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When playing online casino, a jackpot is typically the terminology used for any major win in an online slot game. Like their land-based counterparts, online slots jackpots hit more rarely than any free spins or bonus game and, more often than not, represent the largest possible winning combination in any game.
In most of the more modern slots, the jackpot can be reached via a bonus game. Typically, the player must navigate through a bonus hitting the most valuable prize at every opportunity. A streak of lucky wins in the bonus is usually the formula it takes to unlock a jackpot.
Other games, especially games that emulate classic slots, have much smaller jackpots that can be won in the primary game. To win these “main game” jackpots, the player typically must align the most valuable symbols in the game along a payline.
There are three primary types of jackpots available - standard, casino-pooled, and network-pooled jackpots:
Standard: Standard jackpots are standalone jackpots. These jackpots have a fixed amount that is programmed into the game. No matter how many users play a game, these standard fixed jackpot amounts do not change. Standard jackpots are the most frequent jackpots that hit and generally the least valuable jackpots. However, low-value standard jackpots aren’t always the rule.
Locally-Pooled: A pooled jackpot is a jackpot that adjusts based on the number of people that have played a particular title. These jackpots are also known as progressive jackpots. Casino-pooled jackpots take a small percentage from each spin on a particular game at a casino and contributes towards a local, or casino-pooled, jackpot amount. These jackpots are the mid-range in terms of value. A casino-pooled jackpot can reach millions.
Network-Pooled: Network-pooled jackpots are the largest but least frequent jackpots at online casinos. These jackpots accumulate funds from across the entire network of casinos that host these titles. Pooled jackpots take a small percentage of each wager and places that in a community jackpot. A player can win a pooled jackpot with contributions from many thousands of players. These jackpots can reach truly ridiculous amounts. In 2013, a player from Finland won €17.8 million Euros playing Mega Fortune on a €0.20 bet. Just two years later, that record was broken when a 26-year old British soldier won €18.9 million Euros with a 25p (£) bet on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah.
The quick answer is that there is no limit to how large a pooled, online casino jackpot can grow. As pooled jackpots are grown with a percentage of every spin that is wagered, these progressive jackpots will continue to grow until someone wins one. At that point, the jackpot will reset to some minimum amount. In the case of Mega Moolah, for example, when the largest jackpot is hit, it will reset to the minimum of €1 million Euros.
In reality, very large jackpots attract additional players just like land-based lotteried do when their jackpots begin to reach stratospheric amounts. Inevitably, large jackpots lead to an increase of the number of players wagering on a title making it only a matter of time before one lucky winner cashes in. However, in the meantime, that large jackpot can grow quite quickly with all the additional traffic so the mega jackpots can increase by millions in just the span of a few days.