Online Casino: Traditional Casino Equipment versus Random Number Generators

Are you interested in online gambling? If so, do you understand how betting odds work? And, how you can convert them into implied probabilities?


Online casino versus traditional casino games

Before we answer these questions, let’s look at the difference between games offered by online casinos and those provided by traditional, brick-and-mortar casinos.

At the outset of this discussion, it is essential to be aware of the fact that an online casino is a virtual casino where gamblers can play casino games from anywhere in the world via an Internet connection and a desktop, laptop, or mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

Juxtapositionally, a traditional casino is housed in a physical brick-and-mortar building, and gamblers need to travel to the casino to play the games on offer like slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette.

And it is worth noting that online casino games are digital versions of brick-and-mortar casino games.

However, there are several fundamental differences between an online casino game, and once played in a traditional casino.

And, the single most significant difference between the two is the fact that a random number generator determines the outcome of most online casino games. The only exception to this rule is the live games that are offered by some online casinos. These are live dealer games like blackjack, Hold’em poker, and baccarat.


What is a random number generator (RNG)?

Before we look at how a random number generator is used to determine the outcome of online casino games, let’s look at what it is. defines a random number generator as a “device that generates a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be reasonably predicted better than by a random chance.”

There are two types of random number generators, a hardware random-number generator (HRNG), or pseudo-random number generator (PRNG). The HRNG is a true random number generator. It generates genuinely random numbers while the PRNG “generates numbers that look random, but are actually deterministic, and can be reproduced if the state of the PRNG is known.”

Finally, numerous applications of randomness have led to the creation of several different approaches to generating random data, of which some have survived since ancient times, including the rolling of dice, coin flipping, and the shuffling of playing cards.


Online casino games and the RNG

Most, if not all, online casino games use pseudo-random number generators. It is a computer program consisting of algorithms that produce seemingly random numbers. All these algorithms (or mathematical equations) need is a starter number or seed number, and the PRNG will spit out a calculated result every millisecond.

Essentially, it calculates random numbers by taking the last calculated number and using one of the mathematical operations, such as multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division; thereby, deriving a new outcome.


Final thoughts

Even though the RNGs used in online casino games are not true random-number generators, there are oversight bodies like a country-wide gambling control board that ensures that the RNGs used in online casino games are developed with integrity. The governing boards test each RNG to ensure their outcomes are fair and as random as possible under the circumstances.

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