A guide to casino games with progressive jackpots

Jackpots are usually associated with slot machines and the lottery, but that was not always the case. The term “jackpot” actually originated in poker.

There was a variation of draw poker known as “jackpots” that was popular in the 1870s. It was called jackpots because players had to have a pair of jacks or better before they could start betting.

Over time, the term “jackpot” has become associated with big wins and luck. Slots and lottery games have become the most common jackpot games, but they are not the only ones.

Did you know that you can win a progressive jackpot while playing other casino games such as blackjack, poker, or even bingo?

Well, you can, and we’ll explain all about those games and provide other important information about progressive casino jackpots.

We explain which casino games have jackpots, recommend some of the best software providers that make jackpot games, and give some tips for playing progressive casino jackpots.

But before we can do all that, you need to understand how progressive jackpots work.

How do progressive jackpots work?


Progressive jackpots get their name from the way the prize amount continually increases until someone wins it.

Whenever you play a casino game with a progressive jackpot, a portion of your losing bets will be added to the jackpot prize pool.

Sometimes you have to bet a certain amount to qualify for the progressive jackpot.

In other cases, any real money bet qualifies. In those cases, only a small portion of each bet will be added to the prize pool. This is usually between 1 & 7% of each losing bet.

Some casino games offer the progressive jackpot as a side bet. Some examples are blackjack, pai gow, and poker.

If the progressive jackpot is a side bet, you must risk an extra bet on top of your primary bet to qualify for the jackpot.

When progressive jackpots are executed via a side bet, 60–70% of the side bet is added to the prize pool.

Regardless, progressive jackpots increase based on the number of players contributing to the jackpot and how much they wager. The number of players who contribute depends on the type of jackpot game it is.

the various types of progressive jackpots

  • Wide-area Progressives are games that have contributions from many players across multiple casino sites. These games offer the highest prizes because hundreds of players can play them simultaneously. Mega Moolah and Mega Bucks are both examples of wide-area progressives.
  • Linked Progressives are games on a single casino site that are linked together. They offer moderate prizes because the number of contributions depends on the number of progressive game machines available. Lightning Link slots are an example of a linked progressive. Table games with progressive jackpot side bets are similar to linked progressives, but they usually don’t use the same technology.
  • Self-employed progressives only accept contributions from one player at a time. They are only found in land-based casinos. IGT’s Ocean Magic 4D is an example of a standalone progressive slot machine.

Players who choose not to wager the qualifying amount or place the side bet will not contribute to the prize pool. They can also not win these jackpots. The only jackpots they can win are the ones that are paid out on every spin.

Those are the basics of how casino progressive jackpot games work. Now let’s talk about how progressive jackpots are paid out.

Progressive Jackpot Payout


Progressive jackpot payouts are often handled differently than traditional casino games.

Both land-based and online casinos have specific policies for handling jackpot payouts. Depending on the size of your prize, the casino may not have that much cash on hand.

When you play the lottery, you can often choose how you want to be paid.

Casinos may or may not let you decide. Many casinos choose to pay out jackpots in instalments instead of one-off payments. But there are exceptions to the rule.

The casino’s policy determines whether you will receive monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. It may also indicate how long the casino has to pay you.

For example, let’s assume you won $1 million. If the casino policy states that jackpots must be paid out within two years, you will probably get eight quarterly payouts of $125,000.

Another casino may have a policy that states jackpots are paid out within five years. In that case, you could get four annual payments of $250,000 instead. Or the casino may offer you twenty quarterly payouts of $50,000.

Casino policy also dictates what happens if you die before your prize is paid out in full. While filling out the paperwork, you may be given a chance to designate a beneficiary.

Some casinos also have different policies based on the size of your progressive jackpot win. Here’s an example:

  • The casino may offer one-time cash payments for winnings up to $24,999.
  • You may have to accept a check if you win between $25,000 and $999,000.
  • Players who win more than $1 million may be required to accept installments.

You won’t have much to say about it if you’re lucky enough to win. However, it never hurts to ask the casino if they can make special accommodations.

Paying Taxes on Jackpot Wins


If you gamble at a land-based casino in the US, the casino is required to report your winnings to the IRS when you win more than $1,200. You must pay income tax on these profits.

The casino may give you the option to deduct the tax amount from your payout. Or you can pay when you file your taxes the following year.

Either way, the casino will give you a W2-G form. It shows how much you have won, how much you owe in taxes, and whether that has already been paid on your behalf.

