Before beginning to think about optimizing your gameplay, let’s first focus on the different types of jackpots that you might want to be vying for. To start with, a progressive jackpot is an accumulated sum of money that is directly based on player wagers. The more players that are betting on a specific title or network and the higher the bets they are making, the higher the contribution. These numbers will ramp up on a continuous basis on the more popular titles, which is what gives these games the ability to offer up prizes in the millions of euros. Standard jackpots will instead have a fixed win amount that remains static, no matter what activity occurs within the game. Knowing to what extent activity influences the pool will be dependent on the game in question.
Independent Progressive Jackpots draw upon the prize pool from a single specific slot. All of the wagers made on the specific title will have a certain portion of the amount go into the jackpot. These are usually casino branded and usually feature smaller prize pools, due to the contributions being limited to a single slot. You can however usually expect the odds to be more in your favor than other variants, to make up for the smaller win potentials.
Local Progressive Jackpots include several games within a single online casino. You can therefore expect the potentials to be much bigger, as contributions are taken in from a more varied group of players.
Network Progressive Jackpots gains their contributions from several online casinos, usually on a single slot. An example of this is the above-mentioned and record-breaking Mega Moolah. The network is the game provider Microgaming, which is then spread across all online casinos that support this slot. This allows the prize pool to draw upon the contributions of a vast amount of players, spread across numerous casino sites. It is why these are the most sought-after titles, as they offer the highest win potentials.
If you already have an online casino account, you can hop in straight away. There are however specific jackpot and casino rules to keep in mind. Different slots may require a minimum bet amount to be able to trigger the bonus round that leads to the possibility of getting that big win. You are advised to check out the game rules before placing any bets, as they are all different and may have certain parameters within the game, usually tied to their bonus rounds. So, you may enter into a bonus round, but not be eligible for the grand prize, due to the bet amount for instance.
Playing with bonuses or free spins could also disqualify you from getting hold of those jackpot winnings. This can differ between various casinos and will usually be clarified within their terms and conditions. While you still may be able to play the specific slot game, any jackpot winnings may be forfeit, if played with bonus funds. Getting that once-in-a-lifetime win, only to be told that it is invalidated by an active bonus can be devastating. So, best check with the casino first, should you wish to go ahead with any active promotion on your account.
There’s a common myth surrounding “bursting points”. The idea behind this is that a slot will inevitably pay out upon reaching a certain prize pool threshold. Originating from mechanical slots, this concept is often translated and believed to be true with online casino games as well. However, you should be aware that all slot games are built around a random number generator (RNG). This means that every single round is treated independently of any other factors and is instead solely based on an advanced algorithm. The RNG of a provider is a 3rd party verified piece of code that is tested for having a truly random nature, which does not take any other factors into account. That is why there is absolutely no optimal time to wait for, before starting to play.
You can however take into account other factors, such as the past history of payouts a game’s overall value. NetEnt’s progressive slot Mega Fortune has an average payout of once per 11 weeks for instance, whereas Microgaming’s Mega Moolah averages out at about once every 17 weeks. These averages vary from jackpot to jackpot and can change dramatically.
While you will still need to remember the false fallacy of bursting points, it is still good to consider the average time a slot takes to pay out, as this can help you judge the overall value of participation. Another factor to consider is the positive expected value. This represents how proportional the value of the payout is when compared to your actual chances of winning. Playing for a prize pool of €10,000 might actually be more worth playing, over a slot offering a million euros, due to the comparative chances of winning. If there are only 1,000 players aiming for the €10,000 prize, over 100,000 players all aiming for that cool million, then you are statistically more likely to be the lucky person who actually hits that winning combination.