We all dream of landing a big casino jackpot when we play casino games online. The ringing bells and flashing lights of a winning machine can really get your adrenaline pumping. But how exactly do casino real money jackpots work? They’re often sensationalized in the headlines of casino news without a technical explanation of how the real money jackpot was triggered. Understanding the mechanics of a casino jackpot is the first step to learning how to increase your odds of winning them. 

At Bovada's online casino, progressive real money jackpots are one of our specialties. We’ll help boost your chances of triggering them by explaining how progressive casino jackpots work in online casinos. Through our explanations, you’ll come to understand why seasoned casino players prioritize these gems of the casino world. To give gaming beginners a good starting point, we’ll point you in the direction of our most popular progressive jackpot games—both in the online slots section, the table games section and the specialty section. By the end of the guide, you’ll know when it’s a good time to play jackpot games. 

Progressive Jackpots Overview: What They Are and How They Work 

In a casino game, a progressive online jackpot is a pot of money that is funded by a portion of every bet staked on the machine. For example, when you bet $1 on a machine that dedicates 11% of income to the jackpot, 11 cents is automatically added to the jackpot amount. The jackpot is considered “progressive” because it continues to grow in value until someone triggers it. 

There are two types of progressive jackpots, and each type dictates how it’s triggered. The first type is a random jackpot, and the second type is non-random, paying out only when you land the game’s top winning combination. A “random” progressive jackpot, such as what’s available in A Night With Cleo, is triggered at the end of any random spin. It could be a winning spin, or a losing spin; it doesn’t matter. Most random progressive jackpots don’t have betting conditions that must be fulfilled in order to be eligible, but you should always check the game rules to be sure.

Non-random progressive jackpots are used to reward a player who lands the top-tier combination of icons in the game. For example, in Food Fight, which has a $713,000 jackpot as we go to press, the top icon is the Pudding; to win the progressive jackpot, you must land five Pudding icons on one of the game’s nine paylines. As stated on the paytable, you must bet five coins per spin to be eligible for it.

It’s important to know which of the two online jackpots you’re dealing with because the non-random ones typically require you to bet max in order to be eligible for it. Reading the online game rules before playing will ensure you don’t miss out on a major jackpot payout should you land the proper winning combination. 

Why Play Progressive Jackpots?

The reason seasoned bettors go for casino gaming with progressive jackpots is for the reduced house edge. Slot strategy is all about online game selection. For example, if you were to take two games that are identical—except for the progressive jackpot amounts—you’d be increasing your theoretical return by choosing the game with the bigger jackpot. In our casino, there are two versions of Five Times Wins —an online version with a progressive jackpot, and an online version without the progressive jackpot. I’m sure you can guess which one most people pick to play. 

Types of Games with Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots can be found in select slots, table and specialty games. We’ll go over the biggest jackpots in each section. 

Casino Games with the Biggest Progressive Jackpots

While the majority of progressive jackpots are found in the Slots section of the casino, a few are available in select table and specialty games as well. In the Table Games section, both Caribbean Hold’Em and Caribbean Stud Poker have progressive jackpots. These poker-inspired table games share the same jackpot and require players to wager $1 on the progressive side bet in order to be eligible for it. Landing a Flush and up will get you a portion of the jackpot, but only the Royal Flush will get you the whole thing.

Let ‘Em Ride is another online table game that includes a progressive jackpot. In order to be eligible, you must wager $1 in addition to your Ante bet at the start of the round. Winning with a Flush gets you $75, a Full House gets you $100, a Four of a Kind gets you $500, a Straight Flush gets you 10% and a Royal Flush gets you 100% of the pot. As we go to press, the Let ‘Em Ride progressive jackpot is $28,000. 

Most people don’t think about Bingo when considering casino games with progressive jackpots, but three of our Bingo games do award them as part of their payout structure. To trigger them, you must land Bingo within the first 30 balls and have met the following two betting requirements:

• Four cards must be played.

• A minimum of $1 must be staked on each of the four cards for a total betting minimum of $4 per round.

Slot Games with the Biggest Progressive Jackpots

As mentioned, progressive jackpots are funded by incoming wagers, so the more popular a game is, the quicker the jackpot reaches mammoth proportions. Our casino is no exception—there are certain games that get more action than others, and consequently almost always have big jackpots. Shopping Spree generally has the biggest jackpot in our casino, reaching heights of well over a million. As we go to press, its jackpot is worth $3.860 million. Winning the legendary Shopping Spree jackpot requires landing five Diamond Ring icons on a max bet; if you manage that, you get the choice of going on a shopping spree with us in New York City, or simply taking the cash. Your decision does not impact the amount you get. 

How to Find Progressive Jackpots at Bovada

The quickest way to locate all of the progressive jackpot gaming fun in our casino is to use the “Progressives” filter in the drop-down menu. All the table games and slots that include a random and non-random progressive jackpot will be populated on this page. Each game card has a banner that displays the current jackpot amount, so you can easily compare them and locate the games with the juiciest jackpots. 

Bingo games with progressive jackpots are found in the Specialty Games section of our casino. Only the themed Bingo versions offer progressive jackpots—specifically Bingo Goal, Bingo Ribeirinhos, and Amazonia Bingo. A banner displaying the jackpot value is displayed on each of the game cards.

When to Play Progressive Jackpots 

The best time to play casino games with progressive jackpots is when the pots are biggest. The bigger the jackpot, the closer the machine will be to the “break-even” point, which is when house edge is theoretically eliminated. While there’s no way to calculate the break-even point, you can get close to it by electing to play the casino games with the biggest progressive jackpots. 

There is some misconception regarding jackpots becoming “due” to pay when they haven’t been triggered for a while. Because the games work on Random Number Generators, every spin is independent from the previous spins. A progressive jackpot can pay out after 1.5 million spins and then pay out after 50,000 spins. It’s impossible to predict when it will be triggered. The only way to increase your odds of winning a progressive jackpot is to play the game, make sure you’re eligible for it should you win, and to select the games with the biggest pots. If you do become the lucky recipient of one, it will change your life forever.