All You Need to Know About Baccarat and Casino RNGs
In order for casinos to be fair places to play, it is essential that the games produce genuinely random results. They do this using something called a Random Number Generator (RNG). An RNG produces a random result every time so that you know that your spin of a slot machine or hand of cards is truly random, and that the casino does not have unfair advantage.
Respectable casinos that are properly licensed and regulated will submit their RNGs for third party testing. The casinos are completely transparent about the result of the tests, and they will publish the reports. As a result, if you so wish, you can review the results, or simply check that the casino carries a certificate from one of the testing companies. In this article, we will look further at RNGs and in particular, how they work in relation to baccarat.
What Is an RNG and How Do They Work?
As the name suggests, a Random Number Generator will produce a random number on demand. There are different types of RNGs, which are explained below, but in each case, there are complex processes behind them to ensure that the results they produce are truly random. The number from the RNG is then fed to the online casino software in order to produce a random outcome in a game. This will ensure that cards dealt from a deck do not follow a pattern, that the roll of a dice is truly fair, that the number on which the ball lands on a roulette wheel is random, that the symbols that land on a slot machine are random, and so on.
The Different Types of RNGs
There are a few different types of RNGs, and they work in slightly different ways. Casinos use what is known as a Pseudo RNG. The reason it is called a ‘pseudo’ RNG is that it is not truly random. Instead, it starts with a seed number and then feeds it through a number of algorithms to produce the next random number. This number is then used for the next cycle and so on.
The problem is that algorithms and mathematical operations (such as + and -) are not random; 2+2 will always equal four. This means that if you start with the same seed number, you will always end up with the same result. Ergo, it is not truly random. However, the algorithms and seed numbers involved are so complicated that practically speaking, it is impossible to predict what will come next.
Often the seed numbers will run to many millions of decimal places and the operations they go through are incredibly convoluted. This means that, for all intents and purposes, the number produced is random.
The other type of RNG sometimes used by a casino is a Hardware RNG (HRNG). This is a physical device that is plugged into the casino’s computers and uses compound values as a starting point. For example, it may record radioactive isotopes generating a different number of electrons every second and then use this as the starting point for the RNG algorithm.
Very similar to this is what is known as a True RNG. True random number generators extract randomness from physical phenomena that are completely unpredictable. For example, by using atmospheric noise, the static caused by lightning discharges. Across the world, there are numerous lightning strikes per second, and these can be detected by ordinary radio. It is a truly random occurrence that can in no way be predicted.
How Do Online Casinos Use RNGs?
Casinos will use a pseudo RNG for all virtual games, meaning those without real dealers. For a simple example of how they work, imagine a standard deck of 52 cards. Each of the cards would be assigned a value of between 1 and 52, and the RNG would then produce a random number in that range. That would be the next card dealt. Of course, the reality is far more complicated than this; for instance, there are procedures in place to ensure that the same card is not dealt twice from a single deck.
As mentioned, all reputable casinos will publish the certificates issued by testing agencies to prove that they have submitted their RNGs for testing and that they are truly random. Furthermore, all respected game developers will also submit their games for third-party testing. When we review a casino, we always check to ensure that the casino has had its RNG tested and that it is third-party certified, and we also check that the game developers are certified. This way, we can be sure that we only recommend safe and fair casinos.
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The Difference Between Virtual Games and Live Games
There are two distinct types of games at online casinos: virtual games and live games. Virtual games are purely software-based, and there is no human input from the side of the casino. A live game will feature a live dealer who deals the cards, spins the ball in the roulette wheel, and so on. A live game has no need for an RNG. As long as the cards are properly shuffled or the roulette wheel is completely unbiased, then the results of the game will be genuinely random.
Some games appear to combine elements of both, such as Evolution Gaming’s First-Person series of games. These games are actually virtual, but they give players the option to switch to playing with a live dealer. There is no difference between the randomness and fairness of a virtual or live game; if there was, then the house edge, odds and payouts would have to be different to compensate for it.
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How an RNG Contributes to Baccarat
When it comes to playing virtual baccarat, the job of the RNG is to ensure that the shoes are genuinely random. This means that the cards must be in a truly random order so that it is impossible to know which card is going to be drawn next. Here, we give you the chance to use our Baccarat Shoe Generator. You can use it to generate 100 random baccarat shoes. It uses a pseudo RNG called a Mersenne Twister, which is the most widely used of its kind, in conjunction with a Fisher-Yates shuffle, which is a highly respected algorithm for producing a random ordering of a finite sequence (such as a pack of cards).
Baccarat Shoe Generator
Using our Baccarat Shoe Generator, you can choose between six or eight decks, and it follows the conventional rules governing burn cards and cut cards. This means that the Burn card rules are:
- Reveal the first card.
- If the card is worth 0 points, then burn ten cards.
- If the card is an Ace, burn one card.
- Otherwise, burn between 2 and 9 cards according to the pip value of the revealed card.
The Cut card rules are:
- The cut card is positioned between the 400th and 401st card.
- If it comes out mid-hand, the hand is finished, and one more is played before shuffling occurs.
- If it comes out instead of the first Player card, then one full round is played before the shuffle.
When you use the generator, you will see each shoe expressed as a number of hands. The hands are shown as nine different values or fields, each one separated by a comma.
Strategies to Beat an RNG
On a theoretical level, it is possible to beat a pseudo RNG, i.e. reverse engineer it so that you know what will happen next. Practically speaking, though, it is incredibly difficult. There is a great deal of security built into modern RNGs, and without access to the actual code, they are virtually impossible to manipulate. There is no such thing as a reliable casino RNG predictor; if there were, then it wouldn’t be random. You are far more likely to have success by carefully managing your bankroll and using tried and tested baccarat betting strategies. In this respect, you can ‘beat’ the RNG, as you will be minimizing the house edge and maximizing your chances of winning.
Who Tests the Casino RNGs
There are a number of organizations that test casino RNGs. The five big ones are eCOGRA, IGL, iTechLAbs, QUINEL and TST. All of these are highly respected internationally and trusted by gambling regulators to ensure that a casino’s or developer’s games are truly random and fair. In the past, you may have wondered what RNG certification is; it simply means that the casino has been tested by one of these agencies. There are many RNG-certified casinos and honest operators usually proudly display the certification on their website.
RNGs Ensure Fairness for You and the Casinos
The job of an RNG is straightforward – to ensure that games are random so that they are fair both for players and for the casinos. If you want to be sure that the games you are playing are fair, then you should check that the casino you are playing at is RNG certified. If it carries certification from any of the organizations mentioned above, then you can enjoy your time playing baccarat with complete peace of mind and focus all your energy on building the best possible betting strategy to maximize your winnings.
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