Random Number Generator
A Random Number Generator (RNG) is a system that generates a sequence of numbers (or bits) that are devoid of any pattern or biases, ensuring that the next item in the sequence cannot be predicted (i.e. is indistinguishable from a truly random sequence). A certified RNG system is critical to ensure that every game is played using a randomly shuffled and unpredictable deck.
In the early days of online poker, the RNG systems were far less reliable and one site was shown to have an inadequate system that could be exploited. Full Tilt Poker was established several years later, and the system architects had the advantage of learning from those early mistakes. As a result, we are confident that we have the strongest RNG system in the industry.
The Full Tilt Poker RNG system consists of several independent layers. Each layer is capable of producing random sequences, and any one layer alone is sufficient to guarantee that the final output is random. This includes two types of hardware RNGs that produce truly random bit streams, and two separate levels of software RNGs that draw upon the enormous wealth of effectively random sources throughout the entire poker site. In the very unlikely event that one system malfunctions or is compromised, the game would continue to be perfectly random due to these fail-safe measures.
In order to ensure and demonstrate the security and fairness of our card shuffling procedures, Full Tilt Poker has obtained official RNG certification from an independent accredited testing facility. This is a comprehensive analysis during which Full Tilt Poker submitted detailed information about our RNG systems, including hardware components, software source code, complete documentation, and servers for testing.
Cigital, Inc. is a leading consulting firm specializing in software security and quality management. Cigital works internationally with major financial and communication corporations as well as governmental agencies to reduce business risks and ensure the highest standards of quality control.
Cigital, Inc. was contracted by Full Tilt Poker in February, 2009 to evaluate a representative random number generating system consisting of the VIA C7 hardware random number generator (RNG) chipset and supporting software.
Testing was conducted at Cigital’s labs in Dulles, Virginia, USA. Output of the random number generator was tested using two well-known test suites: the FIPS 140-1 statistical test suite from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and "Diehard," a well-known and publically available collection of statistical tests.
Software supporting the acquisition and subsequent use of entropy from the RNG were analyzed, both in source code form and in execution. Cigital based its determination on the results of statistical tests and the inspection of source code.
Cigital found that when the hardware entropy source is used with the supporting software provided and in the configuration described, that together they produce statistically random and unpredictable output. Considering typical methods for exploiting RNGs and given their understanding of the source code, Cigital does not believe it is feasible for players to either know or alter the operation of the RNG under normal operating conditions.
Technical Systems Testing (TST) Accreditation
Technical Systems Testing (TST) is one of the best established accredited testing facilities in the gaming industry today. Recognized and well-respected worldwide, TST is accredited by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and has a long history of providing fully independent and impartial evaluations.
Full Tilt Poker has received official TST certification for our RNG systems. TST’s evaluation methods are focused on testing the numerical distributions and unpredictability of the RNG system. This process involves understanding how each component works, how those components are scaled and integrated into the complete RNG system, and how the full system actually performs by analyzing the raw output stream.
TST has verified, through expert mathematical and statistical analysis, that the Full Tilt Poker RNG system generates numbers in a non-predictable manner, producing a fair distribution, and lack of bias toward any particular outcomes. Each of the tests for randomness, which include the scientifically rigorous "diehard" tests designed by seasoned mathematicians, adheres to the highest standards established for the gaming industry.
The TST certification is renewed periodically. The last re-verification was performed in May, 2008.
In keeping with our philosophy of excessive precaution and prudent redundancy, Full Tilt Poker will be seeking out additional RNG and security accreditations in the near future, and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis. We will never compromise when it comes to providing the safest, fairest, and most reliable poker games available anywhere.