The one thing that takes the online casino experience to the next level is the progressive jackpot. These are games with payouts that run into millions of Australian Dollars. They are offered by many of the reputed online casinos listed right here.
Progressive jackpots are popular because you do not really need to bet huge sums of money to win one of them, and also because they hold the potential for winning a massive payout. Over the years, thousands of people have won a life changing progressive jackpot online.
We will guide you to the best progressive jackpot games available to Aussie punters, and show you which are the best casinos that offer them. We share valuable tips for playing these games and answer typical questions that you may have.
Most of the progressive jackpots that you see at online casinos for Australian players are slots. You find them on the exciting 5-reel video slots, but there are also jackpots attached to the good ol' classic slots.
There are of course other games that come with progressive jackpots, including games like:
Caribbean Stud Poker
How does a Progressive Jackpot Work?
The progressive jackpot is different from a fixed jackpot that you see in some of the slots at Australian online casinos. As the term indicates, the size of the jackpot grows with time. Each time you make a wager on a progressive jackpot game, a percentage of the wager is set aside and this is what feeds the jackpot and makes it grow. The longer the time taken for the jackpot to be hit the bigger it grows.
All progressive jackpots come with a minimum amount, called the seed value. The size of the seed value depends on the jackpot and the provider behind it. For instance, Microgaming's progressive jackpots usually come with a seed value itself of $1 million. This means that even if you hit the jackpot a day after it is hit you will win $1 million. Unfortunately, these games are not available to Australian players any more as the company has opted to move out of the Australian market after the introduction of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in November 2016 and its subsequent passing in September 2017.
Once a player hits a progressive jackpot, it is reset to its seed value and the process starts all over again. Each wager on that game sees a percentage being put aside as contribution to the jackpot amount. And so the jackpot starts growing again, until some lucky player hits it.
The standalone progressive jackpot was the first progressive jackpot and was much sought after back in the day. As the term suggests, it is connected to a single machine or game at the casino. The jackpot amount is fed by bets placed on just that single machine. The payouts are therefore average and normally do not cross $10,000.
While they are considered outdated, you still find them at land-based casinos throughout the world. This is because back when they were popular they were manufactured in large numbers and casinos have retained them.
Local Progressive Jackpots
The local progressive jackpots evolved from the standalone jackpots. Local jackpots can be found attached to games or machines within a single casino. The number of machines on the linked network could be anywhere between 10 and 100+, depending on the number of linked machines.
The local progressive jackpot amount is created by putting aside a percentage of the wagers from the multiple machines it is attached to. The payouts are, therefore, bigger than in standalone jackpots and can range from $100,000 to a little under $1,000,000.
Network Progressive Jackpots
The network progressive jackpot was the automatic next step forward from the local progressive. It is the most popular of the three jackpot types and is found in land-based and online casinos across the world. In the case of land-based casinos multiple machines from multiple casinos across an entire state are linked. In an online casino too, the linkage is across multiple casinos.
The linkage of machines or games across multiple casinos allows the jackpot to build very rapidly into huge amounts. As a result, the jackpot amounts are high and run into millions of dollars. Some of these jackpots come with a minimum payout of a million dollars or close to it. The world record payout for a network progressive jackpot, for instance, was a staggering €17.86 million on the Mega Moolah slot from Microgaming!
What Role Does Strategy Play in Winning a Progressive Jackpot?
Strategy really doesn't count for much when it comes to winning a progressive jackpot attached to an online slot. This is because there is no way of predicting when a progressive jackpot will be hit. Sometimes you see a progressive jackpot being hit a week after someone has hit it, and there are times the jackpot remains unconquered for months or even a year.
When a network progressive jackpot is big enough, betting on it with the expectation of winning it is just that: positive expectation; there is no guarantee that it will translate into a life-altering win.
Statistically, the chances of winning a progressive jackpot are over 1 in a million irrespective of the value of the jackpot; that is why you see so few players winning them. This is because of the hit frequency: the frequency with which the RNG puts together a winning combination for a game. The odds are similar in fact to that of winning a lottery; only, the jackpot gives you more chances of winning as you can spin away multiple times.
Progressive jackpots come with lower payout percentages than standard slots and other online casino games. A regular slot with a low payout percentage would be a pariah; what saves the progressive from that fate is the lure of its million-dollar payout.
What is a Progressive Jackpot in Slots?
Slots definitely form a big chunk of the progressive jackpot games. This is because they are fast and fun to play. Also, there are simply too many slots around, and it becomes easy for a software provider to attach a jackpot to one of them, given that they are among the most played games at online casinos.
