The allure of the slot machine is always the jackpot, but when it comes to the size of the jackpot on offer, one class of machine sits head and shoulders above the rest: The Network Progressive. The modern online network progressive is the fourth iteration of this type of machine, beginning with single machines that offered an ever-expanding jackpot prize.
Next came the linking of multiple cabinets in the same casino, which was “pooled”, increasing the size of the jackpot further. The third generation saw owners of multiple casino properties link up their existing machine networks using telephone lines, as the casinos on the famous Las Vegas strip battled each other to try to offer the largest jackpots.
The Ultimate Progressive Slot Machine – The Online Network Progressive
By this point, the jackpots offered by these machines were already impressive – sometimes even reaching the hundreds of thousands of dollar range. Still, there is always going to be a finite limit on the number of physical cabinets that a particular casino chain can own, link, and pool to create their progressive jackpots.
Removing the bottleneck
The internet removed the need for a physical cabinet entirely, finally opening up the door to jackpots of truly humongous proportions. Now, there can be millions of potential players – not just a few thousand at the most.
With jackpots this large, why play anything else?
By far the most popular online network progressive jackpot slot is Microgaming’s “Mega Moolah”. Here are just a few of its biggest hits:
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How does the Mega Moolah Jackpot Work?
Winning the jackpot in Mega Moolah is deceptively difficult, of course – first, you will need to trigger the progressive jackpot feature, the odds of which are directly linked to the size of your bet. The feature itself is a “jackpot wheel” containing twenty segments, ten of which award the mini jackpot, six the minor jackpot, three more for the major jackpot, and finally, a single segment is allocated to the “Mega Progressive”.
Of course, this wheel is not fair and random – if it was, you would have a 1 in 20 shot at the Mega progressive every time you hit the progressive feature. The odds of hitting the mini jackpot probably are a 50/50 shot – but the difficulty of hitting each of the three higher-level jackpots is much tougher. Things have to be this way to make the game exciting to play and cause the jackpots to build to the levels that they do. Nevertheless, some players do find this practice a little bit deceptive.
So why play progressive jackpot slots?
Well, the size of the prize is the obvious factor; no other slot will ever come close to being able to offer the sizes of jackpots that Progressive machines can do. Regular slot machines are reaching pretty wild totals recently – 100,000x your stake is the capped maximum jackpot on NetEnt’s Dead or Alive 2, and that’s not just a headline figure either – numerous people have recorded themselves winning this amount on YouTube, as proof that not only can it be done, but it can be done regularly too.
The downside is, thousands of players have to have poured money into that machine to fund just that single 100,000x stake win. Those players have almost inevitably lost their entire balances to the machine, hoping for their own big hit at a later stage – many players are perfectly happy to win just 10,000x their stake, after all.
What is the difference between that and a progressive jackpot machine?
Progressive machines state two RTP figures – the overall RTP, and the effective RTP. The effective RTP includes a deduction from each spin unit that contributes towards the jackpot pool. This means that each player has an equal stake in the rising jackpot pool. It’s a fairer system, to be honest – it’s open and honest, you know how much you are contributing to the progressive, and it is up to you if you are happy to participate.
Machines to look out for
Some progressive jackpot machines will advertise that their jackpot “must” drop by a certain time or size, and these are worth keeping an eye open for – especially in land-based casinos. Online, you are likely to find thousands of people chancing their luck on these slots, but you could be the one to find a land-based progressive at just the right time one day, so keep your eyes open!