This question came in recently to the site, and as something I’ve never addressed on here, was a good one to take up:
Hi, just wanted to say your site has a ton of great info. I’ve sent it to many people since you seem to cover just about everything well.
One question for you regarding stopping the reels. Are there any slots where stopping the reels actually regenerates the random number generator (RNG)? Eg. Not change your chances of winning overall but results in a different outcome? Or every single slot uses the result from the initial button press, and if so is there any good reason why? Thanks!
The process of the RNG and the start of the spin is fairly entrenched in a variety of ways. For regulators and gaming rules, it’s a pretty standard expectation that the outcome is determined when the wager is placed, which is at the start of the spin.
By connecting the actual wager to the outcome, it links the bet more strongly to the player’s action, and eliminates any thought that the slot machine is a skill game that can be stopped to a bonus or big win; indeed, more and more pay tables are specifically calling this out now.
For practical purposes, manufacturers also leverage this sequence for other things, like being able to offer a tell, like an animation happening before a bonus or a big win, or even on some of the old mechanical reel machines being able to have the reels come to a stop more slowly, or spin around weirdly. It also means the outcome is established if someone speed stops the reels, so it knows what it needs to do.
But to answer your question directly, regulations and how a slot machine must operate, and an acceptance in the industry of this as a standard practice, is why slots are consistent about that part of their operation.
Now, not every RNG setup is the same, as previous conversations around reels first vs. prize first slots has covered, but the act of hitting play and calling the RNG at the start of the spin remains consistent across approaches.