Static vs. Progressive Jackpot Slot Machines

Static jackpots, progressive jackpot games and other not-so-random slot machine musings…

Static Jackpots, Progressive Jackpot Games and Other Slot Machine Musings

There are more types of slot machines on the market than the vast majority of their players ever come to realize. It’s not just about the number of reels, the cost of play, or whether there’s a jackpot up for grabs. Modern machines now offer a complex amalgamation of features and thousands—sometimes tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands—of ways to line up a win in a single spin.

Today we’re going to talk about two very specific types of slot machine that sound similar by description, but have little else in common. I’m referring to slots with static jackpots, as opposed to progressive jackpot slot machines. Let’s have a closer look…

Static Jackpot Slot Machines

Static jackpots can be found on a wide assortment of slot machines; everything from 3-reel and 5-reel varieties, to basic 5-liners and mega-ways paying games. The presence of a static jackpot simply means that there’s a special jackpot prize, usually ending in at least three zeros, that is awarded for combining a special line-up of symbols, or accomplishing a certain goal during a bonus feature.

The size of this jackpot never wavers. It could be $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, or as high as $500,000. It could even be multiple jackpot tiers of all those amounts, often labeled as Mini, Minor, Major and Mega jackpot prizes. Whatever the value, it does not change, remaining static at all times.

Progressive Jackpot Games

These slot machines can come in just as many varieties as their static jackpot cousins. They can even carry the same multi-tier jackpots, rising from minuscule to enormous heights. The difference is that each jackpot grows in size until it is won. Hence the “progressive” nature of their name.

Progressive jackpot slot machines come in all starting sizes. Some will begin with an amount as low as $100 or $1,000, scaling up to $100,000, $250,000, even $1,000,000. No matter where it starts, there’s no limit to how high it can climb.

A progressive jackpot continues to climb higher each and every time the reels are spun. It’s usually a tiny amount, such as 2% of each bet, that goes into the progressive jackpot. However, by networking similar games across a city, country, continent, the entire globe, or all of cyberspace, the jackpots can grow to incredible heights in very little time.

The Mega Moolah by Microgaming is among the most famous progressive slot networks online, due to its million dollar seed and multi-national availability. Likewise, IGT’s Wheel of Fortune Slots series is among the land-based gambling realm’s most famous offerings.

Static vs. Progressive

Now that you know how they work, you might be wondering which one is better to play. Based on the information above, you may think progressives are the clear way to go. But that’s not necessarily the best choice for players.

If you were hoping to win a progressive slot machine jackpot, don’t hold your breath. The odds on these games are always 1 in many-millions. They’re actually a lot better than winning an international lottery draw, but still, it’s not a realistic goal. It takes sheer luck and a whole lot of it.

Static jackpots aren’t too much easier to win, but they do tend to strike a lot more often. It’s easier for a slots manufacturer to pay out a $10,000 jackpot once a month without breaking a sweat. Paying out a $1,000,000+ prize however is no laughing matter.

Sure, progressives are built on the money that goes into them, but not the seed amount. The creator and casino have to cover that out of their own profits. So the less they strike, the better. Having said that, though, it’s worth noting that Microgaming’s Mega Moolah pays its top prize, on average, every 9 weeks, worth (also on average) more than $5 million per strike.

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