Have you ever wondered how the games are kept fair in an online casino? A lot of people think that online gambling is really legit because all the games you can play are random. However, this isn’t actually the case. But it does not mean that games in online casinos are unfair because most of them are really fair. They are just using random number generators or RNGs.
What is a Random Number Generator?
A random number generator is a computer program that reveals results seemingly at random. Whenever you play any online casino game, the results are determined by a random number generator program.
There are different types of RNGs and the most common ones that online casinos use are called pseudo-random number generators. These are unique generators because there’s no need to have any external input such as data or numbers to be able to produce an output. Algorithm and seed number are all they need.
Every millisecond, new seed numbers and as well as results are produced. They do this by taking the last number or two produced and then using a mathematic operation like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more to be able to create a new random result. However, there’s nothing random about mathematic operations and input will always yield the same output. That is the reason why RNGs are not really random. Be sure to check out www.safecasinos.org.uk to learn more about RNGs and safe casinos.
How are RNGs Used in Casinos and Can They Be Cheated?
RNGs are usually used for virtual games where there is no dealer. But they are also used by offline casinos for their roulette games, virtual blackjack, video slot machines, keno, and video poker.
The idea of how it works is that they assign a value to each symbol on a reel. For example, there are 12 symbols per reel in a 5-reel slot machine. The RNG would come up with a value of 1 to 12 for each reel and there would be 5 different symbols. If the 5 random symbols made a winning combination, the winner would be paid according to the chart.
In theory, RNGs can be cheated by most people don’t have the capability to do it. There are only so many known algorithms in the world, meaning, if there’s someone who knew what seed numbers and algorithms online casinos use, then that information can be used to cheat out of millions of dollars.
For example, in 2008, there was one online incident that was discovered. A guy named Norman Clem decided to track his wins and losses over the course of a year because he felt that he was losing a bit too much. He had recorded 3,200 pass and don’t pass line bets that should win 49% of the time. However, he did not win that much. He only won 856 time which is only 27%. That was too far off from the standard deviation. What he did was he posted his results online.
But that is a rare case and most online casinos do not do that because more money can be made in the long run if they stay fair. If people will not meddle with the programs, RNGs should be fair.
How are Online Casinos Kept Fair by RNGs?
Every licensed and regulated online casinos’ software are tested and the testing is done by independent 3rd party companies. One of the companies that do the testing is Technical Systems Testing which is operated and owned by Gaming Laboratories International. This company offer a full range of testing and consulting, not just online but as well as to brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling companies.
Some of the different kinds of services and testing evaluations are game and mathematics evaluation, random number generator or RNG evaluations, ongoing, RNG or game payout verification and reporting, penetration testing and full security audits, and more.
The casinos that pass the tests get a little badge and certificate that says their games are fair, meaning they are “random”. Passing the tests also means their games are not influenced by outside variables such as VIP cards, the size of the potential pay-off, credits in play, and more. Also, the machines meet the smallest payout percentages recognized by the local or federal authorities and gaming commissions.
The rules are different depending on where you are playing. For instance, if you are playing in states like New Jersey, the only required payback of their games is 83% of all money that cycles through. In Nevada, on the other hand, casinos are required to pay back a minimum of 75%.
Online casinos are kept fair by RNGs because each individual game or machine will never change without going through an extensive process. In certain states, if a casino wants to make some changes, they will need to notify the state first. Then, they need to use state-approved chips that have a paper trail. After that, inspectors will randomly check their machines for compliance. All of these are done to make sure that online casino games are fair and will stay that way.
Random number generators are indeed complex programs that can ensure online casino games are as random as programs can be. As long as they are not tested and not interfered with people, they will stay fair games. And just to give you a fact, RNGs are not just used in casinos but in other technologies as well, like in our smartphones and tablets.