The Random Number Generator (RNG) is at the heart of the modern online gambling industry and is prevalent in all online games, blackjack included. The RNG’s purpose is to ensure random, i.e. unpredictable outcomes, guaranteeing fairness for everyone involved.
Blackjack is by far the only casino game where players can turn the tables in their favor through the implementation of advantage play techniques such as card counting. This is possible because blackjack is a game of dependent events, meaning that previous outcomes affect the odds of future outcomes. Players use the knowledge of past cards dealt to make better informed playing decisions about the hands to follow.
Is this the case in online blackjack variations that run on RNGs, though? Rather than having a human dealer to shuffle and randomize the card order, online blackjack uses algorithms and mathematical formulas to ensure each card that appears on the virtual felt is dealt at random. This prevents the games from showing bias toward the dealer or the player.
For years, gambling buffs have speculated as to whether or not such games are truly random and unbeatable. Some swear by the unpredictability of randomly generated online blackjack while others believe the games are exploitable.
Here at SuperCasinoSites, we give you the full lowdown on all you need to know about Random Number Generators in online blackjack as well as an answer to the question are such games beatable or not.
The RNG and How It Works?
The RNG made its entry into the gambling industry as a new way to operate slots. Slot machines previously had physical reels that rotated to determine which symbols would eventually appear and potentially create winning combinations.
Slots gradually developed into more complicated games with multiple paylines and special features. The need to introduce a new way of ensuring random outcomes arose. Physical space was limited on old-fashioned reels and did not allow for the ever-increasing number of symbols and winning combinations in advanced slots.
It is this need that led to the introduction of the Random Number Generator. The RNG is a built-in program that relies on mathematical computations to generate fully random events. Frequently implemented in scientific simulations, it also found its way into the gambling industry with the rise of online casinos.
The RNG can be used to simulate random independent events such as the roll of the dice, the spin of a roulette wheel or the flip of a coin. In the context of online blackjack, the RNG shuffles the cards, ensuring every single hand is randomly dealt and has an unpredictable result.
The software achieves this by generating lengthy strings of random numbers. It has no knowledge of previous results and lacks a predictable pattern. The implementation of RNGs is essential when it comes to ensuring fair and unbiased online casino games, whether it is blackjack, roulette, slots or any other game with an element of chance. They are also used in brick-and-mortar venues for electronic roulette and blackjack, keno, and video poker.
True Random and Pseudo-Random Number Generators
There are several types of RNGs, the first one being the True Random Number Generator (TRNG) which relies on some external input to spit out random results. The TRNG is significantly more expensive to maintain. It is mostly used in the field of cryptography where its main purpose is to spew random cryptographic keys to transfer data safely.
The vast majority of online casinos rely on the so-called Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNG). Unlike the TRNG, the PRNG is deterministic and uses complex algorithms to produce unpredictable results in casino games like blackjack. Let’s have a more detailed look at the differences between these two main types of RNG.
One-to-One Comparison between TRNGs and PRNGs
|Level of efficiency
|Poorer efficiency and fewer numbers produced
|Deterministic or non-deterministic
|Periodic or non-periodic
|Modeling and Simulation
|Data encryption, random sampling, casino games, draws, and lotteries
Measures Taken to Ensure Fairness in RNG-Based Blackjack Games
Online blackjack utilizes Random Number Generators in place of dealers, which causes some players to question the authenticity of the games. Are they rigged in favor of the house or not? One typical scenario is when a player goes through several hundred hands, loses half or the majority of them, and quickly jumps to the conclusion the game is rigged. It seems the virtual dealer always manages to outdraw them no matter what upcard they show.
The trouble is this scenario is not all that uncommon in gambling, even if you play games like blackjack which combine elements of skill, strategy, and chance. The above-mentioned reasoning is a classic case of confirmation bias.
Us humans have the tendency to look for, interpret and sift out information in a way that reinforces our prior individual beliefs. Some players’ line of thinking is “I am losing a hand after hand so the game most definitely is rigged against me!”. However, a sample size of several hundred or thousand blackjack hands is hardly sufficient when it comes to drawing any such conclusions.
We would like to point out honesty and fair play are not something you should worry about if you play blackjack at reputable, licensed, and properly regulated online casinos. Here is why:
The Attributes of Exploitable Blackjack Games
Now that you have understood what the RNG is and how it is implemented in online card games, we shall return to our original question, namely “Can you beat the RNG in online blackjack?”. And more particularly, is this feat achievable through the implementation of techniques like card counting. To answer this question, we must first examine the attributes of profitable, i.e. beatable, blackjack games.
Some players assume that Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNG) in online blackjack are beatable due to their determinism and periodicity. They reason such games are exploitable because sooner or later the sequence of numbers will begin to repeat itself.
While it is theoretically possible to use this “pseudo” randomness to your advantage, very few people are capable of achieving it in practice. The algorithms in RNG-based blackjack are simply way too sophisticated so predicting the outcomes of the hands borders on the impossible. Furthermore, the software undergoes regular audits. Rigged or hackable blackjack games will never slip through the net during testing.