Understanding RNG (Random Number Generator) in Slot Games

RNG in slot games

RNG or Random Number Generator is a technological approach to producing infinite strings of random results from a set of specific numbers. In offline slots, it comes in the form of tiny microchips fitted into the machines to generate random numerical sequences corresponding to the symbols on the reels for each spin.

In online slots, it is an algorithm designed to create random results via software-based routines. RNG puts in place what’s expected of slot gaming – randomness of the outcome, dependence on sheer luck for every hit and miss, and hence, fair play. It is the heart and soul of every slot game.

How Does RNG in Online Slots Work?

RNG in online slots is always in motion. Even though the reels are not spun, the algorithm will constantly select random numbers every millisecond. As soon as the spin button is pressed, the software program will be commanded to display the most recent outcome in the form of symbols on the reels.

It generates a value between a chosen range of numbers, which is then rearranged into specific number sequences that correspond to the symbols on the reels. The outcome of each spin depends on the sequence selected by the RNG. How this math is done is beyond the scope of this article.

Let’s try to understand this by taking into account a 3-reel slot with 10 symbols on each reel. This game offers (10 X 10 X 10 = 1000 combinations of symbols, which can be possible in a cycle (not to be confused with cycles of winning and losing).

Therefore, the odds of a 3-number combination surfacing are 1 in 1000. In theory, spinning the slot 1000 times should give you such a combination at least once. However, in reality, it doesn’t happen.

This is akin to tossing a coin 1000 times. The odds of the head or tail appearing are 50-50. But in reality, we would be unlikely to see 500 heads and 500 tails.

Read more about slot reels

What are the Different Types of RNG?

RNG can be differentiated into two types:

  • TRNG or HRNG which means True Random Number Generator or Hardware Random Number Generator
  • PRNG, which means Pseudo Random Number Generator

Both methods have the same goal – to generate random number sequences. However, they follow two very different paths to achieve it.

TRNG is typical of offline slot machines and generates randomness mechanically. Meanwhile, PRNG is typical of online slots and generates randomness using a software algorithm. It doesn’t require external physical influences.

Do Online Slot Games Have True RNG?

For RNG to be true, it must be free from the influence of an algorithm. As already discussed, online slot games use PRNG to generate randomness. PRNG is based on mathematical algorithms where the process starts with a set point called a “seed variable.” It is unlike TRNG, which does not require a seed variable for randomness. 

Can you Predict a Random Number Generator?

Predicting the outcome of a Random Number Generator in slots is not possible; at least not humanly. This is one of the many misconceptions surrounding slot gaming, where players think they can pre-determine when a slot machine is about to hit.

They believe the machine or software undergoes cycles of RNG that repeat regularly. Purveyors of this concept are nothing but snake oil salesmen. Recognizing patterns and predicting results in slots is a challenge, even for veteran players.

Can you Beat RNG?

You cannot beat the RNG of a slot game because there is no way to predict the outcome. Yes, you can understand how it works and know its nuances better. But, RNG remains uninfluenced by third-party manipulation. Luck, and only luck, can affect it. All you can do is hit spin and hope for a win.

Is RNG the Same as RTP?

RNG is not the same as RTP although it influences the latter. RTP defines the payout a slot is capable of offering in the long run, whereas RNG defines the probability of a winning bet. In a way, it keeps the RTP rate of a slot consistent and the entire game fair.

Read more about RTP in slots

Are Slot Games Audited for Error-Free RNG?

Yes, slot games are independently audited for error-free RNG and certified for the same as well.

The most well-known agencies that inspect slot RNG are listed below:

  • BMM Testlabs
  • iTech Labs
  • Gaming Labs International (GLI)
  • eCogra (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance)
  • SQS (Simple Queue Service)