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Random Number Generator In Online Casino Software

By: Adam Baker, Sunday May 19th 2013
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When a player is wagering at blackjack in an online casino the cards are not dealt from a physical stack of decks. The same applies to the spinning of the roulette wheels, the rolling of craps dice and the spinning of reels in slots machines. All these actions are simulated by the software. In order to ensure fairness of the game the outcomes have to be such that they cannot be predicted. The component of the software that enables this is known as the random number generator (RNG). It must be clarified that in the live dealer games popular today there are real physical processes that generate the outcomes.

The events on the screen happen in a simple and instantaneous manner. But the sequence of events within the software is slightly more complicated. When the event is set in motion by clicking the Deal or Spin button the RNG gets activated. The software generates a random number, which is linked to a particular event. For example in blackjack a particular random number may be linked to the jack of spades. If the RNG generates that random number then the software will convert it into the visual of dealing the jack of spades.

The process of generating the random number is based on extremely complicated mathematical algorithms. If the process is conducted manually each event would take at least hours if not days. It is only because of the high processing speeds that are available in computers, these events happen within a fraction of a second. The mathematical algorithms used by the software providers are subject to rigorous tests by the expert agencies before use. That such tests be carried out is a requirement imposed by the licensing authority on the software developer and the online casino operator. These tests verify that the numbers generated by the RNG are truly random. There is a two-fold objective involved. There should be no pattern by which it is even remotely possible to predict the outcome of a given event. The fundamental concept in casino gambling is that the successive events, like spins on a roulette wheel, are independent. Past outcomes have no bearing on the next one. The second objective is to ensure that in the long run the probabilities of events are evenly distributed. Each card in a shuffled should have equal probability of being dealt. The RNG is run for tens of thousands of outcomes and the probabilities are checked for distribution.

In the case of European roulette the RNG generates a random number between 1 and 37. The random number 1 would be linked to the number 1 on the wheel and so on. The random number 37 would be linked to 0. In an eight deck blackjack variant the RNG randomly arranges the numbers from 1 to 416 in an array. Numbers from 1 to 8 would be linked to the two of clubs and so on. The software would take the array and deal cards from it. Once the hand is completed a fresh array would be created. In a game of craps the RNG would generate two numbers for the two dice rolled. Each number would be from 1 to 6.

Once the software, including the RNG, has been tested and approved it is sealed. Neither the software provider nor any online casino operator powered by the software provider can tamper with the software. As a further precaution online casino licensing authorities insist that the RNG be checked periodically for randomness. Therefore online casino players can the rest assured that the games are fair and safe.

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