Online casino algorithms are used by internet operators to ensure that players receive a fair and safe experience with each deal of the cards or spin of the reels. The methods chosen by a casino directly impact the certifications they may be eligible to receive, which in turn governs the level of trust that they may accrue within the gaming community. Online establishments using state-of-the-art algorithms and safeguards flourish as their reputation grows, while those content to rely on outmoded methods often find their customer base beginning to wither. This page provides an overview of how casino algorithms work. It also details the various security mechanisms available to the gambling community. It won’t increase your chances of winning, but it never hurts to raise your understanding of the behind-the-scenes efforts being made to improve your gaming experience.
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How Online Casino Algorithms Work
Different casinos use different software providers, from IGT to Microgaming to Playtech. While the appearance of an online blackjack or slots game may differ from one company to the next, they all make use of a random number generator algorithm (“RNG algorithm”) to ensure that each hand or spin is determined honestly. The random nature is also meant to keep players from predicting the outcome of their chosen game.
True random number generators aren’t cost efficient, so online casinos often rely on what’s known as a pseudo-RNG. They use a set of algorithms, and the end result is a series of number that mimics a random result without being truly random in the strict definition of the word.
One of the most popular methods is the use of a computerized clock, which initiates the moment a player presses the button to spin or deal. An initial value known as a “seed” is linked to a series of random numbers. The result determines the outcome of the game, and the computerized clock selects one of these outcomes depending on the exact millisecond that the player presses the button to begin play.
The function on a slots game differs slightly from blackjack or video poker, however. Each spin of the slots is entirely independent from the previous one, but an online game utilizing a 52-card deck has to take into account when specific cards have already been introduced into play.
Security Mechanisms for Internet Casinos
Large amounts of money are transferred each day into online gaming sites, and sensitive information such as bank account and credit card numbers are sitting out in cyberspace waiting to be plundered by devious hackers. Since most casinos live or die by their reputation with players, they take every available step to keep vital data secure. The following are the most common methods:
- Firewalls – The purpose of a firewall is to establish certain parameters and then decide which outgoing and incoming web traffic will be allowed. For the purposes of online gaming sites, the objective is to prevent undesirable traffic from making its way onto the casino server.
- Secure Socket Layer – When you visit a casino, the process begins with your web browser asking the casino’s server for its identity. At this point, the browser receives a copy of the site’s security certificate. If the browser determines that everything is in order, then the exchange continues. Next, an encryption channel is established with two keys. The first key is public and is used for the purpose of encrypting information. The second key is private, and its purpose is to decrypt the information. This process takes place in an instant and allows for the secure exchange of information between casino and client without any outside interference. Even if a hacker were somehow able to access the information being transmitted, the encrypted nature of the date would render it nothing more than gibberish without access to the private key. 256-bit encryption is the industry standard as of this writing, but casinos, financial institutions, and anyone else who deals with large amounts of sensitive information on a daily basis are always looking for ways to improve the technology. Of course, data thieves are always searching for new methods of circumventing these safeguards.
- Multiple Deposit Options – While all reputable banking options take great care to assure safe transactions, customers inevitably gravitate towards the company they feel most comfortable with. In order to provide their clients with the maximum level of convenience, the leading online casinos offer a variety of deposit options.
- Security Logo – A casino can say that its system is secure, but that means very little without some manner of proof to back it up. That’s where a reputable security firm such as VeriSign comes into play, and customers concerned about online safety should always check the bottom of the homepage to look for a seal of approval.
- Audit Trails – Disputes sometimes arise in the world of online gaming, but casinos that maintain an audit trail are able to resolve these problems as efficiently as possible. This is basically a record of every possible transaction which can be reviewed by an independent auditor should a dispute ever arise between the casino and customer.
- Customer Privacy – Most Internet users despise spam, which is why it’s important to make sure the casino of your choice does not rely on such methods. Before you choose a gaming destination, make sure you familiarize yourself with their policy regarding contact with the customer.
- Unique Pin Number – When it comes time to withdraw money, you want to make sure that the transaction goes as smoothly as possible. The casino wants the same thing, especially since problems could result in the loss of a customer. That’s why a personalized pin number is assigned to each client and required before a transaction can be processed.
Now that you understand how online casino algorithms and security mechanisms work, I hope you’ll better appreciate the efforts being made to assure that your gaming session is a pleasant one (short of awarding players automatic wins). And since methods for cheating and identity theft are becoming increasingly sophisticated, you can be certain that casino countermeasures will constantly grow in order to match them.