The key difference between progressive and regular slots is the jackpots. With progressive slots, the jackpot continues to climb until it’s won, whereas regular has a fixed jackpot. 

With the online casino industry expanding with each passing day, there are more and more new players entering the fold that are working to learn the ins and outs of all types of games. While everyone knows what a slot machine is, many are still learning there are different types of slots: Progressive slots vs. regular slots. 

Below, we’ll learn about both types of slots, compare them, and provide some tips and insights on how to enjoy both. 

Let’s start with regular slots. 

Understanding Regular Slots

When you log onto an online casino, most slot games under the “Slots” category will be “regular slots.” These still have jackpots, but they’re conducted a bit differently than progressive slots. 

To understand more about regular slots, we need to learn more about the different types, how the jackpots work, and their advantages. 

Types of Regular Slots

With “regular slots,” the two types you can expect to find are “classic slots” and “video slots.” 

Classic slots are just as they sound—they feature three to five reels and fewer pay lines. They are far simpler to understand and have limited features. You spin the wheel and hope to land one of the pay lines. Some popular titles in this category include Zeus II, Jungle Wild, Rainbow Riches, Cheshire Cat, and more. 

Video slots can feature more reels, more intricate pay lines, additional features like free plays, and typically enhanced graphics. 

All that being said, the differences are minor in the online sphere. 

Regular Slots and Fixed Jackpots

While these might be “regular slots,” that doesn’t mean there aren’t jackpots. These slots will come with a fixed amount that never changes. 

For example, if a slot has a jackpot of 1000x, this will be the case regardless of your wager. So, if you wager $1 and hit it, you’ll win $1,000. If you wager $10 and win, you’ll get $10,000. 

Regular Slot Advantages

Because of their static nature in terms of jackpots never changing and there being fixed pay lines, regular slots present a unique advantage: Consistency. 

While the wins may not be as “splashy” as those of other types of slots, the return to player percentage is consistent, and the wins occur more often. Depending on the game, these RTP% can range from 96% to 99%.

Exploring Progressive Slots

Now that we’ve covered regular slots in great detail let’s turn things over to progressive slots

Progressive slots are more volatile, but the potential winnings continuously scale, providing a “lottery-like” feeling for players chasing that big payout. 

Like regular slots, let’s learn about the different types of these, how jackpots work, and some things to remember. 

Different Types of Progressive Slots

There are three types of progressive slots: standalone, in-house, and wide area. 

  • Standalone: With these slots, the jackpot isn’t linked to other games. Sometimes, a series of games share a progressive jackpot, so if it’s won any of those, the ticker resets. With standalone slots, it’s just you versus the slot in front of you for that big payday. 

  • In-House: As mentioned just above, there are some progressive jackpots linked to numerous games, and that’s what we’d consider “in-house” progressive slots. These can sometimes be within a series of games or a single developer. This can allow the jackpot to scale faster and offer more games with similar themes for you to enjoy. 

  • Wide Area: Wide area progressive slots build off of in-house slots and now stretch to potential other sites under the umbrella of a company. So, if a company owns multiple online casinos, there could be games that are linked together across all of the brands, so if someone wins the progressive jackpot at Casino A, players at both Casino A, Casino B, and Casino C will see that it’s been hit. 

Things to Consider

While regular slots offer a more consistent payout structure, that’s not the case for progressive jackpot slots, as expected. 

There’s a trade-off with scaling jackpots: The overall return-to-player percentage isn’t as high. With these, return-to-player percentages can be in the mid-80 % range. 

Still, we can say that sometimes it’s easy to turn away from consistent wins for a chance at a massive payout that will be life-changing. 

Progressive Slots vs. Regular Slots Comparison

As you’ve now learned, there are some stark differences between progressive and regular slots. We’ll compare them further by looking at the jackpot sizes, odds of winnings, experience, and variety/availability. 

Different Types of Jackpots

You’ll see an ever-increasing jackpot with progressive slots, while regular slots are more fixed and stable. Progressive slots players will see the jackpot continue to go up, while regular slots may have a jackpot of 500x or 1000x, and it never changes. 

Odds of Winning

When examining slot machines online, the key figure is the return to player percentage (RTP%). 

With RTP%, this illustrates how much money is paid back to the player over time and shows the house edge for each game. 

Regular slots have a higher RTP, sometimes reaching 98% or even 99%. The payouts are more consistent but not as “explosive.” 

Progressive slots have lower RTP%, sometimes as low as 85%, and provide less frequent payouts, but as mentioned, the jackpots can be massively life-changing. 