Taxes and other gambling laws are different for players in other countries. When you win, you will want to do your research to find out what is required of you when you play a progressive jackpot casino game.

Taxes aren’t the only policy you should be aware of, either.

Another policy to keep in mind is that some casinos require you to have your photo taken. You may be required to sign a waiver that allows them to use your name and likeness for advertising purposes.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you should discuss your options with the casino employee assisting you. They can sometimes refer to players with other descriptors, such as their job.

Make sure you understand the paperwork that the casino asks you to fill out. The staff should be able to answer all your questions.

Online Casino Progressive Jackpots Policy

Online casinos process progressive jackpot payouts in the same way as land-based casinos. They also have a policy on how and when you can get paid.

However, online casinos generally have withdrawal limits that vary depending on the banking method you choose.

When you win a progressive jackpot online, the casino may force you to accept payments through a specific banking method.

The casino may waive the withdrawal limits for jackpot winners, but this will depend on the size of your prize. It also depends on who manages the progressive jackpot for the game you are playing.

Who manages progressive jackpots at online casinos?

If you are playing for a linked or standalone progressive jackpot, the casino will most likely manage the jackpot itself.

When you play wide-area progressives, the jackpot sometimes collects contributions from multiple casinos.

That can be multiple casinos owned by the same company. More often, the casinos are operated by different companies that use many of the same software providers.

Each software provider has different contracts with the casinos that use their products.

Depending on their contracts, some software providers choose to manage the progressive jackpot games on behalf of the casino.

If so, the software vendor has its own policies that dictate how jackpots are paid and verified.

Microgaming is a software provider with a specific jackpot policy. As per Microgaming’s policy, all jackpots must be paid out in full once verified.

Some jackpots are paid out in one go. Others are on payment plans.

In general, the software provider’s policy supersedes the casino policy. But it depends on who is paying the jackpot.

For example, let’s assume you are playing Roulette Royale, a Microgaming progressive jackpot game. The casino where you play the game may have a policy that says they pay jackpots in installments.

However, as Microgaming will be the one to pay out the jackpot, their one-time payout policy will take precedence.

The payment policy is not the only policy you should know. There are other policies that may affect your winnings or even prevent you from collecting them.

For example, almost every casino and software provider has a policy that dictates what happens if you win a progressive jackpot during a free spin or while using bonus money.

Some online casinos and software providers will disqualify you from collecting your jackpot winnings if you have used bonus money or free spins to win them, or if you have not met your wagering requirements.

That is why it is crucial to know the applicable policies of both the software provider and the casino where you play. You should know this policy before playing. That way, you won’t be surprised if you win.

If you are not sure about this policy, please contact the casino’s customer service for more information.

Which casino games have progressive jackpots?

Progressive jackpots have become extremely popular in recent years. Thus, casinos have added jackpot possibilities to a wide variety of casino games.

Here are a few examples of the most popular types of land-based and online casino games with progressive jackpots.

Slot Machines

Slot machines remain the most common type of casino game with a jackpot. You can learn more about progressive slots here.

While every progressive slot game is different, every machine you play will have at least one of the following features or functions:

  • Some progressive slot games require you to wager the maximum amount to qualify for the progressive jackpot prize. That is not always the case. But you need to know which ones do so that you can play games that are good for your bankroll.
  • There is no minimum qualifying bet – Any bet, regardless of size, win or lose, can trigger the progressive jackpot.
  • Leveled Jackpots: Leveled jackpots are found in many progressive slots.You have more chances to win the mini and small jackpots, which have smaller prizes. The big, mega, and big jackpots offer the main prizes, but they are harder to win.
  • Guaranteed Payouts: Some progressive slots are programmed to pay out the jackpot by the time the prize amount reaches a certain level.

It is critical to understand these characteristics because they can influence your decision on which progressive slot games to play.

For example, let’s say you have a $100 bankroll and want to play a slot that requires you to wager the $5 maximum to qualify for the progressive jackpot.

Knowing this, you probably don’t want to play on that machine (or for the progressive) as you only get 20 spins. That’s not a lot of spins-you probably won’t have a good time.

It makes more sense to find a progressive slot without a minimum qualifying wager and/or one with different jackpot levels. That way you can make your bets smaller to extend your bankroll and have fun, while still having a chance to win big.

And don’t worry-your bankroll won’t limit your choices of slots to play. You should have no problem finding one that suits your bankroll, taste, and the specific slot features you are looking for.

In fact, we will help you on your way. Here are a few popular progressive slot games that you can play online.


