Mick Jacobs, Product Manager at Chartwell Technology Inc., a major supplier of Internet gaming software, sent in the following comments on Random Number Generators. Mick allowed us to publish his remarks with the note that these are his personal
comments and though he believes they are accurate they are not intended to be a
corporate message from Chartwell Technology Inc. or World
I have just read your May 2002 article "Are Random Number Generators Really
Random?" and would like to say 2 things. One, super job. Within the space of
7 paragraphs you concisely passed a textbook amount of technical jargon to
the common player. For that I salute you.
The second aspect of my comments are to the nature of how Random Number
"Emulators" are implemented in the every day online casino. Though I cannot,
and dare not, speak about all online gaming systems I can speak to at least
2 major ones. I have been in the industry since 1998. I started back then
as the head of, and in the beginning the sole member of, the Starnet QA
staff and eventually found my way to being a product manager for Chartwell.
I have attended several conferences around the world and the most common
question posed to me was regarding the integrity of "yer random number
thingy" (evidently a technical term spawned from the southern United States,
maybe Cali). After glazing prospects' eyes with descriptions about the proof
that the period of 2^19937-1, and 623-dimensional equidistribution property
is assured with the Mersenne Twister pseudorandom number generator, I put
their minds to rest by explaining one more simple aspect to the whole
The server generates numbers when players ask for a result. All the players
are asking the same server for a result. If there was a pattern to the
numbers being produced by the server a player that wanted to abuse the
pattern would have to ensure that they were the ONLY ones requesting numbers
from the server over a predicable pattern period. The fact that multiple
players request numbers from the server in truly natural random time periods
ensures that the even your first attempt at a RNG would have easily
satisfied the needs of most online gaming systems today.
I do not imagine that this statement will satisfy all the players that feel
online casinos rip them off by rigging the RNG, or to all the operators that
demand proof that the software's RNG will not be able to be predicted. But
in the real virtual world the best way is usually the simplest. Simply put,
RNGs don't even have to be that random to be random.
Thanks for your article. Keep up the good work. Information empowers users.
Empowered users are happy, confident players. And that is what we all want,
players having a good time, and maybe winning a little scratch.