Play a game of slots in any land-based or online casino and the game will use some sort of random number generator (RNG). In the past, casinos used a simple RNG to randomise the numbers. The problem with this version is it only randomised numbers during play itself. Perceptive players in land-based casinos could predict the sequences of the numbers to win a major payday. Even in the online version, it was possible to follow such a system, although it was rarely profitable.
In the modern casino, the pseudo random number generator (PRNG) is the main vehicle used for generating random numbers. This is far superior, as it never stops working. Just because the game is not in play does not mean it stops rapidly generating numbers. Whilst it is on, the machine generates hundreds of numbers each minute. Rather than allowing players to predict the next number, it stops as soon as someone presses the ‘Play’ button. Once the player presses the button, the most recent combination is the number the machine uses for the next spin of the reels. Now it depends entirely on the casino’s payout percentage.
These PRNG machines are more potent than ever. If the gambler spins the reels just a fraction of a second later the result is completely different. It is impossible to predict, therefore the casino holds all the power.
It does not make the PRNG a foolproof way to defeat perceptive gamblers looking to predict the order of the machine. If it does not contain a quality RNG implementation, the PRNG will eventually repeat its sequence. Smart gamblers could time each instance they press the ‘Play’ button to try and get the same result each time. Shorter randomisation periods make a machine extremely vulnerable to prediction, but if it is particularly long, it is almost impossible.
One example of a PRNG gone wrong is when Ronald Dale Harris, who used to program slot machines, used a series of complicated equations to predict the next set of numbers and symbols in games like Keno. Essentially, it made him the ultimate casino player since the impact of the PRNG was effectively nullified.
By implementing long randomisation periods, even programmers of the machine cannot predict the next set of numbers with any significant success.
Overall, both online slots and land-based slots games are effectively unbeatable. Of course, they are still extremely enjoyable to play, but do not expect any miracle strategies. Now winning or losing is completely in the hands of Lady Luck!