Being the most popular game in both online and land-based gambling establishments, slots attract players worldwide with the promise of not only great fun but also big cash prizes. More so, when you consider that some of the top slot games offer progressive jackpots.
Unfortunately, many gamers, especially the newbies have various superstitions when it comes to playing slots. They'll go through their own rituals before hitting the spin button - some summon lady luck by holding items, which supposedly bring them luck while others kiss their hands among other ridiculous things. The truth is that such practices don't have an effect on any outcome of your spins. Why? The outcomes of all titles are completely random and determined by programs known as Random Number Generators, (RNGs).
What are Random Number Generators?
In the early days, slot machines made use of mechanical models for number randomization, which came with limitations. In the last few decades, the machines have been digitized- the number generation process is all done on a computer chip for video poker, keno machines and so on.
The Random Number Generator, commonly abbreviated as RNG is the brains behind all slot games, so to speak. Integrated into slots is a microprocessor similar to the one inside your personal computer. Instead of running Excel or Word, it runs the RNG that generates a series of numbers to correspond to symbols on the reels.
The program is in perpetual motion just as long as there is power to the machine, constantly generating numbers per millisecond. It generates a value that ranges from 0 to several billion that's normally translated into a specific set of numbers to match to various symbols.
Random number generator utilizes a formula called an algorithm, which is a chain of instructions for creating the numbers. You do not have to worry about this as a player - it could be beyond your knowledge, which is where the casino control board and other testing bodies come in.
RNGs Safety and Fairness
Understandably, you might want to ask how one can be sure that the algorithm is not rigged to favor the operator. Firstly, there is a reason it's strongly advised that you only register with licensed online casinos. All game sites with a legitimate license are subject to regular audits by eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). This is a UK-based, independent, regulatory body for the online gambling industry.
The international regulatory authority checks random number generators for player protection, fair gaming as well as responsible operator conduct. Top betting house's websites bear the watchdog's seal of consent - so the next time you set out to find a trustworthy gaming site, you know what to look for.
One final thing to remember is that RNGs do not have a memory; therefore, whether or not a slot game has recently paid out a jackpot doesn't affect your odds of winning whatsoever. Also, whether you stake in or play using free credits is irrelevant to this program. All gamers have equal chances of hitting a winning combination.