How does a jackpot slot work?

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
How does a jackpot slot work?

Whether you’re a long-time fan of slot games, or you’re just starting out, you might be intrigued by jackpot slots. Maybe you’ve been browsing your favourite online casino and seen jackpot versions of top slot games but haven’t yet tried them out. Maybe you’ve even thought about skipping them altogether. But jackpot slots can be very thrilling, with the opportunity to make big wins from a single spin around every corner.

There are two types of jackpot slots out there, fixed and progressive, and we’ll be exploring the differences and benefits of each in this guide. But you first might be asking yourself what exactly a slot jackpot is?

Some games may refer to the highest possible win as being the jackpot, but that’s not the same as the jackpot prizes so we’re here to break down for you!

Put simply this is a type of slot game that has cash pot prizes on offer, separate to the cash to be won during standard gameplay. This big cash pot can be won if you trigger the jackpot feature as you spin the reels. This could be as simple as a spinning wheel or an in-game bonus round! 

Which feature you see can depend on the game you’re playing, so it might be worth reading a slot game’s bonus information before you play so you aren’t caught off guard.

Fixed Jackpot Slots

One of the most common types of jackpot prizes is a fixed jackpot. In games with this feature, if you’re lucky enough to hit the big jackpot round and win, your prize will always be a fixed value - which could be anything from £10 to tens of thousands!

Unlike in a progressive jackpot slot, the cash prize doesn’t grow or change as players stake cash to  spin the reels, and though some games may have multiple jackpot values, each prize never goes up or down in value. 

Typically, unlocking a  jackpot round in a game is not dependent on the size of your bet, or the bets of any other players, it’s all down to chance! 

Normally, fixed jackpot slots have three jackpots to be won, going from smaller values to larger ones. How you trigger the jackpot varies from game to game, or by developer, but it is usually an in-game mechanic or trigger, or by collecting special features throughout the game that causes the jackpot feature to trigger.

An example of a fixed jackpot slot is Lara Croft Temples and Tombs. This slot has three fixed cash pot jackpots to be won. In this instance, the Minor jackpot cashes in at £15, the Major pays out £100, and the Grand jackpot is a delightful £15,000! But these values can change depending on the game.

During the game’s rolling reels gameplay, wilds are collected. The more wilds you’ve collected throughout the feature, the higher your chance of triggering the jackpot. Once triggered, the player is awarded one of the three jackpots. If you trigger this jackpot feature you’ll be undoubtedly excited. You’ll see a spinning wheel that will tick round until it lands at the jackpot you’ve won! 

This amount will never change, so whether you’ve wagered 10p, or £10, the big £15,000 jackpot will stay the same. If  you’re searching for a chance to win a constantly growing, life changing top prize, you may prefer to play a progressive jackpot slot.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Progressive jackpot games work a little differently to their fixed counterparts. Instead of hitting the jackpot prize and winning a pre-set value, the big pot is actually a constantly growing amount of cash funded by players’ bets!

Typically, progressive jackpot values are shared across multiple sites (which helps them grow to their gargantuan size), so when a jackpot as large as Mega Moolah’s €14m kitty was won back in November 2020, it could be on any site in the world that hosted that game - or any of the Mega Moolah series!

Progressive jackpot slots can also come at three levels, with a mini, maxi, and mega jackpot to be won. Again, the jackpot is usually triggered by an in-game mechanic or by collecting special features throughout the gameplay.

Progressive jackpots money pots start at a fixed amount, so once the jackpot is won, the jackpot level resets to a minimum amount and starts to grow again. Sometimes, jackpot slots will also have a maximum amount, and the cash pot has to be won before the jackpot reaches that value. 

One example of a popular progressive jackpot slot is Fluffy Favourites Jackpot, the jackpot version of the fan-favourite Fluffy Favourites. It will assuredly be thrilling if you win, with fun graphics and a big celebration that you’ve won one of the three jackpot pots.

This slot has three progressive jackpots to be won, a Mini, a Maxi, and the Mega. The Mini starts at £10, the Maxi begins at £100, and the Mega jackpot has a minimum value of £500. 

Remember, these jackpots grow endlessly, so you could end up winning hundreds, thousands, or even millions in some cases. Mega Moolah holds the Guinness World Record for the highest jackpot win, cashing in at a whopping £16,496,346. 

How do jackpot slot RTPs measure up?

If you play slots regularly you’re probably familiar with RTP, or return-to-player. This is simply a theoretical percentage of how much a slot machine pays back to players. For example, for a slot game with an RTP of 96%, you could expect to see 96p paid back to players for every £1 wagered. 

But how do jackpot slots measure up? Lots of jackpot slots are the jackpot version of an already existing slot game, like Fluffy Favourites and Fluffy Favourites Jackpot. 

In general, progressive and fixed jackpot slots have a lower RTP than those of their regular video slot or three reel classic slot counterparts. This is because the payouts can be a lot bigger when they do drop, as you could potentially turn a small wager into a big major payout.

Fluffy Favourites for example, has an RTP of 95,388% but its jackpot version has an RTP of 89.99% and 3% for the jackpot. 

Does this mean you shouldn’t play the jackpot slots? Not necessarily. It just means that you can expect less return in the normal gameplay, but you have the chance to win even more if you’re lucky enough to trigger the jackpot win.

Should you play jackpot slots or classic slots?

This is again up to you. If you’re looking to get a big payout from your gameplay then you should opt for jackpot slots. But if you’re looking for a more predictable payout, then classic slot games are your friend, with their higher RTP and lower slot volatility