Progressive Jackpot Slots

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Progressive jackpot slots are one of the most popular games for the simple fact that the top prizes can be life-changing. Whether you’re playing progressives online or in person, these slots often reach six- and seven-figure jackpots. But many newcomers often wonder how progressive jackpot slots work, the odds of winning, where to play them, and whether they’re worth playing at all. We have all the answers, including expert tips on how to set yourself up for the best odds of winning.

However, keep in mind that winning the progressive jackpot is incredibly rare, with odds similar to winning the lottery. They’re still offered as a feature of real money slots, which can always trigger smaller wins. It’s crucially important to practice Responsible Gambling when approaching any casino game, but especially progressive jackpots.

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What Is a Progressive Jackpot?

A progressive jackpot slot is a casino game where a certain percentage, usually 10%, of every wager contributes to a grand prize. The jackpot gets progressively higher the more money that’s spent on the game collectively, meaning all players contribute to the grand prize. The worse the odds of winning the jackpot, the higher the progressive jackpot can grow, whereas progressive jackpots with better odds tend to be much lower. The difference between one progressive jackpot grand prize and another can be millions of dollars, as highlighted by our list of the biggest slot wins online.

Most Popular Progressive Jackpot Slots Online

There are plenty of progressive jackpot games to choose from in the online casino world, but two of the most popular are Divine Fortune and Mercy of the Gods. We’ve compiled information about them for your convenience, as well as free demos of each so you can learn the ropes without spending any of your own real money.

Divine Fortune

Divine Fortune

Divine Fortune is a 5×3 progressive jackpot slot. The progressive jackpot often grows to extremely large numbers. Aside from the often-large jackpots, Divine Fortune is popular due to its exciting features and clean, enticing design. It features a 96.6% RTP. Read full review.

Mercy of the Gods

Mercy of the Gods

Mercy of the Gods is a 5×3 progressive jackpot slot. It serves as the spiritual successor to Divine Fortune, offering a similar play style and other enticing features such as free spins and re-spins. It features a 96.64% RTP.

Progressive Jackpot Bonus Codes

All of our picks for the best places to play slots offer a ton of progressive jackpots. See below for our top picks. Unfortunately, your location doesn’t offer real-money online casinos. But that’s okay! You can play progressive jackpot slots with coins at social and sweepstakes casinos, and winning coins can be redeemed for life-changing cash prizes.

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Progressive Jackpot -- Quick Facts

Odds of Winning

The odds of winning a progressive jackpot are extremely slim. Slots RTP only refers to the average payback of the game overall. For example, a 98% RTP only means the slot pays back $98 for every $100 wagered across millions of spins.

The exact odds of winning a progressive jackpot ranges depending on the game. But, in general, the odds of winning are about 1 in 75 million.

However, the odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292.2 million, and the odds of winning Mega Millions are 1 in 302.6 million. So, compared to the online lottery, progressive jackpots are much more likely – although still highly rare.

Bet Minimum & Maximum

One of the best parts about slots is the fact that players can bet as low as $0.10 a spin up to $200 or more. That makes them ideal for both low- and high-rollers.

These bet minimums and maximums apply to progressive jackpots as well. However, the game may require a minimum amount to qualify for the grand prize. For example, it may have a minimum of $0.10 per spin, but the minimum for the progressive jackpot might be $0.50 per spin. Check the slot’s information, usually denoted with a question mark (?) icon once the slot is open, to ensure you qualify for the biggest possible payout.

Grand Prize Range

Progressive jackpot top prizes online can range from as little as $200 up to $3 million or more. At retail casinos, the range is between $1,000 and $20 million.

Keep in mind that bigger progressive jackpots aren’t “due to win.” That’s a gambling fallacy. In fact, the bigger the jackpot, the lower the odds of winning. While we’re talking about 1 in 500,000 vs. 1 in 75 million, that can still make a difference. Most players never win a progressive jackpot, and you’re extremely lucky to win one in a lifetime. So if you’re a long-term, avid slots player, those odds are something to consider.

