There is, of course, a catch associated with the bigger prizes in a jackpot game – the jackpot is harder to hit than the normal bingo prize in a regular game. Either there are a lot more people playing that game (attracted by the jackpot or guaranteed prize of course) or there has to be a special rare event that triggers the jackpot.
Thus although the prize is bigger than normal, there is a lower chance of hitting it. Add in the variables of card cost, number of cards (bingo tickets) you can buy for any given game and it can be seen that some thought could be applied to choosing a jackpot game to play.
So, to summarize the types of special or jackpot bingo games: Guaranteed prize games, also known as ‘guaranteed jackpots’. These come in essentially two varieties: The first is a fixed amount whereby the jackpot main prize is the same no matter how many people play the game.
The second is a guaranteed minimum where the prize is guaranteed to be a minimum of a certain amount, but can be higher. If lots of people play the game (and buy lots of cards) the prize pool can rise above this guaranteed minimum amount. These games are called jackpots from definition number 2 above of a ‘jackpot’.
Definition 1 above applies to what are generally called ‘progressive jackpots’ in Bingo, and definition 2 is more general and applies to what are called ‘guaranteed jackpots’ or ‘guaranteed prize games’ or ‘guaranteed minimum prize games’ amongst other terms for them.
I shall go more into the types and definitions of different sorts of jackpot later in this article, but for now you can think of a jackpot as where you have a ‘special’ big prize, bigger than the normal bingo game prize. The normal bingo game prize is determined from the takings from the tickets sold for that particular game.
So the normal bingo game prize is variable and a percentage of the money paid for all the tickets by all the participants. A jackpot prize will be bigger that this in some way. One source of this ‘extra’ prize money is it being added by the bingo room as an incentive – of course the bingo room hopes enough people are attracted by the jackpot prize, and buy cards, to get their money back.
The other source of the extra money is in progressive jackpots where a small amount of each card price is added to the progressive jackpot prize pot – and this rolls over if it isn’t won so it gets bigger as time goes on until it is won.