Casino table games and live dealer games


You can also win progressive jackpots by playing table games. Casino table games with progressive jackpots are available in both digital and live dealer formats.

If you play table games that offer a progressive jackpot, you must place a side bet to qualify.

Just like the table game itself, the progressive side bet has a minimum stake. Minimum bets on side bets are usually $1, but some casinos have a $5 minimum for certain jackpots.

Progressive slot games are usually randomly triggered. When you play table games, you usually win the jackpot by hitting a specific hand.

For example, you can win the progressive jackpot by hitting a royal flush while playing  Let It Ride  ,  Caribbean Stud  or  Three-card Poker.

Some games offer smaller prizes for other players. They can offer 10% of the jackpot prize pool to players who get a straight flush instead of a royal.

Other games offer a fixed prize amount for those with lower hands. These extra prizes are in addition to what you would win on your primary bet as it is linked to the side bet.

We would like to highlight some of the casino table games that have progressive jackpots. The following table lists examples based on a specific software vendor’s games.

Keep in mind that many software vendors offer similar progressive games. Minimum stakes and pricing structures may vary by software vendor.

Other Progressive Jackpot Games:

You might think we’ve covered all the progressive casino games between slots and table games. But we’re not done yet – there are other ways to win a progressive jackpot.

  • Poker – Many cash games have a “bad beat” jackpot. A small percentage of each pot played is added to the jackpot. It pays out when someone loses with a strong qualifying hand (usually quad twos or better) to an even better hand. Most bad beat jackpots are distributed to everyone at the table, with the loser of the hand taking the bulk of it.
  • Some bingo games offer progressive jackpots if you can call bingo before a certain number of bingo balls have been drawn. The number of balls and the prizes depend on the game.
  • Lotteries: Scratch cards and drawing games generally use the same structure for progressive jackpots. You can play progressive lottery games and scratch cards through your state-sponsored lottery. Many online casinos also offer scratch cards.

The bottom line is that progressive jackpot games are not limited to slots, blackjack or video poker. It is possible to find just about any casino game with a progressive jackpot if you look hard enough.

But if you don’t want to go through so much trouble to find a casino jackpot game, just find a casino that works with one of the software providers we talk about in the next section.

Top Online Progressive Jackpot Software Providers

It doesn’t matter which casino progressive jackpot game you play, the software vendor that created the game is crucial.

Depending on the game, the software vendor may be the one processing your payout. That means their policies affect when and how you get paid if you win.

In addition to payout policies, various software vendors are known for specific features that will enhance your experience.

Here are some of the best software providers that make casino games with progressive jackpots.

Realtime Gaming Progressive Jackpots

Realtime Gaming is one of the most popular software providers for progressive jackpot games.

Their games are available at many of our recommended online casinos in the US.

They offer a wide variety of slot machines with progressive jackpots. You can also use Realtime Gaming Software to play Caribbean Stud and Let ‘Em Ride poker.

These are some popular Realtime Gaming online casino games with jackpots.


  • What is a megasaur?
  • Cleopatra’s gold
  • Aztec Millions
  • Jackpot Pinatas
  • Spirit of the Incas
  • Let them play poker.
  • Caribbean stud poker.

At the time of writing, Realtime Gaming had paid out $60,125,139 in jackpot prizes. These awards were divided among 6,051 total wins.

Here are some of the highest jackpot wins ever recorded with Realtime Gaming progressive jackpot games.


Microgaming Progressive Games


Microgaming is one of the largest software providers of online casino games in the world. They are known for holding the world record for the largest online casino jackpot payout ever.

This company also stands out because they have a policy that all jackpots must be paid out in full once verified.

That means, if you are lucky enough to win, you will get all your money within a few weeks. There is no reason to settle for instalment payments.

Microgaming has paid out over $1.3 billion since creating the first wide-ranging online progressive jackpot game in 1998! All that money has gone to 18.2 million players.

Progressive jackpot series include Mega Moolah, Wow Pot, and Major Millions.Multiple eligible games are all tied to the same jackpot prize pool. This helps these jackpots get big quickly.

You can play a wide variety of Nicogaming slots and table games with progressive jackpots. Here are some of their progressive jackpot table games.

  • Roulette Royale
  • Progressive Triple Sevens Blackjack
  • Progressive Jacks or Better Supajax
  • Draw Poker in the Caribbean
  • Poker ride
  • Poker CyberStu

In total, there are sixteen different prize pools that Microgaming offers. They have dozens of games tied to each prize pool.

