If you visit an online casino, you are likely to come across a tab marked “Jackpots”. This page will hold the casino’s jackpot games, often with a ticker banner under each game showing a huge figure that is constantly rising.
While you might think that every game has a jackpot – and, of course, each game will have some sort of jackpot – these games are a little different. They are called progressive jackpots. And, they have increasing importance in online casinos today.
As you might guess by the name, a progressive jackpot is constantly rising. Games like Jackpot Gladiator, Great Blue and Beach Life, which are slots that can be found at Mansion Casino, regularly have jackpots in excess of £1 million. Once they pay out – and nobody knows when that happens – the prize is reset to a minimum amount called a seed, and it will start to be built again.
Economy of scale used to grow prizes
The question, then, is how does all this work? The first thing to consider is how the jackpots are funded. The simple answer is through the players. Each time a player makes a bet on the game, a small percentage (usually around 1%) goes into the jackpot fund. So, if your bet is £0.20, a fifth of one cent goes into the jackpot fund.
The math is staggering when you think about it. Using the bet pattern above, it would take 500 spins to grow the jackpot by £1, and therefore 500,000,000 spins to grow it up to a £1 million-pound prize fund. Of course, people pay with different stakes, but you can appreciate it would still take a long time to build up the prize fund.
However, these jackpots rise relatively quickly. Usually it’s a matter of weeks or a few months. This is achieved by connecting the games at casinos all over the world. If you are playing in the UK, other players in Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and other parts of the globe are paying into it too.
Software developers manage the prizes
The jackpots aren’t only connected across countries, they are connected across rival casinos too. This is achievable because the games’ jackpots are not managed directly by the casinos, but by the software developer companies that have created the games in the first place. A casino will usually provide the seed amount for the payout.
Obviously, a more important question might be about how a player can win a jackpot? Unlike traditional games, a progressive jackpot usually doesn’t depend on a specific set of results such as matching a set of symbols on a payline. The prize is awarded randomly. When we say randomly, we really mean randomly. Nobody – not even the casinos – know when or where it will be awarded.
Each game’s random number generator will set the jackpot to payout once it reaches a specific figure. Let’s say that the figure £1,783,374.67, then the player who plays the spin who breaks that threshold will be awarded the jackpot. While that outcome is random, you can appreciate that a bigger bet will have a better change of breaking the threshold because more is paid into the pot.
All of this is essentially an example of software developers using economies of scale to create more enticing games for players. You might want to consider jackpot games like buying a lottery ticket, but that doesn’t stop players all over the world dreaming that they could be the ones to trigger than life-changing sum of money.