Progressive slots offer jackpots that grow as more money is played through the machine. The progressive may be part of a network of machines all offering the same jackpot, and all contributing a portion of their play-through to that total. Until a lucky player hits the jackpot, progressive slots grow larger and larger, either topping out at a predefined level set by the casino, or being won in a single spin and getting reset. The bonuses grows in proportion to how much play the machine or network of machines get. After a major win, the jackpot value is reset to a base figure and it starts growing again. All of the lavish and extravagant prizes one sees on the casino floor are made possible by the progressive jackpot concept.

Here are the most important things you need to know before playing progressive slots.

To begin with, you have to choose between standard slots and progressives. Your decision will likely be based on your motivation to play. Progressive slots set aside some of their revenue to be put towards a giant jackpot, but offer smaller and often less frequent payouts in between. If you’re playing slots because you want to strike it rich, progressive slots are tailor made for you. If you prefer to maximize your playing time on a limited budget, and would be perfectly happy making just a few bucks, then it’s best to stick with machines offering smaller jackpots. Lower jackpot machines will likely offer smaller but more frequent wins.

To maximize your potential revenue, browse through the slots to find similar machines. Some stand-alone progressive slots may be the same except for the current jackpot total. Always choose the machine with the highest accumulated jackpot among similar machines. Chances are they were reset to the same base level, and the one with the higher jackpot has been running longer since being won.

Keep in mind that, if you are a progressive slots fan, all progressive machines require that you bet the maximum number of coins to be eligible for the big jackpot. If you play these machines, you’ve chosen to forego more frequent small profits for a shot at a big payout, and that payout will only go to players placing the maximum bet..

Modern Slots

First slots machines were mechanical devices. The selection principle was an independent spinning of each reel which were vertically disposed on a common axis. When a player activated the machine by pulling a lever-like handle, the reels were caused to revolve freely. Payoffs were based on the horizontal alignment of symbols after the reels come to rest.

The odds of such machine were determined by the number of reels and symbols on each reel. The Liberty Bell had three reels each with ten symbols and every symbol on the reel had an equal probability of showing on the payline. The chance that a symbol appear on the paying was 1 in 10. So, the odds against hitting the jackpot on the Liberty Bell were 1,000 to 1, because account for 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000 possible combinations.

That’s how the original slot machines worked.

Today’s slot machines are much more sophisticated. They are computer driven, so everything – the jackpots, sound effects and even the reels themselves – are controlled by microprocessors, and the main difference from mechanical slots is that in modern slots, each stop does not have the same probability of showing on the payline.

Computer chip generates random numbers when you press the “Spin” button or pull the handle, than the computer uses a mapping technique to convert the large number into a smaller number or integer that is mapped to the stops to show you either a winning combination or a losing one.