How Online Roulette Games Use Random Number Generators To Guarantee Fairness
The growth in online casino gaming shows just how popular they have become. They appeal not only to keen players who have previously played in New Zealand’s land-based casinos, but also to many people who have never visited a bricks and mortar gaming house, but nevertheless enjoy the variety of online options available and the comfort and convenience of home access.
Players of video poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat can now find all of these games in virtual casinos. And not only can they be played at home and accessed at any time, these and many other games are also available on tablet, smartphone and other mobile devices, and so can be played in any New Zealand location.
None of this would be feasible without the benefit of a Random Number Generator (RNG). This facility enables online casino portals to demonstrate that all their online games are absolutely fair with each number created via an entirely random and unpredictable process. But how would gamblers know for sure that the numbers on their screen are really chosen at random? And is there any way of verifying this is an entirely independent process?
The basics of online roulette
All online casino games employ pseudo random number generators, as do many other land-based casino games too. However, they play an especially prominent role in online roulette games. One reason for this is that deploying RNGs in online roulette game environments is relatively easy because, as all roulette players will know, the game requires only one single number for every spin of the wheel.
So, using 37-number French roulette (numbers 0 to 36) as an example, each play requires the generation of one number from that sequence. The RNG uses software algorithms to generate strings of entirely random numbers which must then be converted into numbers which match the French roulette format in order to determine the slot where the ball will stop on each spin of the wheel.
Online casino game operators use random number generators to reassure online gamers that their favourite casino game is entirely fair. And in addition, this system also prevents any dishonest player from creating and deploying a criminal roulette betting strategy to improve their chances of winning. Of course, as well as protecting others who play the game in good faith, this action also protects the legitimate interests of online casino owners. Thus no player can consistently predict where the roulette ball will stop, simply because this is governed only by a software system. So there is nothing but lady luck guiding any gambler staking odds on the outcome of the spin of the roulette wheel – cheating has been entirely eliminated.
What is a Random Number Generator, and how does it work?
A random number generator is essentially a software program primed to output a sequence of quasi-random numbers. This numeric data is used to simulate some core casino gaming activities, such as throwing dice, spinning roulette wheels, spinning slot reels, shuffling card decks and dealing hands of cards. To perform this function, a random number generator employs an algorithm, which is a particular string of rules and actions used to generate and output the requested set of random numbers.
Whenever some form of outcome is requested, such as a roll of the dice, the software simply looks up the next available random number. That number is then delivered and thus determines what the result of that particular game action will turn out to be. There is no form of manual intervention, therefore the outcome serves as a completely random event.
Random number generators are used to facilitate every kind of chance event in online gaming casinos. But this same technology is also used to generate events in any virtual games, including land-based casino favourites like video poker and video slots.
Different forms of random number generators and how they work
Random number generators can be divided into two categories: software RNGs and hardware RNGs. Those driven by software engines are designated “pseudo” RNGs, whereas dedicated hardware facilities are called “true” RNGs.
Software RNGs use sophisticated algorithms to produce number sequences. At an ultra-technical level, a computer cannot be said to operate as a 100% random entity – some kind of pattern must always be employed. However, any software RNG will produce such a volume of sequential numeric material that any pattern used would be beyond recognition. Each number sequence is in turn initiated by a different set of numbers, known as the seed, and this too is a randomised process. Consequently, RNG number outputs are as close to being entirely random as could ever be imagined.
Software RNGs do not use artificial intelligence, and neither do they create number strings based on a comparison with previous results. This ensures that probability operates in exactly the same way in online casino games as can be observed in real life games. Over the short and medium term there may well be some statistical variance, but as in all forms of chance events, results over the longer term will always conform to the expectation. To illustrate this point: In the first 100 spins of a roulette wheel, there may possibly be more blacks than reds. However, over a sequence of 10 million roulette spins, there will always be an approximately even number of black and red outcomes.
Though pseudo RNGs require seeding, true hardware RNGs can operate without an algorithm. True RNGs are thus more likely to function using some form of predictable sequence to generate random numbers. That’s why psuedo RNGs are regarded as being considerably more secure.
Bots, algorithms and betting patterns
Though the layman may not always be aware of the fact, functions such as ‘track shuffle’ on a CD player are not random. They are simple tech solutions to avoid multiple repetitions of music tracks. Any genuine random function guarantees that 3, 3, 3 is just as likely to occur as 3, 2, 1 or 5, 11, 7. If subjected to the same scrutiny as an RNG, the CD ‘shuffle’ function would reveal obvious generated patterns over time.
By contrast, an RNG uses complex algorithms and random seed numbers generated every millisecond to defeat the efforts of malicious online bots seeking to discover any discernible systems at work. Of course, this in turn means that unscrupulous gamblers looking to develop betting patterns to make illegal gains are likewise thwarted. Without knowing the precise algorithm and the exact seed number used, it would be impossible to predict the outcome of any online game.
Random number generators are tested and certified by independent testing companies such as eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) to determine their fairness and legitimacy. These bodies use system analysis to inspect RNG operations. This requires the online casino owner in New Zealand or elsewhere to submit live gaming data concerning a range of online games, and which covers a specified period. To gain an eCOGRA seal of approval, data analysis must verify that results and payouts can be judged as reliable and fair to all gamblers.
If you want to try your luck in a casino which uses a verified and trustworthy random number generator, just visit JackpotCity and choose your favourite game.