Jackpot is one of the specific gambling terms that found its way to common, everyday English. When we find $10 in the pocket of an old coat, we exclaim this word – and we say the same when we find something of value in a huge pile of junk. Jackpot means a sudden, unexpected gain – exactly what this slot machine bonus feature is about.
In slot machine terms, a jackpot is a special cash bonus that can be won under specific conditions. Every game played contributes with a small amount to this big pile of money.
Classic slot machines had a – usually transparent – container attached to them that held an ever-increasing pile of coins. Video slot machines use (usually large LED) displays to show the current amount of the jackpot. These machines are sometimes linked in a network, each one contributing to the same central progressive jackpot. The situation is similar in case of online casinos – casino software providers like Microgaming or NuWorks, maintain their own network of slot machines, that stretches across several online casinos, so the amounts in their progressive jackpots can reach considerable heights.
When I say considerable heights, I mean somewhere between a few thousand and a few million dollars. Jackpot amounts can be variable, depending on the size of the network and the popularity of the game.
One of the biggest names in the online casino industry, software provider Microgaming, offers many games with progressive jackpots, not limited to slot machines. Their popular progressive slot machine ‘Mega Moolah’ features the highest jackpot, though – the record amount paid by this slot to a single player exceeds $8 million.
Playtech, another well-known software developer, runs its own network of progressive jackpot slot machines called ‘Win a Jackpot’. This network also has a $8 million plus winning on record.
NuWorks is relatively new on the online casino software market, but they also feature progressive jackpot games. Their biggest prize is much lower than that of the competition – at about $1 million. But still – this is an amount that would make any online casino player happy – not just happy, but retire early.
Jackpots are beneficial not only to gamblers, but also to online casino operators. Games with considerable progressive jackpots have the potential to attract more customers, and can be – and are – used as a marketing tool for attracting more and more gamblers.
Jackpots are the greatest bonus features ever invented by casino operators. These make the game more thrilling and more fun.
Almost two decades ago, when Microgaming launched their first online casino software, they started a whole new industry. There were only a handful of real casinos back then – small town gamblers had local access only to a few slot machines, video poker games and such. With the ever growing penetration of internet access and later that of the internet-capable mobile devices have transformed casino gambling into something available to every person all around the globe.
Popularity has its downsides, though – like every other industry, online gambling also has its share of crooks and unprofessional operators that can give gamblers a hard time.
If you plan to start gambling on the internet, you should take a few steps to ensure that your experience will be positive, and free of any problems that might occur.
First be sure the laws of your region of residence allow you to gamble online. Some territories forbid gambling in any form, others require an age limit for this kind of activity. Australia, for example, doesn’t explicitly prohibit online gambling, but forbids operators to offer such services to any person on their territory. Be sure to check first to avoid problems later on.
Safety and quality
Always start by reading reviews and user accounts about gambling experience in the casino of your choice. Try to avoid reviews sites with lots of affiliate links to lots of online casinos – try to find an unaffiliated source of objective information, with issues posted by real online gamblers.
Serious online casinos are periodically checked by specific organizations, such as eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), a testing agency and player protection and standards organisation that provides an international framework for best operational practice requirements.
Before registering at an online casino, read the ‘Terms and Conditions’ carefully. Also, check the available methods of depositing and withdrawing funds – these can be variable from one casino to another. Also, some such methods may be restricted to certain territories.
Always chech the estimated timeframe of withdrawals.
Availabel payment and withdrawal methods are usually listed on the online casino website.
Casinos usually accept most e-wallet services, like Skrill or NETeller, as well as wire transfers and credit or debit cards.
Bonuses and other requirements
Casinos usually attract new users by offering compelling bonuses to their new customers. These bonuses can be various – matches on first deposits, no-deposit bonuses, promotions and such. Before accepting such an offer be sure to check the wagering requirements (the amount you will have to gamble for the bonus to become available) applicable to these bonuses, otherwise you won’t be able to cash them out.
Let’s assume that by now you know exactly which variant of poker is the one for you – you have decided to go for Hold’em, or prefer to play stud. Also, let’s assume you have decided to play for real money – enough of the fun already. There is one aspect you should be especially aware of when choosing the table to play: the betting limits applicable. Below you can find the betting limit categories usually used in offline and online poker rooms.
Fixed limit games
Tables featuring fixed limit games have the betting amounts fixed. There are usually two betting limits set – the small bet amount and big bet amount – and these are used as a basis for the amount of bets and raises. Fixed limit games are usually marked as ‘## and ## limit’ (## represents the amount) – for example, a game marked ’10 and 20 limit’ or ‘ $10/$20′ is a game with the small bet of $10 and the big bet of $20. These amounts tell you that the small blind bet will be $5 (usually it’s half of the small betting limit) and raises will be $10 and, later in the round, $20. In fixed limit games the number of maximum raises is also limited to three.
In these types of games usually there is only one thing fixed – the minimum bet. In these games players can raise by as much as they wish (and can afford to), including going all-in.
Pot limit games
In these games the largest amount a player can raise is equal to the amount in the pot. For example, if we have a pot of $10 and player one bets $10, the next player can raise $30 – $10 in the initial pot + $10 bet by player one + $10 called by player two = $30. In pot limit games the dealer must inform players about the amount in the pot and return the amounts over the maximum limit to the player who placed the bet.
Cap limit games
This is similar to no-limit games, but with a twist – each player can bet or raise as much as he or she wants, but only up to a certain amount in the pot. This limit is defined from the beginning. If the cap is reached before all cards are dealt, the dealer will deal them without further betting rounds. For a cap limit of $100, for example, if player one bets $20, the next one raises $20 and player three calls, the cap of $100 is reached ($20 + $40 – call and raise – and $40 call = $100) and the rest of the players can’t bet anymore.
Spread limit games
These games allow players to raise by amounts in a specific, pre-defined range. These games are usually marked as ‘$## to $## limit’. For example, in a game ‘$5 to $10 limit’, players can raise by amounts of $5 to $10. These games usually have small and big spreads – markings like ‘$10 to $20, $40 to the end’ mean that the initial spread limit is $10 to $20, that grows to $40 and anything above after a certain point of the game (like the ‘turn’ in Texas Hold’em).