One of the main attractions of the online slots world is the wide selection of jackpots that can give you a life-changing score inside of a single spin.
There are different levels of jackpots, but progressives get the most attention because they are the largest.
In fact, progressive slot jackpots are responsible for all of the top wins in the online casino world, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who won seven figures or more on a single wager on any other type of game, even in poker where six-figure pots are common at the nosebleed stakes.
How Progressive Jackpots Work
Progressives are the largest wins out there, so we’re going to start with those.
The way a progressive jackpot works is that it’s started with what’s called seed money, which is the money the casino or software company puts up to start off the jackpot.
From there, a portion of every single wager on the game is added to the jackpot. This allows the jackpot to build over time until someone wins it.
At that time, seed money is added to the game once again, and the process starts over.
Some games have multiple progressives. For example, if you look at the Marvel Jackpots series of games by Playtech, they all have four different progressives that have seed values at different levels.
The smaller progressives are won more often, and the largest jackpot (always worth at least $100,000) hits the least often.
You’ll find multiple progressives in the world-recording holding Mega Moolah by Microgaming as well as the Mega Fortune slot by NetEnt that previously held the world record for multiple years in a row.
Static Jackpots in Online Slots
While progressives are popular, most games do not use them.
Instead, you’ll have static jackpots, meaning that the value stays the same. These jackpots are based on a multiple of your bet size.
If you have a 25-payline slot where you’re playing with $0.05 coins on each payline, then a top jackpot of 10,000x would pay out 10,000 times the $0.05 payline bet, or $500.
However, if you changed your bet size so that you were paying $0.75 per payline instead, then you’d win $7,500. The idea here is that the size of the jackpot varies based on the size of your bet.
How Does This Affect Progressives?
For progressive jackpot games, the size of the jackpot doesn’t change according to the size of your bet.
However, your chances of winning do scale appropriately so that a bet of $1 would have twice the chance of winning compared to a bet of $0.50, for example.
This keeps things fair between players at different levels of stakes, and that’s one of the most important things to understand about how progressives work in terms of the bet sizes being used.
Requirements to Win Jackpots
Some games have certain requirements that have to be met before you’re eligible to win a big progressive jackpot.
This mostly applies to older games, especially classic slots, but plenty of video slots have requirements like this too.
Normally you’ll have to play with a certain type of bet size, either with at least one coin wagered on all paylines or even a total bet size worth over a certain amount.
Playing these games without having the progressive activated means that you’re losing a ton of value in terms of your overall payout rate, and that kicks the house advantage up to some pretty extreme levels.
If you’re the type of player to chase big jackpots, then you need to make sure that you’re meeting the requirements to qualify for the jackpot in the game you’re playing.
If not, then you could find yourself in a terrible position where you would have won a life-changing sum, but you didn’t qualify for it based on your betting choices.
Microgaming and Net Entertainment are both known for making some of the best games in the industry, and this doesn’t change when it comes to games with massive jackpots.
In the following, we cover five of the top progressive jackpot slots developed by these companies to show you what the best options are there are in today’s online casino environment.
Microgaming’s Mega Moolah Slot
The Mega Moolah slot is first on this list because it’s the current world record holder.
It triggered a jackpot in 2015 worth €18.8 million, and since it starts at one million, it took a bit of time for it to build up to this level.
Mega Moolah uses a safari theme, and it has 25 paylines. While the graphics aren’t the best on this list, it does have four different progressives including the mega, major, minor and mini.
The smaller jackpots win more often, but the largest is responsible for the biggest payout ever won in the industry.
Net Entertainment’s Mega Fortune Slot
Mega Fortune has three progressives: the mega, major and rapid.
Mega Fortune has held the top honors for the world’s largest progressive win for years at a time in the past with a payout worth €17.8 million.
This game also has 25 paylines, and it seems to have been created as a direct competitor to Mega Moolah above. While this is obviously a high-volatility game, it does have bonus features that give a fair amount of value. It also has a wealth-based theme with good graphics that fit the jackpot concept.
Microgaming’s The Dark Knight Slot
The Dark Knight is a 243-ways video slot that’s connected to the Mega Moolah jackpots.
They share the same pools for the four progressives, and this gives players a chance to shoot for these massive payouts in a 243-ways game instead of the 25 paylines format for the original Mega Moolah.
It’s based on The Dark Knight film about Batman, and it has graphics, characters and themes from that set of movies. It’s one of the best slots ever made based on a film, and it stands out because of that.
Net Entertainment’s Cosmic Fortune Slot
The Cosmic Fortune slot is really important because NetEnt actually closed down a handful of games for this slot to take their place when it was released.
This game has a whooping five progressives: mega, major, midi, mini and rapid. With a fun space aliens theme that’s a little cartoonish, NetEnt has shown off some great graphics in this 15-payline affair.
Overall, this is probably the game on this list that has the lowest volatility, though it would definitely still fall in the “above-average” range.
Microgaming’s Major Millions Slot
Major Millions stands out on this list for actually being a classic slot.
This game uses three paylines with three reels and three columns, and it was one of the original progressive jackpot games.
You win by lining up three of the Major Millions symbols on the third payline, and it has made a number of millionaires over time as the name suggests.
Even though this is a classic slot, it still gets a ton of attention, and that’s the reason why it’s made our list of the top five progressive jackpot slots running today.
If you just want a simple experience while you shoot for a life-changing payout, then this game can be a great choice.