In the past I’ve written about how stopping the reels short during a spin won’t effect the outcome of a slot machine. A player in a forum raised a slightly different variation on the question: What happens if you stop a single reel? Can that impact the outcome?
The example they gave involved a game like Quick Hit, where you see the Quick Hit symbols coming by and stop the reels to land them – can that help you get a bigger win?
STATUS: Stopping the reels in any form does not change the outcome of the spin.
The original guidance I gave on the way a slot machine is the same whether it’s hitting the spin button to stop all the reels, or tapping on an individual reel to stop it while the others come to a stop on their own.
Some players want to feel like they’re in some sort of control over their own destiny. By stopping the reels or tapping on individual reels, they like to feel like they had some sort of influence on any big wins.
But traditional slot machines aren’t skill-based, and even the Vegas-style slots that have a skill-based component don’t use that skill for spinning the reels – it’s relegated to a bonus round option or something of that nature.
On a traditional, random number generator-driven slot, the outcome is determined at the moment you hit spin. Everything else that happens from then on is purely entertainment value – spinning reels, suspense spins, tells that announce a big win or bonus – all are just window dressing. The game could make the reels stop cut and dried or do all sorts of fancy animations, but the outcome is already determined once you hit that button.
So stopping the reels in any form doesn’t improve (or for that matter worsen) your given outcome. If you want to stop them, have at it. Just understand it doesn’t change the spin’s outcome. And also understand speed stopping the game has the effect of also increasing the number of wagers you’ll make an hour.