Jackpot Machines - Not all the Same

Billions of plays are made every month on jackpot machines. Having a handful of winners may sound like a lot, but it is not when you consider the odds are millions to one against any individual hitting a jackpot. Since jackpot machines typically pay out lower amounts, with part of every play feeding the ever growing progressive jackpot, most of the time when we play these machines, we are going to lose.

"Casinos received over $100 million dollars before paying out the latest $6,000,000 jackpot." You won't read a headline like this, but it puts the jackpot payout more in perspective. It's not that you can't play progressive. Someone has to win these mega-whatever jackpots and it could be you. However, I will offer some advice so that you won't end up flat broke if you don't hit the jackpot.

First, you should realize that there is a hierarchy among progressives. The Mega Progressive machines offer the lowest chances of winning a jackpot. With their million dollar jackpots, these machines are much like the state lotteries which offer large jackpots with astronomical odds against winning them. The best progressive slots to play are ones on stand alone machines or small groups of house progressives linked together. The jackpots are smaller, typically being in the thousands instead of millions, but the odds against the player are much lower.

The way to play progressive slots is to pick out the house progressive with the highest jackpot in the casino where you are playing. Many players don't even bother to look at the size of jackpots. I have seen players playing stand alone progressives with $2,500 jackpots next to machines with $5,000 jackpots which were not being played! Can you explain why anyone in his right mind would play on the machine with the lower payback?

So, the first rule for progressive slot play is surprisingly simple, play on a house progressive with the highest jackpot in the class of machines you are playing. If you are playing a linked progressive with fifteen or twenty machines on an elevated carousal feeding the same jackpot, you will look for a highest jackpot available among linked house slots. If you are playing a stand alone machine, it pays to look around before beginning play.

My second rule for playing progressives is to only play with the part of my slot bankroll I can afford to lose. As a gambler, you might have guessed that I am willing to risk my bankroll on any given day, but this is simply not true. I have found that successful slot pros are some of the most conservative money managers around. A pro will never risk any more in any gambling contest than he is willing to lose, and this amount will only be a small fraction of his bankroll.

Since the risk of losing is always higher when playing a progressive slot, I treat the money set aside for progressive play differently than my money reserved for regular slots play. Money used for progressive slots is money set aside only for progressive slots play. I will only use a portion of my daily winnings for progressive play.

Since I only use some of my winnings for playing the jackpot slots, I invariably find myself playing a progressive slot just before I quit for the day.

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