Understanding ‘psuedo-random’ keno draw

December 12, 2000 7:52 AM
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There are basically two different ways to produce random numbers for a keno draw: mechanical and electronic. The mechanical method is represented by the familiar "rabbit ears" and the 80 painted Ping-Pong balls within.

The electronic method is more recent and involves the computer generation of a series of "random" or more properly "psuedo-random numbers."

The numbers produced electronically are properly called "psuedo-random" because they’re not truly random. However, they do satisfy at least some of the statistical tests that truly random numbers do. A trivial example of a formula to produce a series of random numbers might be: r=3Dsqrt(x)n, where (x)n is the nth digit of the expansion of the square root of x, and x is the initial seed. This example is far too simple to use in a gaming device of course, but you get the general idea.

One property shared by all formulas that produce these random sequences is that they all eventually repeat the series, be it after 1,000 iterations or one billion. This depends on the complexity of the formula and the size of the initial seed, and has been proven mathematically. This event has also occurred depends on the supposition that the mechanical device is fair and functioning perfectly. Malfunctioning mechanical devices have certainly produced skewed results many times.

Most keno managers I’ve talked to feel the number of winners went up (and the house percentage went down) when computerized systems were installed.

In the next couple weeks, we’ll explore what these facts might mean to the player.

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck. I’ll see you in line!