Advantage Play

Must Hit By Progressives: An Overview

Konami Must Hit By progressives
Written by Joshua

One slot feature that tends to get players excited is the potential for winning a progressive jackpot. It seems like more and more slots have them, but not all progressives are equal.

One type that advantage players are on the hunt for when scouring the slot floor is a Must Hit By progressive. The idea behind them is before they hit a certain number, they will pay out. The closer to the number they are, the more likely they are to hit.

Today we’ll take a look at the Must Hit By progressives, some of the game types you’ll find them on, and traits to be aware of that could help determine how much of an advantage a given Must Hit By progressive can be.

The ‘Must Hit By’ Progressive Mechanic Explained

When players say that a progressive is ‘due,’ many times they’re speaking about how high the progressives are at the time. But if a progressive isn’t a “must hit by” progressive there’s nothing that will make it more or less likely to hit in a given spin.

On the other hand, “Must Hit By” progressives have an obligation to pay at a certain point. The way they generally work is they start at a certain number, and on the machine it will advertise that they “Must Hit By” a certain number.

G+ Deluxe machines were a common example of this, although their presence on the gaming floor is fading. They would have a Minor and a Major. The Minor would start at $25 and must hit by $50. The Major would start at $250 and must hit by $500.

What determines when they must hit is a simple random selection of a dollar amount somewhere in that range when the progressive resets. As a player plays, the progressives will increment based on the rules of the game.

  • Increment based on bet: Many progressives go up based on bet – effectively some percentage of your bet (usually a couple of percent) will go towards fueling the progressives. Higher bets will increment the progressives faster than lower bets.
  • Increment based on wins: The G+ Deluxe games worked this way – for every $1.70 you won, the progressives would increment by a penny. While this means higher betters would also increment the progressives faster by the nature of the larger wins proportional to the bet, there is certainly more volatility to this model because those who got bigger wins would get a better chance at winning one, and the games could go awhile between those bigger wins.

Once nice side effect of “Must Win By” progressives is they are generally open to all bet levels; since larger bets are proportionally rewarded because they can increment the meter faster, it doesn’t have to be locked down to only max betters.

Understanding the Advantage

Since you have an understanding of what is required in terms of winning or betting to guarantee the winning of a progressive, you can do the math to generally understand how much bankroll you will need to risk to achieve the win. There are some rules of thumb that can help you make the determination:

  • The closer to the “Must Hit By” number a progressive is, the more likely it is to land and the easier it will be to win.
  • “Must Hit By” progressives that increment based on bet are more advantageous than those that increment based on win.
  • “Must Hit By” progressives with no weighting on the number selection (meaning any random number between the lower and higher limits) is a better bet than those, such as the AGS “Must Hit By” progressive ones, which do based on experience seem to be weighted towards higher numbers, meaning generally a lot more betting must be done to win them.

Many advantage players will look for those that are the closest to the top number and work on those. The rule of thumb I’ve seen is if they’re within 10 percent of the top number, that’s usually a pretty good bet to try for.

I once found a Konami machine with a “Must Hit By” $50 progressive that was already at $48.50 and was incrementing based on bet. It incremented fast enough to make the risk low, and I was able to win it on top of a solid bonus I had in my case. But even if I didn’t have the bonus I would have come out ahead, as the amount I needed to bet to win it wasn’t enormous. It ended up hitting at $49.87, so it was set very close to the top number in this case.

Examples of Games with “Must Hit By” Progressives

Here are some games that have “Must Hit By” progressives:

Konami Must Hit By progressives
Konami has machines with Must Hit By progressives. Usually it’s an additive jackpot to an existing game. They’re pretty easy to spot when enabled.
  • The aforementioned G+ Deluxe games by WMS almost universally have them. There are some places that turn off the progressives, and in multi-game scenarios the progressives aren’t present, but those are generally the exceptions and not the rule. These progressive increment based on win; $1.70 in wins will increase each of the progressive by a penny.
  • Many of the WMS blade games, such as Great Zeus, continued in that tradition of having two progressives. Others, like Double Buffalo Spirit, even have three. Many of their newer games with “Must Hit By” progressives work based on bet, but require a lot of coin in to increment in any serious amount.
  • Ainsworth games many times have “Must Hit By” that increment based on coin in, and I’ve seen conflicting conversations about how easy or difficult it is to hit them, whether they’re weighted (meaning triggers are more often at the higher end of the range) or not. But given many machines tends to have pretty large ones, they can be quite lucrative if you catch one near the “Must Hit By” limit.
  • AGS has them on certain machines, such as River Dragons. They tend to be weighted towards the very high end of the range, meaning it’s very unlikely to hit one that’s near the minimum. This will be more painful for those who don’t realize it’s weighted towards the top end of the range.
  • Konami has them on a couple of different game types. There are older machines with two progressive levels, and newer machines with 2-3 progressive levels, that have the “Must Hit By” mechanic.

Do you seek out games with “Must Hit By” progressives? What’s your biggest progressive win? Share in the comments!

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.


  • I have hit the major progressives on Ainsworth Machines twice; once on a $1 Multi-Win 7 machine ($7,567) and once on a $0.25 Eagle Bucks machine ($4,605.18). It seems like they usually get more than halfway up the range before they hit, but not necessarily super close to the top. I’ve hit the minor progressives several times, and they’re often within $10 on the meter when they hit, although I’ve also seen them hit very low as well. One thing you have to watch out for is that it takes a lot longer to move the meter on the lower denomination machines. I ended up losing a lot of money one time chasing a $200 progressive on a $0.25 machine one time that was up around $185 or so and felt pretty dumb about it. Also lost a few thousand chasing the major progressive on one of those $0.25 machines one time, which was a reminder to me to NOT chase the major progressives.

    I’ve had pretty good success hitting the major progressives on WMS G+ games when the meter gets within $50 of the top and starts flashing. It can take awhile to get there, but in my experience it has paid off (although we’re not necessarily talking about a huge profit). One of my local Caesar’s-owned casinos has has maybe 16 of them with the progressives and then a few more without the progressives, but I don’t think they have any at the local MGM casino.

    I’ve never gotten the Konami “Mystery Rewards” to hit a major progressive, and I tend to avoid those machines in general because you usually only win pocket change on them and end up losing a lot of money very slowly, although you can get very lucky once in awhile and win like 500 free multiplied spins. I won like $1,200 on one of those machines that way one time when I bet like $1.30, but that’s he only really big win I’ve hit on those games (I think I did win like $200 another time from free spins). I did hit a minor progressive one time, but I wasn’t chasing it and it wasn’t very much.

  • And then you have Buffalo Link, which has a must-hit-by BONUS FEATURE instead of a must-hit-by JACKPOT.
    The meter goes up one point for every buffalo symbol that appears, and one of the buffalo symbols will trigger a bonus feature before (or when) the meter gets to 1800.
    This is risky to chase because sometimes you hit the bonus feature and don’t win anything (or don’t win very much), and I have seen the meter go all the way to the top before (although I’ve also seen it hit near the bottom).
    It’s very easy to run out of money chasing the bonus feature (especially at the higher bet levels) and it’s really not fun when you blow all your money and don’t win anything in the bonus round.

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