Similar to the axiom about always needing to max bet on Video Poker, here’s one I hear periodically and that seems like fair conventional wisdom: That you always must max bet on Megabucks to qualify for the jackpot progressive.
STATUS: While true in most cases, it always pays to read the rules as it is not required on all games. That said, max betting won’t cause you to miss out like not max betting could, so it’s not the worst advice.
Part of the reason why this matters is Megabucks is a game with a high house advantage. The gigantic jackpots made available are considered to be a healthy enough draw that the game doesn’t have to pay as high, especially compared to $3 games at $1 denomination traditionally pay.
The magic number for Megabucks is generally $3 for most games – that’s the max bet, whether pennies or dollars, so each player has an equal chance of winning and without making the game more complicated.
That said, there are examples where a Megabucks game’s max bet is higher than $3.
Here’s an example of a Megabucks machine that has a 5 credit bet at a $1 denomination, making the game $5 per spin. But notice in big white print under the credit/wager counts “Play 3+ Credits for Megabucks”? That means if you only wager three credits, you will be Megabucks Eligible, even though it’s not the max bet for the machine.
Notice the same Megabucks Eligible strip on the left, which also references the 3 credits.
So where’s the extra money going? In this case, a feature bet to activate the wheel, as you can see by the strip on the right. This is effectively a wager above and beyond the base reel game at three credits that opens up more features, which here is the wheel.
Yes, even Megabucks isn’t immune to having additional wagers available for additional features. But if your primary goal is chasing the Megabucks jackpot, spending that extra $2 at a higher house edge may not be worth it for you, so it might be smart to scale it back. Or, you can simply look for a Megabucks game with a more traditional $3 max bet.
Now, if you always max bet on a Megabucks machine, just like on Video Poker, you will always be eligible, because regardless of what the top wager is you’ve ensured you’ve bet the minimum to be Megabucks eligible. But you don’t necessarily have to bet max, so it’s always helpful to know what your goals are, and what the rules require, when you sit down at a slot machine.