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Random number generators (RNGs) handle the underlying mechanics of nearly all casino games. Learn how RNGs are used in online gambling, and more, in this guide.
Random Number Generators (RNG): The Real "House" of Online Gambling
When you play at a casino, you never know what cards you're going to draw, what dice number you're going to roll, or what values are going to show up on the slot machine. While the odds may be stacked against you, they're not impossible to beat. And if everything is up to snuff, you should have a fair shot at winning each time you play.
Now, it's easy enough to understand how you get a fair shot with a deck of cards or a pair of dice. Random number generators (RNGs) are a little more complicated though. These are the algorithms that are used for digital games.
In a sense, they're supposed to be the formula that makes sure that you're actually getting a fair shot. But how do they work? And are they actually fair in the first place?
Continue reading and we'll walk you through everything you need to know.
What Is a Random Number Generator?
A random number generator is a computer program that prints results seemingly at random. There are various kinds of RNGs and casinos tend to use pseudorandom number generators. These are RNGs that don't need any external data or numbers to deliver an output, they simply require a seed number and an algorithm.
Algorithms are fixed formulas and this means that random number generators aren't completely random. There are a finite number of known algorithms, and these algorithms can sometimes be manipulated and hacked.
There are new seed numbers produced constantly. And this is usually accomplished by taking the last number that was produced and using a math formula to create a new "random" result.
Do online casino games Use RNGs?
All online casino games today use random number generators. Whether it's Online Slots, roulette, or blackjack, RNGs are used to determine the outcome of the game.
If you play online blackjack, the moment you hit deal, the RNG will give a unique value to the software. This value will result in your hand. This means that all of the cards that were dealt during that hand are random and pre-determined.
If you play a game of online roulette, the value from the random number generator is turned into a winning number on the roulette wheel. RNGs also determine the outcome of every spin in a slot machine.
Does Random Number Generation Constitute Gambling?
Generating random numbers on their own does not constitute gambling. This is similar to how flipping a coin doesn't constitute gambling.
In order for an activity to be considered gambling, there needs to be some kind of wager involved. Because of this, you can use random number generation for gambling applications. For example, if you won money every time an RNG generated an even number, that would be considered gambling.
But if there is no wagering involved, then you're simply observing what numbers are generated.
Does the 'Law of Large Numbers' Apply in Online Roulette?
Simply put, the law of large numbers states that the larger your sample is, the more likely your outcomes will reach true probability. So if you flipped a coin 1,000, and recorded the results, you would likely have more even than if you flipped it twenty times. Essentially, the results will even out over time.
While this theory might make statistical sense, it shouldn't necessarily be used for practical purposes. A famous example of this fallacy can be seen from an incident at a casino in Monte Carlo in 1913.
At a roulette table, a gambler noticed that the ball kept falling on black numbers. Because of this, many gamblers assumed that there was a high probability of a red number coming up.
The gamblers put money on red. It was black again.
They put even more money on red. Another black.
This continued until millions of dollars were lost. This is because, with random numbers, past behavior does not affect future behavior.
Do Casinos Cheat at Roulette?
While most casinos likely don't cheat at roulette, it is possible. For a live casino, they can put magnets under each of the pockets. The ball is also magnetized and can be pulled to a certain pocket.
Magnets can then be activated in order to attract the ball in certain directions.
When it comes to online casinos, the casino could simply manipulate the algorithm in order to get the outcome that they want.
Do Slot Machines Pay Out Less on the Weekends?
No, slot machines don't pay out less on the weekends. The results are random and so there is no specific time that they will be more likely to pay out more.
There are slot machines that have better payouts than others, however, and casinos can also change the payback percentage.
Can You Win on Online Slots?
Yes, both online and live slot machines utilize random number generators. And you have a possibility of winning at both machines. With that said, there are several things that you can do to enhance your chances of winning.
First, you want to choose slot games that have high RTPs (Return to Players). The higher the RTP is, the more prizes the game is going to payout.
You also want to bet the maximum amount allowed. This increases your odds of hitting a payout. You usually can't activate progressive jackpots and in-game bonuses unless you bet on all of the available lines.
By betting the maximum, you'll make sure that you don't miss out on any parts of the game.
Can Casino Operators Control Which Player Wins in Slots?
