Last week I wrote about the term scripted bonus, which is an industry term for a predetermined bonus. The flip side is a true pick or free pick, which is a picking bonus where the player’s choice has a direct outcome on the bonus.
The Party series by WMS (revived on the Vacation series of slots more recently in terms of a picking bonus format) is probably the quintessential example of a game where there’s a picking bonus where your choices directly determine the outcome.
The picking bonus is arranged in a way where there’s some x number of choices with a certain number of outs, and so it’s mathematically structured to have an average bonus, a great bonus or the occasional blah bonus.
Some players think having control over the picking is better than a scripted or predetermined bonus. In the long run, like everything done in the math of a machine, the bonuses are designed in either format to pay out over time what they’re expected to pay out.
Scripted does it with those outcomes built into the possibilities of the RNG, whereas picking does it with the layout of the picking options and what can be won and when the bonus can end. Regardless of format, the payback is already calculated out before that game hits casino floors, so in the long run it doesn’t really matter.
Players often wonder how to tell if a picking bonus is a true pick. Traditionally, when the unpicked options are shown, that’s a sign of a true pick bonus (conversely, predetermined or scripted bonuses won’t show you the other options).
However, there have been a few examples where a scripted bonus shows the other options. However, this seems to be the exception to the rule, and it’s usually pretty obvious with a bit of logic when the conventional wisdom is broken. However, it’s still accurate wisdom in most cases.