Jackpot Tiers in Online Slots – How Do They Work?

Walk into any land-based casino, and the first thing you will notice is slot machines with flashy lights on top displaying the jackpots. This is the same case for online casinos. The moment you launch into your account, your first glance will be the massive jackpots of certain slots. But what are jackpot tiers and how do they work.

What Are Progressive Slots?

Jackpot tiers in online slots are also referred to as progressive slots. It is the jackpot that progresses whenever a player makes a bet. A small portion of that bet is taken and added to the amount. If someone hits the jackpot, then the amount resets to a lower amount and then begins growing again.

Progressive slots come in different sizes with some amounting to a few euros while others can go to millions. They are available in different forms, each bringing different prizes and game rules. However, the most important thing is to understand how these machines work out and how different they are from regular slots. So let’s get started.

Types of Progressive Slots

Before any further ado, it is important we understand the types of multi jackpot tiers of slot machines. There are about five common types of these games:

1. Single-Level Progressives
2. Multi-level progressives
3. Wide-Area slots
4. Local Progressive Slots
5. Symbol-driven progressive
6. Bonus-drive jackpots

This was once the only type of jackpot tiers when slots were invented. A display meter on the top or sides of the machine could show one big amount that kept increasing whenever players wagered on the game. But to win this rising amount, gamers had to line up a combination of various symbols.

The single-level progressive pokies are quite rare in the gaming market, but you can find them in 3-reel or classic slots. One good example of a game with this jackpot type is Blazing 7s.

Symbol-Driven Progressives

This is the most common jackpot tier. Its concept is actually applied to all forms of progressives. In symbol-driven games, you need to line winning combinations to receive a payout. The number of symbols you need varies from one slot to the other. For instance, a 3-reel slot might require a combination of three of the jackpot triggering symbols while 5-reel video slot might need five of them. A good example of a symbol-driven slot is Golden Goddess Mega slots, which requires the player to land five wild symbols on an active payline.

Multi-Level Progressives

Most online progressive slots have multiple jackpots. It was first started by Aristocrat Technology, which featured the now common progressive levels Mini, Major, Minor, and Mega. Just from these names, you can know that mini jackpots are the smallest prize while mega contains the highest amount. The latter is difficult to hit while those with a few euros can be won often.

But Aristocrat’s system is not the only one in the market. There are other multi-level progressive slots that use other forms using precious stones like bronze and sapphire.

A great example of a multi-level progressive slot is Mega Moolah by Microgaming. It uses the Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand system.

Local Progressive Slots

This is also referred to as linked-progressives. It defines as jackpots found in only one casino, and that is linked to other games. If that amount is won, all the machines will reset. Normally, this jackpot-tier can go up to $100,000.

Wide-Area Slots 

Unlike the local progressive slots, wide-area progressives (WAP), can be found in a bigger area and not just one casino. It is the most common type that links slots games from multiple casinos in one state.

WAPs accumulate funds over an unknown period of time after which it can sum up to $1 million and sometimes go over. One great example of wide-area progressive slots is the Megabucks slot, which is also one of the most lucrative games in the industry.

Bonus-Driven Progressives

Imagine jackpots that are triggered every time a bonus round is active. Well, this is what the bonus-driven slots entail. The jackpots in this type are awarded during bonus rounds. One way this can happen is through free spins, mini-games, or even a bonus wheel.

Different games come with different ways to earn the jackpots. Some might require the player to land specific winning combinations while others might need you to collect gold coins. So it varies from one game to the other.

How to Win in Jackpot Tier Online Slots

Winning online slots, whether they have fixed or progressive jackpots, is a hard task. It majorly depends on luck and few skills. Progressive jackpots slots are usually very lucrative than the fixed ones, the reason why players are crowding them. Due to their high demand and increased gameplay, the jackpots continue progressing higher and higher meaning the amount can sum to millions of dollars.

This, in turn, makes it even harder to win the amount. So what do you need to do to boost your chances of winning these jackpots? Are there any special skills you need to learn before play?

Well, no! Progressive slots, just like the regular ones, depend highly on luck. Some people will even tell you to play with the Maximum Bet if you want the best payouts, but there is no proof of this happening.

You might even lose more than you expected. However, Max Bet works only when you have a big bankroll to spend, and you are ready psychologically to lose risk and lose money. But if you emerge successfully, then you will bag in more than what you wagered on.

Another way you can possibly increase your chances for a progressive jackpot is by matching the required symbols. This can be special or mystery symbols but either way, landing them can result in a jackpot.

It is also a wise idea to focus on the mini and minor jackpots than the mega or grand amount. This is because mini jackpots are easier to obtain, and winning can occur often. However, the Mega jackpot occurs rarely and is very difficult to get.

Whichever strategy you choose to use to try and win the jackpot tiers, make sure to gamble safely and responsibly. This means you should plan a budget and stick to it through the game. Do not bet the maximum stake if you cannot afford and do not chase losses by wagering more or you might end up losing all your bankroll.

How Does Jackpot Tier Slots Work and What Are the Odds?

As said before, progressive slots work in a simple way. Whenever players place bets in the online slot, a small portion of that bet is taken and added to the jackpot. The more the players bet, the higher the jackpot gets.

So, what are the odds of winning in a progressive game? Well, as usual, the house always wins, and these games are not an exception. Multiple jackpots games are hooked to larger player networks. This means that the RTP will be quite lower than the standard or classic slots. For instance, if 10,000 players are competing for the same jackpot, then you have 100% random chances of winning, and your odds are 1/10,000.

However, if a few players play the game locally, then your odds increase. It is basically a numbers game, and you have to play smart. But you have to be aware that software developers provide these progressive pokies to many online casinos to increase the amount. Remember that they are also looking for some profits and where do you think they get them from?

Luckily, casino operators do not alter the winnings in progressive slots since they operate using a random number generator system. This makes sure that all payouts are true, honest, and fair to all players. So gamers should not doubt the massive amounts offered being messed up.

Most Popular Progressive Slots

So now that you are familiar with how these games work, what are some of the best and top progressive slots?

Mega Moolah: This is one of the best jackpot tier slots that has awarded millions of dollars to players. It is a video game developed by Microgaming and features multiple jackpots starting from mini, minor, to mega. Its prize can go all the way to $1 million.

Megabucks: Megabucks tops the list of any progressive jackpot slots. Its amount can start from $10 million and over. However, the game plays out in over 25 years, and its odds are between 1 and 50 million.

Wheel of Fortune: Based on the TV show, Wheel of Fortune is another slot machine that can award generously. Its big payout can start at $200,000.


There you have it. By now, you know the types of progressive slots and how they work. These games can be very fun, but the odds are not that high. Many gamers play them, and each one of them is trying to win. Remember, the more the people play them, the higher the amount and difficulty in winning.

However, you should know what you are getting yourself into. If big wins are your thing, then you can try your luck. But if you are a beginner in them, then it is a sensible idea to go for lower or fixed jackpot slots.

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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