The addition of a progressive jackpot to a slot doesn't change the way the game plays. The game is still like any other slot, with its exciting symbols, coin values, paylines and wagers. You place your wager and spin away and hopefully win. The difference is in the presence of an additional bonus round or rounds that give you a shot at winning the progressive jackpot.
In many games the multi-million dollar jackpot payout is not instant; it doesn't happen on a single spin. There is a build-up. The bonus round triggering the progressive jackpot may be a multi-level round: clear each round and get closer to that massive payout. And you hit the jackpot when you clear the last round. Software providers like Playtech, for instance, have 4 progressive jackpots built into some of their games, e.g. the Marvel slots earlier and the DC slots now.
Top Software Providers with Progressive Jackpots
Given the popularity of progressive jackpots, it is only natural that most of the leading online casino software providers have them in their game portfolio. We list below for you the leading providers offering progressive jackpots to Australian players:
Number of Jackpots
While these are the software providers with the biggest number of jackpots for players, you must know that Microgaming, NetEnt and 888 Gaming jackpots may not be available to Australians anymore because of these providers backing out of the Australian market after the passage of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in November 2016.
Most Popular Progressive Jackpot Slots in Australia
Progressive jackpot slots are very popular among players across the world, and Australian players are definitely not the exception. Australian players fancy a good game of slots and a good win, so what better way to win than at a progressive slot?
There are a huge number of progressive slots to choose from, of course. So which are the progressive jackpot slots that Australian players favour?
We list the top few for you here:
This is a Playtech progressive slot with 5 reels and 50 paylines.
This is a Playtech progressive slot with 5 reels and 20 paylines.
This is a 5-reel slot from Playtech with 25 paylines.
Progressive Jackpot FAQ's
Can you list out 5 of the big wins scored with online progressive jackpots?
The 5 biggest progressive wins have been:
€17,879,645 won by Jon Heywood on Microgaming's Mega Moolah on 6th October, 2015.
€17,860,868 won by an anonymous player on NetEnt's Mega Fortune on 20th January, 2013.
€11,735,446 won by an anonymous player on NetEnt's Mega Fortune on 23rd September, 2011.
$11,633,898 won by Marcus Goodwin on Microgaming's Mega Moolah on 5th November, 2016.
€7,900,000 won by D.P. on Microgaming's Mega Moolah on 28th August, 2016, while playing from a mobile device.
Sadly, none of these games are available at Australian online casinos as the software providers behind them have moved away from the Australian market.
Which are better to play: progressive slots or non-progressive slots?
There will always be the question of which is better: a progressive slot or a non-progressive slot? Our take is that both are great; which is better depends on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a life-altering win then the progressive slot is the best choice. There are a few things that go against it as conventional wisdom; for instance the low payout percentage means the odds are stacked higher against the probability of winning. These games come with a low hit frequency, and there is no telling when the next one will pop.
However, there is one thing further to consider: even if you do not hit the progressive jackpot and make those million bucks, you will still be able to put together the regular wins that slots offer their players.
Non-progressive slots, on the other hand, come with high RTPs and payout percentages. You have a good shot at picking up a sizeable number of decent wins, with some luck to help you along. The hit frequency is way higher for these games than for progressive slots.
What are the odds of hitting a progressive jackpot?
Despite the huge jackpots, the odds of hitting one are fairly low. True, you hear stories of a player winning a million-dollar payout every now and then. But place that against the backdrop of the total number of players at the casino over the given period of time and you know what you are up against.
Progressive jackpots come with a low hit frequency. The higher the potential of the jackpot the lower the hit frequency. On the bright side though, there ARE winners. Players are likely to hit a progressive jackpot once in 3 to 6 months, on an average.
The chances of winning a jackpot are the same regardless of the size of the pot. It is that thing called Gambler's Fallacy - something is more likely to happen if it hasn't happened in recent times - that lulls us into believing that winning a massive jackpot would be easier than winning a smaller one.
Why should I play max bet when looking for a progressive jackpot?
A higher stake results in a higher probability of hitting the jackpot. That is why casinos ask players to play max bets when they are going for the progressive jackpot. Many casinos actually shut down the progressive jackpot element for a player playing with a low or minimal bet.
Many casinos incorporate max bet play in their terms and conditions. It then becomes imperative to play that way as otherwise you would be in violation of the terms and not get the maximum jackpot payout should you hit it; all you would get is a payout with a multiplier.
Are progressive jackpots available for play from my mobile device?
Of course! A number of software providers now offer their progressive jackpot games to mobile casino players. The biggest mobile casino jackpot was hit by DP while playing Mega Moolah from Microgaming on her mobile device: a cool €7.9 million!