Linked slots: Slots are oftentimes linked together to offer players a massive prize pool!

Your Guide to Understanding Linked Machines

Understanding linked losts

Slot machine games are among the most fascinating attractions at casinos. Not only are they the most prolific in terms of sheer variety, floor space and appeal, but they are also the biggest money spinners in the casino. Slot machines come in many different forms, themes and setups. The concept of linked machines is particularly interesting in that it refers to multiple slot machines ‘linked’ together to offer players a large jackpot prize. With several machines on the same network, all bets that are made on those slot machine games will contribute towards building a much bigger prize pool than any single machine is capable of doing.

It is this aspect of linked machines that makes them so popular in casinos with players. The way they typically work is that a percentage of every wager that is made goes towards the progressive jackpot prize pool. In other words, every player who plays on linked machines will be contributing towards the progressive jackpot prize. If we are speaking about video poker linked machines or video slot linked machines, the concept is the same: the player that hits the right symbols in the right combinations on activated paylines will win the progressive jackpot prize. Depending on how popular the linked machines are and what the seed amount for the progressive jackpot prize is, the total can run into millions of dollars, pounds or euros.

The appeal of linked machines and the jackpots that they offer is that they are always substantially higher than the payday on any single slot machine game or video poker game. Of course, it is imperative that the player matches the right symbols in the right combinations on the requisite number of activated paylines to win the prize. With progressive jackpot games, there is no correlation between the size of the player’s wager and the likelihood of lining up the right symbols in the right combinations. The difference comes in with the actual value of the progressive jackpot and how much a player wagers on a specific linked machine, slot or video poker game. The higher your wager, the bigger your payday when the symbols line up in the right combinations on the reels.

Linked Machines Come in Many Different Shapes and Sizes

The concept of a linked machine is not limited to the same casino establishments or gaming resorts; slot machines could be linked across networks spanning different geographic domains, or even virtual networks. In the case of online casinos, it is possible for a software gaming provider to link multiple slot machine games together and then offer all of them at scores of different online casinos using the same gaming platform. Sometimes, the slot machine games are owned by the same slots manufacturer who will then make good on the payouts. If the casino decides to link games from different software providers for the purposes of building a progressive jackpot, it will be incumbent upon the casino to make good on the payment to the winning player. Such is the appeal of linked machines that multiple casinos operating across the United States in Nevada, South Dakota and New Jersey offer what is known as multistate progressive jackpots with massive prize pools available to players. This would be an example of a multijurisdictional linked machine setup and the concept is fast gaining traction with casinos and authorities the world over.

Linked Machines and Progressive Jackpots

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Linked machines are designed to pool together the resources of scores of players for the purposes of building one large progressive jackpot. As the number of real money players increases, so the contribution that they make to the progressive jackpot prize pool increases accordingly. There is a difference between a fixed jackpot slot machine game and linked machines in that the former will pay out a fixed amount irrespective of how much money has been collected from slot machine players. As the number of players increases in a typical progressive jackpot game, so the jackpot prize pool increases accordingly. The actual percentage that feeds the jackpot will vary from one casino to the next, but it is typically small. In the area of progressive jackpot linked machines, there are 3 types that one needs to consider: wide area network progressive jackpots, local progressive jackpots and standalone progressive jackpots. A basic understanding of these progressive jackpots will help to clarify the differences between them.

Wide area network progressive jackpot slots are the most ubiquitous slot machine games available today. They span the full spectrum of slot machines across multiple casinos in the same state or jurisdiction. It would be the equivalent of scores of casinos in Las Vegas and Reno operating on the same network and feeding the same progressive jackpot. It is not inconceivable that multimillion dollar jackpots will result from wide area network progressive jackpot games. There are scores of examples of mega-money wide area progressive jackpot slot machine games which are effectively linked machines. IGT offers the universally popular Megabucks slot machine games with an absolute fortune in payouts waiting to be won. This is but one example of many wide area network progressive jackpot slots games available to players.

Local progressive jackpots are pretty common nowadays and they are effectively linked machines with in a specific casino. This could be an online casino or a land-based casino. Typically local progressive linked machines will feature approximately 12 slot machine games or so; the exact number is dependent on the casino in question. At times, the number of local progressive slot machine games can be as high as 100 or more. In terms of jackpot payouts, you would be looking at the figure in the region of $100,000-$1 million.

The concept of a standalone progressive jackpot is really easy to understand. These progressive slot machines are not linked to any other slot machines. There is no fixed upper limit jackpot, but these standalone progressive jackpot machines take a certain percentage of all money that is wagered in the machine and it will add that to the payout for the maximum winning combo. Players will notice that there is a payout meter on the machine which reveals the jackpot. As you might expect from the size of the progressive jackpot with standalone progressive jackpot machines – they are substantially lower owing to the fact that there is just one standalone progressive jackpot machine operating. The game features a jackpot payout ticker but the only money that is fed into this machine comes from the players who are playing it. In terms of an actual dollar figure for stand-alone progressive jackpot prizes you would be looking at $10,000 or less.

Why Casinos Offer Linked Machines

Think of linked machines as the casino equivalent of the Powerball lottery. Instead of playing at a single machine with a limited payout, players can tap into a vast network of linked machines, each of which is being fed by scores of eager slot machine players across the nation. The fact that a percentage of all of those bets goes towards the progressive jackpot prize pool is alluring to players. These types of slot machine games are increasingly popular across the United States and elsewhere. With multistate linked slot machines, a portion of your wager is contributed towards a massive wide-area prize pool. The money is maintained by the casino or the slot machine manufacturer in an escrow fund. Once a player lines up the requisite number of symbols on the right number of paylines, the progressive jackpot payout will be made by the casino or manufacturer.

The Appeal of Linked Machines for Casinos and Players

As mentioned earlier, there are scores of multistate progressive jackpots with linked machines across the US and elsewhere. When casinos link the slot machines of multiple casinos together, they are increasing the payout amount available to players. Besides for being a terrific enticement to lure players to a casino, it also speaks volumes about the credibility and high regard that other casinos have for the casino in question. In much the same fashion as local or state lotteries have a certain appeal, they are far less appealing than national lotteries which pool the resources of the entire country together. Linked machines operate along similar lines, but they are far more restricted in terms of regulatory requirements in the states they operate in. Compliance with local, state and interstate gaming jurisdiction requirements is an absolute priority, but the benefits of employing these linked machines are simply too great to resist for casinos and their patrons alike.

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Licensing and regulation

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