Jackpot Slots Guide: Everything You Must Know

95% 11 min

Jackpot slots are among the most exciting types of online slots. With the help of this guide, you will discover the ins and outs of this casino game.

Here is what you will learn:

Let’s begin!

What Are Jackpot Slots – An Introduction

Jackpot slots are an exciting type of slots that have become popular as an alternative to traditional slot games. If you choose to play slots with this feature, you have the chance to achieve big instant wins instead of simply looking for winning combinations, special symbols, or free spins.

What does the “jackpot” term mean?

The biggest prize that a casino game has to offer is known as the jackpot.

In most cases, we’re talking about slots with progressive jackpot options.

Bear in mind

Not all slots have a progressive feature, yet they are marketed as jackpot slots. These games usually use the term “jackpot” to describe the highest payout. Most of these slots are older, land-based slot machines. 

How Do Jackpot Slots Really Work?

jackpot mechanics banner

Every time you place a bet on a slot machine that has a progressive jackpot available, no matter how big or small your bet is, a small percentage of your wager is added to the jackpot contribution pot. This pot keeps growing until a lucky winner lands the winning combination.

When you play a casino game, the starting amount is called the seed amount. The casino or game supplier guarantees players that if they win, they will get that much money. If you win the grand prize and another person also wins just seconds after you, that person will receive the seed amount.

Each casino/game supplier has its own seed amount. For example, a casino's seed amount can be set to $1 million.


The value of the cash pot and the contribution are unique for every slot.  For example, you can find jackpots starting at $10,000 and others that begin at $100,000.

The 4 Factors That Influence How Jackpot Works

I have identified 4 major factors that influence how the jackpot works.

1. Number of Reels

To win a jackpot on a slot machine, it might be best to use a title with a standard number of reels 5 reels. Anything below 4 and above 6 reels will make it more difficult to get the prize. 

2. Minimum and Maximum Coin Size

When choosing a slot machine to play, consider the size of the coin denominations. Slots with higher minimum and maximum bets pay more frequently. For example, you can go for a slot where the minimum bet per line is $0.50 and the maximum is $5.


Some slots also state that playing with higher bets increases the winning odds.

3. Playing the Maximum Number of Paylines

There are slots that let you select the number of active paylines.

When the maximum number of paylines is active, you have more chances of winning, which means that the minimum bet will be higher. 

So before you consider playing jackpot slots, it’s important to learn how paylines work.

4. The Presence of More Than One Jackpot

Some slot machines include more than one jackpot. Naturally, the more prizes like this, the higher the chance of winning. 

When we talk about multi-jackpot slots, we should also note that they promise prizes of different sizes which means you should not judge the value based on just one of the prizes.

What Are the Different Types of Slot Jackpots

types of slot jackpots

Jackpots can be divided into several types, each of them with different characteristics.

Progressive Jackpot

Progressive slot machines have a growing prize pool funded by a percentage collected from every bet. They are easy to detect because they promise huge prizes compared to non-progressive slots. 

An excellent example of a progressive slot machine is Mega Moolah by Microgaming, which is available as a physical machine and an online slot.

mega moolah progressive jackpot slot

Network Jackpot

Some slots are part of a “network”. This means that all casinos around the world that host the same game, also share the same pot.

This type of jackpot prize is raised by bets placed in online casinos that offer the same game.

Network progressive jackpots have the highest cash prize on the market.

Be aware

It's always a good idea to check your online casino’s terms and conditions before playing. You may find online casinos where you need to bet a minimum amount of money in order to qualify for the pot.

Joker Millions is one of the most played network progressive jackpot slots which awards several prizes worth above $1.000.000.

joker million network jackpot slot

Fixed Jackpot

As the name suggests, online slots with fixed jackpots promise a payout that doesn’t change.

So, the winning pot is actually the game’s predetermined top prize.

Players often have to wait to land five matching jackpot icons on a payline or five wilds on a payline to get this prize. 

