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Everything you've always wanted to know about the Random Number Generator

Aussies love their pokies!  And the fairness and outcome of every spin on a Springbok online pokies game is decided by software called the Random Number Generator (RNG).  The RNG is a computer thing and maybe you have wondered exactly how it works.

What is an Algorithm?

In layman’s terms, the RNG is a computer program that creates data at random.  The data is then converted into a number for online bingo, a card for all the card games, and a symbol for every Aussie online casino pokies game.  Well, that’s all well and good but how exactly does the RNG do all this for millions of people at the same time?

The RNG uses mathematical algorithms to generate the numbers.  The term algorithm is more commonly used these days because online search engines use them.  But what exactly is an algorithm?

Here is where it starts to get complicated.  An algorithm can be a set pattern that can be followed time and again with the same outcome each time.  A cake recipe is a good example of this kind of algorithm.  But this kind of algorithm is exactly the opposite of what we want from a fair online casino game.

At an online casino, we want complete randomness.  It is this randomness that gives players the confidence that no one is tampering with the outcomes of games.

It turns out that there are many different types of algorithms.  The type of algorithm that online casinos use follows a fixed set of rules to create a random pattern of numbers.

Randomness in Gaming

The RNG generator that online casinos use begins with a single number or signal.  It then follows specific rules to generate the next number or symbol.  These RNG never stop generating numbers.  Even if no one is playing a game, the RNG connected with that game is working creating new numbers at random.  Then, when someone clicks on “deal” or “spin” the RNG reveals the next number or symbol after a specified number of milliseconds have passed.

The set of rules the RNG uses to determine the next number may be to multiply the number by a random number, then divide it by a different random number and so on.  It is this set of rules that makes it possible for the RNG to actually produce numbers that have no identifiable pattern to them.

Inductive Reasoning

This is a very important aspect of logical reasoning.  It takes from what may have at one time seemed random and develops theories and scientific conclusions from the patterns that may have been observed over a short period of time or after a very long period of time.

The sun rises in the east every day.  We don’t know for sure how long it took people to realize that this is a scientific conclusion; we only need to understand that it is a scientific conclusion based on inductive reasoning.

The RNG creates numbers in such long strings that there are no observable patterns at all.  Not only is it humanly impossible to ferret out any useful pattern from the long list of random numbers, but it is also impossible for a computer to do this as well.  The RNG, as a product of computer science, takes the rules of logic out of the equation every time a player clicks on “deal” or "spin”.  It is impossible to use inductive reasoning to come up with a pattern within the set of numbers that the RNG creates.

Betting Systems

The RNG is sometimes cited as the reason why betting systems work.  However, as we have said many times here, betting systems actually don’t work.

The role of the RNG means that it is highly unlikely that a 1-1 bet would come up a loser many times in a row.  Because of this, many advocates of any of the popular betting systems say that you can always win a bet and recoup your losses from previous losing rounds.

This may work out if you make very small bets.  It doesn’t work out if you make larger bets because the RNG does, in fact, generate winning streaks and losing streaks.  The complete randomness of the numbers generates guarantees that there will be winning streaks and losing streaks.

So, betting systems may work to get you back to even money over the long run if you stick to small 1-1 bets but it cannot help you win in the long run in any other kind of bet.

Patterned Randomness

The world is full of apparent patterns that are also random.  Snowflakes are an excellent example.  Scientists say that no two snowflakes are exactly alike but each individual snowflake is a perfect pattern in and of itself.  Fingerprints are the same: no two are alike yet each is a perfectly intricate singularity.

The sequence of numbers that the RNG creates may have a pattern but the pattern is so intricate and complex that it is for all intents and purposes undetectable.  Thus, the RNG is the perfect mechanism by which online casinos guarantee fairness.

Certification

The only thing left in the equation to fully guarantee fairness is to have the RNG checked regularly.  The casino is always looking for any glitches in the RNG.  They do this to protect both the players and the integrity of the casino.

Online versus Land-Based Casinos

Every game at an online casino uses an RNG except for games in the Live Casino.  Since these games use a live dealer, there is no RNG.  Land based casinos use an RNG in all games that use a terminal such as pokies and video poker.  All games that can be played live with live dealers, croupiers, or callers do not use an RNG.

The bottom line is that gaming online or at a land based casino is safe and fair in almost all circumstances.  It is, however, at land based casinos that the unusual frauds do occur.  This doesn’t mean that a land-based casino is unsafe to play at; it means that we haven’t ever heard of the RNG defrauding an online casino.