If you’ve ever played a computer game or a game on online casinos from the UK, you’ve surely come across the term – RNG. Well, what is RNG? RNG, or Random Number Generator, is a mathematical concept that is used for the generation of a number or a string of numbers that can’t be better predicted than by pure random chance.
RNG systems aren’t only used for gambling, instead, you can find them in any program that needs to generate random values very quickly. RNGs are used for the generation of statistics, computer simulations, cryptography, randomized design, and many other fields.
RNG and Its Definition
Random number generators are a physical device or a piece of software that uses either physical phenomena or extensive calculations to provide users with random outcomes. RNG devices are fairly new when it comes to the techniques and methods people use for determining random numbers.
We can safely say that practices, such as coin flipping, card shuffling, and dice rolling, are also methods for Random Number Generation. However, since these methods are all physical, they are hard to replicate in a software driven RNG system, which is why physical RNG systems exist in fields where true randomness is required.
What Does RNG Mean?
RNG stands for Random Number Generator (or Generation, depending on the context). On the most basic level, there’s a difference between the hardware random-number generators (HRNG), or pseudo-random number generators (PRNG). HRNG is also called a true RNG, since it generates genuinely random numbers by using physical phenomena for each new turn. PRNG is called pseudo for a reason: if you have the primary RNG (also called “seed”), you can determine what the next number in the row will be.
What Is RNG in Gaming?
The importance of RNG in gaming is quite obvious – it helps us reach random values in order to progress through the game. Video game fans among our readers are already well-versed with this term. Whenever you play a video game, the engine behind it runs the RNG software. The purpose of the software, in this case, is to calculate your and your opponent’s stats after an encounter or to create a plausible but random event in the game world. Essentially, the RNG in gaming defines the value of your actions against another player or an NPC character.
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For example, RNG is used in shooting games to determine the most probable “damage” caused to another character. The RNG is used because it would be way too demanding and expensive to render every single shot fired in real time. In another example, there are loads of games that feature “random encounters”. They can’t be programmed because of the memory limitations. Therefore, it’s much easier to set up an RNG system and render encounters when they're required.
The most notable system in online gaming, however, which uses RNGs, and which most people are familiar with, is the concept of “loot” or “loot drops”. Most modern online video games reward players through an RNG system that, after the player has achieved something or passed a level, gives the player a certain in-game item from a pool of possible rewards. This item is usually determined by the RNG system that’s integrated into the game, which helps to keep in-game encounters more interesting. Some people also ask the question: “What does bad RNG mean”? This is basically a gamer’s way of saying that they’re not happy with the rewards they’ve received, i.e. that “the RNG is against them”.
What Is RNG Manipulation?
We’ve already established that HRNG is a “true” RNG device, since every new number it makes is completely random. Therefore, manipulating HRNG is impossible. This leaves us with PRNG. Since PRNG determines the randomness of the next number by a certain mathematical function, it is possible to determine the next number in the row by knowing the said function and using the seed number.
To this day, the most notorious example of RNG manipulation is the rigging of the US Hot Lotto state lottery in 2010. The then-director of MUSL Eddie Raymond Tipton used his position to gain access to the RNG device that was used for lottery drawings. Tipton installed a “rootkit”, which is a small malware program, that could read the seed number and then program all numbers that came after the first one. Needless to say, Tipton was arrested and convicted for tampering with the device.
What Is an RNG Seed Number?
An RNG seed number is a number or vector that is used to initialize the random number generator. As noted before, seed numbers are only used in PRNG, since HRNG doesn’t need a starting position. Once a seed number has been chosen, the device resumes producing a set of random numbers that would follow it. Also, the PRNG often has a mathematical function that determines the next set of numbers.
What Is RNG in Gambling?
In order for any game to be fair, RNG has to produce a completely random set of values that are in no way connected. It is true that PRNG uses a certain mathematical function when determining the next value, but the said function is so complex it can’t be reproduced by a human being. Imagine playing a game of roulette and knowing where the ball will land last!
Is RNG the Same as a Lottery Number Generator?
Lottery draws are also based on randomness, but the randomness is achieved through mechanical means. Casino RNG is basically a software that runs in the background when you play games. In the case of the lottery, the physical properties of the lottery drum are the ones that determine the randomness of every next number drawn. Hence, the lottery is much more adequate in creating a perfectly random number unless it is a “digital lottery” that determines outcomes through RNG software.
The Difference Between RTP and RNG in Casino Games
More often than not, while looking for info on RNG on a casino website, you can find a term called RTP (return to player percentage). While both RNG and RTP show the fairness of a game, they differ substantially. RTPs show which percentage of the initial stake is returned to players. Ideally, every game would have a 100% RTP, but, in reality, that is not the case. Therefore, RTP for respectable slot games usually varies between 90% – 96%.
Reputable casinos always maintain their RNG software, meaning that they allow testing bodies to go over their RNG systems and provide proof of fairness. Even though there are a number of different agencies that deal in RNG testing, occasionally, a casino will have its own in-house developed RNG that is tested by their own staff. The most notable agencies that deal with RNG testing are iTechLabs and Gaming Labs International that service some of the most popular Las Vegas casinos.
You Can Check The RNG Certification Yourself
If you want to know whether your favorite casino has had their RNG tested, you can always check our reviews, as it is one of the most important things we regularly cover on any platform we test.
Alternatively, you can visit the casino on your own and see their page that deals with game fairness. If the casino doesn’t have one, that should be the first sign that something’s fishy. However, keep in mind that this info can be hard to find due to a poorly designed site, so check with the customer support to be 100% sure, or again, check an appropriate review.
1. What Is an Random Number Generator?
A Random Number Generator is a device that produces a number or a string of numbers that can’t be better predicted than by random chance.
2. What Types of RNGs Are There?
There are two types of RNGs: hard RNG and pseudo-RNG. The former makes real random sets of numbers, while the latter uses a seed number to determine the next one through a software solution.
3. Is It Any Different from RTP?
While RNG is a device or software, RTP represents a percentage of the initial stakes returned to a player as a reward.
4. What Is RNG in Gaming?
Apart from gambling, RNG has also found its place in video games. The RNG, in this case, is used to determine all the random and unprogrammed events, such as battles, loot contents, random encounters, and pretty much every other random event.
5. Can RNG Be Manipulated?
While HRNGs can never be manipulated or their results predicted, one can predict the numbers given by PRNG. All you need is a seed number and a program or a device that utilizes the same mathematical principles as the PRNG. However, today’s countermeasures make this practically impossible, especially in the field of online gambling.
6. What Is an RNG Seed Number?
A seed number (or vector) is a starting number in PRNGs which determines the next number in a set.
7. Are There Any RNG Certificates?
The best online casinos subject their RNG software to testing regularly. The most notable agencies that issue certificates are iTechLabs and Gaming Labs International.