Opportune Time to Play Progressive Jackpot Games

Just about any time can be an enticing one to try a progressive jackpot game. The large and ever increasing jackpot totals make a kind of built-in attract mode that people find hard to resist. Still, there is such a thing as the right time to play, or at least a better time to play in terms of getting the most mathematical bang for the buck. Choosing the most opportune time to play a progressive game doesn't make a huge win any more likely, sadly, but it does maximize what can be won if the symbols, cards or whatever all manage to align correctly.

For slots and video poker games, the time to play is easier to figure out and has to do with how recently the top progressive jackpot has been hit. This is somewhat of a matter of common sense – why waste a million-to-one shot on a six-figure total when it could pay off with a seven-figure sum instead? All progressive slots and video poker games have a reset value, which is the minimum amount that starts in the jackpot pool right after it's been won. Often this is publicly available information for a given game, and it's best not to play when the jackpot pool is close to that amount.

When it comes to blackjack or the rare other types of table games that have progressive jackpots, the advice above about reset values still applies. However, there's another mathematical tool that can also give players additional information on the best time to play, and it has to do with probability. Simply put, if the jackpot goes above the probability of hitting it, there's actually a positive expected value for making a wager for it. For instance, if there is a 250,000-to-1 chance of hitting a progressive blackjack jackpot, it's always a positive move to play once the jackpot makes it past $250,000 (assuming a $1 wager is needed to try for it).

Keep in mind that even at the best possible times, progressive jackpots are once in a lifetime events for the people who hit them and never in a lifetime occurrences for everyone else. Picking the opportune times to play simply allows one to make the most money if the jackpot hits, it doesn't increase the likelihood of winning. In physical casinos, teams of players can take advantage of these times and crowd out everyone else, but this is not a concern in online casinos.