What’s the difference between progressive and fixed jackpot slots?

Slot machines have been a staple of the gaming world for many decades now. Despite being a relative late-comer to the casino scene, Slots have become one of the most popular gaming choices out there today.

There are many differences between the wide variety of casino Slots available online today, from their theming and presentation to their gameplay mechanics. One of the main points of difference you’ll see is the type of jackpot that a slot game offers, which falls into two main categories: progressive and fixed.

So, let’s take a look at these two types of jackpots and what sets them apart.

The fixed jackpot

A slot game with a fixed jackpot will offer a predetermined jackpot figure, which won’t change regardless of how many times the game is played or how much is wagered. As the name suggests, the figure is fixed.

The nature of a fixed jackpot means that it is typically smaller than a progressive jackpot, but these slot games make up for that with their lower house edge. What this means is that these games have the potential to pay out more frequently, on balance.

With better odds of landing a winning combination – even if it’s not the jackpot – these slot games are a popular choice among players who prefer a more consistent experience. As the jackpot never changes, there’s a certain degree of reliability to these games, as every spin has the same shot at the same jackpot amount.

The progressive jackpot

Unlike their fixed counterparts, progressive jackpots change over time in response to each spin of the reels. A small amount of each wager made is added to the total jackpot, allowing the figure to climb far higher and potentially rise to five or six figures.

Games featuring a progressive jackpot will usually show a live counter upfront that displays the jackpot on offer in real-time. But even once a progressive jackpot is won, that counter won’t go all the way back to zero, as there is always a starter ‘seed’ amount that the jackpot will return to.

But those higher figures are offset by a higher house edge and lower odds of any given spin landing the jackpot combination. The progressive total can only climb so high by weighing the odds so that a jackpot landing is a much rarer occurrence.

Unlike fixed jackpot games, you can break progressives down into further categories, depending on how many other machines or game instances they’re linked to.

Standalones are entirely separate, with their jackpot determined only by spins on that specific machine or game. 

At the other end of the spectrum, you have networked progressives, which link up a network of games of the same brand or name so that the jackpot draws from an even wider pool. This allows the total figure to climb at a faster rate and to higher heights, although the odds are simultaneously spread thinner.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference when choosing between slot games with these two different types of jackpots, since each one has its own style and mechanics to make your gameplay experience unique.


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