Progressive jackpot slots are one of the most attractive casino games. With the highest progressive jackpot payout on record – a massive $39.7 million – won on the Megabucks slot machine in Las Vegas, it’s easy to see why these games are so captivating.
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However, players do not need to travel to the entertainment capital of the world to win big as there are a growing number of progressive jackpot casinos now available online.
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The question is, which ones should you play and which online casinos are the best for these slots? This online slots guide will help answer those questions, as we reveal everything you need to know about jackpot slots.
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While jackpot prizes at online casinos may not match the neon lights of Las Vegas, you can still win live-changing payouts at the best US sites, with jackpots of 7 and 8 figures up for grabs.
Of course, there are many progressive slot machines, and not all of them go that high. Think of it as a compromise. The mega jackpot slots can go for millions of spins before the big prize lands, but for smaller progressives, it can only be 100,000 spins. Therefore, the chances of winning the latter increase a lot.
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Additionally, many new US players may not know that the size of the progressive jackpot for the same game can vary across state lines. To highlight this, at the time of writing, these were the prize pots for All You Can Spin Sushi at BetMGM Casino:
Added to this fact, certain slot machine games are available in some states and not others, although it is the same casino. So, if you’re after the biggest payouts, it’s worth looking around to find out what the totals are in each state before you play. Our state guides will help with this:
International Game Technology, commonly known as IGT, is credited with launching the first progressive jackpot slot machines. The game was Megabucks, and it hit casino floors across Nevada in March 1986.
Since Megabucks was before internet technology, the slots were connected together by telephone lines. IGT seeded the progressive with $1 million, which attracted players from far and wide, all wanting to spin the reels in the hope of being the lucky winner. With each spin, the jackpot grew a bit bigger. It wasn’t until February 1987 that a player in Reno won the first jackpot – a whopping $4,988,842.17.
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Microgaming’s Mega Moolah was the first online progressive jackpot game to appear in casinos in 2009. However, instead of boasting one jackpot, it packed in four – Mega, Major, Minor, and Mini – that could be won on any given spin.
The mega jackpot was paid out three times in the first year, with winners picking up $6.3m, $1.17m, and $1.24m, respectively. Since then, many other software developers have created progressive slot games, but Mega Moolah still holds its place as the all-time great.
If you want to try your luck on these online slots, the best US casinos have a range of options waiting for you. Here’s an overview to whet your appetite.
Party Casino is only available in New Jersey, so you need to be in the Garden State to play its jackpot games. The brand is owned by BetMGM, which means that both casinos share many of the same games. However, the benefit of this is that the jackpots grow much faster and potentially much larger, as players from both casinos are contributing to the prize pools.
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In total, Party Casino has more than 25 progressive jackpot slots. This includes IGT’s Mega Jackpots and Mega Drops series, which have a predetermined payout value that guarantees the jackpot will drop before it reaches that amount.
As one of the leading progressive jackpot casinos in NJ, these are some of the best titles you can play at Casino Party.
As highlighted, the selection of progressive slots and the size of their jackpots depends on the state from which you are visiting BetMGM. Understandably, with Party Casino running the same MGM slots in New Jersey, the jackpots tend to eclipse those in other states. However, this may change in the future if, for example, online casinos are legalized in New York.
BetMGM NJ offers IGT’s five Mega Jackpots slots: Cleopatra, Siberian Storm, Wheel of Fortune: On Air, Ocean Belles, and Golden Goddess. These games are linked together, so they all contribute to the same progressive jackpot. After reviewing the four states where you can enjoy BetMGM progressive jackpot games, these are the five best slots available in all casinos.
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FanDuel offers a diverse collection of progressive slots from top developers, such as IGT, Lightning Box, and NetEnt. There is a strong Asian theme with titles such as 88 Fortunes, Jin Ji Bao Xi Endless Treasure, Dancing Drums, and Fu Dao Le, which come from developers owned by Scientific Games. Apart from those, some of the other popular FanDuel Casino progressive jackpot slots are:
Caesars has over 400 casino games, including video poker, roulette, blackjack, slots, and a selection of progressive jackpots. The only issue we have with Caesars online casino is that it does not provide a ‘Jackpots’ tab in the menu. Therefore, players should search the library to find the best games. Alternatively, you can use the search bar if you know the name of the slot.
All of IGT’s Mega Jackpots progressives are here, and the jackpot amount matches that of BetMGM, which means that these slots are connected through IGT and not a specific casino. This is attractive to players as it helps push the prize purse up much higher. Some of the many Caesars progressive jackpots include:
DraftKings has quickly emerged as one of the leading mobile casinos in the United States with a large selection of games. It has a jackpots tab in the menu; however, these are not progressive slots.
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To find the progressives at DraftKings Casino, players need to search through the ‘DK Slots’ lobby. Many titles such as Candy Bars, Roller Wheel, Wild Fury, Endless Treasure and Heat ’em Up boast progressive jackpots at other casinos, but DraftKings does not indicate that they are here. Instead, the progressive jackpot games are:
The simple way to think of progressive jackpots is a side bet built into the game. For example, you can visit many US casinos and play IGT’s Cleopatra or Cleopatra Mega Jackpots. This is essentially the same slot; however, the latter has an extra ‘Mega Jackpots’ symbol that triggers the huge jackpot.
So, how exactly do progressive jackpots work? Firstly, the progressive feature usually has a minimum seed, which is the base value of the jackpot. After a player wins it, the progressive jackpot resets to its seed value. An example is Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, which offers four progressive jackpots in one game.
When someone plays a progressive slot, part of their stake is taken to grow the jackpot. This varies between slots, but is typically around 2 – 4%. So, if you are playing progressive slots with $1.00 a spin, $0.02 – $0.04 of that bet goes into the jackpot prize pot. This may not sound like much, but the pot quickly grows when you consider the thousands of players who spin the reels every day.
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Of course, the contribution towards the progressive jackpot and minimum seed has to come from somewhere, which is why the RTP (return to player) on these slots is lower than most -regular video slots.
Looking at Cleopatra, excluding the progressive feature, the RTP is 88.98%, with 3.5% of the total bet funding the jackpot. So, the actual RTP with the progressive is 92.48%. This is the trade-off that actors must consider. In the long run, these slots take up a bigger part of your bankroll. However, you are playing for life-changing jackpots.
How the jackpot is won also varies. For IGT’s Mega Jackpots, there are two ways you can win the progressive. The first is to match 5 Mega Jackpot symbols around the middle row, and the other way is through a random Jackpot Chance Fold after every real money spin.
It is different for Mega Moolah. Its progressive feature is randomly activated after any spin. Players are then taken to the Jackpot Prize Wheel, which guarantees to win one of the four progressives.
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NetEnt’s Mega Fortune is like a mix of IGT and Microgaming. There are bonus scatter symbols on the slot that trigger the jackpot game. Again this is a wheel, but it has spinning cylinders, and players must progress to the center to win the Mega Jackpot.
If you decide to play progressive slots, it will be useful to know a little about the different types. This will give you an idea of how big jackpots can grow and how often they are won.
Also known as an online progressive jackpot network, these slots carry the same jackpot in multiple states and jurisdictions. Typically, several slot games are connected