Can Computers Really Produce Fair Online Games

It sounds quite simple but one of the hardest things to do for a computer is to produce a random number. It’s important to remember this as many computer programs need to be just that. For instance if you take an online game like roulette or a fruit machine, they all must have a way of generating random numbers. It should be of concern to anyone who everybody who wants to play online roulette especially if they do it regularly.

But it’s tough, a computer needs instructions to be random which are difficult to provide. The computer processes the instructions, which are written by a programmer who determines how it should act. Just imagine how hard it is to produce instructions on how to be unpredictable, that is the dilemma. In reality all they can produce is Pseudo-random numbers which to be fair are very difficult to predict. It’s actually difficult to spot the problem though – go and have a look at the spins produced at a free online roulette and see if you can see a pattern, I’ll bet you can’t.

Another difficulty is that most people have a very inaccurate idea of what exactly is random. We tend to want 50/50 chances to happen 50% of the time which is actually not going to happen that often surprisingly enough. Real random sequences can actually look very strange, with long, improbable sequences commonplace. It will not be surprising to players of martingale who have watched their system destroyed by unnatural sequences. Our neat, balance perception of what ‘random’ should look like usually ends up in the code of the computer programs.

When playing an online game of chance it’s even more difficult as the perception of the player is also a factor. If we get an unlucky spin of a wheel or reel on an online game we get suspicious of the computer. If it happened on a real roulette wheel in a casino we’d probably mark it down to being unlucky. It’s especially dangerous if you’re running any sort of roulette systems which relies on a completely random gain.

That is fundamentally the problem for me with computer games of chance like online roulette. It really does spoil these games as being subject to the whims of a piece of code is not the same as lady luck. It probably explains why there are so many live video games online now, which stream physical games to your desktop.

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