Random Number Generator - All the Truths and Myths

Random Number Generator - All the Truths and Myths

The Random Number Generator (RNG) is a computer device inside a Slot, Video Poker and all other gaming machines of chance. The purpose for this device is to support the final outcome of each game play as purely random and unpredictable for fair, honest results. This gives all players an even playing field where no one has a winning edge advantage over the other in determining the outcome or when a Jackpot is about to hit. The RNG is able to create millions of combinations making it literally impossible to determine or predict the final outcome of any game play. It also sets the RTP within a specific range.

However, every player has their own personal theory on how the (RNG) works or doesn’t work. In fact there are some pretty wild and crazy ideas as to why a Slot is loose or tight and has literally nothing to do with the RNG or so the gambler thinks.

Defying RNG Technology

Talk to gamblers and they will give you plenty of reasons why a machine is paying or not paying. Trying to persuade these players that their reasoning is completely out there is virtually impossible. Listening to their irrational logic one too many times, I’ve learned to just nod, politely smile and avoid the topic altogether.


The question is why are some gamblers so determined to defy the RNG? One of the major reasons isn’t what you might think, rather we can owe it to being human. We are creatures of routine and habit. The human race needs to have a sense of order and it is apparent in our daily life through our routines. Even in the most chaotic, horrific or exciting events that take place we rationalize it through our own special technique of finding a link or pattern as to why it happened. If we didn’t it would throw the world as we know it out of natural order and that folks defies the laws of reasoning.

Randomness is not our favorite word and certainly not an acceptable final determination for the end result. After all there has to be some type of pattern for everything and it is up to us to figure it out right? Trying to outsmart the RNG, you’re certain you have discovered a predictable pattern that will indicate a Jackpot is about to hit and right when you think you’ve figured it out it shakes up the world order through that dreadful conclusion of “RANDOM”.

Common RNG Misconceptions

Determining when a Slot will be hot or cold – It is impossible to predict when a Slot will be hot or cold. The RNG is not set on any cycle and each game play has an independent random outcome. Below are some of the most popular myths and the truth behind them that relate to online and land based casinos.

Player wins Jackpot right after you leave that machine – The RNG never stops producing random numbers. Even when the machine isn’t played the RNG is perpetually in constant motion inside the machine changing every millisecond a new combination. Timing is everything and the chances of you hitting the spin button at that precise moment as the Jackpot winner is near impossible.


After a big win the Slot is done paying for a while - This is absolutely not true. Again each spin of the reels produces independent outcomes unrelated to the last game play. A series of big wins is what players consider a machine that is “hot” and is possible to have a good run of wins.

Picking the wrong Bonus boxes – How many times have you triggered a Bonus game and had to pick a box to reveal the number of Free Spins, Multiplier or cash only to be disappointed by your choice? After carefully choosing one or more boxes it seems that most of the time you miss the biggest prizes. Quit beating yourself because it’s not your fault! From the exact second you hit the play button the outcome is already predetermined by the RNG and your picks are basically irrelevant.

Hitting the Stop button on a Slot changes the outcome of the game – If a player stops the reels and lands a generous win it is purely coincidentally. Stopping the reels has no impact on the final outcome.

Not using your Players Card in the machine means bigger wins – This has to be the most ridiculous assumption. If a player is on a losing streak and pulls their card out of the machine and suddenly wins, it’s pure luck and nothing more. There is no secret code between a player’s card and the RNG that sends an alert not to payout any winning combinations to this player. By leaving your card out of the machine you are hurting yourself by missing out on great comps and promotions…so stop it!

The size of your bet affects RNG and RTP of the game – The answer to this is yes and no. It all really depends on the game played. Software companies set up the RNG differently for each product, while some games played on the lowest or highest coin denomination has no relevance on the RNG other games will and the RNG is adjusted accordingly.


Land based Casinos can change the RNG inside the machine – Most machines are preset from the software manufacturer before delivery. Resetting the RNG can only be done by the software company. In some instances the Casino can adjust the RNG in the machine but it’s not as simple as flipping a switch. The Casino must go through a lot of red tape by notifying the gambling regulatory board of the changes made. For the most part the software company must come out and make the RNG adjustments to lower the RTP.

Myths Related Exclusively to Online Casinos

Probably the largest misconceptions stem from playing at online Casinos. In many ways it’s completely understandable because a player can not physically see the Casino or staff. Here the player must solely rely feedback from other players and on the jurisdiction that issues the licenses and regulates the online Casino. The jurisdiction is an important factor in determining the validity and integrity of the Casino. Most jurisdictions have strict regulations and laws that must be adhered to.

After withdrawing a cash-out, the online Casino won’t let me win again for a long time - There may be some online Casinos who take away bonus privileges from lucky players who win one time too many, but having RNG control over game play is ludicrous. First of all it would be incredibly time consuming to target specific players and virtually impossible to link the player’s account to the RNG to give a series of losing outcomes.

