What are jackpots, How big can they get, How often do they go off?

Jackpots are what lures players to poker machines – the promise of winning big for a small outlay.

The details of jackpots – how big they are, how often they go off and so on, really varies hugely and depends on the particular machine in question. It depends basically on what the payout rate of the machine has been set out (there is no way for you to be able to find this out short of speaking to someone who has inside knowledge of the machine).

The payout rate of the machine depends on other factors such as the size of the jackpot. You can obviously find this information out, but be aware of the fact that the amount you win if you hit the jackpot depends on the amount you bet. If you didn’t bet the maximum, you won’t win the maximum – and the different could be big.

Multi million dollar jackpots will only pay out ten or twenty thousand dollars if you didn’t bet the maximum amount, even if the amount you bet was only a dollar or two less than the maximum. Sure – winning ten or twenty thousand dollars is great, but compared to a million or more? It can be a little disappointing knowing what was so close. Another thing that the payout rate depends on is the weighting of the machine. That is, how often the jackpot will come up as a percentage of spins recorded. This is another thing that you can’t easily figure out.

You probably remember if you’ve played poker machines in Australia, the stickers on every machine that read “Your chances of winning the jackpot on this machine are generally no better than one in one million.” Although machines to vary and some will have slightly better odds than this, this is a pretty safe rule of thumb.

The good news is that online machines have better jackpot odds than regular machines found in casinos and pubs. Do keep in mind though, that although the odds may be better, odds can get a lot better than one in one million and still leave your chances of winning the jackpot pretty remote. As always, we say keep in mind your real chances of winning. Play for fun, but don’t bet more than you can afford aiming for the jackpot. Winning it is, all things considered, a very unlikely event.