How progressive jackpot games work and why they are so popular

The mechanics behind jackpot slots

One of the most popular types of games on any online casino site are those that offer a progressive jackpot.

In this article, we will learn about how progressive jackpot games developed over time, how they work and why they prove to be so popular with players across the globe.

1. A brief history of progressive jackpot gaming and how progressive jackpot games work

Progressive jackpot games were not introduced into the casino industry until the 1980s, when technology had advanced sufficiently to allow slot machines to offer more pay lines for three or five reel slots. This small change paved the way for machines to offer a vast number of different prizes, without having to increase the number of reels on a standard slot machine.

Recognising this small but significant difference, International Gaming Technology (IGT) came up with the first progressive slot shortly afterwards. Located in Las Vegas, this new game featured a number of slot machines that were linked across a network and each individual slot contributed 10% of the cash they received into one jackpot, which would grow as more people played the slots.

The fact that over 60 individual machines were contributing to a single jackpot, which could be won by any one player at any time, quickly caught the attention of the public. These games were soon available to play in casinos across the globe as large numbers of people attempted to spin the reels and hit the "huge" jackpot.

This continued to be the case for many years and soon more games, not just online slots, were offering similar progressive jackpots. The next big change however came in the mid-to-late 1990s when the digital boom saw online casinos make their first steps onto the internet.

This new online platform was the perfect medium for progressive jackpots: This meant that a casino was no longer limited by the constraints of the real world, such as the number of machines they could fit into a single room, or into a designated floor area, to contribute to a jackpot. Casinos could now have thousands of virtual machines paying into a single pot, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all across the world.

One of the most popular of these is Mega Moolah. Released in November 2006, it gained enormous popularity very quickly upon its release because of the large jackpot potential and high restart level (1 million) when the jackpot was won. Since 2006, this single progressive jackpot game alone has paid out over £320m to lucky winners around the globe with the biggest winner coming last December when John Orchard from Lincolnshire UK, won £5.88m playing the game.

Wins like this helped popularise the idea of progressive jackpot games and as peoples gaming habits changed to adapt to this new online world, progressive games have quickly become one of the most popular types of game offered by online casinos. So let us examine why they are so popular in detail.

2. Why are progressive jackpot games so popular?

In terms of game-play, technology, content and design; there is actually very little difference between playing a traditional single slot machine with a small jackpot, to a progressive jackpot slot. So it is relatively simple to rule out these games being so much better than others on offer at the casino.

Of course, the fact that the user can win a life-changing amount of money is one of the biggest and most obvious attractions. The huge jackpots do certainly act as a powerful attractant to players seeking a life-changing jackpot.

Yet their attraction goes beyond simply the large jackpot available to win. Some casino players enjoy playing these games because it does not require much skill, which is different to several other popular casino games like poker, blackjack or baccarat. Others like the fast-paced action of a slot that can often see a player have several spins of the reel in the same time it takes to have one game of roulette, or one hand of blackjack.

Other aspects which can make a progressive jackpot game popular are their rarity in a casino (most slot games are not progressive, so the ones that are do tend to be targeted most often) and the sight of a constantly changing jackpot displayed prominently on the website and while playing the game. Other players find slots relaxing to play; after a long week at work, they like to unwind and play a game that doesn't require any great mental dexterity, but still offers a chance of a multi-million Pound payout if they are fortunate!

3. Progressive games in 2013 and beyond

Currently, progressive jackpot games continue to be one of the most important and attractive aspects for any online casino. While progressive online slot games are the most common and popular variant of the game, innovative software companies, such as Microgaming, are coming up with new ideas on how to use a progressive jackpot on mobile games and other types of games, such as Poker Ride video poker.

In the future, it seems likely that online casino fans will have an even greater choice of progressive jackpot games to play, each offering a unique chance to win a life-changing amount of money every time you ante up.

The reality is that if you seek to win a progressive jackpot there's one game that you must play at an online casino - that game is one that is hooked up to the Mega Moolah jackpot network. There's no other jackpot network like it on the internet!

Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.

Next article: German player wins three million Euros on Mega Moolah