Head to Random.org and use the ‘True Random Number Generator’ on the homepage. You could play this for days and not find a sequence allowing you to accurately predict the next number with any sort of confidence. However…
The computer science community will still assure you that producing random results is the one thing a computer is not good at. Instead, what you’re actually seeing is a concept known as ‘pseudo-randomness’.
In relation to producing numbers, nothing a traditional computer system does can be strictly defined as random. This is simply because it begins with what is known as a ‘seed’ value and then follows a mathematical algorithm to generate the following values.
So if pseudo-randomness isn’t strictly random then it must be possible to use RNG’s to our advantage, right? Amazingly, this is what happened on one of the UK’s most popular TV shows.
Deal or No Deal Hiccup
I’m sure you’ll also remember Deal or No Deal which was on our screens for over 10 years. But what you may not realise is that, shortly after the show began back in 2006, there was a three-month period where contestants could predict the values of each box – if they had done some nifty groundwork beforehand.
During this time, the show makers used an RNG to decide where the cash prizes would be designated. In effect, they had fallen for the anomaly of pseudo-randomness and assumed no one would be able to predict the outcomes, let alone bother to try.
What they didn’t consider is that one Deal or No Deal enthusiast has been noting down the results from every show and incredibly started to notice a pattern. Please check out a rather interesting and concise explanation of how this played out by YouTube user Tom Bacon here.
Can RNG-Games Be Predicted?
Online slots and casino games will rely on very solid RNG mechanisms to preserve the integrity of their product. They must pass stringent independent audits not only to prove the game presents a realistic chance of paying out (presented as the ‘return to player’ percentage), but also to prevent possible foul play by shrewd gamblers.
For anyone trying to forecast outcomes of The Spinner, we applaud your bravado, but predicting the results produced even by a pseudo-random mechanism is (practically) impossible. This would still be the case when analysing a coin-flip, let alone an RNG with 150 or more possible outcomes.
This means you are assured The Spinner produces a result that is random enough to prevent ‘cheating’, every time the SPIN button is clicked. Likewise, if the maximum number of the game is altered, the randomness of the game goes up a few notches also.
But hey, if you feel like giving it a go, there’s no harm in trying!