Computational studies have suggested that stochastic, deterministic, and mixed processes all could be possible determinants of spontaneous, synchronous network bursts. Using multicellular calcium imaging coupled with fast confocal microscopy, we describe neuronal behavior underlying spontaneous network bursts in developing hippocampal area CA3 networks. Two primary burst types were studied: giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) and spontaneous interictal bursts recorded in bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist. Analysis of the simultaneous behavior of multiple CA3 neurons during synchronous GDPs revealed a repeatable activation order from burst to burst. This was validated using several statistical methods, including high Kendall's coefficient of concordance values for firing order during GDPs, high Pearson's correlations of cellular activation times between burst pairs, and latent class analysis, which revealed a population of 5–6% of CA3 neurons reliably firing very early during GDPs. In contrast, neuronal firing order during interictal bursts appeared homogeneous, with no particular cells repeatedly leading or lagging during these synchronous events. We conclude that GDPs activate via a deterministic mechanism, with distinct, repeatable roles for subsets of neurons during burst generation, while interictal bursts appear to be stochastic events with cells assuming interchangeable roles in the generation of these events.