Demystifying Slot Machine Algorithms: How RNG Works

Demystifying Slot Machine Algorithms: How RNG Works
Demystifying Slot Machine Algorithms: How RNG Works

If you’ve ever wondered how random the outcomes and results are in the online slots that you play, you’re not alone, and if you want to know how the results are produced, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s dive straight in to discover more about how online slot machines produce the outcomes we see each time we hit the spin button.

What are online slot machine RNGs?

Online slot machine RNGs (Random Number Generators) are highly sophisticated mathematical algorithm programs that produce the outcomes/results each time we hit the spin button in any computer-generated online slot when playing on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

Although it’s a computer program that gives the ‘illusion’ of the reels spinning randomly and is therefore pre-determined, the results are still about as fair, random, and realistic as can be.

In other words, although slots are designed to pay out only a certain amount, it still boils down to lady luck and randomness whether you win or lose. The RNG is designed to produce a random outcome with no discernible pattern each time.

The RNGs that are used in today’s best online slots from the iGaming industry’s most trusted providers are frequently tested to prove they are not faulty or cheating the players in any way.

They are also monitored over a certain amount of time to find out just how much they have paid back in winnings based on the amount of money players have wagered on that particular game.

How do payout percentages work, and what is a good RTP % payout rate for an online slot?

Internationally accredited online casino testing agencies and other accredited third-party iGaming testing labs will use their systems to play billions of spins to find more accurate data about how random an online slot machine spin result is.

Also, the amount of money paid back in winnings to players over a certain period (say four weeks) and the amount of money they spend in that time can tell us the Return To Player percentage (RTP%) payout rate for that game.

For example, if in December, players spent a total of $/€/£5,000,000 (or equivalent currency value) combined on the famous Mega Moolah online slot from Games Global, and during that time, those same players received back, on average, a total of $/€/£4,632,500 in winnings, it tells us that for this particular period, that slot had an average 92.65% RTP payout rate.

Those who play the best online slot machines online will be used to seeing an RTP% payout rate of between 93.00% and 98.00%. However, sometimes it can be slightly lower, and other times, slightly higher.

Should I be looking for online slots with above-average RTP% payout rates?

Yes and no. For example, some online casino players will only ever play slots with a high RTP% payout rate (e.g., 98.00% to 100.00% or higher) and will avoid playing slots with a 97.99% or lower payout rate.

However, although, statistically speaking, you are more likely to win over time playing a slot with a 98.00% RTP rate compared to a slot with a 92.00%, it doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to win.

Don’t forget that there are often hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people playing the same online slot as you at the same time. So it’s up to you, but it might be better to stick to playing the slots with above-average RTP% payout rates to give you a slightly better chance of winning.

Final thoughts

Some of the most notable online casino testing agencies that calculate average payout rates for online slot machines are companies like eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) and TST (Technical Systems Testing).

Others include Quinel Ltd, iTech Global Party Limited, Global Lab Limited, BMM Testlabs, and Gaming Laboratory International, to name a few. They regularly publish their findings for everyone to see, plus you can also generally find the latest RTP% payout rate information in the paytable of any online slot machine you play.

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