When it comes to certain scenarios, such as a picking bonus or free spins, you might hear discussion around whether something is predetermined or not. In other scenarios, you might hear a player talking about whether stopping the reels makes any difference on your slot spin.
A predetermined outcome is one where the final outcome is already known at the beginning. For instance, the moment you hit spin on a Vegas-style (Class III) slot machine, the outcome of that spin has been determined, so what you see on the reels is just an animated outcome of what’s already been decided. You can’t stop the reels sooner and get a different outcome; the final outcome was predetermined by the button press.
Predetermined means no actions that follow it can have an impact on the already determined outcome.
Most often, the question around predetermined outcomes on slot machines comes up when it comes to free spin bonuses, or even more commonly picking bonuses.
There are many bonuses, such as the Dancing Drums progressive pick or the Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel picking bonus, where the pick outcome is predetermined – what you were destined to win at the beginning is what you’ll win. In others, the picking is truly of your own choice, and so “good picking” or “bad picking” will have an impact.
In many cases the slot will give you hints as to whether a bonus is predetermined or not.
Of course, it’s all mathematics so at the end of the day there’s not one “best” outcome, but it may take the stress off of some players if they know their picking has no impact on what they’ll win. Other players may like the fact that their choices impact the final outcome.
Now, as noted above, I said this is all related to Vegas-style slot machines. The reason is there’s a variety of other machine types where the payouts are determined outside the machine. Because of that, predetermined outcomes may span entire bonuses, because it already knows what it will pay, and is just rendering it out in the form of a picking bonus, free spins, etc.
But for a Vegas-style machine, some scenarios will be predetermined, and some not. It won’t impact your actual pays over time, but some players like to know what they’re getting, hence the use of the terms and why it’s discussed.