Daily Jackpots

What was once rare is now relatively common. Daily progressives are part promotion and part game type, where a jackpot is guaranteed to trigger by the end of each day. While these jackpots are much smaller than the ones that can keep going up for months, daily progressives are much more likely to win.

For example, at FanDuel Casino, the Daily Jackpot was at over $15,000 at the time of writing, and someone hit it before this writer woke up the next morning. That’s an exciting prospect given the unlikelihood of winning a massive jackpot prize.

And, I don’t know about you, but winning $15,000 in a single day of play feels like a pretty incredible payday.

Progressive Jackpot Bonuses

Unfortunately, many online casino bonuses specifically restrict progressive jackpot slots. However, some allow play on progressives. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions before trying to play for a jackpot to ensure you’re completing the playthrough requirements.

If you can’t play progressive slots with a bonus, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth claiming. One strategy is to play the eligible games and complete the playthrough requirements to turn the bonus money into real money. Then you can either cash out or use the funds to play progressive jackpot slots. Once it’s real money and not bonus money, it’s no longer restricted by eligible games or playthrough.

Fixed Jackpots

Every slot has a jackpot, and most aren’t progressive. Because non-progressive slots payouts are based on multipliers rather than dollar amounts, bigger bets mean bigger fixed jackpots.

For example, if the maximum prize is 1,000x the total wager, you’ll win $100 if the total wager is $0.10 per spin compared to $10,000 if the total wager is $10 per spin.

If an online casino advertises its maximum payout as a fixed dollar amount, that’s based on the maximum wager on the biggest multiplier win. So, if the maximum payout is $500,000, that can mean the maximum bet per spin is $200 and the biggest multiplier payout is 2,500x. It doesn’t mean that any wager size can trigger the $500,000 max payout.

More Examples of Online Progressive Jackpots

What Determines the Size of a Progressive Jackpot?

Factors that determine the size of a progressive jackpot include:

  • Reset Value: After a progressive jackpot is won, it resets to a minimum value. The bigger that value, the more head start the progressive jackpot has to grow higher.
  • Game Popularity: The more people who wager on a slot, the faster the progressive jackpot grows.
  • Number of Connected Games: A single progressive jackpot can be available across multiple games. For example, “The Big Series” at BetMGM includes Loot’en Khamun, Book of Myths, MGM Grand Millions, Mirage Mega Millions, Bison Fury, and many more. That means every bet on all those slots contributes to the progressive. It’s similar to a slots tournament prize pool, but the winner is chosen completely at random.
  • Minimum Qualifying Bet: Players often have to set a minimum total wager to qualify for the progressive jackpot. The higher that number, the higher the progressive jackpot — usually. That’s not always the case, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

Based on all available information, the reset value is the biggest contributing factor. If a jackpot slot resets to $200,000 while another one is won before it even reaches $10,000, then, relatively speaking, the popularity level and number of games don’t really matter.

Progressive Jackpot Slot Machines Vs. Online Progressives

Progressive Jackpot Slot MachinesOnline Jackpot Slots
✅ Boasts the biggest slot machine wins of all time (in Las Vegas), with the biggest being $39.7 Million on the Megabucks slot at Excalibur Casino.❌ The biggest online slot win in the US is $3.5 million on the MGM Grand Millions slot at Borgata Casino NJ Online (also available at BetMGM).
❌ Requires getting cash out and taking a trip to a retail casino property.✅ Conveniently available directly on your computer or phone via website or app.
❌ Limited by floor space in the casino, so most retail casinos have fewer progressive jackpot slots than online casinos.✅ Online casinos aren't limited by floor space, offering a huge variety of slots and progressive jackpots.
✅ Fun retail casino environment that includes dining, drinks, and entertainment on top of slot machine action.❌ Where online slots win in convenience, they lack in the extras that make visiting a retail casino so much fun.
❌ Big safety concerns when receiving cash for winnings, which isn't secure until it's safe in a bank account.✅ Direct deposit into a secure bank account is infinitely safer than carrying around a stack of cash.
🟡 Celebrating a huge win with everyone at the casino can be fun and exciting, with everyone cheering or going green with envy.🟡 This is a neutral comparison because many prefer to win privately, and everyone knowing how much you have creates safety concerns.

