Slots Random Number Generator
There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the otherwise simple slot machines. How do they work? On one hand, casinos want you to think that the matter is much more complicated than it actually is. On the other hand, you want to believe that the stories and myths people tell you are true, so you close your eyes to reality and instead thrive in the illusion. This is to be expected, of course. However, sheer belief will not get you far when it comes to gambling. The more you believe the misconceptions, the more likely you are to throw your money away.
Slots and the Misconceptions Surrounding Them
We have always said that knowledge is power. The better you understand something, the more control you have over it. This is especially true for gambling. Most gambling enthusiasts know full well what they are doing when they approach the craps or blackjack tables. They understand the game. They know the good bets and the bad bets. They know when to gamble and when to save their money. And most of all – they always know when to quit.
Things tend to be a bit different around the slots, though. People have no idea how the machines work; they don’t know what their chance of winning is and they don’t know when to bet and when to save their money. All they know is that last time they were close to beating the game and now they are going to try again because this time it will be a certain victory. It is a truly nice notion – that you are getting closer; a few more coins and you will get the jackpot. It is a common sight at casinos – people trying to win for hours on end and fail every time but keep betting because they genuinely believe next time they will get it. However, it is depressing to see the disappointment in their eyes as they leave the slot machine with empty pockets in the end.
All of this is caused by a lack of knowledge. The less you know, the more likely you are to believe the ridiculous ideas people throw at you. This article aims at fixing that by explaining how slots really function. Let’s begin by explaining the random nature of the game and how things work so you are no longer led to believe that you have a bigger chance than you actually do.
The Old Days Of Slots
In the olden days of mechanical reels, the “stops” (the eventual symbols you get after pulling the lever) were weighted. This means that some of them used to be more likely to be hit than others. If that weren’t the case, then too many people would have been winning because of the sheer volume of games played. This is how the machines were manufactured. It was legal because in the end it still laid on the grounds of the random principle.
Today, things aren’t that much different even though we work within the digital spectrum. In modern machines the chances are encoded onto chips placed by the manufacturer. If a certain number is hit (chosen at random from the random number generator at the precise moment someone presses the button), then that number corresponds on a symbol or a combination of symbols.
How Does the Random Number Generation Work?
All virtual casino games today, including slots, video poker, as well as online poker, blackjack, and roulette, have a Random Number Generator or RNG built into them. It is a complex piece of software used for a variety of purposes such as computer simulations, statistical sampling, and even cryptography. Its application in gambling is also invaluable since game developers look for ways to recreate the real-life randomness of the games. This guarantees that the outcome of each spin of the reels or game round is always random, unpredictable, and therefore, fair.
Psuedo Random Number Generators
In physical casino games, the dice, the roulette wheel, or the shuffling of the cards are different randomizing devices. Since they cannot be used in virtual games, software engineers have decided to replace them with one or more RNGs within the games. However, true RNG devices are extremely complicated and difficult to apply for everyday purposes such as gambling – the are often based on some physical phenomenon or action. This is why pseudo-random number generators (PRNG) are used instead.
They are algorithms that use mathematical formulas to produce sequences of numbers that appear random. The series of numbers are predetermined by a fixed value known as key or seed value. If we know the seed, we can theoretically reproduce the long sequences of numbers generated by the algorithm, which is why physical, true RNGs are preferred over PRNGs in cryptography, for instance. Modern pseudo-RNGs are so good, however, that the outcomes they produce seem just as random as a throw of a dice. So, for the purposes of gaming software development, such PRNGs are considered satisfactory and have become standard.
How Random Numbers Select the Symbols
When you press the Spin button, the random number generated by the RNG determines the symbols you will see on the screen. Picture a standard slot with 5 reels and 3 rows where we have 15 positions the symbols can appear. The game features 10 different types of symbols and winning combinations can be formed by getting 3 or more identical symbols on one of several predetermined lines on the reels (known as paylines).
This is the information we know but there is a lot we do not know such as – are all symbols equally likely to appear on the screen; are the probabilities for each combination the same; are all five reels equally likely to show certain symbols; and many others. As you can see, it is impossible to calculate the odds for each winning combination. However, there are more numbers for the unfavorable combinations than there are for the favorable ones. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, though – after all, slots are casinos’ main source of income.
The Significance of RNG in Slots
It is in the interest of the players to know that the odds are against them and that there can’t be a system to beat them. After all, how do you beat a random number generator? In physical games, we can manipulate some of the mechanical devices that are responsible for the function of the slot machine. We can also take advantage of a biased roulette wheel, an imperfect shuffle of the cards, or learn how to throw the pair of dice so they always land on a number we have chosen.
The introduction of random number generators changed all this and is quite possibly one of the most significant advances in the development of casino games and in the gambling industry as a whole. The use of RNG in slots is beneficial to both players and casino operators. Players can rest assured that they play a fair game and that their win or loss is simply a result of pure chance.
Casinos, on the other hand, can be certain that the games they offer cannot be rigged or hacked by anyone – even if they have several very lucky patrons who win the jackpot within minutes of each other, there will be thousands of people who will lose money at the same time. In the long run, casinos are guaranteed their profits without having to worry about advantage players and cheaters.
How RNG Affects Slots Play
There are also a few important consequences of using RNG in slot games. First of all, the outcome of each spin is determined the millisecond we press the Spin button – the moving reels we see on the screen are added just for their entertainment value. So, there is no need to engage in superstitious rituals and believe in lucky charms while the reels are spinning. You have already won or lost – you just do not know it.
Second of all, each spin of the reels is independent of the past and future ones. The RNG generates a number each time we press the button of the game and each time, this number is completely random and cannot be used to predict future outcomes. In other words, the odds of the game are exactly the same in each round – of course, we do not know them, but this is another issue we have already explained above.
The last thing players need to understand about slot games is that they should not rely on the notion of winning or losing streaks. If we lose 10 times in a row, we should not expect to win the next round. Wins do not follow losses and vice versa – the number of wins and losses will not eventually balance out. Of course, winning and losing streaks do exist but they occur as a result of chance and cannot be predicted or used as a basis for devising a gaming strategy.