What is a Progressive Jackpot? How does it differ from a regular slot machine? Those are questions that you should be ready to answer before you choose which machine you plan to play when you're into online gambling for real money.  Regular online casino slot jackpots are set at a specific amount. That amount stays the same throughout the game. Progressive jackpot slots deliver the highest payouts but you have to be prepared to hit the correct symbols to achieve that jackpot prize.

So how do you play jackpot slots?

## How Do Slot Machines Work?

Slot machines have been around since the late 1800s but the first Progressive Jackpot slot was introduced in the early 1980’s when the games started to be governed by the Random Number Generators.

Slot machines, both progressive and non-progressive machines, use a random number generator. This computer creates random sequences every millisecond so the results of every spin are fair. This random number system is built into all slot machines to ensure that the games aren’t fixed in any way and that gamers will enjoy a fair playing experience.

Since each spin is completely random, previous spins don’t have anything to do with the winning sequence of a winning spin. Even if a machine has just paid out a jackpot, the following spin will still have the same odds of lining up a matching sequence and paying a new jackpot. Slots have no memory. Every spin is like flipping a coin -- just because you’ve flipped tails eight times in a row, it doesn’t mean that the next flip has more than a 50-50 chance of landing heads.

The random number generator means that luck is determined by mathematical equations. That is just as true with a regular slot machine as it is with a progressive slot. Even if the progressive slot just paid out a massive payout, the very next game could deliver a jackpot as well.

## How Do Progressive Jackpots Work?

When you play a progressive jackpot slot, that slot machine is linked to the same prize pool as the machines of other players who are playing the same game. Basically, you compete with other players from around the world who are all on the same slot. You don’t all have to be playing at the same time – each gamer plays when he wishes -- but all of the players’ progressive jackpot deposits are added together and when one player spins the spin that triggers the prize, that player wins the entire jackpot.

Sometimes the players are playing in different parts of the world, online, each on his or her own device. At other times the players are playing at land-based casinos and competing with other players who are on machines at other linked brick-and-mortar casino sites.

Wherever you are, the larger the number of players who play on a specific machine, the more competitors who will be contributing to the jackpot. That increases the jackpot that much faster.

That’s the reason that these games are called “Progressive Jackpots” -- they continue to grow until someone hits the winning combination. That’s the appeal of Progressive Jackpot wins – everyone is focused on landing the big windfall. Competition is high but so are the rewards.

Everyone has the same fair chance of striking it lucky as they spin the reels and aim for the jackpot prize

## Progressive Vs. Non-Progressive Jackpots

If you can win the biggest payouts playing Progressive Jackpot slots, why play anything else?

Non-progressive slots are slot machines that have a fixed amount. No matter how many times a win is achieved, that amount won’t change. The winning amount does not build over time and it doesn’t matter how many other gamers play that machine. However, non-progressive machines still offer large prize pots and provide a satisfactory gaming experience.

Additionally, the odds are that you are much more likely to win a non-progressive slot game than you are to win a progressive slot. As they say, six of one, half dozen of another…….the jackpot in a non-progressive game will be smaller but you have a better chance of winning that small prize than you do of winning the large prize. It’s your call.

## Can you Boost Your Chances to Win a Progressive Jackpot?

If slots – including progressive slots – are ruled by Random Number Generators, is there anything that you can do to boost your chances to win a progressive slot game?

Actually, no. It’s impossible to predict when a progressive jackpot is going to drop. On the other hand, if you don’t play, you’re not going to win. So as much as that can be considered a “strategy”, keep in mind that, if you don’t even try to play a jackpot game, there’s no way that you’re ever going to win a jackpot!

A few additional tips include:

• If you’re going to play a jackpot game, find the jackpot that is overdue. Progressive jackpots accumulate over time --the more people that play on them, the more the jackpot amount will be. So if you’re going to take a chance, find a slot that offers the most lucrative prize. For the same deposit, you have the chance to achieve a much higher win.
• Use the bonuses. You can apply your casino bonuses to the jackpot game so your money will go further.

## Other Types of Progressive Jackpots

In addition to the Wide Area Progressive Jackpots, which are the machines that are linked together, there are 2 other types of progressive jackpots

• Stand-Alone Progressive Jackpot is not linked to any other machine. Stand-Alone progressive slots deliver lower jackpots because the machine competes against itself.
• In-House Progressive Jackpot combines a group of machines that are all linked together.

The Stand Alone Progressive Jackpots and the In-House Progressive Jackpots are not featured at most casinos because they aren’t favored by too many people. They are available at some casino sites but gamers who prefer one of these alternative progressive games must search for them.