Nowadays, online casinos have become so popular that they are technically phasing out land-based gambling establishments. As the demand for online games continues to grow, several new online casino operators are making their way into the industry. These online gambling establishments do not only offer entertainment with comfort, they offer an impressive variety of games that cannot be found at online casinos.
Game providers have replicated and improved popular casino games in the virtual world. There is no genre of casino game that hasn’t made its way online. However, online casinos owe their success to the Random Number Generator. Thanks to this innovation, casino websites can boast of fairness and credibility. In this article, we are going to tell you all you need to know about Random Number Generators and how they operate.
Why is Randomness Important in Online Gaming
There is a reason why casino games are referred to as games of chance. This is because their outcomes are largely dependent on luck. Even though skill may influence the outcome of some casino games such as Blackjack and baccarat, luck still plays a significant role. In short, the outcome of any online casino game is somehow determined randomly. This is the reason one cannot always correctly predict the outcome of a dice roll or roulette wheel spin. If it is possible, the casino will be out of business.
The random nature of casino games is also what makes them enjoyable. The thrill of the game is derived from the risk of losing or winning money, without any control over the result of each bet. Randomness is also what enables players to win and casino operators to make money off their customers. Although the latter party benefits more from the random nature of casino games, thanks to the built-in advantage called the “house edge.”
What are Random Number Generators (RNG)?
In lay terms, the Random Number Generator is a computer program that randomly generates numbers. If you have ever wondered how shuffling of cards or flipping coins is done at online casinos, the RNG is the computer program behind this. The machine uses an algorithm to generate random numbers or mix cards. The algorithm is the string of rules which it follows to ensure the production of random numbers is possible. The use of RNG is not only limited to the iGaming industry. It is largely used in the scientific community. For example, cryptocurrencies would not exist without RNG.
How Does RNG Work?
The Random Number Generator ensures the outcome of online casino games is completely random and cannot be predetermined in any way. Based on the principle on which the RNG is based, it is impossible to predict the outcome of a casino game that uses this program. Whether it is the good old slot or table games, the result generated by the RNG machine has been calculated based on complex mathematics. Hence, allowing it to produce completely random results at all times.
The series of numbers produced by the RNG does not follow any pattern and they differ from one virtual game to another. For instance, every time you play American Roulette, the machine produces a number that ranges between 1 and 38. Whereas, in a game of Blackjack, the RNG produces a series of numbers between 1 to 52. The system is designed to understand that each number it produces has to be in line with a particular element, such as the rule of the game.
In this context, the RNG does not shuffle the card, contrary to popular perception. The machine only generates a series of numbers that corresponds to a virtual game. The RNG is also capable of doing more complex calculations. In the case of card games with several decks, the machine is required to deal with more numbers. Thanks to the algorithm with which it operates, the RNG is very unlikely to match numbers that it generates with cards that do not correspond to them.
As there are various applications of randomness, there are different types of RNGs. Online casinos use a type of RNG called the Pseudo Random Number Generator which operates based on a seed number and an algorithm. What makes the Pseudo-Random Number Generator different from other types of RNG is that it doesn’t require any external data to work. Also, this type of RNG is programmed to be constantly active. This enables it to produce numbers at all times which are transformed into elements in virtual games – such as a dice, symbol, or card number.
RNGs are not only used in online games, however, they are also found in every game that has a virtual nature. Land-based casinos also employ this technology in games like video poker, video slot machines. Both online and actual slots and poker machines are operated identically as web-based casino games. So spinning an actual slot machine is just the same as an online slot.
How RNGs are Regulated
Even though the RNG is a machine that is unlikely to make errors, there is still a question about its legitimacy and fairness. To protect online casino game players, there are third-party testing companies that specialize in iGaming testing. These companies monitor and regulate the RNG used at online casinos to ensure their fairness. All leading casinos are regulated by one or more reputable RNG testing agencies.
It is very easy to recognize online casinos that have met the requirements of an independent testing company. These casinos usually display a badge or certificate to assure their customers that their games are completely fair and random. Online casinos that display badges or certificates from reputable RNG testing companies are very safe to play at. These casinos can be considered trustworthy and reliable. You should also know that the amount of wager you bet or any other outer factor would not influence the outcome of the game at a casino with a fair RNG.
Independent RNG Testing Companies
There are two prominent companies known for performing accurate testing on online casinos. These independent testing agencies regularly check the RNGs used at online casinos to ensure the device is responsible for the outcome produced on each game.
eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance)
eCOGRA is an approved iGaming testing agency and it is also the most famous one in the industry. The company was founded in 2003 and ever since then, it has been improving its services to ensure online gambling is fair and safe for players. It is quite common to find an eCOGRA badge on the websites of leading online casinos. This company specializes in gaming certification and it performs system analyses on online casinos games. During the evaluation period, the testing company uses live gaming data which the online casino is mandated to provide.
eCOGRA tests the RNG used on various online casino games such as slots, roulette, blackjack, video poker as well as in real money mobile casinos. In addition to RNG evaluations, eCOGRA conducts frequent reviews on casinos’ payouts to ensure they are efficient and fast with payouts. An eCOGRA badge is a huge asset to an online casino as it is one of the yardsticks used to measure credibility and fairness.
TST (Technical Systems Testing)
TST is a subsidiary of Gaming Laboratories International (GLI). The company was created in 1993 and is well-known across the globe for its testing and consulting services. This company conducts RNG testing, audits on poker systems, penetration testing, live dealer evaluations as well as game payout verification to both online and land-based casino operators. Online casinos with a TST logo on their page have passed compliance testing and game assessment by one of the leading testing service providers. TST experts also offer consulting services to online casino operators as well as game providers.
Trust remains an important factor when it comes to choosing an online casino. The TST logo certifies that the RNG used by the casino is fair and can be trusted.
Still don’t trust RNGs? What are your other choices?
Even though many players are comfortable with the idea of RNGs determining the outcome of their games, there are still skeptics out there who prefer traditional casino gaming. If you are part of the latter group, online casino gaming is not entirely off-limits for you. Many online casinos offer live dealer games which are controlled by real-life dealers and croupiers.
Not comfortable with an automated machine spinning the wheel or dealing your cards? Live dealer games offer you the opportunity to play real casino games like you are at an actual casino. When you play at a live dealer casino, the operator streams live games from a dedicated studio to your PC or mobile phone. It is the closest online gaming experience to an actual gaming experience. Also, live dealer casinos do not only offer an equivalent of land-based casino gaming, they have a wide variety of tables which are not usually possible with RNG-based games.
Random Number Generators (RNGs) are not only crucial to online casino establishments, they are the lifeline of the entire gaming industry. Without them, online casinos cannot offer players a fair chance at winning. And there is no fun in playing a game, knowing you don’t have a fair chance at winning.
At traditional casinos, dealers shuffle decks to ensure the cards pulled are random. Blackjack dealers either shuffle using a single deck or loading a shoe with pre-shuffled cards. This act of shuffling is replaced by a mathematical formula performed by a Random Number Generator.
Apart from enabling game developers to produce more varied games, the RNG is essential in making virtual games fair. Since most casino RNGs are tested and continually-audited for fair gaming, you can depend on their authenticity and fairness. If you ever reputation and integrity of an online casino, check if they have a badge from a reliable iGaming testing agency. With that, you can be sure you are getting a fair chance of winning any game you play on their website.