So you can play any game you like without sacrificing your jackpot odds.

The following are Microgaming’s casino games with the largest payouts.


Progressive Jackpot Games by Playtech

Playtech is another excellent software provider that offers a wide variety of progressive jackpot casino games. They have over thirty progressive games available, including progressive baccarat.

Here are a few games from Playtech that offer a progressive jackpot option.


  • Progressive Blackjack
  • Progressive Baccarat
  • 10-line Jacks or Better
  • Golden rally
  • Funky Fruit
  • Jackpot Dragons
  • Deal or no deal.
  • DC superheroes
  • Age of the Gods

Many of their progressive slots are part of a series, such as the Age of the Gods series. They have multiple games associated with the same prize pool.

Playtech has paid out $820.822,954 in jackpots since the end of 2009. More than 87,400 players have cashed in their progressive jackpots.

The following table shows some of the highest payouts from Playtech’s progressive jackpot casino games.


Please note that when a player wins a jackpot on a Playtech game, it is Playtech’s policy to pay the casino directly. It is then the job of the casino to pay the player.

Some Playtech casinos have a withdrawal limit of $10,000 per month. Their policy explicitly includes jackpot payouts. If you win a $1 million prize, it will take more than eight years to collect your money.

If you are planning to play their progressive jackpot casino games, you may want to read our online casino reviews first to see if you can find a Playtech casino with higher withdrawal limits.

NetEnt Progressive Jackpots.


Another software provider you may want to explore is Net Entertainment, or NetEnt. The company has paid out €703,899,824 in jackpots to nearly 60,000 players.

NetEnt has a wide variety of progressive games available. However, many of their games are linked to progressives rather than broad progressives.

That means many of the jackpots are managed by individual casinos. The prize pool will only accept contributions from players at that particular casino.

As a result, they don’t rise as fast as other jackpot games. However, you also have fewer people to compete with to win the jackpot.

Here are some of the progressive jackpot games and their payouts from NetEnt.


Now that we’ve explored some of the progressive jackpot online casino games that you can play and the software providers that make them, let’s take a different turn and go through some tips for playing casino jackpot games.

Tips for Casino Jackpot Games

The great thing about jackpot casino games is that everyone has the chance to win. That also means that you have the same chances of winning as everyone else.

Be it a slot machine or a table game, the results depend on random luck. Otherwise, casinos would not be able to afford to offer such huge prizes.

There is nothing you can do to guarantee that you will win a progressive jackpot prize. But there are a few things you can do to maximise your chances.

How to choose a casino jackpot game

First things first, You need to choose a casino jackpot game that suits you best.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing progressive jackpot games to play.

  • Choose a game you like. You may have to play the game for a while before you have a chance to hit the jackpot. Don’t waste your time with a game you don’t like just because it offers a jackpot.
  • Find a game that fits your bankroll. If you have to bet the max bet to qualify for the jackpot, make sure you have enough money to play the max bet a few dozen times. Don’t risk your entire bankroll hoping that a single spin will be the winner.
  • Think about how the jackpot is triggered. Some games offer the jackpot as a prize during the base game. Others only offer jackpots as part of a bonus game. The more layers there are, the harder it will be to win the jackpot.

The odds of winning a progressive jackpot are stacked against you. So there’s no point in playing a game you don’t like simply because it has a jackpot you’d love to win. Chances are you won’t win.

Playing progressive jackpot games should be fun, and they should work for your budget. The progressive jackpot should be the icing on the cake.

Take into account promotion conditions.

Imagine how you would feel if you won a seven-figure jackpot, only to be told you couldn’t cash it. Unfortunately, that happened.

Therefore, you should be aware of the casino’s policy regarding jackpot prizes that may disqualify you from taking your winnings. Here are the most common policies you should be aware of.

  • Many online casinos have a policy that says you cannot collect a jackpot while playing with bonus money.
  • You may be required to meet a wagering requirement before you can collect your winnings. Failure to complete the playthrough may cause the casino to void your winnings.
  • Other promotional terms to look out for include prohibited games and bets, wagering limits, and offer deadlines.

If you always follow the rules of the casino, you are less likely to have problems collecting a progressive jackpot.

It is also important to be polite to the casino staff. Disrespecting the staff is a red flag. The casino will keep a close eye on you after that, especially if it means they might not have to pay out huge winnings.

Remember this: casinos reserve the right to withhold prizes in certain circumstances. You want to abide by the rules so that you don’t miss out on an important prize due to a technical problem.

