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.


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).


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.

The 54th richest man in the UK, and owner of Newcastle United Football Club and sport supplies chain Sports Direct, is a well-known high roller in the casinos of London’s exclusive Mayfair. He is also famous for having one of the largest wins ever on a single spin of a roulette wheel. This he achieved in 2008 after spending just 15 minutes at the wheel.

Despite well-known for being camera shy, the usual low-key Mike Ashley walked into the exclusive Fifty London Casino in Mayfair and bet for a ball to land on the number 17 – reported to be his favourite and lucky number. The wheel landed on his chosen number and he left the casino just quarter of an hour later, over one million pounds richer than he was the moment he walked in to the joint.

Yet it wasn’t a simple spin of the wheel. High-rollers are known for making complex bets and Ashley placed something called a “complete” bet, a combination that gives very high odds. Ashley bet that the following would happen:

  • It would land on 17
  • It would land on black
  • It would land on an odd number
  • It would land on a number between 1 and 18

The only person to have won big on two separate occasions, the WWII veteran won some $4.6m on the first day of opening at the Mirage Casino in Vegas on the Megabucks Jackpot slot machine.

Elmer Sherwin was the first winner of the “progressive jackpot” which had been introduced in 1989. The concept is that each time a player plays a slot, the value of the jackpot increases until it is won and then it reverts to normal; this is a tantalising selling point and has helped many people grab those big wins.

The money he used to realise his lifelong dream and travel the world. This first win was in 1989 and despite the enormous jackpot, after returning from his travels he decided to carry on playing the slot machines. He didn’t need the money, but he enjoyed it.

Imagine his surprise when 16 years later in 2005 he experienced another big win. This jackpot dwarfed his previous win at an impressive $21m. This time, feeling he did not need the money and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he decided to give most of it to charity, including to help relief efforts for the people affected.

Archie Karas is the man who started with just $50 in his pocket but ended up with $40m and a lifetime ban from all Las Vegas casinos. Beginning a road trip from California to Las Vegas where he hoped to make his fortune in casinos, on the journey he made several stops at casinos to play poker. By the time he reached Vegas, he had turned the $50 into $10,000. Undeterred by the possibility of a winning streak coming to an end, he soldiered on and reached Vegas confident in his extra spending power.

Sticking mostly to poker and baccarat as he felt he was such an accomplished player, but also dabbling in the occasional game of dice, Karas gamble paid off as by the end of his road trip to Las Vegas he had won over $40m.

Karas was, unfortunately, a big spender and soon lost the money again – this is a common story with high-rollers. A big loss was the reason he only had $50 to his name in the first place, he’d lost some $2m in his native California which prompted him to go on the road trip.

The first state to legalise online gambling was Delaware back in 2012. Since then, other states have followed suite and online casinos slowly began to become more and more popular. Although not as in demand as their land-based counterpart, the convenience of playing from the comfort of your home is appealing for a lot of people. The highest paying online bitcoin casino is MegaDice, but we’re going to look at regular, non-bitcoin online casinos. Players can access games more easily and they can also accomplish other task in the meanwhile. Who wouldn’t want to wait for dinner to be ready while earning big bucks? Let’s look at the 10 most popular online casinos right now and see what they have to offer.

1. Vera and John

These guys have seen some seriously big wins over the years, so it makes sense that they hit the top of our list. The Vera and John casino has some of the best jackpot slot games out there, including all of the classics (Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune, Cleopatra and Arabian Nights). Add all of the jackpots on this site together and you’ve got well over £10 million in prizes to be won.

2. Tropicana Casino

Brought by Tropicana Atlantic City Casino and Gamesys, the first gaming provider that introduced cash based games on Facebook, Tropicana Casino has a great team behind it that is sure to offer players an unforgettable experience. Gamblers can choose between slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, table games and 90 Ball Bingo. A bonus of $100 is offered on sign-up and the methods of payment are convenient and easy to use.

3. Pala Casino

Pala Casino has a vast selection of online casino games for players 21 and over. On sign-up you get a $10 bonus and a double on your first deposit up to $100. Pala Casino has a large selection of casino games including traditional games such as European and American Roulette, Triple Action Hold’em Poker and 8 types of online Blackjack. Besides popular payment methods this online casino also offers instant cash deposits at 7-Eleven locations. iPad and Android apps are also available so you can play on the go.

4. Golden Nugget Casino

For over 60 years the Golden Nugget Casino has proven itself to be one of the most established in the United States. Now with an online gaming site, Golden Nugget Casino is ready for new players. The online casino has 160 titles available for its desktop version and 45 for the mobile one. Slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette and table games are all available and Golden Nugget Casino even offers a sign-up bonus of $200.

5. Caesars Casino

The most acclaimed casino in the States now has an online site where players can get the feel and excitement of a land based casino from the comfort of their homes. Their selection is large and you can find anything from blackjack to table games, video poker and roulette. Slot and jackpot games like Aladdin’s Legacy, Captain Nemo, Cash N’Clovers and many more can also be played. Sign-up bonuses can rise to $310 and major credit cards are supported.

