Progressive Jackpots

Jackpot Meaning

If you’re new to the world of online casino gaming, you’re likely to see the word "jackpot" coming up a lot. Jackpots are central to how online slots as well as other casino games operate, and they’re also a crucial indicator of what players can expect from different games and titles.


If you want to know everything about what the jackpot meaning is, as well as how to get the most out of progressive jackpot slots, read our in-depth guide to find out.

Join Now or Log In

What is a jackpot?

Let’s start with the actual jackpot definition. A jackpot is a term used in casino games to describe the biggest possible prize that can be won on a single game - the grand prize, if you will. It is a term that is largely applied to games of chance where the total amount of prize money grows with each round that is played.


 Why is it called jackpot?


The jackpot meaning origin stretches back to the days of the Wild West. Back in the 19th century, people in the US and Europe played a popular form of poker called Jacks or Better, in which at least one player must hold a pair of jacks for betting to begin. Once the wagering has commenced, the first person to win the jackpot is whoever holds a hand with three of a kind of any card. If no-one in the round had three-of-a-kind, the jackpot prize would grow until someone held the magic number. The first person to do so would win the total jackpot value.


What does it mean to hit the jackpot?


Put simply, the "hit the jackpot" meaning is when a player of the casino game in question wins the jackpot prize. When you have hit the jackpot, you have secured the lucky combination of cards, numbers, or slot icons needed to hit the jackpot limit and win the grand prize, meaning that all of the pot is yours to keep.


How do jackpots work?


In order to define jackpot amounts and describe how they work, it is important to emphasize that there is no specific slot combination needed to win. It depends on the online slots jackpot in question.


If you're playing on progressive slot machines, you'll have to line up the slot reels in a way that pushes the existing jackpot over its limit. For every round played, a portion of each player’s bet is added to the slot machine jackpot total. This amount will continue to grow until someone wins overall. This means that the larger a jackpot grows, the higher the chance is of somebody winning.


For fixed jackpot slots , though, you'll find that there is often a specific combination of symbols you have to land on, to get the jackpot prize. What this combination is will depend on the individual slot.


How can you win a jackpot?


There are many ways to win a jackpot. Winning the jackpot is done through a combination of luck and perseverance. Since your chances of winning rise as the jackpot goes up, sticking a game of slots or poker out is a good way to approach it. You can also use poker or slot strategies, which we will look at in more depth down below, to try to secure the best shot at winning.


When will a jackpot game pay out?


It is almost impossible to tell when a jackpot game will pay out. Different slots and online card games have a huge variety of factors that determine when the fruit machine jackpot will be hit. It all depends on the Return-to-Player (RTP) rate, the volatility of the game, the odds of winning each individual cycle, and the luck of the player. Of course, all this is part of what makes jackpot slots so exciting to play.

Casino Games with Jackpots

Slots with jackpots


One of the most popular types of jackpot is the online slot jackpot. Popular titles offer progressive jackpots that can grow to six-figure sums until a lucky player wins it all. Slots of all shapes and sizes tend to offer jackpots, each with different levels of volatility and different chances at winning. You'll find great variety inside our slots lobby.


Roulette games with jackpots


A wide variety of online roulette games offer a jackpot prize too. Jackpot roulette games allow players to compete for an accumulating jackpot that can often rise to a substantial amount.


Video poker games with jackpots


Since the meaning of jackpot in English originally comes from a variation of poker, it should come as no surprise that there is a wealth of poker games that offer progressive jackpots for players. Even mobile video poker titles at Paddy Power offer jackpot prizes that can range in size from a few hundred to several hundred thousand pounds.


Jackpot games with bonuses


Since hitting the jackpot on a slot machine is more likely the bigger the jackpot is, taking advantage of jackpot game bonuses is a solid strategy. Bonuses come in various forms, with some consisting of free spins on the biggest slot machines and others consisting of matched betting deposits that you can use on poker and roulette games. Although such bonuses offer free gaming, your chance of winning the jackpot remains the same.


Which jackpot game is the best?


Deciding what jackpot game is best depends entirely on what you’re looking for. Some players prefer to go straight for the games that have the biggest jackpot payout, while others prefer less popular slots, tables and card games, as they believe there is less competition. It is a good idea to look at the stats and volatility of the games you enjoy playing to decide which one is best for you. Have a look through our jackpots collection to pick your favourite.

Progressive Jackpots

How do progressive jackpots work?


Progressive jackpots work in a similar same way as regular (fixed) jackpots do, but they keep increasing until it's time to pay out. Say you’re playing a popular online slot game that offers a progressive jackpot, such as Age of the Gods. For every wager that you and every other player of the slot make when you spin the reel, a tiny portion of the wager goes towards the progressive jackpot. This will keep rising until the payout feature in the game has been triggered. It is impossible to tell when this will be, but many assume that the larger a jackpot is, the closer it is to paying out.


