What are Random Number Generators (And Why Should You Care)?

Online gambling software relies on highly complex algorithms to emulate the experience of a real-world casino (just without the background noise and people spilling drinks on you). These algorithms include random number generators (RNGs), which determine various outcomes during the games.

How do RNGs work? What effect do they have on the gaming experience? Read on to learn about the science behind them – and the role they play in online gambling.

What Are RNGs?

Random number generators are complex algorithms that produce numbers. RNGs are the basis for modern artificial intelligence.

These algorithms are used in online gambling, password generators and other encryption software, training simulations for defense contractors, video games, and a variety of other applications.

Despite the name, random number generators don’t generate truly random numbers. They are very sophisticated algorithms that output a wide range of possible numbers.

Every RNG has a modulus, which is the highest number of values that the algorithm can produce. More complicated RNGs can produce hundreds of millions of outcomes at any given moment. They also rely on time variables, so the possible outcomes are always changing.

Since RNGs aren’t entirely random, anyone that has access to the code of the RNG could determine the sequence. Fortunately, the algorithms are complex and carefully encrypted. This makes it incredibly difficult for people to game the system.

Random number generators are constantly producing new numbers, even when the game is not in motion. The reels in slot machines at traditional casinos are constantly turning to produce these numbers. They work like this to make it more difficult for players to monitor for patterns.

Online gambling algorithms work a little differently. They use the current date and time as variables in the algorithm to help ensure that the same outcomes aren’t reproduced.

What Role Do RNGs Play in Gambling?

As mentioned above, random number generators are used in both traditional slot machines in regular casinos, as well as all online casino games. They generate random numbers, which correspond with events in the game.

For example, in an online blackjack game, a random number generator creates 52 possible numbers. Each number relates to one of the cards in the playing deck (assuming it is a one-deck game). These numbers are stacked in an array of set data for each player, which allows the algorithm to keep track of the cards each player is holding.

RNGs also determine the outcomes in roulette and other online casino games. Since there are so many different possible outcomes, most players probably believe that the outcomes are determined entirely by chance rather than a sophisticated block of computer code.

How Can RNGs Affect You?

Random number generators are very sophisticated algorithms, but they still have some limitations. Here are some things to be aware of.

Limited Range of Outcomes

Every RNG has a limited number of possible sequences, although that is changing as the algorithms behind them become increasingly complex. RNGs can’t produce the same range of potential outcomes as a live casino game, but they come very close. Modern online casinos can generate about 300 million possible random sequences of numbers.

Are These Drawbacks Significant?

Computers have never been able to produce truly randomized numbers, but modern RNGs do a very good job of mimicking them. There will always be some limitations, but they’re so minor that you’ll probably never notice.

Your experience at an online casino should be similar to that of a traditional casino: come up with a winning strategy, and have fun.

Have you noticed anything unusual about random number generators? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.