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The Tech Behind Live Casinos

So, you’ve played an online slot and walked away many times richer than you were a scant few minutes ago. But was it truly beating the odds, random good luck or something else that had you walking away with that cash?

So, you’ve played an online slot and walked away many times richer than you were a scant few minutes ago. You’re elated and you just know that you’ve somehow beat the odds. But was it truly beating the odds, random good luck or something else that had you walking away with that cash?

It is RNG that determined if a player has won or lost that particular spin, or in that case, walked away with a boatload of cash.  

It is the programme that online casinos and a majority of landed casinos use for their slot games in order to ensure that the process is truly and genuinely random and unpredictable except by chance.  All an online casino needs are the algorithm and seed number to generate their numbers.  

What is RNG?

An RNG, or a random number generator is the algorithm that generates a sequence of numbers that comes out whenever a result is asked for. It’s a complex piece of program that generates a number anywhere from 0 to trillions almost immediately.

For an online casino, the RNG controls not only the slots, but also their virtual table games like blackjack, roulette games, keno and video poker.

For a slot game, an algorithm assigns a value to each symbol on the reel. An example is a slot machine with 5 reels and 15 symbols per reel. The algorithm would therefore come out with a value of 1-15 for the symbols for each of the 5 reels.            Each of these symbols would need to be paired with the other symbol to make a winning combination.

If there are any winning combinations, you’ll receive a payout according to the chart in the system.

Understanding the probability of an RNG

In order to calculate the probability of a slot machine giving with a single winning combination, you’ll need to know how many symbols are in a reel and the paylines available in a specific slot.

An example we’ll use is the same slot machine example of 5 reels and 15 symbols per reel. To calculate the probability that you’ll land on a single combination:

The probability of getting all 5 symbols lined up on all 5 reels is 1/15 x 1/15 x 1/15 x 1/15 x 1/15 = 1/759,375. That can also be expressed as odds of 759,374 to 1, or 0.00013169%.

Of course, the odds of that winning combination is miniscule, which is why modern reels have plenty of different combinations to win, increasing the odds of a single spin lining up multiple winning combinations.

If there are 512 different paylines, the odds of you hitting a single payline would therefore increase drastically, making it easy for you to win at the slots.

However, bear in mind that slot machines are calculated to generate returns to the casino by paying out less in winnings than the odds of winning. With over 759,375 possible outcomes with this machine, as long as the total payout totals less than 759,375, the casino will make a profit.

How does that affect players?

There are plenty of stories about players winning against chance or finding ways around the algorithm. The question is – is it possible to do so?

The long and short answer is probably not. While some players would suggest that they can indeed “beat the odds”, chances are, what they’re beating is simply selection or confirmation bias. People are wired to see patterns where there are none and a combination of selective confirmation would cause some to see patterns where there were none previously.

Being familiar with the symbols won’t help players win either, but it does give them additional knowledge about the game and that could have an affect on their gameplay.

What could matter is the “Payback Percentage”.

What it means is that a player should expect to win back a certain percentage of the coins they’ve placed in the game. Most slot games have around 95% – 97% payback percentage on the game.

So for a slot with a 3 – 5% house edge, the slot operator would will collect 3 – 5% on each spin over a period of time. It gives the player the chance to win at the slots, but also recoups the winnings that they give out to players over a period of time.


For more information on live casinos and how it works, be sure to read our article on Everything You Need to Know About Live Casino Online.

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