Fixed jackpot games vs. progressive jackpots


Many casino players get confused by the difference between progressive jackpot games and so-called fixed jackpot games. A fixed jackpot is more predictable. A game with a fixed jackpot will usually state the jackpot amount clearly on the game’s display, and that amount is usually a set figure. It is often won when a certain trigger is hit by a lucky player, often in the form of a certain symbol or card combination. The jackpot win on such games is the same every time. With progressive jackpots, the payout can be completely random, and the total amount of the slot machine jackpot will keep growing until that payout is reached.


Should you play progressive or non-progressive jackpot games?


There is a lot of debate over which type of jackpot real money game is the best. Both have their merits. Progressive jackpots don’t always offer the biggest prize, as they can be paid out at any time. However, there is no limit to how large some progressive jackpots can be, meaning that the amount can often far surpass anything offered by fixed jackpots. In the end, it all comes down to the personal preferences of the player, as the overall odds of winning either type of jackpot don't depend on what type of jackpot we're talking about.


Progressive jackpot slots payouts


Progressive jackpots online will pay out either when the RNG in the game (or set of games linked to said jackpot) decides that its coffers are full, or it will pay out completely randomly. This kind of unpredictability is what makes some players opt for progressive slots over fixed ones, as there is potential for bigger wins.


How are progressive jackpots paid?


Someone hitting the jackpot with progressive slot machines means that the entirety of the jackpot amount has been won by a single lucky player. The player who hits the progressive jackpot on a slot, roulette, blackjack or poker game will have the jackpot amount transferred to their online casino account, often instantaneously. Once the jackpot amount has been transferred to a winner’s account, that player can withdraw it, subject to the casino's T&Cs.  

Online Progressive Jackpot Games

The benefits of playing progressive jackpots games online


There are a number of advantages to playing progressive jackpot slots online. For one, the total potential winnings offered by games such as progressive slot machines tend to be the highest in the world of casino gaming. Many of the highest jackpot wins in history have been won on online progressive jackpot games, with some paying out millions of pounds in prize money to a single player. In addition, some might prefer the unpredictability and added excitement that accompanies progressive games, as you never know when the jackpot will be paid out, and there is virtually no limit to how much can be won.


What are jackpot meters?


In a nutshell, the jackpot meter is the total amount that a progressive jackpot stands at, at a given moment. The jackpot amount displayed on the meter, which is usually placed above or next to the game in question, will continue to rise in real time as the amount of wagers made grows. Once a jackpot has been won by a player, the amount on the meter will reset to zero and begin climbing again until someone else wins it. All progressive jackpot meters automatically update in real time, which means you will always know exactly how much is in the prize pool.


Max coins in progressive jackpot games


When playing progressive jackpot slots, you can choose to bet max coins on each game before spinning the reel. While it isn’t necessary to do this, some think that betting with maximum coins will likely increase your chances of winning the jackpot, as your larger wager makes it more likely that you will hit the trigger needed to reach the jackpot limit and prompt the game to pay out.


The most popular progressive jackpot games on Paddy Power Games


If you’re ready to play some progressive jackpot slots but don’t know where to start, check out the most popular progressive games on Paddy Power. Slot games such as Age of the Gods™: Furious 4 and Pharaoh's Treasure Deluxe are among the most popular progressive casino games that we offer, and are definitely worth a look if you’re looking to play for a six or seven-figure jackpot, like the Gladiator Jackpot game currently offers.

Jackpot Slot Strategy: How to Play Progressive Jackpots

If you’re already familiar with how to play regular slot games and how to play roulette, it’s time to step up your game and learn all about playing progressive slot games.


Although all our slots are provably fair and completely random, and jackpots are only awarded by chance, there are several things savvy players do as a way to make their gameplay potentially more lucrative. There are plenty of strategic tips that will help you play in a smart, safe, and sensible way. Here are the golden rules and jackpot tips you need to know.


Find promotions and bonuses for new and existing customers: 

If you’re new to Paddy Power, the best way to play is to take advantage of exclusive bonuses. If you’re a long-time player, there are also plenty of bonuses and promotions that you can make use of that will give you plenty of free coins and credit to play real-money progressive jackpot slots with.


Make sure to read the terms and conditions and the payout policies:

Before playing any progressive jackpot game, always read the T&Cs. These will tell you everything you need to know about what to expect and what the conditions of receiving a payout are. As with everything in life, always reading the small print goes a long way.


Define a budget before starting to play and stick to it:

No matter what casino game you’re playing, always figure out your gaming budget beforehand and stick to it. Remember, gambling is best played responsibly, so follow in the footsteps of the pros by setting yourself a limit and make sure to stop playing once that limit has been reached.


