Jackpot Slots vs. Regular Slots: What’s the Difference and Which Should You Play?

At this point, it’s no exaggeration to say that there are tens of thousands of online slot games that can be played at your leisure.

These can be filed under different categories, ranging from retro classics styled on the fruit machines of yesteryear to the more contemporary slots that boast special features, bonus rounds, and even 3D graphics.

There’s another category of slots to consider too: jackpot games. These have a static jackpot that can be won by the luckiest of players or a prize pool that is ever increasing, with the slot attached to a progressive network that is feeding more ‘seed’ money into the pot with every spin.

Finding which slot game category suits you best will ensure you make the most from your play, and so in this guide we’re going to examine the different types of slots in turn – revealing the different characteristics of each and which will best suit your budget and personality.

Do you prefer the possibility of winning big via a jackpot game, or do you instead try to secure regular wins via traditional slots?

What are jackpot slots? 

A picture of a jackpot slot machine

The premise behind jackpot slots is simple enough to understand: the player that reveals a specific combination of symbols on their reels walks away with a potentially life-changing sum of money.

To offer some context on that, a jackpot slot offered at Resorts Casino – Divine Fortune – once paid out a whopping $1.3 million prize to a player in Sweden who landed three of the gold jackpot coin symbol on their reels. 

There are two broad types of jackpot slots: those with a fixed jackpot, which is either a specific amount or a large multiple of your stake (e.g. 5,000x), or a progressive jackpot game.

Here, the jackpot total starts off at an amount fed into the game by its developer. As mentioned, a percentage of all stakes wagered via the game’s network, from Arizona to Zanzibar, are then fed into the jackpot.

The prize that can be won continues to increase until somebody finally triggers the payout, at which point the jackpot resets and the process begins again.

Although less common, you may find ‘must fall’ jackpot slots too. These are games in which the jackpot prize must be won within a certain timeframe or when it hits a specific amount – as a consequence, these titles generally pay out their jackpot more often than progressive games.

One of the misconceptions about jackpot slots is that they only pay out the top prize, but that isn’t the case. You can enjoy ‘normal’ wins for spinning three or more matching symbols on your reels as you would in any other game, it’s just that they payout table and RTP of jackpot slots is skewed toward the main prize.

There are many different jackpot slots you can enjoy, although if you are looking for the biggest of the progressive prizes then you will want to play the most popular games: naturally, the prize pools for these build up higher and quicker with more people playing them.

Resorts Casino has a stacked jackpot slots library, with Divine Fortune taking its place alongside a high-quality selection of titles that also includes Dr. Reactive, Cleopatra, Imperial Wealth, and Wheel of Fortune, amongst many others.

What are regular slots? 

A picture of two women playing on slots machine at a casino.

A regular slot game is one that doesn’t have a major jackpot as described above.

It should be said that the top payout in regular slots can still be of an epic size; it’s just that this will be a fixed prize that cannot be increased in the same manner that progressives can.

The focus of regular slots is on traditional gameplay, where the object is to match three or more of the same symbol on an active payline. There are other chances to win too, with free spins rounds and other bonuses now commonplace within regular slots.

At Resorts Casino, you can enjoy thousands of regular slots which have been broken down into sub-categories such as Featured and the ever-popular Megaways to help you find your favorites quicker.

If you want to explore the entirety of the Resorts Casino library, you can click the All Slots heading instead to browse through the collection.

Jackpot vs regular slots: How do they differ?

The main difference between jackpot and regular slots is that, in theory at least, there is no upper limit to what you can win from a jackpot slot.

The progressive jackpot can rise and rise, and while some developers have put an ultimate ceiling on their jackpot slots, for the most part you could walk away with a seven-figure payout if you are lucky enough to strike it big.

In contrast, regular slots do have a guaranteed maximum that can be won – that’s typically a multiplier of your stake, such as 5,000x. 

Another key difference comes in the unique rules of each game. It’s true that with some jackpot slots, you have to stake the maximum per spin to have a chance of winning the jackpot, so that is something that players have to consider.

With regular slots, there are minimum and maximum stake sizes per spin, but you can choose exactly what you want to wager per spin, helping you to make your bankroll stretch further.

The main difference between regular slots and jackpot games is the top prize available, although there are key differences in the ‘main game’ play mode that will also help to inform you on which is the right type for you.

Which one has high chances of winning?

It goes without saying that winning a progressive jackpot is difficult, because the odds of jackpot slots are skewed in a way that makes landing the big prize a rare event indeed. Think of it as like buying a few lottery tickets, but having more fun along the way.

With regular slots, you are far more likely to win more often – albeit smaller amounts, and so it will depend on your own personality as to whether the ‘high risk, high reward’ styling of progressive slots suits you or if you’d prefer to enjoy winning spins more often.

All slot games have an RTP published that displays your expected result. This Return to Player rate reveals how much you can expect to get back from a single gaming session, although of course you might do better or less well than the RTP based upon whether your luck is in or not.

What you will notice is that the RTP is typically a lot higher for regular slots than jackpot games, and that’s for the reasons we’ve already mentioned in this article: it’s highly improbable, although evidently not impossible, that you will land the jackpot, with the paytable skewed in that direction. 

It’s always worth considering the RTP of any slot you want to play. Games of high variance may differ more from the stated RTP, which means you can win or lose more than expected, whereas low variance games are somewhat more predictable in their Return to Player percentage. Jackpot games are higher in variance, so therefore typically they have a lower chance of winning (per session) than regular slots.

However, if you do hit that jackpot combination, the rewards speak for themselves. 

How to pick the right one for you

The right type of slot game for you depends on your unique personality type. There’s no single answer to this question, and it all comes down to personal preference. 

The ‘thrill-seekers’ among us will always be attracted by the possibility of winning huge jackpots, and we’re happy to overlook regular ‘standard’ wins in a bid to take down the top prize.

And then there’s the more conservative amongst us, who would rather experience that winning feeling more often – that’s generally the outcome of higher RTP slots than their jackpot-based counterparts – even if the payout is smaller.

If you are operating on a tighter budget, it may be better to stick to regular slots – if only because you can modify the amount you wager per spin as you want to, which will help you to maximize your playing time. With jackpot slots, you often have to bet the maximum amount in order to qualify for a chance to win the big prize. That’s simply not conducive to those with a stricter bankroll to work with.

So you’ll have to decide where you fit on that particular spectrum to decide which type of slot game is perfect for you. Of course, you don’t have to pin your colors to the mast of one slot type or another – why not play different slots in order to keep your gaming experience fresh and exciting?If you sign up today, you’ll find a huge library of slots at Resorts Casino, which cover the full range from regular to jackpot and everything in-between. Many of these titles can be enjoyed in demo mode too, so you won’t have to part with a single cent as you explore the various categories of slot games that you can play.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC