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Python Tutorial

Random Function in Python


Python is a versatile and widely used programming language and offers a multitude of tools and libraries to simplify various tasks. Among these tools, the 'random' module significantly generates unpredictability, which is essential for simulations, games, and data analysis. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Python's 'random' function and explore its capabilities. 


Randomness plays a pivotal role in various aspects of computer programming and data analysis. Python provides an essential tool for harnessing this randomness - the random module. This module allows developers to add elements of unpredictability and chance into their programs, making it an indispensable resource for a multitude of applications.

At its core, the random module is designed to generate pseudo-random numbers. While these numbers may not be truly random, they are exceptionally useful for a vast array of scenarios. Whether you're creating engaging games, conducting statistical simulations, securing cryptographic keys, or enhancing the user experience by presenting random content recommendations, Python's random module is an essential tool.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of the random module, exploring its various functions and providing practical examples of how to employ them effectively. From generating random integers and floats to selecting elements from lists and shuffling sequences, this module enables you to add randomness to your Python programs, opening up a world of creative possibilities. 

What is a Random Function in Python?

The Python Random module is a built-in feature of Python. At its core, a random function in Python generates pseudo-random numbers – these numbers may appear random, but they are generated using a deterministic algorithm. This module facilitates various random actions, including generating random numbers and selecting random values from lists or strings. 

How to Use the Random Function in Python

The 'random' module in Python offers a plethora of functions for generating random values. To engage the random function in Python, you typically follow these steps:

1. Import the Random Module

Start by importing the 'random' module. This module provides various functions for generating random numbers and performing random operations.

2. Use Random Functions

Once you've imported the 'random' module, you can use its functions to generate random values or perform random actions. Some commonly used functions include 'random()', 'randint(a, b)', 'randrange(start, stop, step)', 'choice(seq)', 'shuffle(seq)', and more.

For example, to generate a random integer between 1 and 10:

Or to select a random element from a list:

3. Set a Seed (Optional)

If you want to control the randomness or ensure reproducibility, you can set a seed using the 'random.seed(seed)' function. The 'seed' is an integer that initializes the random number generator.

4. Generate Random Values

Use the selected random functions to generate the desired random values or perform random operations based on your specific requirements within your Python code.

5. Test and Iterate

It's essential to test and iterate your code to ensure that the random behavior meets your expectations. You may need to adjust the random functions or the range of random values as needed.

Here's a complete example that demonstrates these steps:

List of all the Functions of the Python Random Module

Here's a list of all the functions provided by the 'random' module:

Function Name



Initialize the random number generator


Returns an object with the current internal state of the random number generator


Used to restore the state of the random number generator back to the specified state


Return an integer with a specified number of bits


Returns a random number within the range


Returns a random integer within the range


Returns a random item from a list, tuple, or string


Returns multiple random elements from the list with replacement


Returns a particular length list of items chosen from the sequence


Generate random floating numbers


Return a random floating number between two numbers both inclusive


Return a random floating point number within a range with a bias towards one extreme


Return a random floating point number with beta distribution


Return a random floating point number with exponential distribution


Return a random floating point number with a gamma distribution


Return a random floating point number with Gaussian distribution


Return a random floating point number with a log-normal distribution


Return a random floating point number with normal distribution


Return a random floating point number with von Mises distribution or circular normal distribution


Return a random floating point number with a Pareto distribution


Return a random floating point number with Weibull distribution

Random in Python Examples

Having understood what the random function in Python is, let's explore some examples to see the 'random' module in action.

Example 1: Generating Random Integers

This code snippet imports the 'random' module and uses the 'randint()' function to generate a random integer between 1 and 10, inclusive. 

Example 2: Generating Random Floats

In this example, we utilize the 'random()' function to produce a random float between 0 (inclusive) and 1 (exclusive).

Generate Random Numbers in Python

Example 3: Generating Multiple Random Numbers

In this example, we use list comprehension to generate five random integers between 1 and 100.

Generate Random Float Numbers in Python

Example 4: Generating Random Floats in a Range

Using a list comprehension, we create a list of three random float numbers within the specified range.

Real-world Application: Random float numbers are commonly used in simulations for modeling real-world scenarios like financial market fluctuations, weather forecasting, and scientific experiments where a degree of randomness is essential.

