Must-Hit-By Jackpots -- 1/4/2019

One popular advantage play in slot machines is on what I call "must-hit-by progressives." These are progressives that trigger independently of the outcome of the reels and, as the name says, must hit by a specified amount. The book Million Dollar Slots by Peter Liston is about how he made millions playing such games in Australia. I have a detailed page about how to know when the jackpots are high enough to offer a play advantage in my page on "Must-Hit-By Progressives".

All my analysis and that in Peter Liston's book are predicated on the assumption that the jackpot can trigger at any point with equal probability between the seed value and the must-hit-by point. It is my understanding this is how all of them work, except games by AGS. It has been long-rumored in the advantage play circles that AGS games seldom trigger until at least about 90% of the way from the seed value to the must-hit-by point.

I finally have some evidence of this. I obtained a par sheet, which indicated the contribution rates to both the meter and the seed value. It doesn't say how the jackpots are actually triggered, but doing some math I was able to calculate the average jackpots on the version of River Dragons where the large jackpot starts at $4,000 and must hit by $5,000. Here they are:

Progressive Large Small
Seed $ 4,000.00 $ 200.00
Must hit by $ 5,000.00 $ 500.00
Average jackpot $ 4,945.49 $ 490.39

As a very rough guide, for now, I would not play unless the large jackpot were at least $4,914 or the small jackpot was at least $487.

For much more on this topic, please read my thread on the topic, "ARE AGS MUST-HIT-BY JACKPOTS RIGGED" at Wizard of Vegas.

Until next week, set your expectations high.