Most people associate progressive jackpots with the buzz and whirl of the one-arm bandits. The good news is these overwhelming prizes are no longer exclusively reserved for slot players. Roulette buffs from all over the world now have the chance to end their sessions with a fat prize thanks to software providers like Playtech and Microgaming.
Progressive roulette games abide by the conventional rules but pique the interest of players with a curious twist. They are pooled together in a jackpot network across all online casinos that use the software.
The prizes increase incrementally to reach mouth-dropping amounts, which motivates more people to play the games. The more people play, the higher the progressive jackpots get. Progressive roulette is still somewhat of a novelty. We suggest you stay with us if you are curious to know more about it.
Fixed-Value vs. Progressive Jackpots in Roulette Games
Traditionally, this wheel-based game does not have enormous winning potential, with the biggest payout being 35 to 1 for successful straight-up bets. You will hardly find progressive roulette games on the floors of brick-and-mortar casinos. Some landbased gambling operators try to draw in more customers by introducing roulette tables with fixed-value jackpots where you need to place a specific side bet to qualify.
In contrast, the progressive roulette variations you can find online have a much bigger winning potential. The top prizes here are not limited to a fixed amount. Instead, the jackpot starts at a fixed value, called a seed.
Such is the case with the variation Back 2 Back Roulette, which you can find on the floors of Reno's Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa. This game awards a fixed-value jackpot of 1,200 to 1 if you place an optional side bet of $1 to $5 on a number or numbers of your choice. If your selected number(s) shows back to back, i.e. two times in a row, you collect the fixed jackpot.
Software supplier IGT Interactive launched an online roulette variation called Triple Bonus Spin Roulette where players have the chance to win a fat fixed-value jackpot of 12,000x their wager with a bonus side bet. The game plays on a wheel with three zeros and has an additional yellow pocket for the bonus side bet.
The bonus pocket is 30% bigger which increases the chances of the ball landing there. When this happens and the player has posted a side bet, they are granted three free spins for the chance to collect the 12,000 to 1 payout if they make another optional side bet.
The jackpot builds up in increments as a percentage of each bet players make on the game is added to the prize pool. Here is a made-up example to demonstrate how exactly the progressive jackpot builds up.
We use a nice round percentage for the purpose of simplicity. It does not necessarily represent the percentages of an actual progressive roulette game but will suffice for you to understand the mechanics of the jackpots.
The fictitious progressive roulette game from our example retains 10% of each bet made. After a lucky player collects the prize, the progressive jackpot is reset back to its seed amount, say $100,000. The seed usually accumulates from the bets players contribute to the overall progressive pot.
In our example, we shall assume 9% of each bet goes toward the progressive pool while the remaining 1% is used to fund the seed. Once the seed amount of $100,000 is reached, the full 10% of the bets go toward the constantly increasing jackpot.
The pool continues to grow until someone eventually wins so that the pot is reset to its base value again. To continue with the example, suppose you are betting $5 per spin. In this instance, $0.50 of each bet you make will go toward the seed while the remaining $4.50 are handled the same way as the bets on standard, non-progressive roulette.
In some progressive roulette variations, the seed amount is provided either by the software supplier or by the online casino. The purpose of the seed is to motivate players to continue betting on the game after the jackpot is won. If the pot starts to accumulate from scratch, the game will lose its appeal and the pools will grow at a snail's pace because very few players would care to contribute with bets.
No Cut from the Progressive Pools for the Casinos
Are the casinos get to collect a portion of the jackpot pools?
How the money is distributed?
Some players suspect the gambling operators get to collect a portion of the jackpot pools. This assumption is incorrect. There is no need for the casino to rob players in such a manner because it generates huge profits from progressive games as it is. Winners are paid the jackpot amount in full.
Casinos generate more money from games like progressive roulette simply because more players are trying to pocket the huge win. Massive jackpots receive broad enough media coverage, which further increases the number of players interested in a given progressive game. This increased interest results in even greater profits for the casino.View more...
Criteria for Collecting the Progressive Roulette Pots
Many slots with progressively pooled jackpots require the player to bet the maximum allowed amount to qualify for winning. This is not the case in progressive roulette where there are two ways to qualify for the pot. Players either must post an optional jackpot side bet or the pot drops randomly on any spin regardless of staked amount and outcome.
Mystery Jackpot Games
In roulette games with a mystery jackpot, the huge prizes are awarded at random so that the massive win can occur on any given spin of the wheel. It matters not whether the bet itself wins or loses. Once the jackpot game is unlocked, you are guaranteed to win either a portion of the progressive prize or the full jackpot amount.
In multi-tiered jackpot roulette, this usually entails revealing matching symbols that correspond to one of the progressive prizes. If the player fails to reveal the symbols within the designated timeframe, the software would randomly award one of the available jackpots.