Progressive Jackpot Size by State

The size of an online casino’s progressive jackpot depends on the state it’s servicing. Contributions for casino-specific progressive jackpots (as in not shared by multiple online casinos) are specific to the state you’re playing in. The best example is the (at the time of writing) current progressive jackpot “Big Series” at BetMGM Casino, which really highlights the difference location can make.

StateBig Series JackpotPercentage Difference
New Jersey Online Casinos$2,393,333.96 at BetMGM160.73% higher than PA
Pennsylvania Online Casinos$917,929.01 at BetMGM87.16% higher than MI
Michigan Online Casinos$490,443.53 at BetMGM24.07% higher than WV
West Virginia Online Casinos$395,291.27 at BetMGMSmallest Online Progressives

Of course, a third of a million dollars is still a life-changing win for most people, so it’s not like players in West Virginia are devoid of progressive jackpot options. Further, it’s intuitive to assume the progressive jackpots along the Las Vegas Strip are larger than the ones at a small local casino due to the number of players. The same factor applies to online casinos.

These differences don’t directly correlate with population size. Pennsylvania has a larger population than New Jersey. But folks in New Jersey like playing at online casinos more than folks in Pennsylvania, which explains the progressive jackpot differences. The numbers don’t lie.

Most Popular Progressive Slot Machines

The most popular slot machine in Las Vegas period is the Buffalo slot, which comes in a ton of varieties, including as a progressive jackpot slot. It’s also exclusive to retail casinos, with players online limited to games inspired by Buffalo but not the exact same. The Buffalo slot machine features American wilderness symbols, up to 1,024 ways to win every spin, bonus rounds, and more.

Another extremely popular slot machine is the Wheel of Fortune slot for two reasons. One, it mirrors the setup of the popular game show, including a chance to create words. Two, it’s connected to the Megabucks progressive jackpot in Las Vegas, which has triggered all of the top five biggest slot wins of all time.

Slot maker IGT offers a map of Megabucks jackpot slots locations as well as the current grand prize. At the time of writing, it was over $10 million.

What Are Progressive Jackpot Networks?

Mega Jackpots Slots

Progressive jackpot networks are progressive jackpots that share their amount across multiple slots, and sometimes multiple online casinos. One of the most popular progressive jackpot networks is “Mega Jackpots”, available on multiple online casinos including BetMGM. Let’s take a closer look at Mega Jackpots as an example.

Slots connected to the Mega Jackpot progressive system have special Mega Jackpot symbols. Players need a set of five or more of the special symbol to trigger the progressive jackpot prise. Some slots may offer the prize in the base game only, while others will also offer wins in free games mode.

The progressive jackpot network grows based on wagers placed on connected games. A total of 3.5% of every wager is set aside from every bet to build the prize. For example, $30 in wagers would contribute $1 to the progressive jackpot total. With thousands of people playing, the prize money can grow quite quickly, and it is not uncommon to see a winner nab a six-figure prize.

Some of the most popular Mega Jackpots slots, all of which are IGT slots, include:

Tips on How to Win a Progressive Jackpot

Now that we’ve covered what progressive jackpot slots are, where to find them, and some of the best options, let’s get into some tips on how you can maximize your opportunity to win a progressive jackpot.

1

Know How to Trigger the Progressive Jackpot

Each progressive slot has its own setup. And while all progressives are won by random luck, you have to make sure you’re eligible to trigger the jackpot. Usually, you can’t just bet a nickel per spin for a chance at the progressive.

For example, “The Big One” progressive jackpot at BetMGM is shared across multiple games (we’ll go into more detail about that below). To qualify for the progressive, a player must wager at least $1.35 per spin. So if you were playing a 15-line slot, you’d need to value each line by $0.09 to meet the minimum qualifications.

You can find out how to qualify for the progressive jackpot in the “info” section of the slot.

2

Play When the Jackpot “Must Hit”

In some cases, a slot can have a maximum progressive jackpot size. This information is difficult to find, and a lot of what’s online is unreliable.

However, there is a little trick you can employ to best predict when a jackpot will hit: look up previous winners. You’ll often notice that the payouts are fairly consistent across the board.

For example, the Divine Fortune jackpot paid out $314,341 at Betfair, $306,051 at Golden Nugget, and $287,945 at SugarHouse. If you see Divine Fortune hovering around $300,000, it’s likely about to pay out one of its biggest prizes.

3

Lower Jackpots Are More Likely to Hit

The more people who play the lottery, the less likely you are to win. The same is true for a progressive jackpot. Of course, the bigger the jackpot, the more people who want to play. And that’s totally valid. Even the lower jackpots are long-shot targets, so why not go for the biggest?

However, the lower jackpots are more likely to win. While it may seem slightly when we’re dealing with such small chances, a $50,000 jackpot could be hundreds of times more likely to win than a $300,000 jackpot.

4

See if It’s Part of a Progressive Jackpot Network

As mentioned above, “Mega Jackpots” is an example of a progressive jackpot network that stretches across multiple slots. Golden Nugget also has the “Mega Drop” progressive network and the “Super Pot” progressive networks, for example. The benefit here is that you have your choice of multiple games to win the same jackpot. Things to consider when deciding between different slots include RTP percentage (odds), theme and setup, and bonus features.

5

Play With Bonus Money if Possible

Playing slots is almost always the easiest way to satisfy playthrough requirements. This is especially true for an online casino deposit-match welcome bonus. In fact, some deposit-match bonuses only apply to slots play, and all other games are ineligible.

So, if you’re looking to win a progressive jackpot, utilize as much bonus money as you have available to you. Just remember to play responsibly, especially when progressive jackpot slots usually offer pretty subpar odds compared to table games. That means never betting above budget and setting strict time limits.

In every state with legal online casinos, there’s no law against joining every app and taking advantage of all the bonus offers. If you only play blackjack, this isn’t the best strategy, as blackjack’s contribution rate to playthrough requirements is usually outrageous. But if you’re only playing slots, few strategies are better than playing with as much of the house’s money as possible.

Should You Play Progressive Jackpot Slots?

If you already love to play slots, it’s worth giving progressive jackpot slots a try. These games are still excellent options for enjoying the spinning of the reels, and there’s always that slim chance of walking away with the grand prize. You can also up your odds by going for the daily jackpots that are guaranteed to pay out that day. All in all, there’s a reason progressive jackpots are extremely popular – they’re fun, offer great variety and features, and just might change your life.

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Progressive Jackpot FAQs

BetMGM Casino offers the biggest progressive jackpots of any US online casino. The Big Series is connected to over a dozen different slots exclusive to BetMGM and Borgata Online and includes Bison Fury, Loot’en Common, Mirage Mega Magma, and more. BetMGM Casino also offers several other smaller jackpot networks, the famous online casino offering more variety of jackpot slots than anywhere else.

The best progressive jackpot slot online is Divine Fortune. At almost all US online casinos, Divine Fortune offers the biggest progressive jackpot than any other game. Its sequel, Mercy of the Gods, is also a popular jackpot slot.

Wheel of Fortune is another great progressive jackpot slot. The game offers progressive jackpots at several online casinos as well as in-person at slot machine terminals in Vegas and further.

Las Vegas casinos boast the world’s largest progressive jackpots, and the biggest is the Megabucks jackpot, hosted on select IGT slots like Money Madness, TV Hits, Wheel of Fortune, and the titular Megabucks slot machine. These slots are located at every casino along the Las Vegas Strip, including Caesars Palace, Excaliber, the Flamingo, and dozens more.

New Jersey offers the biggest progressive jackpot slots online than anywhere else in the US. Jackpots have been won online in NJ that have topped over $3.5 million compared to just over $1 million in Pennsylvania, which has the second biggest progressive jackpots online.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Casino Content Manager
Mike Epifani is a gambling expert and professional writer with more than a decade of industry experience. His current role is Brand Content Manager at Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media network. Mike has written hundreds of guides on online casinos, casino gaming, sports betting, sweepstakes sites, and lottery play.
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