Fair and Reliable Gaming – Guaranteeing Fair Winning Chances
An important part of responsible gambling is casino game fairness. An online gambling operator who adheres to fair and responsible gaming is one who provides software and systems that players can trust. In other words, you can trust that the games you play have not been compromised and that the outcome of every bet has been legitimately randomized.
Fair and reliable gaming operators have their software and systems tested by an industry-approved, independent, third party gaming testing company. In essence, these companies ensure the fairness of the software by testing its random number generator (RNG) and auditing its return to player (RTP), to ensure that there are no operational flaws that would make the game unfair to real-money players.
According to the UK Gambling Commission, examples of reputable third party companies who offer this testing include: eCOGRA, iTech Labs, Gaming Associates, GLI Test Labs Canada ULC, GLI Europe BV, NMI Metrology & Gaming Ltd, BMM Compliance and SQS India Info systems PVT Ltd.
Responsible gambling destinations will display a link or logo of the game testing company they use on their website, proudly showing their dedication to guaranteeing completely fair and random games.
What makes a casino game fair?
When it comes to ensuring casino game fairness, Certified Fair Gambling, an industry leader in auditing game fairness for online casinos, explains that the concept is defined by four main principles:
- The game must pass a number of statistical tests specifically designed to detect bias.
- The game must always remain statistically stable.
- If an online game is offered in a brick-and-mortar casino, the online version must operate in a way that is indistinguishable (in principle) from this same land-based casino.
- No operational flaws can be found in the game that would allow the house edge to be changed by the casino or the player.
What are RNGs?
Random Number Generators are a type of software that runs within an online casino. The purpose of this software is to ensure that when you play a virtual game run by a computer – slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, etc. – that the outcome of the spinning reels, spinning roulette wheel or the cards that are dealt, etc. is always random. RNG technology is what makes online gambling possible.
There is more than one type of RNGs. The type that casinos use is called Pseudo Random Number Generators. Unlike other RNGs, this type does not require an external input (data or numbers) to produce an output. All it requires is a starting number, better known as a seed number, and a complex algorithm (a mathematical operation – subtraction, addition, division, multiplication, etc.) to calculate a new, random seed number based on the initial seed number.
The random new number that results becomes the new seed number and the algorithm is used again to generate the next seed number and so on and so forth. New seed numbers are generated every millisecond to create a new random outcome. In short, the purpose of RNGs is to make sure that your chances of winning are exactly the same every time you play.
That being said, no RNGs are truly random. The reason is that there is nothing random about mathematical operations. So, how can you ensure if a casino’s RNG is fair? Quite simply put, they will be as fair as the company who operates the software. This is why it is imperative that you play with the best online casinos who have passed regular and rigorous independent third-party testing and auditing. If the site has been proven fair by a reputable and industry-approved third party company, like those listed above, then you can trust the fairness of the casino’s RNG.
What is RTP?
Generally speaking, Return to Player (RTP) refers to how high a game’s payout percentage is. It tells you how much of all the money bet on a casino game will be paid back to players over a certain amount of time. RTP is presented in percentages. The higher a game’s RTP percentage, the more often you can win from this game over a longer period of time. Every online slot machine and casino game has its own RTP, and so does every online casino, based on the average value of the RTP percentages of all the casino games found in their games library.
It is important to keep in mind that an RTP number percentage is only a theoretical statistical calculation and cannot be taken at face value. For instance, in cases where there are huge random wins and long losing streaks, the number won’t apply. Aside from these rare cases, however, the RTP will provide you with the average estimation for the specific game in question.
When it comes to auditing games, each game has a theoretical RTP that the third party testing company knows in advance. The auditor will compute the RTP using actual gameplay data received in the log files. This data will be compared to the theoretical RTP for that game. The auditor knows the reasonable range of values for the RTP and, essentially, the more rounds that are played on the game, the more the auditor expects these two numbers to match up as closely as possible.
The RTP provides testing companies with a baseline statistic that helps them to verify whether or not a certain game is operating correctly.