The software developers motivate players to place larger bets by crafting the games in such a way so that the likelihood of winning increases proportionately to the wager size. In other words, the higher your bets, the bigger the chances of entering the progressive jackpot game.
Games With Jackpot Side Bets
In roulette games with jackpot side bets, the player must contribute with a small wager to qualify for winning. This wager is usually optional and no bigger than $1 but it all depends on the game. In some instances, the software would automatically place the side bet on each spin.
The virtual layout features an extra betting grid where these side bets are posted. You collect a portion of the jackpot or the full prize when the same single number occurs several times in a row. The more consecutive hits the number produces, the higher the prize.
In some progressive games like Microgaming’s Roulette Royale, the full jackpot amount goes to the player whose number hits five times in a row. The odds of the wheel producing the same number five consecutive times are shockingly small as we shall explain later.
You need the side bet to collect the jackpot, though. If your number appears on the wheel multiple times in a row without you playing the side bet, each winning spin will pay at its standard straight-up odds of 35 to 1.
Without the side bet, the consecutive hits would go for naught. This must be one of the most frustrating sensations a gambler could experience. If your eyes are on the big prize, you must post the side bet on each spin, which is quite costly over time.
The Biggest Progressive Jackpots in Roulette
Online roulette games with progressive jackpots are not broadly available at most online casinos. You can usually find them at gambling sites that utilize specific software, either by Microgaming or Playtech.
Evolution Gaming provides live progressive jackpots but limits the choice to house-banked poker games like Casino Hold'em, Texas Hold'em, and Caribbean Stud. Here is what Microgaming and Playtech can offer in terms of progressive jackpot roulette.
Roulette Royale is available at Microgaming-powered casinos and offers a pooled jackpot that escalates to hundreds of thousands of credits. Other than that, this is the conventional European variation of the game, with the typical inside/outside bets and a single-zero wheel with 37 pockets.
This game also requires a side bet for the jackpot. The peculiarity here is that the software would automatically deduct the side bet amount from your real-money balance on each spin. If your standard wager per round is $10, you will spend $11 on each spin in Roulette Royale.
The profits from the standard wager are paid at the usual roulette odds. The mandatory side bet pays whenever the same number shows at least twice in a row. What portion of the jackpot you collect depends on the number of successive hits.
The pot accumulates across all Microgaming casinos which allows it to reach the six-figure mark. You can track the progress of the ever-growing jackpot in the jackpot meter built into the game. It is located in the upper corner of the screen. Below are the prizes consecutive numbers can earn you in Roulette Royale. It is irrelevant which number hits as long as it shows several times in a row.
- 15 credits for 2 consecutive numbers
- 200 credits for 3 consecutive numbers
- 3,000 credits for 4 consecutive numbers
- The full jackpot amount for 5 consecutive numbers
Age of the Gods Roulette
Age of the Gods Roulette is a mythology-inspired roulette variation launched by major software studio Playtech. This game follows the European rules but plays on a wheel with 38 pockets, with numbers 0 through 36 plus one purple pocket for the bonus game.
You unlock the bonus game with a wager on the Age of the Gods bonus grid when the ball comes to rest in the purple pocket of the wheel. This gives you three spins for the chance to collect extra payouts ranging from 5x to 100x your bet.
However, the biggest appeal of Age of the Gods Roulette is its four-level jackpot, which consists of the Power, Extra Power, Super Power, and Ultimate Power prizes. This is a mystery progressive jackpot pooled from a wide-area network across all Playtech casinos.
The slots from the studio’s Age of the Gods series also contribute to the escalation of the four prizes, which explains why the Ultimate Power pot usually exceeds one million. The other three prizes are smaller and drop more frequently.
A small percentage is deducted from each bet and is divided between the four pots. Players can win a progressive prize on any spin, even a losing one. Triggering the jackpot can occur with any bet but your odds of winning increase and decrease proportionately to your wager’s size.
Once you enter the Age of the Gods jackpot game, you are sure to walk away with one of the four pots. You are presented with twenty coins, each one hiding one of the four jackpot symbols. When you reveal three identical symbols, the game awards you with the jackpot they correspond to.
Frankie Dettori's Jackpot Roulette
This one also comes from the Playtech studio and plays similarly to Age of the Gods Roulette. The game’s theme has been inspired by the horse racing legend Frankie Dettori. This roulette variant is linked to the same jackpot network as Playtech’s eponymous slot.
Similarly to Age of the Gods Roulette, this variation uses a wheel with 38 pockets one of which is reserved for the Magic 7 bonus game. The latter is thematic and involves a racetrack. Players uncover the prizes around the racetrack for the chance to win up to 279x the triggering stake.
