Casino and Game Tips > Progressive Slots – To Play or Not to Play

     If you've been to a casino, then you've seen the Progressive Slots. They are the machines with a big tote board glowing overhead, slowly but surely inching that "top prize" closer and closer to infinity with each and every passing moment. It's almost impossible to avoid the lure of the siren song, begging you to take just a few shots at one pull for a shot at the multi-million dollar jackpot. A word of advice—consider your budget and your goal before you sit down.

     Progressive machines take a small portion of each coin that's dropped inside of them, and adds it to the jackpot. That's why the more people who play the game, the higher the jackpot will be. But, what many people don't realize is that it's not truly "just a matter of time" before someone wins. If the odds of winning the jackpot are say, 8 million-to-1, then it does not mean that the 8 millionth person to play wins. Each separate spin is an independent event and equally unlikely to bear fruit.

     Generally you must play the maximum bet to actually win the progressive if you hit it. That usually translates into a higher bet. If you’re starting with a $20 play budget, keep moving. You can bet less, just don’t plan on driving home with a check made out for the big progressive payout.

     The worse news is that because the casino - or casinos, as many progressive machine compile their jackpots from similar machines located across several different establishments - are siphoning a portion of their proceeds to this almost unattainable jackpot, they also make sure to decrease the payouts on the more common "winning" spins. So, if a certain combination would normally win you 5-to-1 on a "regular machine," on a progressive machine, it might pay out only 3-to-1.

     You want to take a spin, just in case the fates are with you, be our guest. Otherwise, it makes more financial sense to simply steer your boat in a different direction.


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