The online Casino has the ability to adjust the RNG – This is a very controversial debate and one that is difficult to prove or disapprove. The common conception is that the software provider has complete control over regulating the RNG. Online Casinos must go through the software company who will make the requested adjustments to the RNG. However rumors have circulated for a number of years that Real Time Gaming software allows the Casino operator to make adjustments to the RNG.

The RNG is set differently for fun mode games and real money games – All games whether fun play or real cash games are to be set at the same RNG. Practice mode is offered not only to familiarize players with the specific games but give a realistic assessment of what to expect in real money mode.

When close to meeting the wagering requirements after claiming a deposit bonus the gaming machines tighten up – It would be an unbelievable feat for the RNG to produce lots of winning combinations and then cease all winnings when close to making the playthrough. The RNG is not designed to recognize a player’s wins or losses.


Blame it on the RNG

The RNG is a mathematical genius that is capable of randomly producing unpredictable results. The technological wonder device works endlessly pushing out combinations regardless if the gaming machine is played or not. Like a strand of 10,000 brilliant lights programmed to randomly illuminate one bulb stronger than the next every single microsecond………..which bulb it will be is anybody’s guess. This application protects not only the Casino, but the player for fairness and honest results that can’t be predicted.

If you think you’ve discovered some weak link in the technology of the RNG, your best to think again. Don’t get sailed down the river by some scam artist who has the secret on the best betting system that predicts the winning results. If you do I have some ocean front property in the desert to sell you real cheap.

If you are on a major losing streak don’t blame it on karma, the shirt you wore, the bonus you claimed or because you didn’t hit the button to stop the reels………place the blame on where it belongs, the RNG. And if you are on a major winning streak don’t thank the Casino, the size of your bet or the fact you pulled the handle instead of the button……..thank your lucky stars for the RNG that came to your rescue at the exact moment you hit Play.

  • Wow, if only everybody coming into on-line gambling could get to read this article as something of a primer before losing their first couple of thousand then taking to the forums, claiming all online casinos are rigged, and then having to sit through endless explanations of exactly what is written above but in a much less concise and clear way... Thx LCB!
  • All I know is that every time I hit something big, it has always been a surprise, spontaneous, out of the blue, unexpected, well you get it. On the other hand, when I lost, played my balance to zero, didn't pick the right box, it was very much, unintentional, uncontrolled unprompted and yes unpremeditated. OK, I believe in the RNG.
  • Great article! I totally agree with the author about our behavior as humans. Naturally, we have to have something to blame if we lose and on the other hand we have to have something to thank for our win. I think the author has hit the nail on the head regarding blame the RNG. It is so logical and makes so much sense. I just wish that there was some way that the different online casino's RNG's could be checked and verified for fairness. I hope that as online gaming becomes legal world wide, players can feel confident that they got a fair deal for their gaming buck! Only time will tell this outcome!
  • Thx for article. RNG is a subject of discussions for many players, and i think everyone will discuss it everytime. Because some players did not believe in it, some players believe, some did not even realise what is it and think that casino cheat them.
  • The example sommi mentioned is based around the UNIX TIMESTAMP, as he mentioned this is the number of seconds since start of 1970, this is often used as a "seed" for a RNG, IE, a random number that essentially "shuffles" the computers memory. I cannot imagine this is used for casino gambling though - I personally use a microtime value in my code, which is the number of nanoseconds that have passed since the last second - a nanosecond is 1/billionth of a second, a fraction so small that nobody could program a computer to accurately try and make a request at the same time in order to "follow" the pattern the pseudo-RNG will use to create its output. Using this microtime value gives you a nine digit number eg 0.543212345 - if you request such a value once a second for the next 100 years you are unlikely to ever see the same number again within that time, and infact much longer. I see this as being a sufficiently random 'seed' to supply my programs RNG to create a suitably unpredictable outcome. It is impossible to guess how every company producing online gambling software generates their random numbers, so do not presume they use the same method as me, I aim only to give you an idea of the techniques that are possible to allow a naturally non-random machine to generate what seems to be a random number. :)
  • I do not like the random number generator. I do not believe that it is random as everyone says it is. why is that when a poker jackpot reaches a certain amount a lot of players know it will be hit real soon. same for some slot jps. I live in reno , Nevada and that's just from what I've seen. :)
  • Nice article :) I'll just add one thing for people who wonder how computer can generate random number (or rather - pseudo random number). For example- for C++ programmers you can use function srand(time(0)) which returns as value number of seconds that have passed since 1.01.1970. :) So you have this number, if you want to get "random" number 0-9 then it's enough to use something like this: srand(time(0)) % 10. "% 10" means that we'll get a remainder of the division by 10. ;) Well, it's just one of the simpliest examples, just to let you know. ;)
  • quite an interesting read
  • I'm confident that the RNG routines used in most common online casino games is trustworthy and does indeed generate a series of numbers sufficiently random to give a fair game, however, I would like to see more casinos taking the concept of 'provably fair' to heart, using strong encryption it should be possible to prove that the deck in a card game, for example, has not changed since before the bet was placed regardless of the actions the player takes, or the size of the bet, and some bitcoin casinos are already offering this.

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