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How Can You Tell a Progressive Maxed is Out or Frozen?

Quick hit fixed progressive jackpots
Written by Joshua

A slot player in one of the groups I frequent asked a simple question: How can you tell if a progressive is maxed out?

The answer, overall, is equally simple, but I’m expanding to talk about frozen progressives too. Those are the ones where the evil casino bean counters decided they want to save a few bucks by not having the progressives increment at all, instead making them a flat jackpot. It makes max betting on Quick Hit unnecessary when you get a flat jackpot instead of a bonus for betting more, as an example, but they don’t care about that apparently.

If you see a bank of machines, people playing, and no movement after enough time has passed, that likely means a progressive is either maxed out or capped. If the number is round, and stays round, that’s even a more sure sign. So are examples like $18,888 jackpots where they’re flat but at a more noticeable number that could be more theme specific or chosen because some find the number (like 8) lucky.

Some machines aren’t banked, so you can’t tell without playing a bit yourself, but if you’ve played a game enough you should also get a feel for how much coin-in it takes for games to increment their progressives. If you play and put, say, $20 in, and one or more of the numbers aren’t moving, that’s a reasonably good assurance the ones that aren’t moving are either maxed out or purposefully capped at that number.

If you see a progressive won and it resets to the same number, with rare exceptions, that means it’s a capped jackpot. A Lightning Link Major caps at $1,000 but continues to accumulate in the background; if it’s been long enough it could theoretically reset back to the capped $1,000 because of how long it’s been, but that’s a pretty rare occurrence.

Just remember that a capped progressive, just like the pots with coins, doesn’t mean that it’s ready or due to pay. It simply means it won’t go up any further until it’s been won.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


    • This would be helpful if the game itself has a cap, like Lightning Link, but won’t address if casinos put a cap on it, very common in some casinos. So that’s certainly a way to verify, but it may not reveal all instances, and so you can still observe as others play to get a sense of things.

      • Hello Joshua, my name is Claudia. I won a jackpot recently and it seems to me that i won the big progressive amount. And i did tell them but they insisted that i won the small amount. What can I do.

        • I wish I had a good answer for you. You can file a complaint and they can go back and review what’s available to them, but it’s highly unlikely the machine would say pay A and they would pay B, unless there was a machine malfunction, in which I would expect them to bring that up as part of the conversation (because such is the thing many disputes and lawsuits are made of). And machines are traditionally labeled that malfunctions void pays.

          • I once had a machine show two minors but one of them disappeared! I was told it didn’t stay so I didn’t win it.
            I have a question about Smokin Hot Stuff slot. I have read that if a game does not reveal what was under all the spots in the bonus round then the outcome was predetermine. When the pot boils over in Smokin Hot Stuff the player picks spots until three jackpot levels match. The game does reveal what was under all the spots. I am not convinced the outcome is not predetermined even in this case. Do you know for sure if it is or is not predetermined for this game?

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