There’s a subset of gamblers that believe that if you bet higher on any progressive machine, you’ll have a better chance at winning a progressive. While there’s many cases this is true, not all games are created equal.
In today’s post I’m going to talk about Minis and Minors specifically. Some classes of games treats these progressives as fixed and higher bets up your chances. In other cases, the Mini and Minor change based on your denomination, so switching denominations can change your chances.
When Bet Level Matters
There are certain classes of games that have one set of progressive jackpots that are the same and accessible regardless of bet level. Examples of games in this format are Dancing Drums, Fu Dao Le, Ulimate Fire Link and Golden Gecko. One thing that tends to be true is they’re always a single denomination game.
This last trait tends to be important as multi-denomination games tend to account for the main reason for the Mini/Minor divide, which we’ll get to in a moment.
As such, since there’s one set of progressives, generally speaking, higher bets will see better chances at them than lower bets. For games like Dancing Drums or Fu Dao Le, you simply get an increased chance at entering the progressive screen, and the weighting of the chances of winning a given progressive after that screen triggers remains the same (you just get more chances).
For games like Golden Gecko, you see more progressive chances from the gems vs. gems that drop a multiplier.
So in this case, upping your bet does up your chances.
When Bet Level… Somewhat Matters
Now let’s compare this to another class of game. Mighty Cash, Lock it Link, Lightning Link/Dragon Link, and so forth are examples of games with progressives where the Mini and Minor change.
You’ll many times see these games in a multi-denomination configuration, which is part of the reason why they change; they will proportionally increase. So in the Lightning Link example above, if you move from penny to nickel, they’ll increase by 5x, to account for the 5x change in denomination. This can matter in terms of your ability to win them, as now the bonus is $50 for a Mini instead of $10.
Betting $5 on a penny denomination vs. a nickel will mean you’ll have 5x the chance of winning that Mini on a penny denomination vs. a nickel denomination, because the prize is proportionally smaller. So when players say they get more jackpots on a $5 bet on pennies, it’s important to remember at that bet size the Mini is now in effect a ball that is 2x the bet level; those are easy to drop at any bet level. Meanwhile, a $5 bet on nickels makes the ball a 10x ball because of its $50 value – not necessarily impossible to drop, but less likely.
Usually a hallmark of this type of machine is that they are not actually progressives at all – progressives imply the jackpots will increment. But you’ll see here they’re called a Bonus because they’re flat and change proportionally.
Meanwhile, the Major and Grand on these type of machines are generally the same across the board, so the rules regarding the increasing chance of winning based on overall bet level would still apply here.
The launch of Aristocrat’s Dollar Storm as a sequel to Lightning Link and Dragon Link does change the rules a bit as on their highest end denominations the Major changes, for instance, probably to reflect the massive difference between the penny level and the $5 denomination level. But that does mean the chances of winning that progressive will again be adjusted since the prize is a different amount entirely. But at least in that case it’s also a progressive replacing a progressive.
Does This Really Matter?
In the end, with this class of games, your chances of winning a progressive jackpot or bonus will always depend most on the bet size you’re making and the size of the progressive relative to that (in terms of the baseline; progressives can grow and grow and sometimes become an Advantage Play because of how big they’ve built; more on that later).
But it’s helpful to know if you’re increasing or decreasing your chances for some of the smaller prizes based on your betting strategy; upping the denomination may improve your expected payout overall, while lowering your chance at some of the smaller progressives, just because they adjust with your denomination.