RNG or random number generator is responsible for the sequence of events in an online casino. Some say that it may be manipulated, or hacked. Let’s break it down and figure out how the infamous RNG works.
Historical fact. Mechanical slots that worked in the first half of the 20th century, did not have any random number generator. Instead, they had a mechanism that was spinning the reels with a certain speed. Some players started to notice simple process. Others, took their chances of calculating the probability of specific events. Such stories became myths and legends about players “beating” the casino, hacking the slot, and cheating the system. However, nobody has done it yet.
RNG in a casino is a physical device with its own software (or just a piece of software), protected by MD5 algorithm. RNG is used in all types of games: slots, video poker, roulette, card games etc.
There are 2 types of random number generators:
- TRNG – true random number generator (hardware random number generator).
- PRNG – pseudorandom number generator.
True random number generator (TRNG)
TRNG is used in land based casino rather than online.
True random number generator is a device (a chip or a board) that generates random sequences of numbers according to the chaotic and ever-changing physical processes. The founding processes are totally random: quantum phenomena, isotope radiation, Poisson noise etc.
A certain number, that is specific to the particular physical process, makes for a starting point of the TRNG. The latter then, determines the results of the roulette wheel, or reels.
TRNG is placed inside the machine, under protection, where the hands of any casino member cannot reach. Before installing the generator, it is extensively tested in the independent laboratory. In order to hack, change the RNG’s sequence, casino must break through the secure layer in the machine, reprogram the chip, and put it back. Licensed establishments do not allow this; every inch is always under heavy surveillance. Besides, one cannot do anything being outside the machine.
Pseudorandom number generator (PRNG)
PRNG is a secure software that has got a certain mathematical algorithm giving out random number sequences. Usually, online casino games use this kind of generator. Furthermore, each slot has got its own secure generator. Every developer has got its own, unique generator.
The work of PRNG is ever-continuous, the algorithm is always generating random number sequences. The starting point of this type of RNG is the number with thousands or even millions of digits after the decimal. In most cases Pi number with trillions of digits is the stating point.
In order to get a random number from the starting point, RNG does a bunch of mathematical sequences. What are those and what’s their sequence, knows only the developer. In order to get access to the RNG’s settings, one has to crack algorithm’s security. which is impossible to do with licensed games. Their generators are tested before the release of the game, and are under constant monitoring throughout the games’ lifetime.
How does RNG works?
TRNG and PRNG work in a similar manner, yet their starting points and algorithms are different. The generator is working all the time. Some people say that it generates numbers only at the press of the respective button. It is totally wrong. People think that way because they become aware of the generator’s work only during a certain action from their side.
Theoretically, it is possible to predict the next sequence knowing the algorithm and the moment the number is generated. Yet, in practice, the algorithm and all of its settings are hidden from everyone except the regulating bodies. Therefore, specialists that claim they have found a way to cheat the generator, simply try to fool you.
As we have mentioned earlier, each and every developer has their won RNG system. There may even be a few of them within one company.
Before the game goes on to the players’ hands, every generator is thoroughly checked and tested to certify its validity and fairness. In the end, the certificate is the proof of developers fair play.
In order to receive an official document of the kind, RNG software/hardware, or both, are given to a company of a certain jurisdiction specializing in audit.
Here are a few of the most famous companies:
- Gaming Laboratory International (GLI)
- Technical Systems Testing
- Price Waterhouse Coopers
Having a certificate from such a company is an object of pride for the developers. Thus, if there is one, it is always public.
Receiving a certificate for the generator is a costly and time-consuming process. The company that has their RNG checked, has to have appropriate licenses for development. The generator has to have appropriate settings that are within the stated, legal limits.
In order to simplify the procedure and save some time, one may buy an RNG from certified companies. In this case, the certificate comes along with the software.
What happens after the certification
After the end of the testing and before issuing the certificate, TRNG gets sealed. The seal is regularly checked to ensure that no one has put their hands to the number generator. The soft part of the random number generator is, well, sealed with another software.
The certificate that the developers receive has the algorithm in it along with the list of the games that use it.
The technology that protects random number generators is ever-changing. Modern games have a serious barrier for thieves to bypass. Therefore, having the latest licensed games on the website guarantees fair play.
Is hacking RNG real?
Contemporary random number generators are protected by MD5 algorithm. It is used to secure the passwords and is one of the most trusted methods of protection. At the moment, there hasn’t been any instances where someone has bypassed this security system.
There’s been an instance where a Russian hacker claimed to have hacked a slot machine from Aristocrat; it appeared to be fake. The developer that initially thought of the player’s win to be illegitimate, appeared to be a very rare stroke of luck.
In 1995, in Nevada, one player did hack the slots RNG. Ron Harris had the access to one of the keno slot’s RNG; he gave his partner in crime the possible number sequences. On of the dozen of tickets did win. Although, later the casino found out about it; Ron Harrison was imprisoned for 7 years.
Online casino PlayShangriLa uses only licensed software, slots, poker etc. Every product is taken from its official developer that has the necessary rights to distribute software in jurisdictions the company operates in.