes a small percentage of each wager and puts it into the progressive jackpot. To win the progressive jackpot, players must land a royal flush.

As you can see, it’s not just more modern games that have a progressive jackpot. Even traditional casino games and their online counterparts can have these life-changing rewards.

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