Behind the scenes

Random number generators: The brain of online casinos

How is a winner really determined?

The bright colors, enticing bonus offers, and huge jackpots of online casinos are almost irresistible. Visiting an online casino is a treat for your eyes and is almost as immersive as a real life casino. One thing an online casino and a real life casino have in common is their use of RNG to determine the outcome of their gambling machines. While RNG just seems like a useless bunch of letters, but these three letters are what ultimately determines whether you win that big jackpot or if you walk away broke and defeated.

What is RNG?

RNG stands for random number generator. It is a computer software that randomly spits out numbers in no particular sequence, but there is a method to this randomness. There are multiple types of RNGs in use at casinos. Online casinos use what is called pseudo-random number generators. The phenomenon of pseudo-random number generations works differently than true random number generators. They are unique because they don’t require any external input or data. A pseudo-random number generator only needs a seed number and an algorithm to function.

Why is RNG important?

A pseudo-random number generator, or PRNG, will take a beginning number, usually called the seed number, and create a second number using a complicated algorithm. Once this second number is created, the PRNG will use the same algorithm to create a third number based on the second number. This continues on until the PRNG has created enough random numbers to satisfy the number quota set by the machine.

This information is important to know because if you understand how PRNG works, you can figure out how to get it work in your favor. But the only way to predict the results of the PRNG would be if you knew the seed number and the algorithm being used. Outside of this knowledge, it’s virtually impossible to predict the PRNG results. Not to mention that the PRNG works with a staggeringly huge volume numbers. The online casino industry works with PRNGs that use numbers with over 219,937 digits.

The History of RNG

Although we mostly think of RNG as being a modern day invention, it is actually a very ancient concept. Random games of chance go back for thousands of years to the times of rolling dice, flipping coins, shuffling cards, and the use of yarrow stalks. Once randomness became a computational achievement in the 20th century, online lotteries emerged who took advantage of RNG computational software for their virtual slot machines and games without a human dealer.

Is RNG Reliable?

It’s human nature to distrust computerized software with code written by another human when it determines our fortune. Luckily, there is a way to guarantee that you are getting a fair chance when playing at an online casino. Look for a seal of approval from eCOGRA. This seal means the PRNG in use has passed third-party testing and auditing. This seal is your best assurance at a fair game of random chance for that big jackpot.

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