A Progressive Jackpot is a jackpot (the highest payout) for a gaming machine such as: Slot machines, Video Poker machines, where the value of the jackpot increases with a small amount for every played game that hasn’t take the jackpot, usually machines can be links (connected together) to create 1 big progressive jackpot which grows much faster because of the multiple games at the same time (which than contributes to the total jackpot sum).
The Jackpot Meter
The amount of the jackpot is usually shown in a meter with the money value of the current jackpot. Usually the jackpot can be won only if the player has played with the highest betting payoff, i.e. Royal Flush at video poker machine, or 5 of the most valuable symbols at Slot machines: lemons, cherries, etc. Once a player hits the jackpot, he wins the money and the jackpot meter is being reset to the minimum value that it was set to.
The amount of money that the jackpot meter is advanced by is set by the casino (house). In example: a machine with a house value of 5% will advance the jackpot meter by %1 (1/5) which is a very generous contribution from the casino. Players who see the jackpot meter usually get attracted by the flashy colors, or the big amount of payout at the jackpot. Usually players who play with the maximum number of credits per play have the chance of winning the jackpot. All payers though, even if they play with less than the maximum credits, contribute to the jackpot sum.
Break Even Point
It is possible for the jackpot meter to reach to its breaking even point value. Once reached the machine starts to give positive results for the players. It is unknown to calculate the break point on slot machines, because the payback percentage for the player is unknown to the player. In video poker machines, we can calculate the break even point because the payout is a result of a function of the paybacks and the odds of the hands, which is based on a 52 card deck.