A progressive jackpot has no limit on how much money can be won, but it is called a progressive jackpot because it continually increases with every game played. A jackpot does not have an exact value, since no two players will ever come close to knowing what it is. The amount of money in a progressive jackpot may change from time to time, depending on the jackpot winner and the amount of bets made on that specific game. If a player wins a specific amount of money in one game, then all of their subsequent games winnings will also be for that specific amount only, but never more than double the amount of money won in the initial game. Any other amounts won in subsequent games are multiplied by the original amount to come up with a constant amount.
A single-sided jackpot has a single predetermined value. When this kind of jackpot wins, all of the subsequent games that are played will pay off as they would if there was an award of a prize to that single winner. This type of jackpot almost always pays out the same amount no matter who wins, but there may be variations depending on the specific slot machines used and the time of day. A virtual bet on a machine will not change the amount that the jackpot will pay off. Therefore, practically everyone playing on any given machine will wind up betting the same amount.
Multi-sided jackpots have increasingly greater chances of paying out bigger prizes, since any winnings are split between the various games played. While the actual payout for any single prize may not change, the odds of the jackpot prize winning change, depending on how many people are betting and whether the chances of someone winning are above or below a certain value. The actual prize may also increase or decrease based on how long a specific slot machine has been running, and on the popularity of that particular slot machine.
Most of the time, a small percentage of jackpots do not pay out all the way to the jackpot prize, meaning that a portion of the money wagered on the slot machines is still going towards paying the taxes and such on the winnings. In cases where the actual payout is much lower than expected, a virtual bet on one of the smaller sized jackpots will still make a difference in how the money from the jackpot works. The virtual bet will add up to some proportion of the total prize amount, especially when the odds of someone winning are high. Sometimes, the virtual bet on the jackpot will be worth more than the actual value of the jackpot prize, or the casino will add in extra to the actual winnings to make up for it.
In the event that the actual payout of a jackpot prize is much higher than anticipated, then that portion of the prize that remains will be paid out by way of taxes to the government. Some states have taken the step of enacting laws which require casinos to pay out the full amount of their virtual bets, but there is usually a fine associated with it. There may also be additional taxes associated with the specific location where the slot machines are being used.
It should also be noted that in some cases jackpots are granted to slot machine games which have already won. Sometimes the jackpots for games which have already won are much larger than usual. As such, these jackpots will go unclaimed for a period of time until they are eventually awarded to the winner. When this situation arises, the jackpot prize is given back to the people winning the said slot machines. This is usually done on a monthly basis.