Pseudo-Random Number Generators in Slot Games Explained

Alex Curran
By Alex Curran
6 Min Read

Casino gambling is a chance-based endeavor. That means that no one can know or be able to predict the outcomes of gaming rounds. No feasible mechanism can exist for players or entities providing a gambling game to affect how results get generated. That must get left to the miraculous nature of fortune, coincidence, luck, or fate, whatever you choose to call it.

There can be no degree of skill involved in casino gambling. Because if such a thing exists, the activity would no longer get considered gaming. For instance, poker is not technically a casino game because lawmakers have determined that expertise plays a role in the outcome of hands. That is obvious by a similar batch of people constantly making it to the final tables at high-end tournaments like those hosted by the World Series of Poker. 

Software casino games found at gaming sites feature algorithms called random number generators that ensure that all their outcomes get indiscriminately decided. Reel spinners, in particular, are famous for utilizing such software. Here are some slot game examples: 12 Animals by Nucleus Gaming, 2 Million B.C. by Betsoft, and 777 Deluxe by Woohoo. These titles are powered by state-of-the-art RNGs tested for fairness by independent QA agencies like TST and iTech Labs. In reality, in every gambling product where players go up against software, it is an RNG deciding who wins. And that gets elaborated on in-depth below.

How Pseudo-Random Number Generators Work

In short, random number generation is a procedure where an algorithm creates an arbitrary figure using predefined steps. The newly created number can only get reasonably predicted by people after the start of this process. Slots and all other software-powered casino games utilize pseudo-random number generators. Now, what are pseudo RNGs? They are software that randomly creates numbers, but their figure-producing procedure can be predicted by implementing a seed number. If someone is wise to the mathematical equations that this algorithm uses and the seed, they can figure out what new number will get churned out by the software.

Pseudo-RNGs work in such a way that they get fed an initial number called the seed. That figure must get predetermined somehow. So it is not entirely random. It gets run through a set of specific complex mathematical equations that create a new number. However, if anyone is aware, in detail, of the aspects of this procedure, that individual may be able to reverse-engineer this process. And the newly manufactured number is not entirely random. The dependence of this type of RNG algorithm getting fed a seed is why it is a pseudo one and not truly random.

How True Random Number Generators Function

True RNGs (TRNG) do not get a fixed seed provided to them by humans or one generated by math formulas, meaning computational methods. They usually get fed their initial figure by relying on physical phenomena such as amplified spontaneous emissions of noise in natural, optical chaos, ionizing radiation activities, gas discharges, etc. That means that these pieces of software use non-deterministic unpredictable biological processes as the basis of their random number generation.

Because the random numbers produced by TRNGs are impossible to forecast, thanks to their reliance on naturally occurring incidences with haphazard properties, the actual label is attached to them. That said, They are far slower than pseudo RNGs and can produce only a limited number of random bits per second.

The highest-end forms of true RNGs, also called hardware random number generators, use sources of practical quantum mechanical, physical randomness like the nuclear decay of atoms or subatomic level and thermal noise.

Why Do Casinos Neglect True RNGs?

The primary reasons are that they could be more practical and affordable. They are slow to generate random numbers and cost lots of money. Pseudo-RNGs are super quick and continuously create new figures even when gamblers are not playing. When someone presses spin, the number this software invented a milli-second before the described action gets used to conjure up which symbols will appear on a slot’s layout. And if the produced combo will be a winning or losing one.

Depending on the math model an RNG uses, developers of reel-spinning games can tweak its specificities, making it create different kinds of prize combinations with varying degrees of regularity. That means they can adjust a title’s return-to-player percentage and variance level. As most slot enthusiasts know, return-to-player determines how much of the fund’s bet on a given game it will return as rewards over time, and variance regulates how often prizes will get given out and in what amounts.

Most slot developers have yet to come up with new RNG algorithms for every one of their games. They merely modify existing RNG software.

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