Calculate the Expected Value

Some progressive jackpot games have a finite number of winning combinations. These include games such as blackjack, video poker, roulette, and various types of casino poker.

Because there are a finite number of possibilities, you can calculate the probability of a given result.

For example, if you’re playing three-card progressive poker, the odds of winning a suited royal flush are about 22,100:1.

It is possible to use those odds, combined with the payouts for each hand, to calculate the average return.

Since progressive jackpots grow until they are paid out, the size of the jackpot affects the average return. If the jackpot amount gets high enough, the average return can exceed 100%.

When the average return is over 100%, you can expect to make a profit (in the long run) with every hand or round you play until the jackpot is hit.

This process is known as “calculating the expected value.” It requires a lot of math, and you don’t want to be wrong.

How to Win $3/Hour and Win a $670k Jackpot

Huck Seed is a famous poker player who has won the most important progressive jackpot for video poker ever. He used the expected value to figure out how high the jackpot had to reach to make a profit.

Then he went to the Aria casino and played video poker for ten hours. His bankroll started at $50,000 and he had lost about $10,000 before hitting the $670,665 jackpot.

The expected value is not a guarantee. Huck Seed had to play hundreds of hands before he hit the jackpot. You may run out of money long before the jackpot hits.

You can use the expected value to decide when is a good time to play a particular game. Even if you don’t hit the jackpot, you’re still playing with an advantage over the casino.

You won’t find a better tip for playing progressive jackpots than this one.

Online casino jackpot games with the highest payouts

There are dozens of progressive casino games that promise huge payouts. But only a few of those games have a history of paying those kinds of prizes multiple times.

Let’s take a look at some of the highest paying casino jackpots online right now.

Mega Moolah

The highest-paying online casino jackpot is Mega Moolah.

It has paid out huge prizes to players around the world. Here are some of the biggest Mega Moolah payouts to date.


Mega Fortune

Mega Fortune is a slot from NetEnt that is also known for multiple large payouts. Here are some of the best Mega Fortune prizes.


Mega Jackpots

IGT is a slot machine provider that has been making land-based slot machines for decades. However, they also offer online games.

IGT has one online progressive game – Mega Jackpots. Here are some of the highest Mega Jackpots winnings.

Caribbean Stud Poker from Realtime Gaming:

Realtime Gaming’s Caribbean Stud Poker game pays the jackpot every time someone hits the royal flush.

It’s not easy to get a royal flush, so it’s impressive that this jackpot has been paid out so many times.

Progressive Blackjack

Many software providers offer a progressive blackjack option. It’s not easy to win, as you need three suitable sevens to win the entire jackpot.

Here are some of the best online progressive blackjack winnings.

Let them play poker from Realtime Gaming.

Another RTG progressive casino game is the Let ‘Em Ride poker game. It has paid out 23 different times, with an average payout of over $80,000. These are the top winners.

Land-Based Casino Jackpots

Some people think they have better luck playing land-based progressive casino games. They may be superstitious, but for some of those people, apparently, it worked.

Here are some of the best progressive jackpot wins in land-based casinos.

Pai Gow Poker.

Mega Bucks Slot Machine

The takeaways here are that there is a lot of money to be won playing progressive jackpot games at the casino, and you can win life-changing sums of money both online and in real casinos.

So just choose how you want to gamble, a game you know you’ll enjoy playing and that fits your budget, then cross your fingers.

You never know, you might just be the next big winner of the progressive jackpot. We keep our fingers crossed for you!

Casino Progressive Jackpots FAQ

How are progressive jackpots paid out?

The software vendor or casino determines the payments for progressive jackpots. You will usually be paid in instalments over a certain period of time.

Are progressive jackpots random?

Yes. All progressive jackpot games are triggered randomly. However, the game may be programmed to offer the jackpot only to players who have wagered the maximum amount.

What are the chances of winning a progressive jackpot?

The odds of winning a progressive jackpot depend on the game you are playing.

How often are progressive jackpots paid out?

The timing of progressive jackpot payouts is random. Some games last for years without any winners, and others pay out every few months. If you count the lower level jackpots, many progressive games are paid out daily. However, those awards aren’t as important as the life-changing wins we shared above.

How can casinos afford to pay progressive jackpot amounts?

Progressive jackpot prizes come from a percentage of every losing bet played on that game. The amount varies, but can add up quickly. Usually, the software vendor automatically collects the prize money to hold it in a separate account. Then they pay out the casino when someone wins a jackpot.