What are Progressive Slots?

What are Progressive Slots?

Bet the max and win the maximum jackpot with the best progressive slots in Pennsylvania! Play progressive slot machines online or through your smartphone any time of day. Join other players and build a slots jackpot. The higher the jackpot goes, the more you can win.

On this page we’ll answer the question: What are progressive jackpot slots? We’ll show you how a progressive slot machine works, how you can play for real money and where to find them.

Progressive jackpots are legal in Pennsylvania. There’s never been a better time to take advantage. Play progressive slots in PA today and find the best PA online casinos.

How Do Progressive Slots Work?

Progressive slots are games that feature a special jackpot that grows with every qualifying stake rather than a fixed jackpot.

A portion of each bet goes toward the jackpot. Typically, this is around 1-2% of the total stake bet. With thousands of bets being made every day, the jackpot payout can grow exponentially.

The more players play the slot game, the bigger the jackpot gets. And if a progressive goes unclaimed for some time, it can grow even more quickly. Games can be linked across multiple casinos too, which helps the jackpot grow even more until a lucky player gets that big win.

It’s possible for progressive jackpots to reach millions of dollars. You may have to bet the maximum stake in order to qualify for the prize as well. But in general, the more you bet, the more chances you will have to win.

Progressive slots are legal in Pennsylvania. You can find hundreds of jackpot slots games at the state’s land-based casinos. However, the new regulated online casinos in PA also boast a range of progressives.

How Big Can Progressive Jackpots Get?

Progressive slots jackpots can reach life-changing levels if they go unclaimed. The biggest online jackpots are in games that are linked across multiple casinos.

In Pennsylvania, only a handful of software developers offer progressive slots. That’s why some of the jackpots awarded in the state are lower than in other regulated states.

In October 2019, a Pennsylvania woman won $377,000 playing NetEnt’s Divine Fortune slot online. However, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah holds the record for the largest ever jackpot. In 2018, one lucky player won a payout of $21.7 million playing the Microgaming slot game online.

Top 10 Progressive Slot Games

You can try progressive slots online at virtually all legal casinos in Pennsylvania. The range of available progressives is growing all the time. In 2020, here are 10 of the biggest progressive slots in PA.

Mercy of the Gods (NetEnt)

Mercy of the Gods is an exciting Egyptian-themed slot with an RTP (Return to Player percentage) of more than 96%. You can trigger reel re-spins and double wilds, as well as free spins. But the highlight of the Mercy of the Gods slot is the progressive jackpot. You can win one of three jackpots during the game: Minor, Major or Mega. The Mega Jackpot is pooled from bets across all local participating online casinos.

Divine Fortune (NetEnt)

NetEnt’s myth-themed Divine Fortune slot game is one of the biggest progressives in Pennsylvania. During the base game, you can trigger the Jackpot Bonus and take a shot at winning one of three different jackpot prizes. The Mega Jackpot is linked across every participating online casino too, which can lead to some serious prizes.

Fu Nan Fu Nu (AGS)

AGS’s Fu Nan Fu Nu online slot machine is an Asian-themed game with the potential for four big progressives. To win, trigger the special bonus feature and match the secret symbols. As soon as you reveal three matching symbols, you will win the corresponding jackpot.

Jade Wins (AGS)

Like Fu Nan Fu Nu, AGS’s Jade Wins slot started out as a land-based game in US casinos. After any base spin, you can randomly trigger the Jackpot Pick Bonus. Match the fortune coins to win one of four jackpots: Mini, Minor, Major or Grand.

Longhorn Jackpots (AGS)

The animal-themed Longhorn Jackpots slot by AGS started out as a land-based slot machine built on the PowerXStream system. The game features a branded linked jackpot pick bonus called Stampede Power. In brick-and-mortar casinos, the game is linked to other Xtreme Jackpots games around the state. Online, Longhorn Jackpots is linked to other participating casinos.

Pharaoh Sun (AGS)

Pharaoh Sun is an Egyptian-themed online slot that also uses the PowerXStream software. The game features a free spins bonus and a choice of multiway betting patterns. You can also trigger the Jackpot Pick Bonus and where you have to match 3 symbols to win the corresponding progressive.

Olympus Strikes: Xtreme Jackpots (AGS)

This Greek myth-themed progressive slot machine from AGS features free spins and a top payline structure of 3,125 ways to win.< You can also randomly trigger the Jackpot Pick Bonus when a wild symbol lands during the base game. Keep choosing symbols until you match three in order to win the Mini, Minor, Major or Grand jackpot.

Thunderspin Jackpots (NextGen)

This 25-payline video slot features 2x wilds and a free spins bonus. The Thunderspin Jackpots game triggers at random after any base spin. Match the bonus symbols to win either the Minor, Major or Mega jackpot.

Cleopatra MegaJackpots (IGT)

Cleopatra MegaJackpots is one of the biggest progressives from US developer, IGT. The higher your stake, the better your chances of winning. After any non-winning spin, you have a second chance to spin for the progressive jackpot. Hit 5 MegaJackpots symbols on a payline to win the maximum jackpot.

Life of Luxury (WMS)

Life of Luxury is a local area progressive slot from WMS. You can find the game at both land-based and online casinos. In Life of Luxury, you can trigger a free spins bonus at random after any spin. Hit the right precious gems and you’ll be invited to play a second bonus game to win one of the game’s progressives.

How to Be Eligible for the Jackpot Prize

Ready to play for a huge progressive slot jackpot? You’ll need to be prepared before you log on to your favorite online casinos. Most progressive jackpots are triggered at random. Either a jackpot is paid out straight away, or you might have to play a special bonus game first. Some slots pay out in the base game if you land special symbols on a nominated payline.

