Progressive slot machines may be the most misunderstood gaming device in the casino. All too often, players will sit down at a progressive slot machine and start playing without realizing the differences between a progressive slot and a typical slot machine. While a progressive slot machine promises higher jackpots then any slot in the house, they can be dangerous if a player does not understand how they work.
How a Progressive Slot Machine Works
Typically, progressive slot machines work similar to communal slots. There is often a row (or several rows) of the same type of progressive slot. These machines are tied together in to one big pot. Every time a player places a bet, a portion of that money is added to the pot. The jackpot is paid out on a scale depending on how much the player is betting.
The Three Types of Progressive Slot Machines
Stand Alone Progressive: A Stand Alone Progressive slot machine operates independent of other progressive slots. In a Stand Alone Progressive machine, the player’s bet increases the jackpot on that machine alone.
In-House Progressive: An In-House Progressive is a series of slot machines owned by the casino. These machines can either be tied to other similar machines in the casino or tied to a larger network of machines in several casinos owned by the same company. An In-House Progressive slot machine’s jackpot is shared by every machine.
Wide Area Progressive: A Wide Area Progressive slot machine is linked to many slot machines all owned and operated slot machine company. In a Wide Area Progressive slot, every slot machine on the grid adds to the jackpot pool. These types of slot machines generally have the highest payout, and the lowest odds of striking the jackpot.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Progressive Slot Machine
Progressive slot machines offer the highest jackpots of any slot machines in the casino. These jackpots are often as enticing as a big poker tournament win. However, to qualify for the full jackpot, a player must be betting the maximum amount on every spin. If they are betting less then the maximum and hit the jackpot, then the payout will be much lower then anticipated. For this reason, it is only a good idea to play progressive slot machines if you can bet the maximum on each spin, otherwise a player should stick to a multiplier slot machine.