Called pokies and one armed bandits, Slot machines are among the most popular ways to gamble, with your average casino having over a hundred of the machines, many of which are occupied on an average day. When first created, slot machines were simple mechanism that did not pay out cash, but instead gave users benefits such as free cigars, or a free drink at the bar.

Today, with many variations on the traditional formula, slot machines are sophisticated electronic consoles that use impressive graphics, professional animations, and interactive soundtracks. How they payout, and what odds are used, can vary, but the same basic principle of spinning reels and matching icons is the generally accepted formula. One type of slot machine that never fails to draw attention is the progressive jackpot system, which can have jackpot amounts that are almost too high to believe.

Progressive Jackpot

A progressive jackpot refers to a potentially attainable bonus that continually grows over time. Players at a set of slot machines may win this amount while playing, sometimes depending on a certain sequence being landed on in the reels, other times completely at random. What the current progressive jackpot amount is will normally be boldly displayed near the corresponding machines, visibly climbing up to an astronomical amount.

The higher the amount gets, the more buzz it generates, with players assuming that it must soon be won, before it gets too high. Few people know that the jackpot is generated by people playing the game, with a small amount of each bet being added to the jackpot. It is not, in fact, the casino that is paying the amount, but the people who are playing the machines. Also, few realise that the jackpot slot machines are linked across the country. It is not the few people you see at those machines in one casino that are trying to get the amount, but many more, in many casinos.

Odds of Winning

The chances of winning such a jackpot are difficult to calculate. Needless to say, however, that some progressive jackpots have gone on for two years, while others have been won in just two weeks. When taking into consideration the amount of people playing at any given time, as well as how many bets are made by those people at any given time, you begin to realise how unlikely it is that a person sitting down at random will win the jackpot. It is always good to keep in mind that national lotteries may roll over for a few weeks, with tens of thousands playing, and many will refuse to play, saying that the odds of winning are just not worth it as they might be.

Bizarrely, those same people may be drawn to a progressive jackpot, somehow thinking that the odds are better. The truth is that these jackpots simply present themselves in a way that seems more appealing. However, if you take into consideration all the individual slot machine spins that transpired before the jackpot was finally won, plus the amount of money that was spent, you will conclude that the national lottery is a better bet, when taking a shot at odds that are so low as to be impossible.