What is an RNG and How Does it Work?


It is often said that online casinos are much safer than traditional, land-based establishments. It is hard to argue against that claim, as the best online casinos are regulated and controlled by strict international Gambling Commissions. These Commissions are responsible for making sure the online casino in question respects all aspects of fair gambling.

Another important reason why online casinos are extremely safe, apart from Gambling Commissions, is that the result in all games played on any top-class site depends on the Random Number Generator or the RNG.

Why is an RNG Used in Online Casinos?

RNGs entered the casino business as a completely new way to run slot machines. Previously, slots used psychical reels to decide which symbols landed where. Nowadays, online slots are way more complicated and they can be played on more than one paylines.

Old slots just cannot handle the complexity here, and without the emergence of RNGs, online slots would never be as popular as they are.

There are a couple of important reasons why RNGs are beneficial to the online casino business:

  • RNGs allow developers to create more interesting online slots
  • RNGs are essential in making games completely fair and honest

When you start playing a certain game, it creates a string of random numbers behind the scenes. These possible variations are constantly moving, and they won’t stop until you start spinning. When you hit the spin button, the sequence stops, and the random number appears. Reels now come to a stop, and you see the symbols appear.

It is important to note that RNGs are tested by independent regulators, and there is no way an online casino would obtain a license if it fails the RNG test.

Can You Cheat on the RNG?

The short answer to this question would be yes, at least in theory. RNGs are algorithms that are completely computerized, so theoretically they can be hacked. However, the practice says something completely different. It is extremely difficult to do that, as it borders on impossible.

There was a case in 2008 when a person created a program to cheat on the RNGs, but he ended up in prison, so we strongly advise anyone against such activities.

Nowadays, all online casinos are tested all the time for their fairness and the authenticity of the RNGs is strictly regulated. It is nearly impossible for an unfair or unsafe system to slip through the net in the modern online gambling industry.

What are the Best RNG Regulators?

TSTTST is a famous name in the iGaming industry. It is specialized in technical audits of RNGs. TST also audits poker systems for vulnerability. The company has offices in Italy, London, Macau, Manila, the Netherlands and Canada.
eCOGRAeCOGRA is a UK trusted auditor and it is one of the biggest names in the business. You are likely to have seen the eCOGRA logo on any reputable online casino site. The company is committed to testing RNGs.
VerisignVerisign is known to be a leader in the online gambling world for its technical RNG audits. The company is based in the USA, but it has offices in India, China, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.
Gaming AssociatesGA is a leading consultant in the iGaming industry, and it works with operators to make sure they are completely legal, and part of that is for them to have safe, fair RNGs.

Which Games Use RNGs?

All modern online casino games use RNGs to ensure the luck element of their games. Games in online casinos that have RNGs include:

The RNG here works coupled with the casino software to produce completely fair outcomes. Let’s say you play blackjack. The moment you hit the deal button, the RNG will feed the software a so-called,,unique value.”  It is essentially the result of the hand, and it means that the outcome of the hand will be pre-determined, but random.

When it comes to roulette, the RNG will be tuned into a winning number on the wheel. As for slots, the RNG will determine the outcome of each spin. At the end of the day, it is the RNG that decides whether we win or lose.

Live casino games are a bit different. It is evident that these games have risen in popularity in recent years, as they use real human dealers, real cards and real tables. This means that it is impossible for an RNG to be used to create fair outcomes.

Live dealer games use the same techniques found in land-based casinos to make sure each outcome in games is completely random.

To prevent card counting, live dealer games use a freshly shuffled deck of cards for each hand it deals. The results in these games are random, of course.

Some game providers use multiple camera angles to ensure players the fairness of the games. You also need to know that live dealer games are closely inspected by audits when testing the reliability of any online casino.

Should I now Change my Playing Strategy?

Well, it depends on which strategy you use. If you are card counting, then you should surely stop with that. Every single hand in games you can use card counting is completely random, so counting strategies are completely irrelevant here.

Betting pattern strategies, such as the Martingale System can be still used, as it doesn’t rely on measuring how hot or cold a certain table is.

Does the RNG Affect the RTP?

RNGs are created to choose certain combinations of numbers to achieve a consistent RTP rate. Online casinos nowadays need to monitor the RTP of their games to make sure that the RNG works flawlessly. Sites do this by dividing the value of all payouts by the total turnover the game has made. The result needs to be as close as possible to the theoretical RTP.

The outcome is still random, so a split second can decide whether you win or lose the round. The RTP is always published by operators and game providers, so you should check it out before you decide to wager real money on any game.

By Filip Mishevski

As a person that has been involved in the gambling industry for over 5 years, Filip knows all the tricks and trades of online casinos and casino games. He’s here to provide you with the best content and help you have a fun gaming experience. His specialities include online slots, gambling regulations, casino game strategies, bonuses and promotions and much more.