Overall Player Experience

The player experience comes down to each player. Regular slots are likely better for someone who wants to gamble with limited risk and more so for entertainment purposes and a slow trickle of winnings. 

If you want to go for a home run and understand that there’s a real possibility it doesn’t happen, progressive jackpots are for you as the upside is tremendous, but overall, there are more “downs” than “ups.” 

Game Variety and Availability

There will be more “regular slots” than “progressive slots.”

For example, Jackpot Party offers 52 progressive jackpot slots compared to 100+ classic/video slots. 

As mentioned, though, there are various types of progressive jackpots, including standalone ones and ones that are linked between multiple games. So, not all progressive jackpot slots will have their exclusive jackpot.

Take your pick and enjoy our incredible slots below:

Click here to dive into our wide array of free slots.

Progressive Slots vs. Regular Slots: Choosing The Right One For You

You’ve learned a lot of information about these games, but there are some things to consider when deciding which to focus on. Of course, you’re not locked into any one type of game, and you can switch between them. 

Assess Your Risk Tolerance

Everyone has their personal risk tolerance. If you don’t enjoy playing potentially dozens of rounds without any noticeable return, progressive jackpots may not be for you. 

That said, you can still lose with regular slots, but there may not be that inherent feeling that you need to go for the massive win, or it may feel like a letdown. 

Budget, Budget, Budget

If you want to chase after a progressive jackpot, you must be prepared to wager a significant amount of money due to the likelihood of winning. We mentioned that RTP% can be as low as 85%, but that’s not for the top jackpot. That will be even lower and require a budget we couldn’t calculate

You could set a fixed budget for regular slots and easily stay within those means. We recommend setting aside money you’d be OK with losing and playing only with that. 

Long-Term Outlook 

With progressive jackpot slots, the only way to win the big jackpot is to wager the maximum amount over and over again continuously. With that, choose a game with a maximum wager you’re comfortable wagering numerous times. 

You could see incremental increases in your winning pool for regular slots while sticking to a committed budget. On top of risking $100, you could tell yourself to stop after winning a specific amount. 

Progressive Slots vs. Regular Slots: Additional Tips and Information

Before exploring progressive and regular slots, you should consider some additional tips and information. 

Myths and Misconceptions

We’ll start by saying slot machines are inherently random. There’s no way to navigate whether you’ll win or not. 

We cannot understate this enough—there’s no such thing as a “hot streak,” winning more at particular times, or something being “bound to happen” because a certain outcome has consistently happened. 

Slots are incredibly random, and there’s no rhyme or reason for your winning besides the game spinning and landing in a particular manner. Never chase your winnings because “you’re due” for a win after a losing streak. 

Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is something we take seriously. If you or someone you know is struggling, please consult resources like 1-800-GAMBLER or to assist. 

Remember: Never wager more than you can afford. Go into online gambling, looking to chase losses. Treat it like going to the movies and spending $20. Allow yourself a specific amount budget-wise and stay disciplined. View this gameplay solely as entertainment. 

Maximize Enjoyment and Winnings

Any time you hit a big win, it’s exhilarating. Even if that happens, remember to stay disciplined. We recommend continuing a pattern of choosing your favorite games, setting a budget, and playing through the entertainment lens.

Be on the lookout for promotions and bonuses that can enhance your potential winnings, too. 



Are progressive slots better?

This all comes down to your personal preference. Progressive slots can provide massive payouts if you’re willing to wager the maximum amount required continuously.


Does anyone ever win progressive slots?

Yes. Players have won progressive jackpots. While they’re not as common as other types of slots, they are attainable, but it’s totally random whether you or someone you know will win.


What’s the difference between a progressive and a standard jackpot?

With a progressive jackpot, this amount continuously climbs until it’s won. With a standard jackpot, it could be 500x and never change. It’ll be available whether you wager $0.01 or $100.


How to tell if a slot is close to hitting a jackpot?

You can’t. Slot jackpots are incredibly random and can be won at any time. There’s no “signal” for when they’ll hit.


What is the best slot machine to play?

There are numerous online slots that you can enjoy playing. However, this also comes down to personal preference. There are various types of themes, payout structures, and features that some players will flock to more than others.

Progressive Slots vs. Regular Slots Conclusion

To wrap up the debate over progressive and regular slots, it’s important to remember that you can play both. Each has its pros and cons, with regular slots being more consistent while progressive jackpots can offer massive, life-changing winnings. 

We recommend exploring both types of slots while remembering to stay within your budget and only wager through the lens of entertainment. We urge you never to chase your losses and utilize this guide to make informed decisions when gambling at progressive vs. regular slots moving forward.