Progressive Jackpot Slot Tracking and Strategy

Progressive jackpot online slots are one of the most popular genres of casino games because of the massive prizes they can generate. However, most people don’t realize that there’s some strategy involved in picking and choosing between the titles that are available based on the current, average and starting jackpot values. We’ll show you how to use that information to your advantage to get the best payout rates possible.

An Introduction to Progressive Jackpot Tracking

Something many players really enjoy is putting in a bit of effort to make sure that they get the best chances to win and best payout rates possible in the online casino games that they play online. Some genres like slots are generally not as strategically oriented as others, but there’s a bit of an exception when it comes to titles with progressive jackpots.

The main reason for this difference is that our average payout rates will vary based on the value of the jackpot.

What we want to do here is show players a way to use this information to make better decisions about which progressives to play as well as when to play them. If you follow the ideas presented in this guide, then you’ll boost your average win by improving the amount that you take down when you do hit a progressive jackpot.

Preparation: Simple Tools and Methods

While we enjoy looking into the math behind the casino games and progressive slots, it’s not very efficient (or enjoyable) to feel like you’re having to do some math problems before you get in on the action with some online slots. Along these lines, we are going to present a method that involves using a simple spreadsheet to organize the information that we’re going to track.

Note: If you do not have a spreadsheet program on your computer, that’s completely fine. There are 100 percent free options like LibreOffice, OpenOffice and the lightweight Spread32 that will be more than sufficient for our purposes here.

Before we get into the details of the strategies that we’re going to use and how they work, let’s make something clear: This is not some overly complicated thing that is out of the reach of most people. Instead, we’re just going to use this spreadsheet like a chart to organize some information that we’re going to take down.

Along these lines, you’ll want to set up four columns in your spreadsheet with the following headings:

  • Column A – Slot Name
  • Column B – Average Jackpot
  • Column C – Current Jackpot
  • Column D – Jackpot Ratio

For now, that’s all you’ll need to do. We’ll be filling in some information under these slots with some examples to show you how to put our recommended tracking strategy into place down below.

Implementation: Strategy and Filling the Table

Here we’ll get to the actual meat of the strategy. We’re going to take this one step at a time so that we thoroughly explain what’s going on with this approach, and then we’ll go through some examples so that you can see exactly how to put this strategy into play.

We’ll assume that you already have your spreadsheet ready with the four headers in the four columns that we described up above before we get started on what follows.

Step 1: Picking Your Games and Getting the Average Jackpot Amounts

This overall strategy is going to involve picking from a set of progressive jackpot slots that you choose ahead of time. This is your group of candidate games to play in any given session, and our approach is going to involve figuring out which one of them has the most favorable jackpot overall (not just the total size).

For the sake of example, we’re going to use three games, but we recommend that you track between seven and ten yourself:

Pick out your list of seven to ten games and put them in Column A under the heading “Slot Name” so that each game has its own row.

From there, we’ll want to fill in the average jackpot amount for each of these games. This data is available online in places like our Progressive Jackpots Guide.

In our second column, we’ll add this information to get something that looks similar to the following:

Progressive Jackpots - Average Amount Example
Slot Name Average Jackpot Current Jackpot Jackpot Ratio
Mega Moolah €5,235,722
Mega Fortune €4,059,215
Gladiator €1,111,754

Once you have this together, you are about halfway finished with being able to implement this strategy.

Step 2: Current Jackpots and Jackpot Ratios

Before you start your sessions, you’ll want to quickly go through and type in the current values of the jackpots for each of the games on your list. This will only take a couple of moments, and it’ll be a part of drastically increasing your average payout rate in the slots you’re playing.

If the game you’re playing has multiple jackpots, we’ll only be concerned with the largest of them.

After putting in the current jackpot amounts at the time of this writing, we’ll have something that looks like this:

Progressive Jackpots - Current Jackpot Example
Slot Name Average Jackpot Current Jackpot Jackpot Ratio
Mega Moolah €5,235,722 €1,013,791
Mega Fortune €4,059,215 €2,681,863
Gladiator €1,111,754 €2,679,568

Note that your current values will be different because these jackpot values are constantly changing as people play the games, the jackpots are won and the cycle continues.

Finally, we need to put in what we’re going to call the Jackpot Ratio, which is the current jackpot divided by the average jackpot. We can make our spreadsheet calculate this for us automatically on the fly by using a basic formula.

The formula we use will be based on the row that we’re on. If we’re on the second row, it will be “=C2/B2” without the quotes. If we’re on the third row, it will be “=C3/B3” without the quotes and so on.

When we put these formulas into our example, they look like this after we hit enter and the formula is applied:

Progressive Jackpots - Ratios Example
Slot Name Average Jackpot Current Jackpot Jackpot Ratio
Mega Moolah €5,235,722 €1,013,791 0.194
Mega Fortune €4,059,215 €2,681,863 0.661
Gladiator €1,111,754 €2,679,568 2.410

Once we have these formulas in place, we’re done with our spreadsheet work, and we can apply what we have created to our play.

Step 3: Game Selection Based on Jackpot Ratio

The idea here is pretty straightforward: The jackpot ratio is a measure of how the current jackpot measures up against the average. The higher this ratio number is, the better things look for that particular game.

A jackpot ratio of 1 means that the current jackpot is the average amount for the game. A ratio of 2 means that it’s twice the average amount. A ratio of 3 would mean that it’s three times the average amount, etc.

On the most basic level, we want to play progressive jackpot games when the top prize is as large as possible with respect to the average for that game. In our above example, the jackpot for Gladiator is a little over 2.4 times the average, but the jackpots for Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune are both well under the average amounts. This makes Gladiator the most favorable of the three at the time of this writing.

How to Use This Spreadsheet in Your Sessions

Now that you have this spreadsheet available and saved somewhere on your computer where you can find it, it’s time to put it into action.

When you get ready to start a session, begin by going through and putting in the current values for each of the games from your list. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate and update the Jackpot Ratio numbers as you do, and you can pick from the most favorable two or three of them if there is not a clear winner.

This will help you to avoid the least favorable games of the bunch, which is exactly what we’re looking to achieve because this will give you a better average payout rate from your play by only going after games where the Jackpot Ratio is much better than average.


Many people don’t believe that there is any skill in playing slots on any level whatsoever. However, from what we’ve laid out here, it’s easy to see that this is a myth. With a reasonable amount of preparation along the lines of what we have outlined above, you can definitely increase what your payout rate would have otherwise been when playing progressive jackpot slots, and that’s the whole point of having a skill element to a game in the first place.

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