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The Basics of Playing Progressive Slots

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Progressive slots are slot machines that build up a jackpot that is paid out when someone hits the highest winning combination on the machine. This jackpot can build up for a long time, and is sometimes quite huge. There are three kinds of progressive slots. They are single-machine progressives, local-area or proprietary progressives and wide-area progressives.

Single-Machine Progressives

These machines are just like regular slot machines except that there is a jackpot for the top prize that grows just a little bit larger with each play. There is a minimum payout for the jackpot, and every time someone puts a coin into the machine the jackpot gets a little bigger. Many of these machines have minimum jackpots around $1,000.

Local-Area Progressives

The local-area or proprietary progressives are a group of slot machines owned by the same casino or gaming company. These machines are linked together and share a common jackpot. The jackpot grows whenever a coin is played in any of the linked machines. The prize is usually larger for larger groups of machines. Many casinos offer prizes such as boats, cars or other expensive items as the jackpot for these types of machines.

In the case of proprietary video poker machines, players can use the pay schedule posted on the machine to determine when the jackpot has grown past the 100% payout level. This can be very helpful when determining which machines to play.

Wide-area Progressives

Wide-area progressives are a large group of machines in many different casinos that are linked together to one gigantic jackpot. These games are huge networks that cover multiple states. Some of these games include Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune and Betty Boop. Wide-area progressives are owned and operated by the manufacturer of the game, and the casino shares in the profits.

These huge jackpots are usually paid out as an annuity over 20 years. The casino and the manufacturer purchase an insurance policy to cover the payment of the annuity of the course of its payout period in case either of them should go out of business.

The jackpot for any of these machines is determined in the same way as it is for any slot machine. The random number generator inside of the slot machine’s computer generates a number for each play, and if that number corresponds to the number for the winning combination, then the player wins the jackpot.
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