6. 888Casino

With a varied selection of games, 888Casino has rooms with Roulette, Blackjack and Slot games. Different types of casino games are available like Premium European Roulette, Classic Blackjack and popular slots like Evangelion, Panda Manga, Jackpot Dino Stampede and many more. There is also a video poker room where you can try your luck and skills with other players. Up to $310 in sign-up bonuses can be received and players can easily deposit or withdraw their money. Also known for their $88 bonus.

7. HarrahsCasino

A traditional icon among the casino world, Harrah’s Casino has a history of over 15 years in states all across the USA. Owned by Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment, Harrah’s now has an online service. Mobile applications are also available and players can enjoy slot games such as Millionaire Genie, Ca$h Pigs, Casino Reels and other popular titles. Blackjack, video poker and roulette are also available and the first deposit bonus is $200.

8. Virgin Casino

The worldwide known brand Virgin, along with Gamesys and the Tropicana now offer an online casino site where players can earn real money by playing popular games. The selection included blackjack with its three most popular variations, video poker with traditional games as well as slots, keno and 90 ball bingo. On your first deposit you can earn $100 and the payment methods are varied so that anyone can play.

9. Borgata Casino

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is one of the most important casinos on the East Coast, and arguably it could be considered among the top relevant casinos in the country. Having this in mind, an online casino site is only the natural step in the casinos evolution. With table games such as Golden Baccarat, Triple Card, or the popular Texas Hold’em bonus poker, Borgata has something for everybody. Players can also try their luck in the slots room and play games such as Cleopatra, Monopoly Plus and many more. Blackjack rooms are also present and a bonus of $120 can be received upon signing up.

10. Betfair Casino

With one of the first betting sites opened in the United States, Betfair is a pioneer in the online gambling industry. Allowing punters to play online with real money, Betfair offers top casino games as well as sport betting like horseracing. Slot games such as Arabian Charms, Ghostbusters, Star Trek and many more are considered to be the best of all times and all can be played in the slot room. Table games such as blackjack and video poker are also available. Players get a free $10 registration bonus that can be increased to up to $1000 after making your first deposit. Betfair Casino is the go to place for gambling online and winning big money!

Biggest Ever Recorded Bet

Betting can be big business and an adrenaline fuelled game. Due to the risks involved, some casinos and betting sites allow a maximum bet. But what is the largest ever bet to have been placed? Although there have been a few famous $1m craps and roulette spins in Las Vegas, the highest value bet to date was a £900,000 ($1.35m US) single stake placed at William Hill in Glasgow in September 2014. The date was significant as it was the date of the Scottish referendum on independence. The punter bet that Scotland would vote “No”, which it did.

Maximum Permissible Bet

As far as the largest amount a player can stake on any game is concerned, this varies from game to game and game to casino. With sports betting, the bookmaker is permitted to set its own limits. So far, the maximum recorded permissible bet in Las Vegas for a table game is $50,000 though you will find some casinos have tables with no maximum. However, the term can be misleading as in this type of game, the player may not bring more money in during the game – so the limit is the funds available at the start of the game.

Some victories at the casino are bitter-sweet and some are downright tragic. Tragedy struck one young lady named Cynthia Jay Brennan in the year 2000. As a cocktail waitress, she had had a lot of experience in the casinos and decided to take a holiday to Vegas as a treat for herself, her then boyfriend and her mother. While there, they hit an incredible jackpot on the slots – the state maximum was $35m, and that’s precisely what they won that fateful day.

After getting married and organising a round the world trip, they planned how they would enjoy the money including giving up work. Just a couple of weeks later, tragedy struck. Cynthia and her sister were hit by a drunk driver. Her sister was killed instantly and Cynthia’s injuries were so horrific (shattered spine) that she would have to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair and needing around the clock care.

Cynthia Jay Brennan’s slot machine win was one of the biggest ever recorded in Las Vegas, but today her and her husband said they would give it all back so she could walk again and enjoy their previous life.

Famously known as one of the men who “Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”, Wells went on a phenomenal run in the year 1891, and to this day remains one of the biggest winners ever in gambling history. He became so famous that he had a song written about him a year later.

He started his career as a confidence trickster, claiming to be an inventor. After allegedly defrauding a group of people of around £4,000, he went to Monte Carlo to try his luck at the world-famous casinos. In his eleven hours at Monte Carlo, he won a total of 23 roulette spins of the 30 he played and won around one million Francs.

Nobody ever worked out whether he had developed a system to calculate precisely where a ball would land, and authorities spent years trying to work out how he did it, to no avail. Until his death, he maintained it was simply a lucky streak with no trickery involved. Others hypothesised that he used a pendulum-like contraption to attempt to calculate where the ball would fall. Famously, more people would break the bank at Monte Carlo and in Las Vegas, after discovering fatal flaws in some of the roulette wheels.