Slots: The Random Number Generator
Many slots or “pokies” players have heard of the term Random Number Generator or “RNG” but few realise the significance that it brings to their enjoyment of slot machines. A Random Number Generator is the integral part of any slot machine. Its function is to randomly select numbers which affect the outcome of the symbol combinations on the slot machine reel.
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What is a slots RNG?
In essence, the Random Number Generator is a computer chip which controls the outcome of every single spin of the reels. The outcome of each spin is chosen each time a player hits the spin button or deposits a coin. What most players do not realise is that the selection is completely random and, as a result, players often try to beat the machine with unrealistic and unattainable strategies. One of the biggest misconceptions is that the slot machine has a cycle that enables players to predict when the payout will hit. This is a myth which is left over from pre 1920s, when slot machines were restricted in their payout format due to the limited number of symbols and reels. In the modern age of technology, this is no longer an issue because the possible number of outcomes for each reel spin is endless.
How does the slots RNG work?
The Random Number Generator is a microprocessor which generates numbers valued between 0 and approximately 4 billion, with each number corresponding to the symbols on the reel of the slot machine. Every number that the Random Number Generator generates controls the outcome of the spins. However, the outcome can not be predicted because the RNG is selecting random numbers every millionth of a second using a mathematical formula known as an algorithm. This is a set series of instructions which ensure that the numbers are generated in a way which is completely unpredictable.
There are a number of spaces on every slot machine reel containing either a symbol or blank which are known as “the physical stops”. The original mechanical slot machines were limited to 20 or 22 symbols. Modern technology removes these limitations on slot machines, however, and enables more versatility. As online slots are not physical machines, they can have a vast number of “virtual stops” which mean that the possible outcomes are unlimited. This also affects the way in which the Random Number Generator selects its number each time you press the button. As the RNG is selecting numbers so frequently, if you waited just one second longer before pushing the spin button, the outcome would be completely different.
Why is the RNG useful to a slots player?
The Random Number Generator in any slot machine ensures that all slot players get a fair game with fair payouts. By ensuring that no one can predict the outcome of the reel spins, the game cannot be manipulated in any way. This is particularly important for online slots players.
How do I know that a slots RNG is safe?
The accuracy and reliability of all slots Random Number Generators are carried out by regulatory bodies such as the Casino Control Board. Online casinos openly have their games audited so that the public can see that they are providing a safe and fair environment for its players.