It does sound easy but actually producing a random number for a computer is quite difficult. It’s important to remember this as many computer programs need to be just that. Take any kind of electronic online game for instance like roulette, fruit machines and they all need a random number generator simply to make them fair. It should be of concern to anyone who everybody who wants to play online roulette especially if they do it regularly.
Which is where the problem lies, a computer needs a set of instructions to be random which is obviously pretty hard to provide. The computer runs code, the code is written by the programmer which determines how to act. Just imagine how hard it is to produce instructions on how to be unpredictable, that is the dilemma. Actually it is pretty much impossible to be completely random all they can manage is to be Pseduo random. 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.
There is another difficulty in that we are also hopeless at being 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. Random sequences can look quite incredibly odd, which is why you get huge long improbable looking sequences. Anyone who has watched a random roulette wheel turn out 8 reds in a row might think that isn’t random but it actually happens more often than you would guess. Our neat, balance perception of what ‘random’ should look like usually ends up in the code of the computer programs.
When you’re running an online game of chance though, perception is just as important. An unlucky streak of bad luck is going to make us suspicious of the computer program. 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. I can’t enjoy computerised gambling as it doesn’t feel like lady luck is given a free reign. It probably explains the huge surge in the advent of live streaming casino games instead of computer systems too.