All About Online Casino Random Number Generators

The whirling sounds, the flashing lights, the anticipation of a winning combination, playing games at online casinos is an exciting experience enjoyed by thousands of Canadians, we love the thrill of pressing the "spin" button, but what's really going on behind those reels while they're spinning, eh? What makes slot machines work? And how do those combinations appear? It's all about the software, powering random number generators, or RNGs. Understanding how these RNGs work is not only your key to understanding the slot reel combinations, it's your key to developing a strategy to maximize your winnings when you play them.

Read on to discover all about Random Number Generators

  • What RNGs are
  • How they work
  • Why they ensure fair play & stop cheating at online casinos

Slots: From Mechanized to Computerized

Traditional slot machines were originally placed in land-based casinos as an entry point game for casual gamblers, because they didn't require much skill or strategy. Simply pulling a handle to play--what could be easier than that? It was a winning strategy, and slot machines are still wildly popular in both offline and online casinos.

These original slot machines featured three reels inside, each sporting various images and numbers. After a player pulled the machine's handle, the mechanism inside, a system of gears and levers along shafts, kept reels spinning while the handle moved back in place. When the handle arrived in its original spot, a brake system stopped the notched disks attached to those reels, random generating various reel combinations. Each pull of the handle kept the combinations random and the odds fair.

Quick Facts

  • RNGs are programs that ensure that each and every spin is random and fair at your online casino.
  • These programs must be regularly tested by independent third party as a condition of a casino's licensing.
  • Look for the eCOGRA seal of approval to know that the RNG is tested and fair.
  • RNGs use complicated algorithms in order to achieve randomness, or as close to randomness as possible.
  • These algorithms use hundreds of thousands of different seed numbers, making them impossible to crack.

When digital slots machines came to be, they were designed to look like their original predecessors, but inside was a different process at work for random combinations. The mechanisms gave way to micro-chips, and now both land-based and online casinos sport computerized, rather than mechanized, slot machines. And instead of handle timing and brake systems to create reel combinations, slot machine software generates random numbers to give you a fair shot at a winning combination.

RNG's Help With Fair Play At Casinos

With mechanized slot machines, timing was what guaranteed a random reel combination and therefore a fair shot to hit the jackpot. But with computerized and online slot machines, the software programs a way for the same random combination possibilities to ensure a fair game. Before you even start your game, the software's RNG produces numbers at several hundred combinations per second to keep these sequences arbitrary. And when you press the "spin" button to start your game, the next number combination tells the program when the virtual reels should stop spinning. This gives you the same fair shot at winning combinations online that you've always been able to expect in land casinos.

But what are RNG's really? How do they work? Are they really fair? Read on to get the answers to these questions and more in our complete guide to RNG's!

Random Number Generators FAQ

What are RNG's?
Random Number Generators FAQ

A Random Number Generator is just a piece of software that runs within your online casino. Its goal is to make sure that, when you send the slots reels spinning, they stop in a random position. Assuming they're not rigged, RNG's are the key to getting a fair casino game online - whether it's slots, blackjack, or any other game of chance. Essentially, RNG technology is the technological key that makes online gambling possible.

How Do They Work?

Random Number Generators take a starting number (called the "seed number"), and then use a complicated algorithm to calculate a new, random number based on it. Then, that new number becomes the seed, and the same algorithm is used to generate a new number. This process continues over and over and, while each new number is based on the previous one, there's no way to predict what the next number will be unless you actually know what the original seed number was.

Now, before we continue, we need to mention that these numbers are huge. The most common Random Number Generators in the industry work with random numbers that have 219,937 digits! The reels on a slots machine have something like twelve options each, so 1/12 of the countless possible random numbers correspond to each of the possible casino outcomes.

Is an RNG Really Fair?

So now it's time to answer the million dollar question! As you may have guessed, a Random Number Generator is not literally random - each number is ultimately based on the seed number and, if you knew that, you could beat the system.

However, these numbers are kept closely under wraps and out of reach. There's also the risk that an online casino could rig their RNG or use additional software to skew the numbers in their favour. This is a very real risk (it has happened before) and there is only really one way around it: third party auditing.

So are Random Number Generators fair? Well, they are as fair as the companies that are operating them. The one and only option that you have to guarantee that you're getting a fair slots game is to play with the top sites that have passed third-party testing and auditing (look for the eCOGRA seal of approval). Other than the realities of foul play, for all practical purposes, you can count on the fairness of your site's RNG.

Should RNG's Affect My Slots Strategies?

Whether you're playing online or in one of Canada's brick and mortar casinos, knowing that your game is random is vital when forming your strategy. Since each bet is random and independent of previous bets, you simply cannot predict what will happen, based on past results. Thinking that a jackpot is "due" because you haven't seen one recently is falling into this trap, and it's known as the gambler's fallacy. Avoid it at all costs!

Start Playing Today!

So if you want to start playing slots with a Canadian-friendly casino that has already passed strict third party auditing, cruise over to the ones that we recommend here. Signing up is free and you can be sure that you're getting a fair deal.

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