Lord of the Sun slot by Platipus Gaming has this kind of feature that lets you win one out of four fixed prizes (the highest prize you can win is worth 100,000 times your bet per line).

lord of the sun fixed jackpot slot

Local Jackpot

Some progressive slots carry local prizes. In these games, the prize pool is raised by players at a single casino. So, you can play the same game in a different casino and find a completely different top prize. 

Mega Fortune is an online slot by NetEnt with a combo of one network progressive jackpot and two local.

mega fortune local jackpot slot

Multiple Jackpot

It’s not unusual to find slot machines with more than one progressive pot. This is especially true for the jackpot slots.

They are often labeled as:
multiple jackpots labels

  • Mini
  • Major
  • Mega
  • Grand

Typically, players get an opportunity to play a bonus game, leading them to one of the progressive rewards.

With the help of Mega Moolah Absolootly Mad by Microgaming, players can access a progressive wheel that provides one of four progressive jackpots.

mega moolah absolootly mad multiple jackpot slot

Who Pays the Jackpot Prize When It’s Awarded?

If you wonder who is paying when you hit a jackpot at slots, you should know that there are two general categories:

  1. Jackpots provided by casinos
  2. Jackpots offered by software providers.

Jackpots Awarded in Land-based Casinos

Interestingly, the huge jackpot slots carry prizes usually provided by software developers. 

For example

The Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks slots designed by IGT, are leased to casinos across the globe. Each casino pays a portion of the monthly revenue to the machines’ owner (in this case, IGT). 

When a player hits a top prize, the software supplier sends out their tech team to check the slot machine to ensure the winning is legit. This process typically takes a few hours. Ultimately, the winner is paid by the software developer.

On the other hand, if the casino owns the machines, it’s the casino’s obligation to pay the winner.

Jackpots Awarded in Online Casinos

Regarding online casinos and jackpot payments, it depends on the type of jackpot.

When we talk about progressive (network jackpots), they are paid for by the software provider. The provider collects the fractions of each bet placed in various online casinos and keeps it in a single bank account. 

On the other hand, local progressive jackpots in online slots are paid by the online casino where players win such prizes.

In this case, each casino has a local jackpot account which is why the current values of the rewards are different on every gambling website where that specific title is available.

Regular Slots vs. Jackpot Slots: Side-by-Side Comparison

Regular and jackpot slots have many things in common. However, they also have a few significant differences. 

The most obvious difference is the potential payout size.

Many regular slots offer a maximum win of 1000 or 2000 times your stake. On the other hand, you can win millions of dollars with a one-dollar bet on many progressive titles.

Due to the potential payout size, the winning chances are higher at regular slots. This can be seen in the RTP (Return to Player) percentage.


RTP is usually between 90% - 94% in progressive releases and between 95% and 97% in regular ones.

Regular Slots

Progressive Slots

Less expensive to play

 Limited payouts

A chance to win enormous prizes

Less frequent wins

More frequent wins

❌ Fixed prizes are way smaller than progressive slot

The main prize/s keep growing

You don’t know exactly how much you can win

No minimum bet is required to play all features

 Less exciting

Often come with more than one bonus feature

The main prize is usually given after many months

Once you analyze the advantages and disadvantages of playing any of these slots, you should know whether jackpot slots suit your gaming style. 


You should go for regular slots if you are looking for fast (but smaller) and more frequent payouts. However, if you are chasing life-changing amounts of money, you should consider progressive slot titles.

Things to Consider Before Playing Jackpot Slots

If you are thinking about playing jackpot slots, you should take several things into account. 

licensed casinos icon

Playing at licensed casinos is a must because many casinos are trying to take advantage of players.

no vpn icon

Never use a VPN if you are playing jackpot slots because when the time comes to get paid, you will not be able to get the prize (your location matters because not every casino, game, and/or reward is available in all countries).

play demo slots icon

Playing demo slots can’t help you win progressive jackpots – you must play with real money.

waiting time icon

There’s an excellent chance that you will not win the top prize even after playing for months, so be prepared for that.