This roulette variation features not one but two progressive prizes, the Golden 7 jackpot and the smaller Silver 5 pot. The pots can be won during any spin, at any stake size. The bonus game is triggered randomly.
A new screen with twelve squares opens, with each square hiding a gold or silver trophy. Revealing 5 silver trophies awards the smaller prize. You hit the finish line and win the Golden 7 jackpot when you reveal 7 gold trophies.
Dragon Jackpot Roulette
Also crafted by the developers of Playtech, Dragon Jackpot Roulette utilizes a standard European wheel with 37 pockets. Like most progressive games by Playtech, this one, too, features a multi-tiered jackpot which consists of the Red, Green, Blue, and Gold Dragon prizes.
A bonus game is included for good measure. You unlock it when you place a bet on up to 12 numbers and the ball chooses one of them. The interesting thing here is this is a two-stage bonus game. You first spin an outer wheel to earn two more pointers, a free respin or a 2x multiplier. The inner wheel awards multipliers of up to 20x.
However, the main attraction here is the four-tiered mystery jackpot. You can unlock it randomly on any spin within the main game, even if it is a losing one. Note that you need to activate the dragon jackpot button if you want to qualify for winning a progressive prize. Once you do this, the software will subtract 1% of each wager you make and split it between the four pools.
In the jackpot game, the player needs to uncover three symbols of the same color (red, blue, green or yellow) to collect one of the pots. The biggest prize is awarded for uncovering 3 yellow symbols.
Progressive Jackpots in Roulette Games with Live Dealers
1Age of the Gods Live Roulette
Software supplier Playtech gives roulette fans the chance to compete for a progressive jackpot in the authentic environment of a live casino. Age of the Gods Live Roulette was launched in September 2017 as a combination of live-dealer roulette and slots.
The rules and the jackpot winning conditions are precisely the same as those in the RNG-based version of the game, which is to say you have 4 randomly triggered jackpots. The difference here is the wheel is spun by a human dealer which brings more realism to the gameplay.
The professional dealer is positioned in front of a thematic background made to resemble the interior of an ancient Greek temple. The pleasant female dealers are thematically dressed and wear Greek arm cuffs. The game is streamed in high definition from Playtech’s dedicated live studio in the Latvian capital Riga. The jackpots are pooled from the same jackpot network as the RNG-based roulette game and the Age of the Gods slots.
Odds and House Edge of Jackpot Roulette Games
Odds of Winning the Pot in Side-Bet Jackpot Games
As we explained, some progressive jackpot varieties require a small side bet to qualify for the big prizes. In Microgaming’s version, this side bet is automatically subtracted from your casino balance, which makes the game rather costly to play in the long term.
The winning conditions state that you need the same number to show five times in a row to pocket the entire jackpot. The odds of this happening are heartbreakingly small, however. You can calculate them by raising the odds of a single number hitting to the fifth power.
The probability of any given number hitting five times on a single-zero wheel is 1/37 x 1/37 x 1/37 x 1/37 x 1/37 or (1/37)5 = 1/69,343,957. In other words, this is an extremely rare occurrence.
Progressive Roulette and Positive EV
It becomes obvious winning a progressive jackpot is no picnic, especially when one is required to score the same number five times in a row. Another issue results from the fact that the theoretical return to player percentage of progressive games is lower than usual to compensate for the huge jackpots.
This also means the house edge is higher in progressive roulette. Compare the edge of a non-progressive single-zero game with that in a progressive one and you will immediately notice the former yields higher long-term profit percentages than the latter.
So is it worth it to shoot for the big prizes in this case? The answer is yes, but it all depends on the current amount the progressive jackpot meter shows. The jackpot needs to exceed its break-even point for the game to yield a positive expected value. In Roulette Royale’s case, this happens when the jackpot exceeds $760,501.
Until it reaches this break-even point, you are betting on a negative-expectation game where the house holds a higher-than-usual edge. Check the table below to learn about the average wins, the seed amounts, and the hit frequencies of the most popular progressive roulette games.
|Progressive Roulette Game||Developer||Average Jackpot Win||Average Hit Frequency||Seed Amount||Jackpot Type|
|Roulette Royale||Microgaming||$440,353||9 years and 8 months||$60,000||Mandatory side bet|
|Age of the Gods Roulette (Ultimate Power pot)||Playtech||$664,716||6 weeks and 5 days||€100,000||Random jackpot|
|Dragon Jackpot Roulette (Gold pot)||Playtech||$107,244||Nearly 4 days||€20,000||Random jackpot|
|Frankie Dettori Jackpot Roulette (Golden 7 pot)||Playtech||$495,609||21 weeks||€70,000||Random jackpot|