Myths vs. Reality

Is the Progressive Pick Bonus in Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel a True Pick?

Smokin' Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel by Everi progressive pick reveal
Written by Joshua

One of the more popular games on the casino floor right now is Everi’s Smokin’ Hot Stuff Super Wheel. One of the big questions about the game, based on how is designed and plays out the progressive picking bonus, is if that bonus is a true pick.

Traditional common knowledge about slots is that generally speaking, if a slot shows the outcomes you didn’t pick, it was a fair pick, or true pick, and you had complete control over the outcome of the bonus; the odds of winning one thing over another only has to do the odds of picking one over the other.

This bonus shows the outcomes. So is it a true pick?

STATUS: All evidence, other than that reveal, is to the contrary. UPDATE: More recently, this has been confirmed to be a predetermined pick.

Signs that it was not a true pick are pretty easy to spot, if you know what you’re looking for:

  • The game has exactly three of each progressive tier on the true pick. This would imply you’d have an equal chance of winning any progressive level.
  • The game has pitchforks that will remove the lowest progressive levels if picked.
  • Despite all that, how many top jackpots have you seen floating around in pictures or on YouTube? Go ahead and check; I’ll wait.

There are 21 spaces on the grid, holding 18 progressive picks and three pitchforks. There are three of every progressive level, so there’s no weighting going on. Given that, and given the pitchforks could remove lower progressives, the chances of winning the Grand are a bit better than 1 in 6. But it’s not won that often.

So, the alternative is they show everything else but it’s not real. I can’t think of any examples this egregious previously, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were other bonuses that showed the other options but wasn’t a true pick either. That said, having spoken with slot designers previously, they’ve shared that as a general rule, if you see the other options, it’s usually a fair pick.

So what does Everi say? Slot Queen got to preview some successor machines that carry over this same bonus during G2E in October. On one of her videos, seen below, she point blank asked the Everi rep whether the bonus was predetermined. Jump to 15:32 to watch her ask (it should jump basically to that question when you hit play):

His answer? “Oh, it’s always luck.” And moved right along pretty fast. So what does “it’s always luck” mean? You’re a lucky picker? I think it means you’re lucky when the game’s predetermined outcome was a bigger choice.

The evidence available would confirm it’s predetermined. But if someone from Everi is reading this and would like to object to my conclusion, I’m happy to be corrected and shown why 🙂

UPDATE: Having spoken with the Everi team about this since this post went live, it’s been confirmed as a predetermined pick. So how and why can they show the reveal of the unpicked choices despite it being predetermined? It turns out that gaming regulations didn’t require that predetermined picks not show the other outcomes, in markets where the game was approved, at the time the game was made. This includes Nevada, where the game is prevalent.

But it was also mentioned during that same conversation those rules had evolved, so this may no longer be allowed, at least in Nevada. How future games will handle this remains to be seen, but I do recall watching a pick bonus on The Vault in a Nevada casino and not seeing the other choices revealed, so they may simply handle it per normal convention from there, at least in Nevada and other markets where the rule change was made (since some markets will follow Nevada’s lead).

Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel Slot Videos

The game is a pretty fun one; if you’re nore familiar with it, check out RandomSlots‘ video of the game, which includes a bonus with a Mini progressive win:

Here is a video from All Casino Action (formerly Slotlady) featuring the game:

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


  • This is by far my favorite slot, but I’m shocked that it is legal for Everi to deceive its players in this way.

    • It is a questionable design decision in my mind, especially when there’s an accepted standard for predetermined bonuses that they could easily have followed.

  • First time I ever played this slot I won the Ultra progressive, which was $1881 on an 80 cent bet. Ive played it a few times since then and won mostly Majors, only won the mini once. 🤷‍♀️

    • Hi Brittney! While I said the pick was weighted, I did not say it was weighted to the Mini, like an 88 Fortunes or Dancing Drums. Indeed with the pitchfork concept of eliminating the lowest progressive, it does look like the Major is where the weight is placed the most, from my observations. Mini and Minor, being able to be eliminated pretty often through that mechanic (which is still part of the predetermined flow), means they aren’t won as often.

      • I’ve played this game religiously last few months and your theory of it weighted to the major makes the most logical sense to me. I’ve watched the 8 game bar of machines as I’m playing with all seats full and seems you will always get close to the ultra or grand but rarely hit it. Even the workers laughed when I said oh so close haha. True pick odds would have the
        Larger jackpots go a lot more often which would probably bankrupt the casino haha.

        • Agreed Cody! Or more likely the casino would pull the game as not being a good game for them if the top jackpots went off too often and cost them money 😉

  • Definitely a fun & good one. Just hit for 1700 the other night, then 500 again last night. 🤑

  • Another interesting article and glad this has been addressed. For the most part, the majority of players on this side of the pond believe that progressive reveals are 100% luck and not predetermined – but I’ve always argued that this might be the case for a handful of slot providers – they don’t all abide by this ‘rule’. It would be better for the player and overall transparency if they could all agree on this aspect of the game, but I imagine that would be impossible to achieve.

  • Anyone know if this game is going to be made available in any of the slot mobile apps? The music and sound effects are excellent… would like to play this at home in true surround sound

    • Everi maintains two slot apps but the game isn’t available in either right now. They do appear to be beginning to add licensed properties like Penn & Teller into the apps, so it’s certainly possible this game makes it at some point, given its popularity.

      • Hello Joshua,
        Do you know why there is not a casino in the state of California that has this Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel slot? I am aware Nevada and Washington have it but why not California?


        • Games can sometimes be approved for some markets and not others. Same goes for the hardware that a given game can appear on. And finally, sometimes casinos just decide not to buy them. So it can be one of a number of reasons why ultimately, but usually, especially if it’s something you don’t find anywhere in a given state, it’s because of approvals of some sort.

  • I actually won the Grand @20k about 2 months ago at Lauberge in Baton Rouge.. no one has hit it since though.

  • This is my favorite game at HardRock. Hubby and I argue that Pot never spills til it’s actually full! Is that always the case; or does it pop randomly? I’ve only won $400 but I try to play it each time one’s open with a semi-full pot. Thanks for reply.

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