May 15th 2007
Progressive jackpots have become immensely popular in the slots world over the past few years. The major motivation for slots players is the ability to wager a small amount with the potential of a life altering return. Progressive jackpots embody this concept, and as such have proved quite attractive to most slots fans.

Progressive jackpot machines are ones which are all linked up in one big network. As money is played through any and all of the machines on the network, a small portion is added to the jackpot total and displayed across all of the machines. Depending on the number and use of the slot machines on a progressive network, the jackpots can be seen to grow right in front of your eyes, another great trick to entice gamers.

To get a sense for exactly how powerful this is, see if you don't want to play slots when you look at the growing progressive jackpots here on the IGT network. The interesting thing about these games is that the casinos don't own them. Casinos simply offer space to companies like IGT who own the machines, run the network, and are responsible for payoffs. You find them in the casinos because the casinos receive a very small take, but much more so because of the fact that casinos love them for their ability to draw players into the house with impressive jackpots.

To further your confusion you will see progressive jackpots on machines that the casino does indeed own, but which offer significantly lower jackpots. These are local networks that are run by the specific casino so that they can receive a larger take than they do from the outside progressive companies. The only difference in these proprietary jackpot networks to the player is the lesser degree of competition. Playing an IGT machine, somebody could win the jackpot across the city in the middle of your session, and a thousand people can be playing for it at any one point in time. The advantage of the proprietary, smaller progressive jackpots is that there is a better chance of winning, and it gets won more frequently.

If you prefer to play progressive slots there is something you should keep in mind. Logically, since we know that the progressive jackpots on these machines are built and derived from a percentage of the money fed through them, we know the payout percentages for standard wins are on average lower than a non-progressive slots game. Additionally, many progressive jackpots do not allow collection of the jackpot if the player is playing anything less than the maximum number of coins for the machine. This is another instance where you could happily be playing along and hit the jackpot, only to have it taken away from you in an instant as you realize you only played one coin. Always play the maximum number of coins on slot machines with progressive jackpots.

The Stand-Alone Progressive

The stand-alone progressive machine is not linked to any other machines.Instead of having a fixed top jackpot it takes a percentage of the coins played and adds that to the award for the highest winning combination.It has a meter on the front of the machine that shows the jackpot as it accrues.In most cases the payback is equal to the other machines of that denomination, but it's just distributed differently to give you a varying amount for the top prize.The progressive jackpots for stand-alone machines are much lower than the ones from machines that are linked together. Blazing 7s is such a machine. In-House or Proprietary Progressives. These are a group of machines linked together and owned and operated by the casino.They may be just in a single casino or linked together with several properties.The jackpots may not be the multi million variety, but they can be quite substantial.They generally hit more often that the big wide-area progressives.

Wide-Area Progressives

These are the machines that offer life-changing jackpots. The slots are linked together from many unrelated casinos. These machines are operated by an independent single gaming company or software provider. The casino shares in a percentage of the winnings, but the operator owns the games. The jackpots may be large, but so are your chances of hitting the big prize. It's all right to try your hand at the big progressive machines hoping that lady luck will shine on you, but don't make it the mainstay of your slot play. Instead set aside a certain percentage of your playing bankroll and use that for a shot at the big one. Don't spend your entire bank roll chasing a progressive jackpot dream. Most importantly remember, playing slots is entertainment. Have Fun!

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