Random Number Generator (RNG) explained
All casino games are a game of chance. There may be some games over whose outcome you have some influence, which adds an element of skill, but for the most popular games like slots and table games you ultimately need luck on your side. All of this is because the outcome of any game you decide to play at any online casino is essentially random. Every time you spin the reels of a slot machine, each spin of the dice and roulette wheel and each turn of the card is a completely random event. This is all down to the fact that most online casinos will use a Random Number Generator, which you will often see abbreviated as RNG.
Random Number Generators are employed by online casinos to ensure that their games, like slot machines, yield random results that are consistently random in every single spin. Players rely on these Random Number Generators to make sure the games they play at fair at all times. While it is sometimes speculated that a casino may rig their games, due to third-party audits the rigging of a Random Number Generator is impossible.
You are now probably wondering what exactly a Random Number Generator is and how it works. For the purpose of this guide we will now use the abbreviation RNG. A RNG is a piece of software that runs within the online casino you are playing at. In other words, the casino will have a RNG built into their software. It is a computational device, designed to randomly generate a sequence of symbols, as well as cards and numbers.
The sequences that are generated lack any particular pattern, which ensures that the results appear completely random. Because a RNG produces so many numbers in a sequence, any pattern is completely unrecognizable. In order for natural probability to occur for every gambler in every game they play, it requires a complex design of complex formulas. The RNG uses a formula known as an algorithm, as well as mathematical equations and they usually conform to expected industry standards. They are a series of instructions for generating the numbers. Each sequence of numbers is then started by another number, also known as the seed, which is also randomized. Probability will play the exact same role in online casino games, as it actually does in real life games. While there can be statistical variance in the short and medium term, in the long term, however, the results will be roughly what they should be.
Let’s say for example you were to make 100 roulette spins over a short period of time. Here you may see many more black numbers than red or visa versa. However, if you were to do this over, let’s say, 10 million roulette spins over a longer period of time, you should see that roughly there would be an even number of blacks and reds. When it comes to slots, the goal of a RNG is to make sure that from the moment you press spin on that slot machine and the reels stop spinning, they stop in a random position. These results can never be predicted, nor can they be manipulated regardless of what some players may say. An RNG is the key to getting a fair casino game, whether it be slots, blackjack or any other game of chance. The excitement of online gambling is largely down to the random nature of the casino games. While some outcomes may be more likely than others, you never know what exactly is going to happen and that really is where the fun lies and why there are so many online gamblers nowadays.
RNGs are very sophisticated pieces of software. With that being said, they do not have any artificial intelligence. What this basically means is they do not record any of your past gameplay and it adjusts accordingly to whether you have been winning or losing. Take land casinos for example; randomness happens when a dealer shuffles the card or where the ball lands on the wheel. However, in online casinos this randomness can only naturally occur when an RNG is being used. It has to be artificially reproduced, and this is done using Random Number Generators. Most online casinos will use these to determine the outcome of their games, and you certainly do not need to worry about the giants in the industry, because this kind of software will come as standard. A test of a RNG could involve a sequence of over three hundred million numbers, which ensure excellent functionality. Reputable casinos will make sure their RNGs are thoroughly tested on an ongoing basis, as they want to make sure their customers receive the fairest possible gaming environment. After all, every online casino wants their players to return to their casino over and over again.
In order for online casinos to ensure they are employing Random Number Generators that operate fairly and that result in mathematically fair outcomes within the various casinos games that they offer, they undergo auditing as we briefly mentioned earlier in this guide. Auditing is undertaken with a variety of certification programs and independent auditors. You can also look on the casino website to see if they have the Seal of Approval where you will be able to view past reports. These can usually be found at the bottom of the casino’s homepage. While you may not necessarily need to know how a Random Number Generator works to have an enjoyable experience at an online casino, you should now have a basic understanding of the principals of how the winning spins of the slot machines are determined.
We briefly discussed earlier that a casino’s RNG cannot be manipulated, despite what some online gamblers may say. This is usually the case that a player will say this if they have not won and will just look at blaming the casino. Reputable casinos cannot manipulate their RNG because they would simply lose their players. Every gambler wants to play in a fair gaming environment. If casinos were to manipulate their RNG in their favour, then they would simply lose all of their customers and ultimately be out of business. Online casino players would be able to use any set patterns to their advantage and use this against the casino. It is always in the casino’s best interest to keep their gaming environment completely unbiased. It is important to note that the whole point of an RNG is so that a casino cannot cheat their players. Casino games all have what they call a house edge anyway, so in the long run a casino will always win.
At the end of the day, some players will come out winners and some players will come out losers, which is just the nature of online gambling. Online casinos will make money from running fair games and they have no need to be dishonest. With that being said, unfortunately, there will always be some rogue online casinos on the internet, so if you are joining a casino that is not a well-known brand, you should also check that it operates with a RNG. We also have a list of rogue online casinos that you can check right here on AskGamblers.