Although it may be comforting to rationalize a string of slot machine losses on a rigged game, this is most likely not the case. An honest casino, at least in America, doesn't control which player wins in slots and they also wouldn't have a need to.
Statistically speaking, you will lose more money than you put in when playing slots. If there is anyone who the casino doesn't want to win, they could simply ask that person to leave. This is a much simpler alternative to manipulating a casino game.
Is Online Casino Roulette Fixed or Completely Random?
Roulette is one of the most popular types of games played at online casinos. When the game is online, it operates much like a slot machine. The ball you see moving around on your screen is simply there to add to the excitement but it's not actually affect how the winning number is decided.
If you're playing with a reputable online casino then the game is not fixed. Most online casino games are developed by third-party developers. As long as you choose a trusted and reputable website, you don't have to worry about a game being fixed.
Is Each Reel on an Online Slot Machine Random?
In the old days, slot machines used physical mechanisms in order to provide an output. Today, slot machines are built to resemble old mechanical slot machines but work completely differently. Inside of the machine, a central computer is determining the outcome of each pull.
It's not the motion of the reels that determine the output, which is how it used to work. Instead, the computer utilizes step motors to turn each reel and then stops it at a predetermined point.
Step motors are moved by short digital pulses of electricity that are regulated by the computer. This is done instead of having a traditional electric motor driven by a fluctuating electrical current. These pulses move the motor a set step, or increment, with incredible precision.
In a standard weighted slot machine, the highest-paying jackpot stop for each reel matches up with only one virtual stop. That means that the odds of hitting the jackpot stop on one reel is 1 in 64.
If all of the reels are set up in the same way, then each reel on an online slot machine is equally random. And the more stops there are, the lower your chances of winning.
Is There Any Algorithm for Electronic Roulette in Casinos?
There are algorithms for every roulette game that uses a random number generator. You can usually find these algorithms by looking up their patents. It may take some time, but it's possible to find them.
Is There a Mathematical Way to Win Online Slots?
Sadly, there is no mathematical way to win online slots just like how there is no mathematical way to win slots at a live casino. When a casino wants to check how a slot machine is performing, they look at the drop. The drop is the money that is deposited by the gambler.
Each slot machine has a set hold percentage and a paytable that describes how much and how often the machine will payout.
Are Online Gambling Games Fixed?
Online gambling games are not supposed to be fixed. However, that doesn't mean that gambling sites always follow the rules. When you're looking for an online casino to play at, you want one that has a proven track record of security.
The most trusted websites are licensed by legal gaming jurisdictions. Reputable online casinos should post their security measures on their home pages. Their games should be approved by third-party auditors who oversee the software.
You also want to read reviews of the online casino and see if there are any lawsuits being made against the casino.
You also want to go over all of their security policies. You don't want the casino to be fixing the games and you also don't want hackers to be able to fix the games.
Are Casino Games All About Luck?
Some games are much more luck dependent while others require skill in order to win. For example, knowing basic strategy for blackjack can reduce the house edge from 2% to 0.5%. You can also use skill in poker to gain more of an advantage.
However, games like roulette and slots are practically all luck and chance.
How Can Online Casinos Cheat in RNG?
The algorithms in random number generators are designed to have a specific payout probability. An online casino could theoretically adjust the algorithm to make it harder for players to win and thus cheat the game. This is rare but it is possible.
What Is the Best Time of the Month to Play Slot Machines?
The best time to play slot machines is whenever you're feeling lucky. If you want to avoid crowds, it's best to go during the week when most people are out working. There is no pre-determined time of day, week, or month that is designed to give you better chances of winning at slots.
Types of Random Number Generators
There are two main types of random number generators. In this article, we've mainly been discussing pseudorandom number generators. As the use of the word pseudo suggests, these numbers aren't truly random.
Instead, these are algorithms that are used to deliver numbers that appear random. The difference between a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) and a true random number generator (TRNG) is fine but distinct.
Imagine if you rolled a die one hundred times and recorded each roll value. If this was a PRNG, then I would ask for a number and you would tell me the first number you rolled. With a TRNG, I ask for a number and then you roll to discover the value.
PRNGs are able to produce a lot of numbers in a short amount of time. TRNGs only produce an output when the user makes an action.
The Importance of Knowing About Random Number Generators
As we can see, random number generators are present throughout the casino experience. Because of this, it's important that you understand how they work and how they affect gameplay.
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