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Digital Gambling: How can computers generate luck-based results?

Nobody who has ever played a game of cards with friends has ever thought about whether the cards were dealt randomly. After all, when playing with friends, the focus is always on having fun.

But the question quickly arises as to how this actually looks in digital gambling. How does it work, for example, in online casinos with blackjack that the results of the machines and also the software of the slot machines are really based on chance and are not manipulated in favour of the online casino operators? We explain how casinos work with the help of technology.

The random number generator (RNG)

The numbers that are randomly generated here come from the RNG. The abbreviation stands for Random Number Generator. The RNG is responsible for the actual random sequence of numbers or events. To understand how a random number generator works, one must have a corresponding mathematical background knowledge. The workings of a random number generator are extremely complex.

To make this more understandable, an example will help: Imagine a chain consisting of 60 light bulbs. These are connected next to each other in a long row. One light bulb lights up every second. If you now press a stop button, for example, the light bulb chain would come to a standstill at a certain light bulb. It is conceivable that a prize is hidden behind this light bulb, or not. This principle can also be applied to slot machines.

The decisive difference here, however, is that an online slot machine is not equipped with only 60 light bulbs, but tens of thousands of different bulbs are connected in a chain. Therefore, of course, no player can guess the light bulb behind which the prize is hidden. Of course, you also have to know that only a very few of these light bulbs ultimately conceal a prize. The rest of the light bulbs are basically blanks.

What are the chances of winning?

Of course, the above example is a very extreme simplification of the principle of a random number generator. It is important to know that slot machines usually have several reels running at the same time. In relation to the above example, this means that numerous chains of light bulbs must be switched on at the same time.

Numbers and a certain mathematical understanding play a significant role here. If, for example, 10,000 light bulbs work on each chain in a total of five chains in the slot machines, then the jackpot will only be hit if the corresponding light bulb in each individual light bulb chain comes to a standstill when the stop button is pressed.

This example shows how astronomically small the chances are of hitting this particular light bulb. At the same time, however, it also makes clear why the jackpot is only triggered so rarely. At the same time, other light bulbs also hide winnings, which in turn makes it possible for players to generate small winnings again and again.

All in all, however, the majority of the light bulbs still conceal rivets. This fact is also called the house advantage of the casinos. This is usually between 5 and 10 percent. For the online casino operators, this percentage is already perfectly sufficient for the slot machines to be extremely lucrative.

Is fair play possible through mathematics?

Of course, the light bulb example is not used in practice in online casinos. Therefore, the principle of the random number generator should be explained here in more detail. There are various applications so that a slot machine can receive a number. Incidentally, this is not limited to casino games. A whole range of computer programmes also use this principle, which has to do with the allocation of random numbers.

Most online games also use such random number generators in gaming. For example, the random number can be related to the current time. In slot machines, this number is then read out at the time the stop button is clicked and additionally combined with random factors and algorithms. For example, it can be the time that the reels have already been spinning until a random number is finally drawn or generated.

The same several million numbers are generated per second. Therefore, it is in principle impossible for players to influence the outcome in any way, as it is simply unpredictable. Because of this, however, it is of course also impossible for the casino operators to force the reels to stop at a certain point.

This rules out any manipulation of the slot machine from this side. In addition, the random generators are also monitored by the responsible authorities. This enables fair play for both the casino operators and the casino players.

Reputable online casinos

This also explains why it is so important to look for a reputable online casino with the appropriate licences because in reputable online casinos, chance really is chance. However, this does not mean that you should assume that a certain slot machine has to pay out a win after a certain time because no one has won on this slot for a long time.

Ultimately, each spin on the reels is completely independent of the next. This also means that the spins do not influence each other. It should never be forgotten that the luck factor always plays a decisive role in slot machines.

In purely theoretical terms, if a slot machine offers 1,000 different combinations, the jackpot should be triggered if 1,000 spins have been played. However, this statement is ultimately only true in statistics.

Reality shows that it can take another 10,000 spins before the jackpot is hit. On the other hand, it is just as conceivable that the jackpot is already triggered after a single spin because that is undoubtedly what the random generator makes possible.