Playing Progressive Jackpot Slots

Progressive jackpots present a unique facet of gambling. Over the course of time the wagered amount can remain the same, the probability of the progressive jackpot being hit remains the same but the payout offered keeps increasing till the jackpot is hit. In non-progressive games the player's expectation remains unchanged every time the wager is placed. In progressive games the expectation is negative when the game is reset; it becomes zero at some point in time and thereafter starts increasing. The expectation is the average amount the player can expect to win or lose from the wager being repeated a large number of times under identical conditions based on mathematical calculations.

If the wager required is \$10 and the probability of a hit is 0.01% then the expectations would be as follows. If the jackpot amount was \$10,000 the expectation would be a loss of \$9, if the jackpot amount was \$100,000 the expectation would be to break even and if the jackpot amount was \$200,000 the expectation would be a win of \$10. The correct thing to do would be to catch the progressive game when the expectation becomes positive. To be able to do this one has to know the probability of the jackpot being hit. In online roulette this is not too difficult. In online blackjack this would require computer simulation but can be done. However, in online slots there is no way that the probability of hitting the jackpot can be calculated. Therefore this system of deciding when to go on board a progressive slot game will not work.

Players generally use two indicators to decide when progressive slots may be ripe for a hit. At the outset it must be made clear that these indicators do not have a mathematical basis, but are popular with slots players. These require tracking the progressive jackpot games for some time. Fortunately there are several sites on the Internet that do the tracking so the player need not carry out this exercise himself. The first indicator is the average payout delivered by the progressive slot game. This is usually tracked over the past one year. If there have not been five hits in the last one year it may be tracked over the last five hits. When the current jackpot amount exceeds the average hit the traffic to the jackpot starts increasing and the jackpot starts rising faster. This would be good time to enter the jackpot. The second indicator is the average time between hits. This is tracked in a similar manner. Here again many players start entering the progressive jackpot when the time from the last hit exceeds the average time between hits.

In summary certain things need to be made clear. These two indicators do not coincide with the point at which the expectation, described earlier, changes from negative to positive. The expectation may have become positive earlier or it may still be negative. If one enters the progressive jackpot as soon as it is reset one would almost certainly be in the region of negative expectation. If one delays entering the progressive jackpot it may be hit by someone else. Hence these indicators are at best a means of taking a call on when to enter. And most slots players do follow these because jackpot amounts rise faster once these indicators are crossed.

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