Randomness is defined as a lack of a pattern or predictability in events. For example, when you roll a dice, the number that it lands on is random. Other instances of randomness can occur when you flip a coin, deal a shuffled deck of cards, or drop the ball in a spinning roulette wheel. These random events happen in real-world situations through natural entropy, but can be calculated to a certain extent using probability theory and statistics. When it comes to generating random numbers digitally, developers are able to use probability as a guideline to design algorithms, but to get close to a stage of true randomness they have had to employ other techniques as well.

Natural Forms of Random Number Generation

Ever since computers were invented, developers have been seeking ways to digitally simulate randomness. To do this, they may have begun by looking at natural events that occur randomly and thought about how they would be able to recreate the phenomena. There are numerous natural sources of randomness which show how chaotic the patterns can be.

Radioactive decay is a natural random occurrence which relies on the laws of quantum mechanics. This is the process by which an atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting particles or protons through radiation. There is no way of predicting when this will happen, with atoms that have existed for the same lengths of time acting in completely different ways. Other sources of randomness include thermal decay (which is the heat released from radioactive decay) and radio waves. Scientists have tried to collect and analyse the data from these sources in an attempt to identify patterns.

Pseudorandom Number Generators Are Necessary for Casino Games

Since the dawn of the internet, developers have been working on recreating casino games for online users. It appears that they have been successful, as the industry has grown massively in a relatively short space of time. It has managed to become the global sensation it is today thanks to the fact that the creators of the games have managed to make them fair by successfully simulating random number generation.

Online casino games work using pseudorandom number generators, which are computerised algorithms that can create incredibly long sequences of random numbers. These provide a sense of true randomness because, while the sequences are not infinite, they are long enough for it never to be an issue in the games. The technology is used in nearly every online casino game, although players may not be aware of this.

It makes sense that RNG is determining a number on a roulette game or which cards will be dealt from a deck, but in slot games there are no numbers to speak of. In this case, the symbols on the reels will be represented by certain numbers in the algorithm so that they can be randomised. The slot developer decides on a return to player percentage which is usually around 96%, and this helps to determine the probability that a win will spin into view.

RNG is Useful in Mobile Games

As noted above, RNG isn’t always used literally as a way to pick numbers. A lot of the time, RNG is being used in games but players don’t actually see any values. Just as in slot games, in these cases certain aspects of the game may be represented by numbers in an algorithm which determine how things will occur.

Fantasy card offerings like Hearthstone and Gwent are prime examples of games which rely on a lot of RNG. The cards dealt to each player are determined using RNG, just as they would be in blackjack or poker. But there are other times that it is used as well, especially when the cards’ random abilities trigger. A good example of this in the CD Projekt Red title would be the card, Philippa: Blind Fury. This card’s ability is to damage an enemy unit by 4, then damage a random enemy by 3, then 2, then 1. Players can target a card with the first hit, but the next three instances of damage occur at random. RNG is used here to determine which units get damaged.

Other mobile games like Tetris or Candy Crush use RNG to create complex puzzles. If this type of offering didn’t use the technology, players would simply be able to learn and memorise the game in order to complete it successfully on a later run through.

RNG has worked perfectly in the online gambling industry, and it is highly impressive that developers have managed to successfully simulate this chaotic concept. However, it has been criticised in the world of competitive gaming because players think it undermines skill. While more RNG will be seen in online casino games in the future, developers are now looking to reduce its usage in other sectors of the gaming industry.