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Gaming Guru

David Newstead

Progressive Jackpot Games uncovered

30 June 2010

We've all seen them. They're lit up in gaudy neon lights, run in tickers and flash annoyingly on casino websites. The huge figures feel remote, unconnected to you and impossibly unattainable. How can a €2 spin possibly result in that much money? It must be a scam, right? Wrong.

Sometimes overlooked, jackpot games are the real deal. There are no traps, no scams but are, in fact, a cleverly conceived business model between the casino game manufacturers and the network of participating casinos. In principle, it's really straight forward: every time you bet a bit goes into the network. And that means the jackpots grow as they're played across the network, and sometimes, and especially when the jackpot figures heads up into the millions, very quickly as the excitement builds.

Naturally it's a little more complicated than that for the casinos as they have to contribute hefty lumps of cash to join. But its often worth the price – in no small part because they can now add a shiny, flashing, suitably impressive, jackpot figure to their website – as some of these games, to those in the know, are some of the most popular in both off and online casinos.

And, yes, they're really not scams. Why? Because people like as Klaus E from Finland won nearly €6 million Euros last year on Mega Moolah - plus many others via countless other jackpot games. And when I say countless I really mean it. Progressive games are not restricted to slots alone, there are progressive Caribbean Stud, Roulette, video poker, Blackjack and even Red Dog.

So if they're not scams but rather a way of enjoying casino games with the extra excitement of a big win, then why do the other regular variants still exist? Well, it is a good question. It might be because bet levels are fixed in progressive games – so that everyone contributes the same amounts and is fair – and that players don't like having their budget dictated. It maybe that outside of the progressive jackpot the perception is that the base game is not as generous and that the progressive wins are just too infrequent to make it worthwhile. My understanding of the games suggests the latter isn't true, but I also equally understand the concept of: "there is no such thing as a free lunch". It is innate in us all and is probably insurmountable for casinos to overcome through marketing, even with said garish jackpots tickers.

One thing to remember is that these games have thousands of players, all competing for the same networked jackpot. The chances of bagging it are, admittedly, slim. But there is a solution: casinos that seed their own jackpots. Yup, some online casinos have the same games but haven't joined the network. Yes, the jackpots are smaller but so are the number of players trying to snatch it from you. I personally prefer these, as the payout percentage is the same – that's fixed by the manufactures – but you really do feel it's just you and the slot, and not a million other players. If this sounds like your thing, then I recommend Jackpot Games casino, where they have 8 progressive games and all with their own jackpots.

So while casinos are piling money into seed these jackpots, and some players remain sceptical, then now may well be the perfect time - while funds are high and competing players relatively low – to get stuck into some of these great games. I review some of the best progressives and other online slots in my review site, There you can find reviews, bonuses and more within just a few clicks.
Progressive Jackpot Games uncovered is republished from