What Algorithm Do Slot Machines Use?

You’ve heard this a million times, probably – people nagging about how video slot machines can’t be regulated properly. What’s more, others believe in glitches, lucky streaks, and other nonsense. We’ve got one abbreviation for those who cling to this school of thought – RNG. RNG stands for ‘random number generator’. RNG is a programming term, hence its fundamental role in the creation of video games of chance. It is the primary subject of interest for testing houses eCOGRA and iTech Labs, which we will talk about right now. We guarantee you won’t need a degree in computer science to proceed.

Why RNGs Matter?

The RNG is a measuring stick for randomness and unpredictability – the two main components of games of chance. If you are an experienced online casino player you should know that slot machines have the highest contribution rate towards your welcome bonus. This is due to the fact the casino knows the outcome of playing slot machines cannot be influenced by how skilled the player is. On your side of things, the RNG keeps things fair between you and the casino when you gamble.

For the players who are complete rookies, one of the Netent’s no deposit casino bonuses can do a good job of introducing them to slots gameplay. Even though dependant on chance, it’s always good to have an idea of how a slot game functions when you intend to put real money on the line.

The Random Number Generators of Slot Machines

Physical slot machines have a microprocessor, which, among other computations, is busy with making the calculations of what combination of symbols shows up on the screen. Exactly how the random numbers driving this process are generated is top-secret. Not even the game developers have the full picture. They only have pieces of a puzzle that relate to their niche in slot making.

We don’t even have to worry about the issue of ‘complete randomness’ because it’s not of the essence. All games that make it to the casino – be it online or land-based – have been tested over a prolonged period of time to ensure that they dispense wins in the expected manner. After a confirmation of the pattern of win distribution the game is labelled ‘medium’, ‘high’, or ‘low’ volatility.

Return to Player (RTP)

The RTP percentage is not directly related to the RNG, but is ingrained in the same algorithm that has references that RNG. For the player the RTP shows the theoretical percentage of the money they bet they will get back in the form of wins. You guessed it, the percentage is always lower than 100. Now you know what ‘house edge’ means. Exactly how that is calculated is also not widely known when it comes to slots. With roulette, for example, the math is simple because you know the number of sectors on the wheel and the different payouts.

The theoretical return to player percentage is one of the most vigorously tested parameters of slot machines as it gives an understandable account of the win/loss ratio the players can expect. It only gives you a vague idea of that, though, please don’t make rash decisions or conclusions based on RTP alone. Here’s a quick tip: progressive jackpot slots have an RTP gravitating around the 90% mark, while most slot machines average an RTP somewhere between 96% and 99%.


Who Tests the RNGs?

As we hinted already, eCOGRA and iTech Labs are the standard bearers in gambling game testing. The former is highly accredited in the UK in its capacity as a testing laboratory, inspection body, and certification body. Both eCOGRA and iTech Labs specialise in making RTP and RNG audits, which are then published for players to see. Again, both companies are respected for their work against money laundering and fraud protection.

There aren’t very many testing houses like eCOGRA. Their audits have become a criterion for measuring fairness and integrity, especially when it comes to RTP and RNG testing. All you have to do as the player is to scroll down, find the clickable logo of eCOGRA or iTech Labs and you will get more information on which games were tested and the results of the tests.