Casino Random Number Generation in online casinos

Random Number Generation in online casinos

“Random Number Generation Is Too Important to Be Left to Chance” is a phrase by the famous mathematician Robert Caveat, translated as: “Random Number Generation Is Too Important To Be Left to Chance. It is the meaning behind many aspects of our lives and a principle to which almost all online and offline casinos subscribe.

Any modern gambling establishment, like,depends entirely on the correct functioning of the RNG. If the oscillator doesn’t work correctly, everything goes straight down the drain. Moreover, any game can be “hacked,” and cheaters walk away with huge profits. The best part is that all online casinos do not use the real RNG but the RNG, the online casino pseudorandom number generator.

The difference between PRNG and RNG

Why would reputable online companies and large online casinos use a fake generation? Isn’t it safe? And doesn’t it contradict the basic principle of such establishments: every spin at the roulette or slot, every hand of cards, is random? Yes and no. 

PRNG is a sad and powerful software – a program – constantly generating random numbers. But it doesn’t work the way you think it does. The program doesn’t just come up with a random number; it does it based on an algorithm.

What is a real RNG?

Unlike a PRNG, there is the concept of a true RNG or True Random Number Generator. It is not software but full-fledged hardware (an electronic device), i.e., physically existing and connected to a computer. Such things are produced by specialized companies and are considered highly complicated.

The principle of operation of such devices can be described as follows. First, you take a physical phenomenon such as thermal noise. Then it is converted into a sequence of ones and zeros (bits) by a comparator (or other device). This sequence will be random, not an approximation to random sampling.

But the problem with such “machines” is their slowness. They work much slower than the PRNG. Well, since the latter easily replace the former and are well suited for the needs of online casinos, they are most often used. And very successfully.

Another thing to understand is that not all PRNGs are the same. They may operate according to different algorithms. There are high-quality algorithms as well as low-quality. The better the scheme, the more reliable.

Can the PRNG be hacked?

Theoretically, any pseudorandom number generator can be hacked: it is possible to understand the principle of its operation and predict future outcomes with a certain probability. However, in practice, this can be challenging to do. And practically unreal if the “permutation” technique is used.

The base numbers in the PRNG algorithm are theoretically predetermined and cannot be changed. But to protect the work of the circuit from interference from third parties, from time to time, the base numbers are replaced by random numbers. Unfortunately, it means the algorithm’s work is interrupted in one place as if it rolls 90 degrees. After that, there is no way to trace the results. Furthermore, no device will recognize a scheme where base numbers are often substituted with other numbers. There needs to be more time and computing power for that.

Of course, there have been precedents for hacking casino games. For example, the well-known story of Ron Harris, a specialist in the operation of slot machines. His job was to find bugs in their process. And, of course, the enterprising Ron decided to take advantage of his position and secretly won jackpots on buggy slots in Vegas.

As a result, Harris ended up in jail and couldn’t enter any gambling establishments in America (and the world, most likely, too) for the rest of his life. But Harris didn’t hack the PRNG; he found flaws in its operation. Modern analogs of generators are much more advanced and perfectly protected.

Is it possible to influence the output?

If you know this algorithm, in theory, you can find out all the results of PRNG. I.e., which sector will fall on the roulette wheel or how the drums will stop on the slot machine. But this is theory. In practice, everything is much more complicated.

  • Most often, each new number is generated as follows. It takes some base number (or several), the mathematical operation is performed, and the output is another number (the result) unrelated to the base number.
  • For the following number, the obtained result becomes the base number, and so on. And the operations occur all the time. And when we say the word “number,” we are not talking about 47 or 90; we are talking about HUGE numbers with hundreds of thousands of digits in each number.
  • The result is a long string of random values, which almost always passes the tests for absolute randomness. It means that PRNG gives unexpected results within certain limits (for a particular online slot, the limit may be the number of possible combinations of symbols on the five reels, and it is many millions of options). Also, PRNG depends on a specific algorithm and can not move away from it.

How did the old slot machines work?

If creating the conditions of true randomness of events is so challenging, how did the old slot machines work? Organizing a series of random outcomes is relatively easy in the physical world. It’s not for nothing that roulette exists in real casinos. The dealer throws a ball, which obeys the laws of physics, but its behavior does not become easily computable. On the other hand, it also can not be called truly random (as, for example, quantum phenomena).

But even this is enough. The first slot machines worked in the same way. They were mechanical, but in most cases, they produced unexpected results. In many cases, it was possible to “beat” them in some way, using flaws and imperfections of the mechanism, but later this problem was partially solved with the help of video slots. But when the operation of mechanical slots had to be transferred into electronic form, it was necessary to simulate somehow the random process of the physical elements of the machine. It is where random number generators came in handy.

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