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Are Progressive Jackpots the Only Kind of Slots Jackpots?

At Jackpot Capital, most of our gamers prefer slots over the other casino games we offer.   Gamers love winning a slot machine jackpot from the top payout on a standard slot to the great progressive jackpots that often reach seven figures.

So, let’s look a little closer at the different types of slots and the different types of jackpots you can win!

The Regular Game and the Bonus Round

In most slots, the biggest payout you can win is for getting five of the highest paying symbol.  This symbol may be the slot’s logo, it may be the wild symbol, or it may be any other symbol Real Time Gaming chose to be the top paying symbol.

The jackpots or highest paying set of five symbols is often higher in the free spins bonus rounds.  So, quite clearly, we need to look at both game play “venues” to see how slots payouts work.

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Progressive Jackpots

The one big exception to the above paragraph is in progressive jackpots where you can win the big jackpot in the regular game.  Winning a progressive jackpot also usually involves getting five of a given symbol but the game is programmed to have that outcome occur relatively rarely.

As rare as a win in a progressive jackpot, such jackpots are won every day, by someone!  Huge, life-changing jackpots!

What are Some Features of the Regular Game in Slots?

The basic features may be the same for the regular game and for the bonus round but they are usually augmented by larger wins in the bonus round.  The key point in both the regular game and in the bonus round is that the casino wants players to feel that they are either winning or coming very close to winning.  A return to player rate of about 97% means that a player can play for a long time and come out slightly ahead or slightly behind. 

Games providers such our own Real Time Gaming have developed many ways for players to win in addition to the basic way of getting three or more symbols in a row.  Here are a few of the basic features of the regular game in slots:

  • Most video slots these days have several to many to 243 ways to win.  The really old fashioned slots had one payline!  The many paylines also put some pressure on your betting strategy since you probably want to bet on each payline and you also want to conserve your bankroll so you can play longer.
  • The addition of many paylines makes it a lot easier to score a win on any single spin.
  • Every video slot has a wild symbol.  There are many ways for the wild symbol to create wins.  We will expand on this in just a bit.  For now, suffice it to say that there is a very big jackpot for getting five wild symbols!
  • Most slots have a scatter symbol which generally pays more than most other symbols and also takes you to the bonus round.  You also usually get a very big jackpot for getting five scatter symbols!
  • Some slots have a multiplier in the regular game.  In these slots, the multiplier is usually increased in the bonus round.
  • Some slots have a gamble feature after every win where you can either double your win or quadruple it by guessing the correct color or the correct suit of a card chosen at random.  One lucky streak in the gamble feature can easily be worth a very large jackpot of sorts!

The Wild Symbols Can be Quite Wild

Any symbol that substitutes for the other symbols except for the scatter symbol is a very special symbol indeed.  In fact, there are several ways the wild symbols help you win spins and possibly a large payout.

  • Some wins created by a wild symbol carry a multiplier.  Even a modest multiplier of say 3x the normal win will add up to a substantial “jackpot” if you put all of these wins together in a gaming session.
  • Some games have stacked wilds.  This means that the wild symbol might cover several rows on a reel.  You can imagine how many extra wins in a slot with multiple paylines the stacked wild feature can create.
  • Some wild symbols expand horizontally into the adjoining reel.  This means that you’ll have a much greater chance to win o any spin.
  • Sticky wilds are a feature of the bonus rounds usually.  It means that once a wild symbol appears, it stays in place for the duration of the bonus round.
  • As we said above, just getting fiver wild symbols usually creates a very big payout!

Free Spins Bonus Rounds

Although there are a few slots that have slightly different features in the bonus rounds, most are for free spins.  The free spins in these bonus rounds are “better” than the regular spins in some ways.  That is why they are called bonus spins!

  • In some slots, there is a multiplier only in the bonus round.  In those slots where there is a multiplier in the regular game as well, the multiplier increases in the bonus round.
  • In some slots, you can re-trigger the free spins by getting three scatters during the free spins.  In some slots, you can re-trigger the free spins once; in others twice; in yet others there is no limit to the number of times you can re-trigger the free spins!
  • In some slots, you get the choice of more free spins with a lower multiplier or fewer free spins with a higher multiplier.
  • Some of the characteristics of the wild symbol we discussed earlier are available only in the bonus round.  These extra benefits of getting wild symbols often result in very big wins!


This is also sometimes called volatility.  This term refers to a characteristic of slots where the return to player rate is either connected to many small wins or to a few big wins.  It is ironic that some slots that offer higher jackpots also are highly variable.

In other words, if you play a slot with smaller jackpots, you might have a better chance of winning a jackpot and also of achieving a 100% or larger return to player rate!

The concept of variability can easily be seen in two very popular “games”: lotteries and bingo!

In a lottery, you might win hundreds of millions of dollars if you get all of the numbers right.  However the odds against winning the big jackpot are about the same as the odds of getting a date with a Kardashian!  LOL!

In bingo, the chances that you will win the big jackpot of the day—which is usually a few hundred dollars—are not so bad.  In every bingo session someone wins the “big jackpot”.  In fact, as the numbers wind down, there may be several players who need only one number to fill their card!

Lotteries are highly variable while bingo has very low variability!

Bottom Line

The final word may simply be that we need to redefine the term “jackpot”.  In our new definition, a jackpot is simply a high payout for a good spin.  While almost everyone would be thrilled at winning a six or seven-figure jackpot, we should also understand that a four figure jackpot is a lot more common and we ought to celebrate those jackpots as well!

Join us at Jackpot Capital and discover how much fun it can be to win a couple of thousand dollars playing slots!

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