In today’s age of social distancing, gambling has found a new home: the online casino. But, how can a computer programme be fair to its users?
In the sections below, we’ll tell you all about random number generators—the heartbeat of a modern RNG casino that lets you enjoy the thrill of the bet from the comfort of your home.
Got your attention? Buckle up and let’s roll!
What is a Random Number Generator?
In essence, the random number generator software used by online casinos is a type of computer algorithm used to generate a vast sequence of numbers without any clear pattern, thus ensuring the randomness necessary for their chance-based digital games.
The algorithm immediately provides one of these randomly generated numbers when it is needed, and the game converts it to a tangible final result, be it the turn of a poker hand, the cherries on a slot machine, the roll of dice, or even a coin flip.
In their RNG slot machines, poker rooms, and other types of virtual games, online casinos primarily use pseudo-random number generators (PRNG), but some might even implement hardware random number generators (HRNGs).
Pseudo-Random Number Generator
PRNGs rely on human-made algorithms and shorter seed numbers to create large strings of random numbers. However, since these systems are entirely digital, they can be accessed and tampered with, albeit theoretically.
Also, owing to the cheaper costs of implementation, casinos mostly use PRNGs, but their random number generator for online games is continuously tested and licenced by independent authorities.
Hardware Random Number Generator
In contrast, HRNGs (often referred to as true random number generators or TRNGs) utilise random naturally-occurring events to generate numerical values like thermal noise, photoelectric effect, and even quantum physics phenomena that cannot be predicted.
Some online gambling dens introduce these HRNGs in addition to PRNG solutions. With the help of hardware designed to record the true random changes in physical systems, such as atmospheric noise, casinos improve the reliability of their number generation.
How Do Casinos Use RNGs Practically?
Say you are playing online slots and would like to know how the slot machine random number generator is responsible for the symbols you are blessed or cursed with?
Basically, each slot machine symbol is assigned a distinct value. In three-reel, ten-symbol online slots, the RNG generates a value of 1 to 10 for each of the three reels to create a random sequence of three symbols.
Should they prove a winning combination, you will receive the corresponding payout.
Note: The PRNG system constantly produces numbers so they instantly provide one when the user inputs a command.
Can You Beat a Random Number Generator?
Hacking the random number generator software of online casinos is virtually impossible. These RNG systems are designed to be impervious to manipulation by any interested party.
Official regulatory bodies, like the UK Gambling Commission, also ensure that online casino providers meet the strictest standards of fairness and safety before issuing their licenses.
Ultimately, most casinos understand that by playing fair, they will make more money in the long run since the house holds a slight advantage.
Having said that, the industry has witnessed several instances when the RNG casino systems were hacked and adjusted to benefit either the game provider or the player.
For instance, everyone in Vegas knows the story of Ronald Harris, a programmer with inside knowledge of the workings of RNG slot machines. He modified these games to pay out handsomely at certain prompts in the mid-1990s.
However, the house has also played unfairly at times, and Norman Clam who was playing craps at World Wide Wagering in 2008 can testify to that. He found out that the game provider has rigged their games to provide a much smaller payout percentage.
Are RNGs Fair?
The software used in online and brick-and-mortar casinos must be tested regularly by independent auditors. Such evaluations determine if a game provider offers a fair, fun, and random gambling experience to its clients.
The audit may include some or all of the following tests:
- Evaluations of the random number generator software
- Audits of the virtual poker tables
- Thorough inspection of the games and their mathematics
- Verification of the games’ payback percentage
- Evaluations of online sportsbooks
- Examinations of lottery and parimutuel betting systems
Gambling sites found to violate these guidelines, typically face large fines or perhaps have their licences withdrawn. Therefore, when choosing your gambling den, ensure it carries the necessary certifications from reputable auditors like TST or eCOGRA.
After all, randomness is crucial to gambling. Games of chance should be determined by pure luck, and in some cases even limited skill. All you can and should be able to do in such games is deduce the probability of an event instead of rigging the game.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the complicated topic of random number generator software and how it helps keep online casinos honest to their consumer base.
Remember one thing, unless you are a math and programming prodigy, hacking the RNG algorithm is near to impossible.
Just relax, click play, and imagine yourself at the casino.
Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers
Can you control the RNG at casinos?
To control the RNG production at online casinos, one would need to know the algorithms and seed numbers they use to generate their results, and then reverse-engineer the final values.
Do slot machines have RNG?
Yes, they do. Online casino slots generate new results every millisecond, and by the time you pull the virtual arm, the program has already determined the outcome.
How do you beat the RNG algorithm?
Unless you have inside information on the RNG casino system, in addition to the necessary mathematical and programming background, you cannot beat or ‘figure out’ the RNG algorithm. In any case, cheating of any kind at an online casino is a severe crime.