Read about the payout structure and the game features before betting: 

Fixed or progressive, the features of each jackpot slot game will give you an idea of what it takes to actually win the jackpot. The RTP will tell you what the house edge is. In other words, how much of the total stakes on a specific game will be eventually returned to players. Meanwhile, the volatility of a jackpot casino game is an estimate of how often players win. High volatility slots tend to pay out less often but do give out bigger prizes - so if you're looking to land a big jackpot, these might be for you. On the other hand, low volatility slots tend to pay out prizes more frequently, but these prizes are usually smaller. The best gamblers are informed gamblers, so don’t hesitate to do your research before playing.


How to bet on progressive jackpot games:

To bet on progressive jackpot games, all you need to do is create an account and make a deposit to get the coins needed to play. Then, you can simply choose the progressive jackpot casino game of your choice and begin spinning.


Try out other jackpot games besides jackpot slots:

One way to get a better understanding of jackpots so that you can build your strategy is to play games other than jackpot slots. You can play online roulette, poker and blackjack games that all offer jackpot prizes. Playing these show you exactly what it takes to hit the jackpot.


Beware of the gambler’s fallacy:

The biggest mistake a gambler can make is to fall into the trap of the so-called gambler’s fallacy. This is used to describe the belief that some people have that, the more an event happens, the less likely it is to repeat itself. This is called a fallacy for a reason. Every game you play will offer the same circumstances and odds. If you have lost a lot of rounds, it is in no way more likely that you will win the next round. Avoid this trap and know when to stop playing.


Always be aware of your bankroll:

It is all too easy to get engrossed in an online slot or poker game and lose track of your bankroll. Your bankroll is how much money you have to play with, so it is imperative that you keep track of it at all times before you find yourself having spent more than you planned on doing.


Know when you need to stop:

Perhaps most importantly, it is vital that you know exactly when to stop playing. Successful gamblers know when to call it quits, so you should too. If you find yourself spending more than you originally planned or spending a significant amount of your time playing casino games, or if someone close to you expresses concern about your gambling habits, then stop spinning and seek help.

More on Progressive Jackpots

✔Where does jackpot money come from?      

Jackpot money comes from the combined wagers of all of the other players that have placed a bet on a particular game.

✔Can jackpot winners remain anonymous?

Yes. If you win a massive jackpot, you are completely entitled to keep that to yourself and ensure that your privacy is fully respected.

✔Can I play progressive jackpot games online?

Absolutely! Paddy Power offers a wealth of popular progressive jackpot games via its website, most of which can be played both on desktop and on mobile.

✔Can jackpot machines be rigged?

While there have been some historical cases of jackpot machines being rigged in land-based casinos, modern technology makes this virtually impossible. Online jackpot games, in particular, cannot be rigged when they are at a legitimate, trustworthy and licensed online casino like our own. In fact, every casino game we feature has been proven to be fair by an impartial third party, in full accordance with the law.

✔Why are jackpots so high?

Jackpots tend to get very high when a lot of people are playing a particular game, meaning that a portion of all of their wagers is being contributed to the progressive jackpot. If nobody wins that jackpot over a longer period, the jackpot grows larger. For fixed jackpots, its excellent under-the-hood design and expert RNGs (random number generators) allow for impressive jackpots.

✔How are jackpot games chosen?

How a player chooses their favourite games to play is up to them. For us at Paddy Power Games, the jackpot games we feature are chosen based on their immersiveness, exciting design, excellent potential for fun.

✔Are progressive jackpots random?

For the most part, yes. Many progressive jackpots pay out completely randomly. However, some may be triggered by a certain mechanism, such as a combination of slots or wilds. However, this mechanism is often randomly decided by the game.


Now that you know everything there is to know about jackpot casino games, it’s time to get started. If you’d like to read more about the slot secrets, tips and tricks, we recommend you read our article.

You can explore the latest and most popular fixed and progressive jackpot games on Paddy Power today. Sign up to Paddy Power today!



Anyone trying to get an understanding of jackpot game rules will be unable to avoid the term “progressive jackpots”. Most types of casino games, including slots, have incarnations and variants that offer some kind of progressive jackpot. Basically, the progressive jackpot prize is one that is open to all players of a game and grows every time a player, no matter where they are or when they are playing, places a wager on that game. The term is used to describe any online casino game that offers an increasingly hefty grand prize the more people play it, right until the jackpot limit is reached and the player who reached it wins the prize pool.


It is not possible to say how often progressive jackpots hit. Some slots have been noted to have something of a ‘cycle’, where players have noticed it will pay out after a broadly similar time, but this is not fixed and can change significantly.