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In modern electronic casino games, the Random Number Generator (RNG) is the heart and soul.

This article explains in detail how random number generators work and attempts to clear up some common myths and misconceptions.

Read on to learn more about the simple and complex slots, video poker and keno games available at each casino.

Random number generator explained
Random number generator explained

1.Definition of Random Number Generator (RNG)

A random number generator is a computer algorithm built into the microchip of a slot, video poker, or keno machine. Its function is to generate a number between 0 and about 4 billion.

It operates continuously at a frequency of hundreds of times per second and can run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as long as it is powered.

Because the RNG is programmed, it is not truly random from a technical perspective. Instead, it’s called a “pseudo-random number generator” (PRNG). This is because a series of numbers needs to start from a certain starting point and is actually determined in advance.

However, due to the huge number of numbers generated (approximately 4 billion, hundreds of times per second), they are very close to true randomness, enough to satisfy the randomness required for gambling.

As you probably know, every game in a casino has billions of possible outcomes. Slot machines have anywhere from 20 to 100 different stopping positions on the reels.

The number of cards in a video poker game is usually between 52 and 54, depending on the number of wild cards.

There are only 80 numbers to choose from in the Keno game.

To resolve these differences, the RNG maps the resulting numbers to the correct position, card, or combination of numbers.

2.How RNG works in slot machines

As mentioned earlier, an RNG (random number generator) is a constantly changing number that cycles between zero and about four billion.

When the lever is pulled or the spin button is pressed, the current number from the RNG is mapped to one of the possible positions on the reels, and the reels start spinning. Eventually, they will stop at a location determined by the RNG.

Some slot machines are equipped with a button that stops the reels. Even when this button is pressed, the reels will still stop at a position determined by the mapping of numbers generated when the spin button is pressed (or the lever is pulled).

Clicking the Stop button will not change the results, but it will increase the playback speed.

How RNG works in slot machines
How RNG works in slot machines

3.How RNG works in video poker machines

The RNG in a video poker game is like a slot machine in that it continuously generates numbers in a loop.

When a player clicks the deal button, the RNG generates a number, then maps that number to possible cards and displays those cards on the screen.

Players continue to cycle until they get the required card and click the “Draw Card” button. At this point, randomly generated numbers will be assigned to the remaining cards and the result will be displayed.

Please note: Older video poker machines (decades ago) dealt out 10 cards on the initial deal, 5 of which were used for the original hand. If a player’s hand does not contain certain original cards, 5 additional cards will be used to replace them.

Because enterprising individuals were able to determine replacement cards based on the original cards on these machines, all video poker games now map only to the original five cards, while the random number generator (RNG) keeps looping. This small change eliminates the chance of predicting the outcome.

4.How RNG works in Keno games

Like other electronic games in casinos, keno machines use a continuous random number generator. This process continues until the player selects the desired number and clicks the play button.

Now, the number generated by the RNG is mapped to one of 80 possible numbers, and then the number played is counted.

5.Myths and misconceptions

Regardless of winning streak or losing streak, they are randomly generated results. No action taken by the player can change this fact. The game will continue to be played randomly.

Whether you click the button to stop the reels from spinning or not, the results will not change. No matter what the RNG decides, the result will remain the same.

If one player leaves the machine and then another player immediately sits down and wins the jackpot, there is no way for the first player to claim that jackpot. In reality, it is impossible to press the play button at the exact moment to generate the jackpot.

Because the random number generator (RNG) continuously cycles between dealing and drawing, there is no way to determine which cards will appear on the video poker machine during the drawing. There are 10 different cards in the initial mapping, but this may change during gameplay.

Myths and misconceptions
Myths and misconceptions


The gaming machines on each casino floor are equipped with a random number generator (RNG). Whether it’s slot machines, video poker, video keno, video blackjack, or any other game that requires random selection, all rely on RNG to generate results.

The RNG will run continuously after being powered on.

RNG generates hundreds of numbers per second, ranging from 0 to about 4 billion.

Although RNG is not technically truly random (it is just pseudo-random), its behavior is very close to random and therefore can be applied to casino games.

During the game, winning streaks and losing streaks may occur, but due to the characteristics of RNG, we cannot determine when they start or end. We cannot predict when the game will end.

The range of numbers is mind-boggling and growing so fast that there’s no meaningful way to influence the results.

Additionally, due to the range and speed of RNG number generation, if another player wins a bonus on a machine that the player has just left, the original player will not receive the bonus.

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