Online casino games have improved a lot over the years. New slots are completely different from their older counterparts – the classic fruit machines. One of the differences is the use of random number generator, which assures absolute fairness in the game’s payouts. You’ve probably heard of this mysterious program before, working ‘behind the reels' as you’re spinning them. But do you know what it really is? Here’s all the truth behind the random number generator (RNG).
Actually, there is no single random number generator that is behind all and every slot game. It’s just the type of an algorithm that generates random numbers, i.e. game outcomes. In fact, developers and casinos use different RNGs, all producing more or less the same result (number generation, that is). On top of that, it’s not just slots that use RNG. Other casino games also use it, be it table games like blackjack or roulette, poker or scratch cards. As long as there are no live dealers involved, RNG is bound to be running the show. Let’s take a deeper look into the random number generator and how it works. Don’t worry, we’ll keep the maths out of this!
How RNG Works In Online Casino Games
The random number generator is a program that generates numbers thanks to a complex algorithm. This algorithm creates numbers that can be as high as a few billion. Depending on the game, this number is then filtered through a couple of mathematical operations such as division or subtraction. The result represents a certain in-game symbol, be it a symbol on the reels or a card in video poker.
As soon as that happens, a new number is generated from one or a few previous numbers. In other words, every number generated becomes a seed number or, simply, a basis for the next one. All this happens in less than a millisecond. So, a random number generator creates thousands of numbers in a blink of an eye — every single second.
RNGs don't just generate numbers when you press the spin button. They work constantly, providing a never-ending flow of random numbers into the game. As you press ‘spin,’ the slot instantly decides what symbols will land according to the numbers that were generated for each position that very moment. The spinning animation is only an effect, so it doesn’t matter whether you watch it spin or play on turbo mode.
Since lots of numbers are created every second, high paying combinations occur often as well. The problem is that there are much more non-paying combinations in-between. So, even if there’s a number sequence that represents a jackpot coming up every minute, stopping the flow at the right time is more difficult than it sounds.
Random Number Generator Isn’t Really Random
As already said, each RNG’s generation comes from seed numbers (previously generated numbers). Therefore, it’s not really random and is theoretically predictable. In practice, however, it’s going too fast to even venture a guess. Besides, the speed that this program creates numbers varies as well, so you can’t really calculate the outcome at any given moment.
On the other hand, it’s all based on maths and the way numbers add up or subtract isn't random. The same numbers in the same operation always yield the same result. In this sense, the program we’re talking about is actually a pseudo-random number generator. There’s no need to be concerned, though. Despite the theory, it’s 0.00001% possible to use random number generators to one’s own benefit. That or even less, we'd say, unless you're Einstein in disguise?
Are Video Slots That Use RNG Really Fair And Safe?
It would take a determined specialist to rig an RNG. So, if your favourite slot uses RNG (and it does), you can be sure that that games you're playing are indeed fair and safe. Well, unless it was rigged by the people that developed it in the first place or casino operators had them modified to increase the game’s house edge.
However, trusted developers and casinos don’t offer games that are unfair. All the software is tested multiple times by various third-party auditors. If a game was rigged, it wouldn’t come through to the users at online casinos.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself from unfair software is to avoid suspicious, or rogue, casinos. Stay away from those that have no licences from the UK Gambling Commission or other regulatory bodies. Also, don’t play games that seem to never pay out or return substantially less than you’d like. There are so many games on offer, so playing the ones that don’t bring you joy is simply not worth it.