Most people are under the impression that gambling in an online casino is quite cool and above board because the gaming outcome is totally random. Well, it is and it ain’t!
That is not to say that online casinos are rigging games in their favour, or that the odds are heavily stacked against players. The issue rather has to do with something called a Random Number Generator. Deconstructing just what an RNG means is an exhausting, lengthy and complicated endeavour, but here are the important basics.
What actually is RNG in an online casino
The RNG is purely a computer program that delivers results ostensibly at random. There are currently different variants of RNG in the market and these are used by both offline and online casinos in their various games of chance. The particular flavour used by the vast majority of casinos are known as a Pseudo Random Number Generator.
RNG’s are designed not to require external input in order to produce an output. All that’s needed is just a seed number and a particular algorithm.
Every millisecond, the RNG creates new seed numbers and results by using the previous number(s) produced and then applying some programmed mathematical formula to this. Thus are its apparently random outcomes created.
However, mathematical operations are a certainty and not random. Thus 2+2 will always be 4, rather than maybe 3 or 5. Due to this fact, RNG’s are not totally random and sooner or later a certain input will deliver an identical output.
Due to this, as well as the widely known fact that the algorithms used by RNG’s are not infinite, RNG’s can be successfully hacked by those who know what they are doing. This is one way that an online casino can be bilked out of a lot of money.
RNG At Work!
Have you been wondering how the RNG in online slots works? It is quite simple- a value is given to each icon on the reel, with say, a dozen icons in total being available, along with 5 reels. The RNG then determines a value of 1-12 for every one of the featured 5 reels. This, in turn, makes for five distinct icons.
When these ostensibly random icons form winning combos, players are then paid according to their chart. While the above mostly works fine in theory, RNG’s can still be rigged by people with access to the system.
However, as long as there is no interference by evil-minded humans or rogue computer programs, RNG’s work out fairly well. To make sure of this, all licensed and regulated casinos are required to have their RNG and its software rigorously tested by independent 3rd parties and by gambling authorities.
After such testing, an online casino whose RNG’s pass muster are given a certificate and badge stating that the games on offer are “Fair” and thus “Random.” These terms recognize that there are no outside variables that can unfairly manipulate the RNG like the pay-off size, credits in play, VIP status and such like.
As well, such badges and certifications are a recognition of the fact that the casinos concerned meet the minimum stipulated payout percentage mandated in any particular state, country or territory by local and/or federal authorities, as well as the authorized gaming commissions.
RNG promises an unbiased casino experience
Well, this hopefully closes the chapter on RNGs. These tricky computer programs ensure that casino games are as random as can be and as long as they are regularly tested and verified, deliver an impartial experience for all players in either an online casino or a traditional one.