How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Random Number Generator

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Random Number Generator

December 10, 2015.

A lot of people like to talk about winning secrets. Things you can do to turn the odds in your favour. It makes sense; no one WANTS to lose.

But like life itself, gambling is only enjoyable when you can let go and take what happens in stride.

Trying to control your luck: a recipe for failure

There’s almost as many “winning systems” out there as there are online casinos. Name a game, and I can guarantee there’s someone who has tried to beat the house on it.

But they just don’t work. They never do. The only thing a system can offer is frustration.

I’ve experienced my own share of this early in my gambling career. Before I tried roulette for the first time, I wanted to make sure that I could win. So I used the Martingale system.

I bet $5 at a time on black. If I won, great. If not, I doubled my bet until I did win. The reasoning made sense to me: eventually you have to win.

It worked great for a while. Every loss was eventually won back, and after an hour of play I was up by $100! I thought I finally had it figured out.

But then reality slapped me in the face when red came up 6 times in a row. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have enough left to recapture my losses. And even if I did, it would be over the table maximum. I was frustrated. I felt duped.

It was this moment where I realized that I needed to re-evaluate not only my gambling, but my approach to life.

The art of letting go

Stop and think about the best things in your life. Your friends and family. Your accomplishments. Your fondest memories.

What do they all have in common? Luck.

Sure, we all try to prepare and plan as best as we can. But when it comes down to it, we’re really just doing our best with what life gives us. We don’t control when or where we’re born. We can’t force ourselves to fall in love, to have a passion, to create those magic moments. These things just happen.

My early experience with roulette made me realise that I was being too controlling. I couldn’t force my life to be something that it wasn’t. So I stopped. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was at peace with my surroundings.

And I realised that being happy meant going with the flow and just doing the best I could.

To quote the Roman playwright Terence, “Life is a game of dice. Even if you don’t throw the number you like, you still have to play it and play it well.”

Accepting the RNG

Terence’s wisdom is especially appropriate when you’re playing in an online casino. Because it doesn’t matter what you play: every outcome really is a roll of the dice. You just can’t see it.

The “dice” online casinos use is the random number generator, or RNG. It is what it sounds like: a computer program that makes random numbers. Every time you hit spin, draw, deal, or roll, the RNG spits out the numbers that make the game possible.

It’s completely and totally out of your control. But that’s what makes it fun!

I mean, really. Imagine if you could control what the random number generator gave you. Let’s ignore the obvious fact that the casinos wouldn’t be able to stay in business. You’d still be left with a predictable, boring game where nothing could ever surprise you.

My favourite win was when I hit my first royal flush on video poker. I was about to call it a night when I was dealt the Jack, King, and Ace of Spades. I held them, of course, and drew.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I figured I just hit another flush like I usually do. But those “dings” kept getting higher and higher. When I finally saw that $1,000 payout hit my bankroll, I about jumped out of my seat.

Moments like this can happen at any time, and you’ll never expect it. That’s why we play.

Be accepting, not ignorant

Ultimately, the best things about gambling are the things we can’t control. Having fun means being ready for anything, whether it’s a horrible losing streak or a life-changing jackpot. Whatever happens is going to happen.

Now that’s not to say you can’t improve your odds. At AskGamblers, we believe that an informed player is a lucky player. It’s always a good idea to read up on every game you play. Know how to play smartly. Choose games with good odds. But always remember that the random number generator has the final say – so enjoy it!