They’re one of the greatest aspects of online and land-based casino play, and are responsible for some of the biggest gambling wins in history, continuing to make millionaires on an almost weekly basis. As opposed to being proof of people’s good luck online, these jackpots are mostly testament to the giant industry that slot games and casinos are, as they still continue to make heaps of money despite giving away giant sums of money. It all works on a like-for-like basis: the more people that play, the more you’re in with a chance of winning. This does effectively mean that your chances of winning are slimmer, but it also means that when you do win the sums can change your life, and you’re very likely to want to keep on playing in a similar vein until you win again, and again, and again.

How Much Could You Win?

The amount up for grabs depends on how many people are playing, because a proportion of each bet is poured into the jackpot bucket, increasing it at every spin. Because bet sizes can vary from spin to spin, this amount can go up steadily but can also jump up if someone is very quick and a big risk-taker! Depending on what time of the day you play, you can also see it creep up more or less slowly, especially given that some games are more popular in certain time zones than others, so it’s worth doing your research if you want to increase your chances of winning big.

Network

The size of the network that the game belongs to is one of the major factors in the size of the jackpot. Sometimes a jackpot for a single game is uniquely tied to that physical machine, or that online casino, meaning that the jackpot only goes up when someone plays that particular machine, or that game on a single website. The total is therefore unlikely to increase rapidly, as there are few people contributing portions of their bets to the jackpot. However, there are some games, such as Bell of Fortune, which are linked to huge physical networks and so the possible wins can shoot up rapidly at peak times, with hundreds or even thousands of machines connected to the same jackpot. In an online context this can also be reflected in the number of casinos sharing the same jackpot, and this is where we see jackpots in the tens of millions, as everybody across all online casinos is playing for the same kitty.

What Happens When Someone Hits The Jackpot?

When somebody bags the whole lot we start again, but the counter doesn’t revert back to 0, or no one would want to play the game as all the appeal would be lost! For this reason the jackpot will always revert back to a ‘seed’ amount, an amount deemed to be appealing enough to draw people in, but low enough to be able to increase substantially without bankrupting the casino. Because of this, in one casino you can have games with a £2000 jackpot sitting next to one with a £2,000,000 jackpot, but you can return a week later and the number may be reversed!

Progressive Jackpots

There are more than 500 progressive jackpots available online, all with varying rules, odds and sums of money to be won. At any one moment, there is a total pool of around £81,000,000 to be won across these games. Online casinos keep their odds well under wraps, keeping up the mystery of their game behind a virtual smoke-screen, but what is certain is that your chances are much better online than in casinos. The RTP of penny slots on the Vegas Strip is around 88%, whereas any random  selection of major online casinos are mostly at around 95%. The minimal overheads, and the lack of expensive rents, premises and front-of-house staff allow them to keep costs down and return-to-player up!

How Likely Is It To Win?

According to a humorous study carried out by a betting website, you’re more likely to become a movie star than win the jackpot at Major Millions, one of the highest-paying jackpot games. You’re only a little less likely to be struck by lighting twice, but you’re 600 times more likely to make a hole-in-one than hit that jackpot! Whenever you see a game which displays the ‘due date’ for a win, be very careful! Each spin on a slot, or roll of a dice, is a unique event, entirely exclusive of influence from previous rolls, so no one’s ever ‘due’ a win, and a jackpot can go unclaimed for weeks, just as well as it might be snapped up within a couple of hours. It’s useful, however, to keep an eye on analytics websites which will give you a good idea of the house advantage of major games, and let you know when’s a good time to play (just be aware that you’re not the only one consulting these websites, so your advantage is shared with any number of other players).

How Is The Jackpot Paid Out?

If you’re lucky enough to win, it’s worth checking out the payout policy of the casino you’re playing in – or even better, check this out beforehand. Some casinos limit the amount they pay out to any one player in a single month, which means that you could win millions but be paid only a few thousand per month for the next few years, which could somewhat limit your buying potential, and leave you at the mercy of the casino’s success and failure (you’ve got to hope they don’t go bankrupt before they’ve coughed up all your win).

Summary

A jackpot is a fantastic element of any gambling experience, but it’s important not to get carried away. We’re not guaranteed a win at every spin;, if that were the case then casinos wouldn’t be offering them, and would stick to simple wins for all their games, but because of their eternal appeal and everyone’s equal chances of winning, they keep fascinating us and making a few lucky millionaires every now and again, somewhere in the world.

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