As players trust casinos with their money, it is fair to wonder whether their odds of winning are fair. To get something out of the way, online casinos and physical casinos always have their odds in their favor, which is reflected through the RTP and the house edge of the games being negative.
Still, this value determines the long term payouts, so casino players wager money in hope that their favourite games will hand them a big win here and there, despite their overall odds pointing to a loss of funds.
What safeguards players from rigged games is the Random Number Generator, a computer software system that ensures that the games operate randomly, or in other words based on luck. Let’s see what the RNG is all about and why it is important.
How do RNGs Operate at Online Casinos?
Random Number Generators are software systems, which create a sequence of symbols and numbers that are impossible to predict, and are therefore random. Nonetheless, as these systems operate in a programmed fashion, they are not True Random Number Generators, rather Pseudo Random Number Generators (PRNG). All online casinos and physical casinos operate with games that employ a PRNG (online or an HRNG (offline).
The difference between a PRNG and TRNG is that the latter is truly random, while the PRNG’s are determined by the actual software system that runs them
To be honest, this is the best system online casinos can use to establish games that are rigged by a set percentage in their favor, but still random per spin. Developers do that by manipulating the seed, which is the fixed number numbers that runs the algorithm itself. Hardware random number generators operate in the exact same fashion for physical casinos.
RNGs are used in all casino games, just not in the same form. The randomness in blackjack comes from shuffling cards, in dice games from the roll, and in roulette from the spinning wheel. All casino games have an edge that is predetermined, as RNG based games like slot machines.
3rd Party Testing Bodies
Although a PRNG exists in slots and casino games, this does not necessarily mean that fair game is taking place. Owners of the above can rigg the software system to operate more in their favor. This is a common occurrence on the following types of websites:
- Pirated Games
- Unlicensed Casinos
- Casinos operating in Grey Markets, such as the US
- Not on Gamstop Casinos
- Blacklisted casinos
From the above, you can understand that the PRNG is actually a safety measure that can establish a fair relationship between gamblers and gambling platforms. If it operates as it should, then players are aware of the RTP of the games and gamble hoping for a lucky roll. To protect players and stop online casinos from cheating, licensing bodies and 3rd party authorities have sprung in the past 20 years. All licensed sites have to pay a hefty fee, which highlights that they meet the standards of the independent authorities, including the fair use of RNG and edge in their games.
But these authorities only review their licensees once a year, which created the need for more robust authorities to monitor the online casinos’ operations. These include:
- Independent iGaming affiliate sites
- Gaming Associates
The above, when they do test a platform will then allow the casino to feature their seal of approval, which should be enough to put at ease even the most sceptical players.
RNG vs RTP
Now, you should have a pretty solid understanding of the role of RNG in slot machines and casino games online. We also briefly touched upon the RTP, which is the edge that the game has in favour of the casino site. To establish this, providers manipulate the seed number of the RNG to be rigged by a certain extend.
Still, the house edge should not discourage you from playing casino games, since this figure is calculated over million of rounds on the same game. You should consider it to pick superior slots but do not think of it as a determining factor.
Where does Luck Come Into Play?
Picking up from the above point, the PRNGs provide players with an almost fair chance at landing a win during any point of the game. It is true, that the maximum payouts from a slot machine come out 1:5,000,000,000 spins on average – especially if they are higher than 20,000x or lucrative progressive jackpots. However, the randomness of these games makes winning almost as likely as losing.
As long as you play on a fair, legal and officially tested online casino, your chances of winning are pretty fair
It all comes down to luck, primarily thanks to advanced math and technology that have provided us with Pseudo Random Number Generators.
So, is there a 100% Winning Pokies Strategies?
As with all human creations, there is a point of error. Most players could not even dream of rigging the casino RNG, but an advanced hacker could potentially do it. There are reports of players managing that, although they ended up in prison.
In essence, as all software systems are programmed, they can as easily get hacked. However, the online casinos and the aforementioned authorities ensure that such errors do not slip.
Which games use RNG?
Slot machines employ either PRNG or HRNG depending to their setting. Land-based casino games do not require the use of a random software program, as their nature is random. However, when playing keno, blackjack, poker, roulette, roulette wheel games and pretty much any not live casino game, a PRNG will determine the outcome of each round.
- About the Author
- Affiliate Disclosure
Michael has reviewed and verified all information on this page. Having worked in the iGaming industry for over 8 years, he is the most capable person to help you navigate online casinos, pokies, and the Australian gambling landscape.