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Strategies for Playing Progressive Slots

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Progressive slot machines have jackpots that steadily increase over time as more people play them. There is usually a reasonable starting jackpot, and the amount increases until someone wins. Then the process repeats itself.

The jackpots in progressive slots can be huge. It is easy to find the machines that offer progressive jackpots at the casino. The jackpot amounts are displayed prominently in brightly-colored lights.

Here are some tips to consider if you are thinking about playing progressive slots.

First, you should decide whether you would prefer to play progressive slots or regular slots. Casinos usually have close to the same profit margin on each type of machine, so you can bet that if there is a huge jackpot, the smaller prizes are lower to make up for it. Because it is more likely that you will win the smaller payouts, you could be trading in some of your winnings for a long shot that will never pay off. Only you can decide whether the shot at the jackpot is worth the tradeoff.

Next, keep in mind that jackpots get huge for a reason. It is because of the ridiculous odds against winning that jackpots reach the tens of millions of dollars. Do you feel lucky enough to be 1 in 50 million? The odds of winning that life-changing jackpot could be up in that range. It’s hard to know the exact odds because casinos are not required to disclose them. However, in general, the higher the jackpot is, the lower the odds of winning.

When playing for progressive jackpots, look for the highest jackpot on similar machines. For example, if there are several stand-alone progressives that are identical except for the amount of the jackpot, go for the higher jackpot. The odds of winning will be the same for similar machines, regardless of the amount of the jackpot.

You might also notice that one interconnected group of progressives offers a much higher jackpot than another similar-looking group in another part of the casino. Chances are, the differences in the amount of the jackpot have more to do with the time since the last win than the odds in this case. Go for the higher jackpot.

Avoid playing on machines if the jackpot meter is not moving. Either the jackpot is not progressive or it has topped out, and has reached its maximum.

Always bet the maximum number of coins when playing progressive slots. Most of these machines will not pay the jackpot on smaller bets, so this is extremely important. There’s no point in playing the progressive machines if you are not going after the jackpot. You will get higher paybacks on the lower-level combinations playing regular slots instead.

Don’t think that a certain machine will pay out soon just because the jackpot is high, even if it’s higher than it’s ever been before. The payout of the jackpot does not happen when it reaches a certain level. It is always random. The chance of hitting the jackpot on any individual spin is always exactly the same, regardless of how long it has been since the last win.

Even in video poker, where it is possible to figure the machine’s payback level, it is not safe to assume that the jackpot must hit soon because it is over that level. The machine could go far past that level this time, and hit twice within a short period of time afterward. There is no such thing as a sure thing. You can never predict what will happen in slots.

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