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Are Slot Machines Truly Random?

A Random Number Generator, or RNG, is a computer algorithm incorporated into online slots. An RNG creates random outcomes when used in slot games, meaning the outcome of every spin is entirely random and can't be predicted. Usually, these random numbers can determine whether you win or lose.

You can't tell the RNG is running while playing your slot game. The process is computerised & hidden behind the scenes so that you can't predict what the machine might do next. Naturally, this leads to many players wondering, are slot machines truly random?

Most players assume the number generator indicates when the machine will pay. However, the only function of this system is to generate completely random numbers consistently. In addition, the process typically takes a fraction of a second.

Anything that happens after you spin the reels results from a thorough mathematical model, ensuring random outcomes and fair gameplay. So, if you're curious to see how the RNG system works, keep reading our article to discover more.

What is RNG in Slot Machines?

A RNG is a computer program that is designed to produce random results. There are different types of RNGs, but the ones slot machines are most likely to use are called Pseudo Random Number Generators (PRNGs). What makes them stand out is that they don't require any external input like numbers or data to calculate an output. Instead, they just need an algorithm and seed number.

These seed numbers and results are what get produced every millisecond. So, the machine takes the last two numbers produced and then applies a mathematical operation to create a new random outcome. Then, the process starts again.

However, some people argue that there's nothing random about mathematical operations. For example, a certain input always yields the same result, like 1+1 is always 2. 

How Does The Random Number Generator Work?

Algorithms function using a starting number called a seed. So, if two slots use the same seed number and algorithm, then their outcomes are likely to be the same. However, since someone isn't monitoring the results from the two machines, each would appear to generate random outcomes.

The seed number is selected when mathematicians create the algorithm or by fixed logic. Sometimes, it could be based on a random event too.

Linking software to an external random event is possible but is usually more challenging to build into a system. So, most rely on fixed logic. Results from Random Number Generators don't have any pattern, so there's an even distribution of results.

The main server connecting all the slot machines produces the results after a few calculations. When you push the Spin button on a machine, the main server works exponentially to give you an output immediately. So, you either end up with a win or loss determined by the slot machine.

Since the core of the results are math-based, you can't predict the outcome from playing slot machines to the second. However, if you knew the algorithm logic and the specific time the player hit 'Spin', you would. But that in itself is impossible.

Do Slot Machines Have Patterns?

Most slot enthusiasts believe that once you play slot games regularly, you can discover a pattern or sequence they follow. However, this couldn't be farther from the truth.

Remember, slots use a Random Number Generator that could calculate millions, even billions, of random combinations. So, there is no way of coming up with a pattern in a game where every outcome is random.

Instead, you may decide to come up with a particular betting pattern for yourself. This strategy may potentially be useful in helping you manage and organise yourself.

In addition, consider the Return to Player percentage (RTP) that a machine has. The RTP is an average figure that, in theory, tells us how much a slot game is likely to return in the long run. Again, this calculation is arrived at after millions or more virtual spins and is not always a true representation of the game.

Is There An Algorithm To Online Slots?

Yes, the Random Number Generator is an algorithm that online slots use. Each symbol on the reels usually has a specific value assigned. So, when you spin the reels, the RNG comes up with unique, random numbers in a fraction of a second.

These numbers determine which symbols will appear when the reels stop spinning. Their arrangement, value, position, etc., are all random. So, in a game with 20 symbols per reel, the chances of landing a given symbol on a particular reel are 1 in 24.

Can You Predict When A Slot Machine Will Hit?

No, you cannot predict when a slot machine will hit (there’s no way to beat the random number generator).

Slots at their core operate based on random and independent events. So, the results from one spin do not affect those of the next spin.

In addition, online slots don't run hot or cold. This myth may mislead some players into thinking they can predict when a slot machine is likely to hit. As soon as you understand that the Random Number Generator determines slot game results, then you can debunk the hot and cold cycles myth.

Slot machines don't get hot or cold; they operate off random results.