A video released by slot channel Neily 777 discussed a “secret tell” on Buffalo Extreme when another player is in the bonus. See him discuss this at 6:45 in his video:
Are progressives and bonuses predetermined on games like Buffalo Extreme?
STATUS: If it’s Bingo or other non-RNG games like New York VGMs, they usually are. Like anything, there are exceptions to the rule, in this case for Bingo machines.
Why The Type of Machine Matters
Buffalo Extreme is made by VGT, an Aristocrat division focused on the Class II, or Bingo Machine, market. Class II machines are basically electronic aids for playing bingo, as the government regulations state, so they’re technically not slot machines at all.
In the case of games like Buffalo Extreme, your wager is buying in to a game of bingo, and the outcome is determined by the game of bingo, not the selection of an RNG inside the machine. That means when you trigger a bonus or a progressive pick, that’s all being governed by that game of bingo – the outcome is already been determined.
To make sure your win, which is already secured, is not accidentally given to another player, the progressives reset the moment you hit it, not when it’s visually displayed to you. This avoids any confusion or issues if another player happens to hit the same jackpot right after you. This means you could look to your right or left to see what resets (and then look to see if yours didn’t) to figure out which progressive you’re going to secure.
This doesn’t mean all Bingo machine bonuses are predetermined; there are systems that can take players into a “bonus Bingo game” that can be done with independent draws as well. But this does seem to be in the minority.
Not Just Bingo Machines
I’ve seen identical machine behavior in New York at Empire City Casino, a racino now owned by MGM and having New York Lottery VGMs, another game type where the outcome is determined outside the machine. If you’re playing a game like 88 Fortunes with a progressive pick, the other machines reset the moment you go into the pick screen.
We already know these bonuses are predetermined, but to make sure you win the prize that was available when you triggered the bonus, everyone else resets even before you’ve revealed your prize.
As such, this is a way that non-RNG games ensure the player who wins a prize gets the prize that’s shown, without creating confusion for other players. Compare this to a Class III/Vegas-style slots scenario, and if you and your neighbor both close the pot in Dancing Drums, whoever reveals the third symbol first wins it and the other’s resets at that point. I’ve snatched a high mini out of the hands of another player a couple of times before just by being quicker than them.
So, if you’re playing a Bingo machine or some other game where the bonus is predetermined, try to avert your eyes if you wish to be surprised, or you might catch a glimpse of something that can tell you what you can expect as an outcome.