Home | Learn | How to Play Progressive Slots

How to Play Progressive Slots

September 26, 2022

Whether you’re new to slot machines or a seasoned pro, progressive slots are some of the most popular and can be the most lucrative.  

Progressive slot machines are known for their jackpots that keep increasing every time somebody plays a slot game. Find out how progressive slots work, how often progressive jackpots hit and some of the most popular progressive slots at PokerStars Casino.  

What are progressive slot machines? 

Progressive slots get their name from their ever-progressing jackpot. Unlike some slots, the prize isn’t fixed and progresses with every bet made, until it’s won. When this happens, the jackpot resets to a seed amount and the process starts all over again. These slots can be found in physical casinos as well as online casinos and boast epic jackpots, which could be into the millions! 

Progressive slot machine meaning:  

A casino slot machine which features a progressive jackpot – a cash prize that gets bigger every time someone places a real money wager, and the jackpot isn’t won. A small share of each wager is added to the jackpot, and the jackpot size is usually displayed in real time, so players can see it rise. When the jackpot is won, it is reset to a pre-determined minimum amount called a seed. 

How do progressive slots work?

You’re probably wondering just how these jackpots get so big? Let us explain. When a player makes a wager on a progressive jackpot slot machine, a percentage of their wager goes into the jackpot prize pool. Every spin, by every player will make the jackpot grow. If you consider hundreds of online casinos and millions of players playing the same game, you can quickly understand how the prize jackpot soars.   

What types of progressive slots are there?

Progressive jackpots have evolved since their inception in the late 80s. What started out as single game jackpots have now morphed into jackpots that are funded across an entire network of casinos e.g., the more people that play, the bigger the jackpots and the more frequently they’re won.  

Let’s look at Buffalo Rising Megaways Jackpot below, this shows their 3 networked progressive jackpots and the rules. 


Here are some of the different types of progressive slots: 

Timed Jackpots

Timed jackpots are usually daily and guaranteed to pay out at a specified time of the day, these jackpots are usually small to medium sized.  

Game Jackpots

These slots have their own progressive prize, although they’re still funded from players across different online casinos.  

Tiered Jackpots

Progressive slots can feature tiered progressives within them, ranging from mini pots worth hundreds of pounds that are won every few minutes, to mega prizes worth thousands which are won every few weeks. This means you’re more likely to win something small whilst keeping the potential for the biggest jackpot win alive.  

Network Jackpots

Online casinos can now operate a network-wide jackpot system with their most popular games – this means that players can choose from over 30 different slots and still have the chance to win the same prize.  

How to play progressive slots

You’ve got to be in it to in it and if you already know how to play online slots, then you’re halfway there when it comes to progressive slots. Unlike traditional slots, progressive slots will have a jackpot meter which shows the current value of the progressive jackpot – you’ll be able to see this increase in value the more you play the slot.  

Progressive slots are a game of luck, however in some you may need to play the maximum bet with all the paylines in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot. Make sure you read over the rules for each game to ensure you qualify for the jackpot you’re trying to hit.  

How often do progressive jackpots hit?

This isn’t an easy one to answer, but you can look at a progressive jackpot a bit like an unsolvable maths puzzle. The slots jackpot can be a fixed probability event e.g., 1 in 70.6 million spins, total staked across all slots, a randomly selected time or jackpot size.  

For progressive jackpot slot odds where a life-changing amount of money is concerned, these can hit from one in 50 million to approximately one in 600 million. Feeling lucky?  

Best progressive jackpot slots

There’s a huge range of progressive jackpot slots on PokerStars Casino, whether you’re looking for something with a specific theme or not.  We’ve listed out 5 of our most popular progressive slots below, so you can get spinning.  

Diamond Stars

Immerse yourself in the Las Vegas experience in Diamond Stars, a classic game with a modern twist. Featuring massive multipliers and more neon than you can ever imagine.  


Stars Invaders

Launch yourself into an interstellar, extra-terrestrial experience with Stars Invaders, an out-of-this-world game that rockets classic one-armed bandit features into the far future of space. With a classic 3×3 layout, 5 paylines and massive multipliers, you won’t even mind if you get the ‘constellation’ prize.  


Sticky Fruits

Get your five a day with Sticky Fruits, filled with mouth-watering fruits and no less mouth-watering winnings. This slot is equip with a layout of four reels arranged in three rows and ten paylines.  


Tomb of Ra

Transport yourself back to Ancient Egypt in Tomb of Ra, this 5×5 slot is complete with special symbols including amulets, sarcophagi and jewels. With an RTP of 96.61% and a high volatility it’s no surprise that this is popular with many high rollers.  


Musketeers Heroic Spins PP 

Join the three musketeers in this 5×3 slot with 20 paylines that has 3 Free Spins features and 6 swashbuckling modifiers that are triggered from the base game. Porthos, Aramis and Athos will be waiting to welcome you to the team.  


Are Progressive Slots worth it?

Although the odds of your spin landing on a progressive jackpot are slim, they are won often. Just think about the millions of spins happening every week, and that 50 – 600 million counter soon starts adds up. The record for the biggest online progressive jackpot was won back in 2017, where a UK player won a cool £13.2 million on Mega Moolah.  

Looking at the RTP of a progressive slot, if you’re price conscious and prefer an immediate return, you should consider sticking to non-progressive slots. Now we have been through how they work, different type of progressive slots and the most popular jackpot slots at PokerStars Casino it’s down to you to spin the reels!