Here’s a basic guide to how progressive slot machines work:

Step 1: Player places a stake on a single spin of the progressive

Step 2: Lottery-style “tickets” are assigned to the player based on their stake

Step 3: The jackpot is triggered at random, or the player gets to play a bonus game

Step 4: The more the gambler bets, the higher their chances

Step 5: If the jackpot is won, it is paid in increments into the player’s account

Online progressive slots usually feature some kind of bonus game. This is triggered at random after any base spin.

To play the bonus, you must spin a prize wheel or play a pick’em game where you match hidden symbols. Spin the wheel to determine your prize, or match symbols to trigger one of three or four jackpots.

The best progressives feature four jackpots: Mini, Minor, Major and Grand. These jackpots “seed” after they have been won. That means, they reset to a starting value and build up all over again.

Seed values vary from slot to slot, but the Grand jackpot often seeds at $1 million.

Types of Progressive Slots

Essentially, there are three kinds of progressive slot. You’ll find a mix of these three types at the best casinos.

In the online casino lobby, you’ll be able to see the current jackpot size for each game. Good PA casinos will also display the last winners for each progressive slot.

Standalone Progressives

A standalone progressive slot is a single machine with a jackpot that is exclusive to that game. Every player that plays that one machine will contribute to the jackpot. Typically, standalone progressives are lower than a wide-area slots jackpot, but they tend to trigger more frequently.

Must-Hit-By/Mystery Progressives

The must-hit-by progressive is a new concept in slots. Must-hit-by progressives are special jackpots that carry a deadline. The jackpot must be triggered by the stated time or it will be awarded automatically.

Local Progressives

Local progressive jackpots are made up of several games all feeding into the same jackpot. The slots will be from the same manufacturer but the gameplay and base payouts will differ. A PA online casino might have half a dozen local progressives, all contributing to a single big jackpot.

Wide Area Progressives

Wide area progressives are connected on the same game across multiple casinos. It doesn’t matter which casino you play the game at as you’ll have the same chance of hitting the same jackpot as someone playing at a different casino.

Wide area progressives usually have the largest jackpots, and the biggest seed values. It’s common to find wide area progressives that seed at $1 million. World record-breaking progressives like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune are two of the biggest.

Progressive Slot Developers

There are a handful of legal progressive slots developers in Pennsylvania in 2020. Let’s look at some of the biggest you can find at top PA casinos.


The Scandinavian slots developer is responsible for Mega Fortune and Divine Fortune. Both slots are responsible for some of the largest jackpots in the world.


WMS provides many PA casinos with progressives like Dancing in Rio and Life of Luxury. You will also find WMS progressives on casino floors across the United States.


IGT (International Game Technology) is responsible for some of the most popular progressives in the US. IGT’s MegaJackpots range includes titles like Cleopatra and the multiway Siberian Storm.


AGS is a US software firm with roots in the tribal casino market. They supply many Class II and Class III machines to casinos all over the United States. You can also play AGS progressives at many legal PA casinos online.


Microgaming doesn’t yet have a PA license but they are worth mentioning. The UK firm is responsible for Mega Moolah, the world’s most famous online progressive slot.


Casino operator bwin.party runs an in-house development studio, producing linked progressives. Often, games are provided exclusively to partner casinos.

How Are Progressive Slots Different Than Regular Slots?

Progressive jackpot slots look and feel exactly the same as regular slots. But there are subtle differences that make progressives very special. Let’s look at the top 5 differences that make progressive slots worth a gamble.

Jackpots are Hard to Activate: Progressive jackpots are very hard to trigger. The estimate is that the odds are in the region of 3 million-10 million to 1. Let’s compare that to regular slots, which have lower jackpots that can trigger a lot more regularly.

Higher Jackpots: Progressive slots feature jackpots that are many times higher than those in regular slots games. Big wide area progressives boast jackpots that seed at a million dollars.

High Volatility: Every slot has a in-built volatility. Volatility is the frequency with which you hit big winners. Most progressives are highly volatile as they pay out such large jackpots.

Better for High Stakes Players: Most progressives favor players who bet the max stakes. Some jackpots can only be won if playing at the highest bet.

Not Eligible Toward a Welcome Bonus: Most online casinos in Pennsylvania offer new players a signup bonus. Make a deposit, play eligible slots, and the casino will release bonus funds. However, progressive slots are generally excluded from any offer. One big jackpot win can clear a deposit bonus in a single spin.

What Are the Odds of Winning a Progressive Jackpot Slot?

The odds of hitting the jackpot in a progressive can vary from machine to machine. As a rule, the odds are anything between 5,000,000 to 1 and 50,000,000 to 1. In a progressive slot where the jackpot is triggered by hitting a certain payline, the odds can be calculated by multiplying the number of symbols on each reel.

For example, let’s say you can win the progressive in a slot by hitting 5 jackpot symbols on the 15th payline. There are 30 symbols on each reel. Therefore, the odds are 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30, or 24.3 million to 1.

Other slots use a ticket system to determine when they pay out. For every bet, you are awarded a ticket that gives you a chance of triggering the progressive. The more you bet, the more “tickets” you receive. That’s why progressives are so good for players with big bankrolls.

The odds of winning a lottery-style progressive can be a lot higher, as much as 50 million to 1 in some cases.

Can I Play Progressive Slots Online?

Yes. The special online slots that feature a pooled jackpot contributed to by thousands of fellow players are available. So, whether you live in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Lancaster, you can play for real money and hit the big jackpots.

At PennStakes.com, we only recommend the very best online casinos with progressives. Make your first deposit and claim a welcome bonus today.



Jon Young is a writer & magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker, slots, mobile gambling, sportsbooks & online casinos in Pennsylvania. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: