What Are Online Jackpot Casino Games?

Jackpots are a huge part of in-person and online casinos. Whether a bonus integrated into the traditional gameplay or an increasing bonus such as a progressive jackpot for an online slot, jackpot games are some of the most popular for gamblers.

We’ll go over the mechanics of jackpot games, some of the different kinds that exist, and how you can go about playing them yourself for the chance to win their tantalizing prizes.

What is a Progressive Jackpot?

The way that slot machines — and now online slots — create a progressive jackpot is by linking the machines together and algorithmically increasing the jackpot based on the number of times that someone in the chain loses.

The amount that the pot increases is predetermined and increases exponentially based on how many machines are connected; more people playing means more overall losses to contribute to the pot.

This is the same principle that drives the lottery, with more losing tickets incrementally increasing the pot that every participant is competing for.

The progressive jackpot works basically the same whether you’re playing in a casino on the physical machines or online. The difference is really just the scope of the prizes (and the fact that you only have to leave the house for one of them).

How Do I Qualify for a Jackpot?

Simply playing a slot machine is not enough to qualify for most jackpots. However, some require the maxium bet to be played to qualify for the full jackpot. Therefore, you’ll want to read the specific Terms & Conditions for whichever game you’re playing to see what requirements they have for thei jackpot.

For example, if you’re playing an online slot that goes up to a maximum bet of 10 credits, only a wager of 10 credits makes you eligible to win the grand prize. To win a slot machine jackpot, you’ll need to hit whatever specific winning sequence which will have incredibly low odds.

Any bet below the maximum 10 credits contributes to the pot but doesn’t stand a chance of winning it. Typically, a 10-credit jackpot will naturally be larger than a game where 5 credits are the maximum bet because more people are usually competing for the jackpot in a game with a lower maximum bet. As a result, someone wins the jackpot more frequently.

This mechanic is how the game ensures that the operators always stay ahead. The jackpot increases but only in an amount coordinated to the amount that the players lose while playing.

This principle applies to real machines and to online slots, as well. One major benefit to playing online is that the game has players from all over the world, which allows for much larger jackpot amounts.

After the jackpot is won, the amount resets to a predetermined amount to begin growing again, but it’s always greater than zero.

How To Play the Progressive Jackpot

Jackpot slots are easy to play. This isn’t a guide to complex strategies because, without an enormous amount of money and time to calculate very specific odds for certain games, there aren’t really any specific strategies. If you can play slots, you can play jackpot slots.

The major difference in gameplay is related to needing to place maximum bets to qualify. If you’re not meeting the requirements for the progressive slot, then you won’t be eligible.

This means that when you’re competing for the jackpot in real slot machines or at an NJ online casino on popular slots like Mega Moolah, Cash Splash, Major Millions Progressive, and Treasure Nile, there’s going to be a pretty big overhead for you to compete for any length of time.

We’ve all heard the stories of success by people who have scored the once-in-a-lifetime jackpot on these games, such as an anonymous player in January 2019 winning 19 million euros (nearly $21 million USD) on Mega Moolah.

How much did he spend to win that money? That’s a part of the story that’s never told. It could have been one spin on a 10 euro wager or thousands of euros over a period of years.

Below is a guide to some of the most popular jackpot games out there, what differentiates them, and how to decide which ones you should play. But before you read that, we want to briefly talk about the psychology of gambling and why it pays (literally) to be careful — oftentimes more than it pays to play slots.

A Word of Caution

Gambling has specific psychological effects on our brains related to pleasure and rewards. Small rewards associated with a risk like a small gamble pay off and make our brains crave higher rewards for higher risks.

With the easy availability of these games on our personal computers, many people are susceptible to addiction, even if they would never have visited a brick-and-mortar casino.

It’s important to be aware that this addiction is real and to notice the warning signs, such as the inability to stop playing, the “just one more time” attitude after a losing session, and especially a bank account that is dwindling faster than you can recover.

You do not want your life to become ruled by casinos (either online or in person), to jeopardize your financial future, or to make a shaky emotional state even worse by becoming dependent on gambling machines for pleasure.

Of course, if you’re of sound mind and willing to gamble only within your financial means, gambling can be a lot of fun. Here is a guide to some of the most popular games out there that we haven’t yet mentioned. Whether you’re hoping to be the next big winner or just enjoy the thrill of the wager, these games are sure to give you a thrill.

The Games

If you go to a real casino, the slot machines are extremely straightforward, offering you the chance to win prizes based on the game’s rules with the pull of the lever or the push of a button.

Since so many people are now gambling online, the games described here are a selection of some of the more popular online variants of jackpot games that anyone can play today. If you feel financially and mentally ready to play jackpot games, here are a few of the top choices to get you started.

Mega Fortune

Mega Fortune is an extremely popular progressive jackpot game — and one of the biggest. It has three separate jackpots called “rapid,” “major,” and “mega.”

The rapid jackpot picks a winner much more frequently than the others. Obviously, this means that it’s the smallest in terms of cash, but it’s also the most reliable.

The jackpots increase in size and decrease in frequency up to the mega jackpot, which holds a record payout of over 17.8 million euros (over $19.4 million USD) in a single game. That’s enough incentive to convince thousands of people to play this game every hour.

Fruit Mania

Fruit Mania is a classic slot machine format presented by Playtech with familiar fruit icons representing the winning symbols.

The progressive jackpot on Fruit Mania isn’t going to break any records for value, but the advantage of playing this one (particularly for novices) is that it pays out frequently. On average, someone wins the progressive jackpot in Fruit Mania every four days.

This is probably the easiest jackpot game to pick up and play on the whole list. You don’t have to worry about multipliers or tons of fancy features. You just have to match five cherries in the reels to score the prize.

Age of Gods

On the other end of the aesthetic universe, Age of Gods is a Greek-themed jackpot slot machine (also made by Playtech) and rendered in 3D. There are four game modes to keep you busy and all the bonuses you’d expect, including multipliers and wild cards.

What sets Age of Gods apart is partly the aesthetic: It looks and sounds nicer than most of the jackpot games you’ll find online. The real clincher though is its four progressive jackpots, ascending in value to the extremely coveted Ultimate Power jackpot, which regularly pays out half a million dollars to a player every six weeks.

Any slot machine in the Age of Gods series — there are different themes, including Prince of Olympus, Ruler of the Sky, Fate Sisters, and more — is eligible for the largest jackpots (as long as you make the maximum wager).

If you hit the jackpot, you are redirected to a bonus game where you have to match tiles. You win one of the four jackpots based on your choices. The results could be life-changing.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

You’ve probably heard of the popular game show. Here’s the slot game equivalent, presented by Ash Gaming, that is one of the most popular NJ online slot. You may recognize the basic format, but trust us, this isn’t quite the same game.

Your goal is to climb what the game calls the “jackpot ladder,” which is this version’s unique visualization of the progressive jackpot system. If you match three ladders, you get a “quiz round” (reference to the show), which is just another random slot selection.

The more quiz rounds you win, the higher you climb up the ladder until you win the jackpot at the top.

Mafia Millions

Virtue Fusion puts out this mafia-themed Vegas slot machine, which has another competitive progressive jackpot that you can win if you meet the criteria.

To win, you just have to be playing for real money, bet at least $2 on each line (which is a $40 total bet), and match five Mafia Boss icons.

How To Choose Your Jackpot Game

These are just a few of the popular options available for playing jackpot casino games. Now you may be wondering how you should choose which game to play or what to look for in a jackpot game when you go to a casino. Based on your preferences and experience level, there is a difference, so follow these criteria to choose the best game for you.

Progressive vs. Fixed

The first question you need to ask is whether you want to play for a progressive jackpot or a fixed jackpot. We’ve talked mostly about progressive jackpots because they’re more interesting and enticing, always increasing, and always tempting people to play for more.

Fixed jackpots, however, are also worth a try. Their amounts are just predetermined by the owner and remain the same no matter who wins or how long it takes them to do so. If the “house” decides that the pot is $150,000, then that’s what it will remain.


Next, you need to make sure you’re playing a regulated game at an accredited casino, whether online or in person. If you figure out a way to cheat the game or bypass regulations through technology, you will not receive the jackpot as you’d be breaking the rules for the game.

There’s also the matter of whether playing at the casino is legal in your area at all. Depending on your state, online gambling may not be legal. The last thing you want to do is spend your money, win a jackpot, and then not be able to collect it because you didn’t check the legal rules and regulations for your area.

So, before you start playing, check all these rules. Make sure online gambling is legal in your state.

Real Money vs. Fake Money

Most of the online casinos have free play modes, meaning that you can bet whatever you want and spin however many times you want. You just won’t win any real money (even if you win a jackpot in free mode).

Why would you ever play in free mode? One reason is that some people don’t want to spend real money and just enjoy spinning the slots for fun. For those who do want to play for real money, free play is a good way to try out different machines and game modes and get a feel for the game before putting down any real money.

If you’re going to play to win, you might as well get the lay of the land first. But if you win that multi-million pot in free mode, you may never forgive yourself!

Just remember that once you start playing for real money, the casino requires you to put down a deposit. You’ll be expected to invest in the game, and they’re not going to let you play for fun.

Stay on top of what each game and each casino expects from you before you commit with real money. You don’t want anything to take you by surprise.

The Takeaway

Jackpot games can be extremely lucrative. Just remember that they’re more lucrative for the operators than they are for you — they wouldn’t exist otherwise.

However, they can still be great fun. Have a look through these suggested machines and find one you love to play. If you’re incredibly lucky, they may even make you a life-changing profit.

Just remember to always gamble within your limits, budget ahead of time for your playing, and research the regulations in your area before getting started. If you play responsibly, no thrill can quite match that of hitting a big jackpot.