How Random Generators Work In Video Poker

 How Random Generators Work In Video Poker

Many modern video poker machines enable you to change games or change coin denominations without ever leaving your seat. If you’ve been playing Double Double Bonus Poker and want to change to Super Aces, you can just touch an icon on the screen to launch a new game. If you’ve been winning big at a quarter game and want to try your hand at a dollar version, you can touch the screen to change that, too.

Players sometimes wonder if they would have been dealt the same cards if they were playing a different game or denomination. That was on the mind of the reader who sent this email:

“Is the action of the random generator completely changed when denomination is changed on a game?  For example if I am playing Jacks or Better and change from quarter to dollar play, would the next hand be the same no matter which denomination I play?”

The answer lies not in the game or denomination, but in your timing. Different denominations, or even different games, on the same machine do not require different random number generators or even different sets of random numbers. The same virtual cards can be used whether you’re playing for pennies, quarters, dollars, $100.

That goes for games, too. To the RNG, it makes no difference whether you’re playing Jacks or Better or Double Bonus Poker, and it doesn’t matter if it has a 9-6 or 7-5 pay table. All the RNG does is generate random numbers that correspond to cards.

However, that doesn’t mean you’d see the same cards in one denomination as another. If you were playing quarters and decided to change to dollars, the switch in denominations takes time, and in that time the RNG moves on. It operates continuously even if the machine is not in use.

So if you’ve been playing for quarters, won some money and decided to move up to dollars, the first hand you see in dollar play is not the next hand you would have seen if you’d kept playing quarters.

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