How difficult is it to win a progressive jackpot?

Video slot machines and virtual online casinos set up huge Jackpot. But what is the probability of winning them?

Often the progressive slot machines are giving jackpot to the amount so high that it can radically change the life of the player who manages to win it. But the reason why jackpots often reach millions of euros is simple: the chances of winning it are low, not null, but really low.

Let's start with a simple example: we take a mechanical slot machine that has 3 rollers, 20 symbols for each roller and a single win win. To win the jackpot, you need to get a combination of 3 certain symbols. The probability of success is 1/(20*20*20), i.e. 1 out of 8000. If we increase the number of rollers to 4, the probability would drop to 1 out of 160,000. With 5 rollers, there would be only 1 possibility of over 3 million. Unfortunately, there are few mechanical slot machines still in operation in the traditions casino and obviously the online game is completely virtual.

The new "virtual" slot machines, available both in online casinos and in traditional casinos are extremely difficult to analyze in mathematical terms for various reasons:

  • The outcome of the games depends on a random generation software of numbers (RNG), whose code could be different for each game.
  • The special functions, the high number of symbols and multiple winning lines very much confuse the waters.
  • Progressive jackpot is often shared with multiple slot machines belonging to a casino network and it is impossible to estimate how many play they are carried out by all players.

Based on statistical data, however we can say that Winning a millionaire jackpot in the slot machines present in online casinos is extremely difficult: the probability ranges from 1 out of 20 million to 1 out of 40 million. To be clear, the chances of doing 5 at the Superenalotto are about 1 out of 1.250,000.

So why do the players nor sleep attracted?

If it is so difficult to win the jackpot, because many players love the New generation slot machines? The captivating graphics, the bonus games and the idea of being able to win a stratospheric sum have an irresistible charm for the clients of the casino. Based on the calculation of the probability of obtaining winnings, this type of games represents the worst option among all the alternatives available in the mess.

Following a purely mathematical reasoning, it would be better not to play slot machines. If you really have to do it, choose Slots that do not present very high jackpots and with the least possible symbols.

Obviously, a more realistic reasoning must take into account the fact that the Jackpot is not the only prize at stake, there are various combinations available and for the law of large numbers, not all played play can be losing. Furthermore, a probability of 1 out of 20 million does not mean that every 20 million exactly games the jackpot will be baped: this may never occur as well as occur twice in a few seconds.

Curious on the probability to the slots?

Those who want to have more information on slot machines can read the didactic article on Method to calculate the probability to classic slots, or take a look at the result we had at the end of our practical test on Possibility to win online slots.