Casino Random Number Generators – What is RNG?
You have probably seen the term RNG or Casino Random Number Generator mentioned in gaming articles or even on the sites themselves, but you’re not sure what it means or how it impacts your gaming. You’re not alone, most gamblers have very little knowledge on the RNG which is crazy, because in reality it is the fundamental basis of the actual slot or casino game.
For many online gambling sites their main goal is to reproduce the experience of being in a land-based casino. This can be a hard thing to do, but in general the sites have created an impressive immersive experience. To most players the realism of the games is key to their enjoyment, especially because online games have lost that physical element of the card being dealt, the roulette wheel being spun and the dice being rolled. How this action is replicated artificially can make the decision as to whether a game is played or not, which is where Random Number Generators come in.
The only time RNG isn’t relevant to how the game is played, is on live dealer games. This is because they use actual dealers and as such you still have an element of the randomness of a land-based casino. It is this area of randomness which is important to emulate in any online casino software, so to begin with we’ll delve a little more into why we need randomness before we go into what Random Number Generators are.
Why Do We Need Randomness in Online Gambling?
Most players enjoy gambling due to the risk of not knowing whether we will win or lose our money. The thrill of the win is seen by many as being down to luck, whereas in reality the outcome is all randomly determined by odds. The game you play will have a set number of outcomes and the one you need to win may just appear at the right moment for you.
It is a known fact that the ‘house’ a word used to describe the casino, has a built-in advantage which is called the ‘house edge’. In general, this means that the odds in the long run will be in the casinos favour. This doesn’t mean that you won’t win, because although the house edge has more advantage over the long term, players gaming in the short term can find themselves winning and evening those odds. The essence to our online games is that they are completely random, and this will ensure that there is integrity and fairness for both parties.
So, the key question is, how do the games designers ensure that there is randomness in their games, so that players cannot work out the odds to their advantage? This is where algorithms come in, which are the basis of Random Number Generators.
What is a Random Number Generator?
As we’ve already mentioned above, the RNG is an algorithm which is implemented into the slot or casino game during the design stage. Its role is to create random outcomes during the game, and although there are a few RNG formats, the main one used in the gambling industry is called the pseudorandom number generator.
The basis of the RNG algorithm is a seed number, there is no external input of numbers or data to deliver an output. Because everything is dealt with at the design stage, there is a higher level of security. The casino itself cannot manipulate or adapt the games, although it should be noted that algorithms can be hacked; but this is rare. This is because formulas can return the same output and as such, they won’t be random, so for example 1 and 1 will always equal 2.
Although the RNG algorithm is fixed due to its coded formula, the seed is not and as such it changes every millisecond. This is done by taking the last number, or the last two numbers and using a formula to create a new random outcome.
How Online Gaming Sites use RNG’s
Aside from the incredible live dealer games available online, your slots and table casino will be influenced by Random Number Generators. The idea is to create as similar an experience as possible to a land-based casino, including atmosphere and game play.
By hitting that play button on the game, you are triggering the RNG algorithm to generate a seed number. It is this number that will decide the result and display whether you have won or lost. Looking at specific games, if you played Blackjack, rather than a card being chosen from the top of the deck, a number produced by the RNG will determine what card you receive. For roulette players when you spin the wheel the RNG will select the landing number, likewise the same for reels on slots.
What we are all looking for is impartiality and fairness, which is why the RNG is important to both the casino and the player. You will find RNG’s in some land-based games, more specifically video slot machines.
Can You Cheat RNG’s?
Developers are regularly updating and making changes to their games software which will improve its security. This should make hacking pretty difficult to do, but if they determine it has occurred, they can adjust the algorithm and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
There has been an increase in players trying to work out when a win will land through the patterns in the game. This is known as volatility or variance and although it may work, it does take a long time and an awful lot of money. The need to repeatedly hit spin for such a long period of time can mean that the initial outlay is more than the amount you win, which completely defeats the object.
Are Random Number Generators Fair?
We have mentioned fairness a couple of times, but it makes sense when we are parting with our well-earned money. There tends to be an assumption that because the game is coded by designers, that the casino will always win over the player. Yes, there will always be a balance towards the casino over the long term with the house edge (which we previously mentioned), but the designers aim to produce a high-quality game which will please everyone. If the player never won, they probably wouldn’t return to that game, so it doesn’t benefit the casino or game designer to cheat. By the fact that the outcome is completely random, then the result of your play should correlate in line with their true probability over a number of spins.
It’s also important to note that all casinos are regulated, and games are tested via third party agencies to ensure fairness. If you look towards the bottom of the specific gambling site you have chosen, then you should see a seal of approval which will certify that the site and its games have been checked by an independent auditor. Normally when you click on the seal it will transfer you through to the auditor’s site where reports of the audit will be displayed for transparency.
Summary of Casino Random Number Generators – What is an RNG in online gambling
Now you know what Random Number Generators are, you will see how both the game designers and casinos ensure that we not only have fun, but it is also fair. Although they may not seem relevant, the RNG will impact your gambling time and adds to the thrill of not knowing if we will win or lose. How that randomness is coded will remain a secret and it’s exactly how we want it to be.
If you feel there is an issue with any of the slot or casino games that you play, then we would initially recommend that you take it to the casino themselves. Should you have no luck then you can always inform regulatory bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission, who can investigate the matter.