Online Games Casino Jackpot - How to win

It would be great if there was a magical formula that could help players win jackpots in online casinos. Still, the truth is that such a formula doesn’t exist. If that were the case, people would win these rewards daily.

However, some helpful tips can boost your chances of winning the jackpot. Here are some of the best tips from Chipy Slots Academy that will help you learn how to win jackpots at online casino games:

  • Look for games that provide a wide range of prizes
  • Opt for slots that match your bankroll and will let you get the maximum number of spins
  • Stick to progressive slots with a higher RTP
  • Make sure that your bet gives you a chance to play for the big prizes (sometimes the games have qualifying bets for those who want to play for the jackpot)
  • Try the free game demo version to see whether the gameplay suits you
  • Don’t wager money you can’t afford to lose
  • Winning at online slots is a marathon, not a sprint, so be patient.

The Biggest Jackpot Wins Recorded at Slots

Over the past few decades, lucky slot players across the globe won millions of dollars thanks to jackpot slots. Some of these winnings are genuinely amazing and life-changing. Here’s a table with the biggest jackpot slot machine hits of all time.

Slot  Prize Casino Year


$39.7 million Excalibur Casino, Las Vegas 2003


$35 million

Desert Inn, Las Vegas



$27.6 million

Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas

Mega Moolah $20 million

Betway Casino, an online casino


Mega Fortune

€17.8 million

PAF.com, online casino


Luck strikes twice!

In 2005, a 92-year-old man won the top Megabucks slot machine jackpot - $21.1 million at Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas.

It was the second time when Elmer Sherwin won the grand prize of this slot machine. According to Las Vegas Sun, the first time he won $4.6 million while playing the game in 1989 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino.

Jackpot Slots - Are They Right for You?

To answer this question, you must analyze yourself as a player and your goals. Obviously, we all want to win big prizes when playing slots, but are we ready to invest a lot of money and time to achieve this goal?

The jackpot slots are perfect for players with a relatively big bankroll who are willing to wait to win prizes (especially the main prize) because this version pays less frequently, unlike regular slots.


The rewards you can get can change your life which is why they are more exciting.

Slots Jackpots FAQs

Can you tell when a slot machine is about to hit the jackpot?
No. Slot machines use a software algorithm (RNG) that doesn’t let players (or anyone else) predict the outcome of the next round. 
Are there any strategies for winning a slots jackpot?
Even though no formula can help you win a slots jackpot, some strategies can help you learn how to hit jackpots on slots more frequently.
How often do jackpots occur on slots?
According to some statistics, most games provide wins from once in 50 million to 600 million spins. Many slots offer technical information like RTP and volatility that can help you calculate the odds.
Do all casinos have slot jackpots?
No, but most casinos offer at least one title like this.
Is there a limit to how many times you can win the jackpot for slots?
No. You can win the jackpot many times, even though only a few people have achieved that over the years.
What do you need to do if you win the jackpot at slots?
This depends on your country of residence. But, in most cases, you will need to provide personal information and fill out a form that will be sent to the IRS before receiving the winnings.
How much does it cost to play jackpot slots?
This depends on the slot machine you selected. Generally speaking, jackpot slots tend to have higher minimum bets than regular ones, but you can still find many that let you play with as little as $0.2 per spin.
What is the difference between a progressive and a non-progressive jackpot?
The difference between these two is that the progressive one keeps increasing by taking a percentage of every bet placed on the game. The non-progressive jackpot is simply a fixed amount of money.
Was this guide helpful?
Vlad Stanescu
Vlad Stanescu Gambling Specialist
Vlad joined us in early 2022 and from then on, his main goal is to share all his knowledge about slots so our community can have the best gambling experience.
Read All Slots Guides

Practice Slots for Free

See All 11,097 Slots Games