The allure of gambling often makes us forget that behind all the jackpots and winning and losing hands are math and science. All said and done, it is a numbers game, and people who understand the science involved have a much better chance of winning compared to those that don’t and try to play it by the feel. Here is some basic science of online casino games.
The Science Behind Online Slots
Slots are the bread and butter of online casinos. They are extremely popular, mostly because you don’t need a degree in advanced math to understand them and enjoy playing them, unlike some other casino games. Since the learning curve is so shallow, anybody can learn how to play slots and have fun with them. However, some serious science behind them, and some great scientific minds work hard to make slots what they are. Here are just a few examples of the science behind online slots.
Return to Player (RTP)
Return to Player, or simply RTP represents a percentage of money an online slot is programmed to give back to players through winnings. To put it simply, if an online slot has an RTP of 96%, in theory, that means it will pay out $96 for every $100 of deposit. The remaining 4% go to the casino to cover their overhead. The operative phrase here is “in theory.” Most slots calculate RTP over their lifespan, which can mean years. During that time, there will be periods when a slot pays out more than its designated RTP and periods when it pays out less. The trick is to catch it on the upswing. Sites like Canadian Casino Bros keep detailed track of RTP, and you can easily compare your favorite slots to see which ones give you a better chance of winning. RTP is mostly about transparency and prevents casinos from ripping off their players.
Random Number Generators (RNGs)
A lot has been said about random number generators over the years, but most people fail to grasp the science behind them. The truth is that random number generators aren’t truly random. Instead, they are only programmed to appear so. The trick is to create an algorithm so complex that it can’t be predicted and prevent people from breaking it. If they do, they can predict the next number in the sequence and use that knowledge to take the casino to the cleaners. Creating a working RNG is equal parts science and art, as it requires a lot of creativity and incredible knowledge of math to make it impenetrable.
Perhaps the most important science for online gambling (and gambling in general) is psychology. Psychology explains how our brains react to winnings by releasing dopamine and what happens when we lose. It can explain how we play casino games, why we make the bets we do, and when and why we fold. Understanding the psychology of gambling is a key to understanding your opponents and yourself, and it plays a crucial part in games like poker. That is why successful poker players pay so much attention to it and read about it. After all, playing against other humans is far more difficult than playing against a computer.
Psychology also explains how people develop a gambling addiction, which is extremely important today when people gamble more than ever before. Gambling addiction is becoming a serious problem in many countries, and understanding it is a first step towards avoiding it. Psychology explains how our brain reacts to dopamine and how chasing that dopamine high can create addiction. Of course, there are other factors at play, but taking this first step can be crucial for staying addiction-free.