Randomly Select Elements from a List in Python

Example 5: Randomly Selecting Elements

Here, we use the 'choice()' function to pick a random fruit from the list of fruits.

Real-world Application: This functionality is valuable in applications such as online advertising, where it's used to display random advertisements to users or in gaming to select random items, characters, or levels.

Shuffle List in Python

Example 6: Shuffling a List

In this example, we import the random module, create a list called my_list containing some elements, and then use random.shuffle(my_list) to shuffle the elements randomly in place. Finally, we print the shuffled list, which will display the elements in a random order.

Real-world Application: Shuffling a list is fundamental in card games and board games to ensure unpredictability. It's also used in music and video playlists to provide a randomized listening or viewing experience.

The 'randint()' Function

The 'randint()' function is particularly useful when you need to generate random integers within a specified range. It ensures that the generated integer falls within the given range.

Example 7: Rolling a Dice

In this case, we use 'randint()' to simulate rolling a six-sided dice, and the result is displayed.

Real-world Application: The randint() function is widely used in gaming applications to simulate dice rolls, random events, and enemy behavior, adding an element of chance to the game.

The 'randrange()' Function

The 'randrange()' function allows you to generate random numbers within a range with a specified step value.

Example 8: Generating Even Numbers

In this instance, we generate a random even number between 2 and 20, inclusive, with a step value of 2.

Real-world Application: In scheduling and time management applications, the randrange() function can be employed to generate random time intervals, helping distribute tasks or events evenly over time.

The 'choice()' Function

When you want to pick a random element from a sequence, the 'choice()' function is a handy tool.

Example 9: Selecting a Random Color

Here, we use 'choice()' to select a random color from the list of colors.

Real-world Application: Randomly selecting items from a list using the choice() function is utilized in recommendation systems to suggest products, movies, or music to users based on their preferences and keep content fresh on websites and apps.

The 'shuffle()' Function

The 'shuffle()' function rearranges the elements of a sequence randomly, making it useful for creating randomized sequences.

Example 10: Shuffling a Deck of Cards

In this example, we create a list deck containing only the court cards (Ace, King, Queen, Jack), and then we use random.shuffle(deck) to shuffle these cards randomly. Finally, we print the shuffled deck of court cards, which will display them in a random order.

Real-world Application: Shuffling a sequence is essential in cryptography for generating secure cryptographic keys. Additionally, it's used in data preprocessing for machine learning to avoid bias in training data.

Rock-Paper-Scissors Program using Random Module

Now, let's create a simple Rock-Paper-Scissors game using the 'random' module.

Example 11: Rock-Paper-Scissors Game

This program allows the user to play Rock-Paper-Scissors against the computer, which makes a random choice.

The output of the above code would be as follows: 

Various Functions of Random Module

The 'random' module goes beyond simple number generation. It also offers more advanced functions for random sampling and permutation.

Example 12: Random Sampling Elements

In this case, we use the 'sample()' function to select three unique numbers from a population randomly.

Real-world Application: The diverse functions of the random module find applications in games, simulations, and statistical analysis. For instance, random sampling is employed in polling and market research to gather unbiased data.


Python's 'random' module is a powerful tool for adding randomness to your programs. Whether you're developing games, conducting simulations, or performing statistical analysis, the functions provided by the 'random' module can help you introduce unpredictability and variability into your code. By exploring the various functions and examples presented in this guide, you should now understand how to leverage the 'random' module in Python for your projects.


Q1: Are the random numbers truly random?

No, the numbers generated by the 'random' module are pseudo-random, meaning an algorithm and an initial seed value determine them. For most applications, this level of randomness is sufficient.

Q2: Can I control the randomness by setting a seed value?

Yes, you can set a seed value using 'random.seed()' to ensure reproducibility. You'll get the same sequence of random numbers when you use the same seed.

Q3: What's the difference between 'randint()' and 'randrange()'?

'randint(a, b)' generates a random integer between 'a' and 'b,' while 'randrange(start, stop, step)' allows you to specify a step value for the range.

Q4: How can I shuffle a list randomly without modifying the original list?

You can create a shuffled copy of the list using 'random.sample()' or 'random.shuffle()'.

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