The aim of online casinos is to provide a gaming experience that mimics that offered in a physical casino as closely as possible. Granted, there are aspects of a land-based casino that you cannot replicate over the internet. Nevertheless, most live casinos happen to do a good job of replicating a live scenario.
Thus, online casinos have an obligation to make their games run in the same way they do on a live table. And because no real cards or dice are being dealt or rolled, the outcome of these scenarios have to be replicated artificially by a software. This software is known as a random number generator.
The random number generator is the most critical of all online casino software as casino games are based on randomness. This article will discuss everything you need to know about a random number generator.
Casino games are based on chances. Winning or losing is a matter of chance, and this is what makes casino games so exciting to play. The outcome of a game is randomly determined via a roll of a dice, the turn of a card, or the spin of a roulette wheel. All these actions have random outcomes, therefore, making them nearly impossible to predict.
Nonetheless, there are casino games that you can have considerable influence on their outcome. An example is blackjack. You choose when to hit or to stand, and this has a direct impact on the final outcome. Making the right decisions consistently, therefore, gives you a higher chance of winning. However, it is impossible to be sure about the next card that is going to be dealt with as shuffling the deck ensures that the next is going to be random.
Casino games would be pointless if there were a definite way of knowing what was going to happen. Gambling is all about the unpredictability. Staking your money on the chance that you might win big or lose completely; this is what makes playing these games so much fun. Thus, without the unpredictability, there would be little excitement.
What is a Random Number Generator?
Commonly referred to as an RNG, it is a type of computer program that does exactly what its name suggests – generating random numbers. It constantly produces vast sequences of random numbers every time that it is active. It is typically used by other online casino software when they need numbers.
However, the numbers produced by an RNG can never be truly random as computers have to follow some sort of pattern. Nevertheless, the most sophisticated random number generators are very powerful. This is because any pattern that such an RNG follows is indecipherable. As such, such a random number generator serves its purpose by generating numbers that are, to all intents and purposes, completely random.
How an Online Casino Uses a Random Number Generator
An online casino works by utilising software that mimics actions that take place inside a land-based casino and then displays the outcome virtually on your screen. The displayed outcome has to be generated randomly so that it reflects the randomness that is innate to all casino games. This is where a random number generator comes in.
Whenever the online casino’s software needs to produce a random occurrence, it signals this need to the random number generator. Whatever number that is produced by the RNG at that exact moment of need is what is going to be fed into the casino’s software. And because every generated number is related to a possible outcome, the software will thus display the relevant outcome accordingly.
For instance, imagine that you were in the middle of a blackjack game then you decided that you should hit. In a land-based casino, the dealer will simply deal your next card from the top deck. However, an online casino has no physical deck where cards can be dealt from. As such, it will be up to the online software to signal the random number generator to give it a random number. The number that will be produced by the RNG is what is determines the card you are going to receive.
How an RNG Works
Without going into a lot of technical details, a random number generator utilises a complex algorithm that produces huge and random sequences of numbers to be used by online casino software. This is what allows online casinos to mirror the same level of randomness as a live casino.
Also worth mentioning is that land-based casinos also use RNGs in some of their games. For instance, video slot machines utilise random number generators to determine which symbol will appear on each spin. In the same light, video poker machines also use the same technology to determine which cards are going to be dealt.
Are RNGs Fair?
One of the biggest and most common concerns among many an online casino player is whether the game that they are playing is fair. It is not uncommon for them to feel that casinos use RNGs to cheat. Nonetheless, this remains an unfounded concern for the most part. As a matter of fact, the reason why casinos utilise this algorithm is to ensure that there is a level playing field so that the games are fair. If the outcomes are being generated randomly, then the results will perform in line with their true probability over the course of time.
It is not farfetched to think that some casinos may purposely alter their algorithm so that it can manipulate the numbers the RNG produces so as to rig the games to their favour. The reality, however, is that casinos do not need to do this because, as you already know, the house always has an edge. Thus, they will make money in the long run even after paying out lucky winners.
Crooked casinos that operate unethical operations are far and few in between. These types of establishments do not tend to last long as they usually get found out very quickly. Moreover, the success and longevity of an online casino depend on its reputation. Any casino that garners a bad rap is usually out of business within no time. This is why online casinos work their best to ensure they give their patrons a fair chance of winning.
A random number generator ensures that online casinos can successfully mimic a live casino. RNG software such as that used in casinos tends to be very sophisticated. This ensures that your chances of winning are not being manipulated by another individual.