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What is RNG and How It is Used by Online Casinos

Online casinos have grown in popularity during recent years, especially during the global pandemic. However, as online gambling activity has increased, the need for a secure and fair randomization system is evident. RNG, also known as random number generation, is the process of generating a random set of numbers with seemingly no distinguishable pattern. RNG is not only used for online gambling but also games, cryptography and more.

As mentioned, RNG appears in online casino roulette, as well as other classic casino games online. What this means is that every time you spin the wheel, random and arbitrary numbers are generated, which determine whether you will finish the game with sizeable rewards.

But what other RNG use cases are there? Let’s talk about how exactly RNG works and why it is crucial for online casinos in particular.

How does RNG work?

There are two main types of random number generation: true RNG and pseudo RNG. True random number generators (TRNG) include some physical process to generate numbers. This may include the noise level, temperature level of a room and other variables. TRNGs are typically used when the numbers being random is an absolute must, otherwise the extra power expenditure and cost of TRNGs are not worth it.

Pseudo random number generators (PRNG) uses software and algorithms to generate a set of random numbers. The flaw with PRNGs is that software can never truly generate a random set of numbers. However, PRNGs are valuable due to their speed and the difficulty to even figure out the specific algorithm used. An alternative way to name PRNGs is deterministic random bit generators (DRBG).

Here are some direct comparisons between TRNGs and PRNGS:

  • Cost: PRNGs are much more cost efficient than TRNGs, due to the number generation being run by an algorithm.
  • Reliability: TRNGs are known to be more reliable, since the numbers generated are based on unpredictable, physical factors. Even so, statisticians must consider whether a supposed TRNG can ever be 100% random.
  • Speed: One benefit of PRNGs is that they are faster than TRNGs since they utilize software and are not reliant on hardware. The fast speed makes PRNGs much better for repeated testing and simulations.
  • Power usage: A downside of TRNGs is that they are not very power efficient, and require the constant use of power due to using physical elements for RNG.

What are some general use cases for RNG?

RNG isn’t only used for security reasons. Many games utilize random number generation for loot drops, mob encounters and more. A good example of this is Minecraft, which uses RNG for almost every single element of the game (biomes, terrain generation, mob spawns, etc.). Without RNG, all games would be linear and have a stale gameplay loop.

Contrary to what many may think, cryptographically secure PRNGs are favored over TRNGs for encryption. There are a few reasons for this, the main ones being that it is more affordable and malicious users cannot easily guess the encryption anyway. The only flaw is that using PRNGs will never give you a completely random output, but this is negligible considering all the factors.

Computer simulations feature RNG to imitate real world behaviors as closely as possible. For example, using RNG to mimic physics in computer simulations (velocity, acceleration, etc.) makes them more realistic. RNG is the foundation of all computer simulations.

Why is RNG important for online casinos in particular?

As mentioned earlier, random number generation is a necessity for online casinos. In order to ensure a fair environment, RNG must be used so the casino doesn’t have an unfair advantage over clients. Additionally, if a certain pattern can be deduced, then it can be used against the casinos as players can gain an unfair edge by already knowing all future outcomes. Most online casinos use pseudo random number generation due to its efficiency in both cost and power; this is applicable for all games that do not feature a live dealer. Live dealer games are when the casino is at a physical location and streaming a live game, allowing users to input their real-time decision virtually. With that being said, PRNGs can still be used in some form for live games (such as automatic card shuffling) to speed things up.

Online roulette is a great example of how crucial RNG is (or in this case, more specifically PRNG). Roulette is one of the most popular casino games and the premise of it is simple: players place bets on where they think the ball will land; this can vary from simply the color to a specific number with various payouts. Once bets are placed, the ball is then placed on a spinning wheel.

In the case of online roulette, where the ball will land is completely determined by RNG. It must accurately represent the randomness of roulette in real life. When engaging in online gambling, make sure to play responsibility and never bet money that you are not willing to lose.