The Science of Progressive Jackpot Odds

Slots are a fun and cheap pastime and conquer thousands of people every day. Even more people play progressive jackpot slots looking for a lucky break and a chance to win a life-changing jackpots. But,

What Are the Odds of Hitting a Slot Jackpot?

Progressive slots often give away jackpots of very high amounts. But what are the odds of winning a jackpot at slots? Take as an example a mechanical slot with 3 reels, 20 symbols on each reel and only one payline available. To win the jackpot, you need to get a combination of 3 symbols. The probability of winning is 1/(20*20*20), which is 1 in 8000. If you increase the number of reels to 4 reels, the probability of winning would drop to 1 in 160,000. With 5 reels, you would have 1 chance of winning out of 3 million. Current slots are mostly virtual slots or online slots and are extremely difficult to be analyzed in mathematical terms.

Here are some factors that make slot analysis difficult:

  • The outcome of the plays is decided by random number generation (RNG) software
  • There are so many special features – lots of special symbols, lots of reels and multiple paylines
  • The progressive jackpot is shared between multiple slots

What About Progressive Jackpot Slot Odds ?

Progressive jackpot is a special prize in slots that can be won randomly after each spin. And the longer the jackpot is not won, the more the progressive jackpot increases. Progressive jackpot slots usually withdraw a portion of each bet placed and add it to the jackpot. When more than one casino offers the same slot, jackpots can be shared and get really high, reaching figures around one million. Progressive jackpots can increase the return percentages of slot games (RTP) and therefore the odds of winning. This is the case because the jackpot amount greatly increases the potential payout.

If the jackpot is high enough, the return to the player of a game can exceed 100% of the amount, thus giving players better odds for winning a jackpot. Just remember that when it comes to progressive jackpots, the bigger they are, the better is the return rate and better the odds. Wait for the jackpot to reach a high figure before playing and be sure to remember to play the maximum bet on any progressive jackpot game you play. If you don’t play the maximum bet, you don’t qualify for the jackpot and your RTP percentage will decrease.

odds of hitting progressive jackpot

Is It Hard Winning a Jackpot at Slots?

If we rely on statistical data, the chance of winning a millionaire jackpot on slots in online casinos is very difficult: the odds of winning are from 1 in 20 million to 1 in 40 million. If it’s so hard to win the jackpot, then why do so many players love slots? The eye-catching graphics, bonus games, and the idea of being able to win such a high sum have an irresistible appeal to slot players. If we rely on calculating the odds of winning, slots are one of the worst options among all the alternatives available on online gaming sites.

If we were to follow mathematical reasoning, it would be better to change the game. The jackpot is not the only prize up for grabs, there are plenty of prizes and so many combinations available and by the law of big numbers, not all bets can be losers. Also, a probability of 1 in 20 million does not mean that for every 20 million exact plays the jackpot will be hit: this may never happen as well as occur twice within seconds.

How to Calculate the Odds of Winning on Slots?

Slot machines are games that depend on luck and not skill and are generally spread more for fun than for making money. However, there are tricks you can apply to maximize winnings and minimize losses on slots. For example, by calculating the payout percentage of a slot, you have a clearer idea of how much money you have to win and what are your odds of winning a jackpot. If for example you want to know what the probability of getting a six on two dice, do this short calculation: multiply the odds – 1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36. Obviously this calculation on slots is very complex as we saw earlier and so we recommend that you rely on RTP (return to player) percentage when choosing a slot.

Payout Percentages on Slots and RTP

The odds of winning on slot machines are usually expressed in the form of return percentages (RTPs) or win percentages. Online, the payout percentage of slot games can even be above 99%. With so many online gambling sites, you need to choose the slot to play on well. The payout or return to player percentage (RTP), is the amount of money the slot machine is designed to pay on a very high number of spins. The payout percentage is obviously less than 100% and the difference between 100% and the payout percentage is the house advantage.

For example, if you make one hundred €1 spins on a slot machine that has a 98% RTP, it means you might expect to recoup around $98 in winnings. But beware, RTP is often calculated on millions of plays and it is often not so easy to win in the short term: anything can happen in the short term and so you should play with your head and if you lose – stop. Usually, to be considered a good RTP, it would have to be above 96.5%. Although there is no gaming strategy for playing slots, it is very important to inquire about how it works and how and when the slot pays. RTP, along with the maximum payout and volatility of a slot, is definitely one of the key factors that can affect your chances of winning. Each provider and each slot has very different RTPs.

Below you will find indicative values to independently assess whether the slot you are playing has a good RTP or not. Here are some reference values:

  • If the RTP goes from 98% to 99% – it’s a great RTP, we recommend playing
  • If RTP ranges from 96% to 97.99% – it’s considered a very good RTP, give it a try
  • If RTP fluctuates between 94% and 95.99% – it’s an advantageous RTP but there’s better
  • RTP at or below 93.99% – RTP is too low, change slots!

In any case, whatever game you choose, we wish you lots of fun!