I want to get a random row from my table by id.

My table:

ID|Word     |Dificult|Category_id|
1 |'Dumb'   |'Easy'  | 3         |
2 |'Leopard'|'Medium'| 6         |

If my user selects a category and a difficult, I have pick a random word with user parameters, like:

idRaffle := raffle.id;
   -- raffle.id = An id that postgres will bring me by some raffle function. 
d := 'Easy';
c := 3;
select * from words where id=idRaffle and Dificult=d and Category_id=c


I don't know how to get that random row id (raffle.id).

Note that it must follow the user's selection conditions.

  • So you want a random row (from the many) that fit the Difficult = 'Easy' AND Category_id = 3 ? Oct 14, 2012 at 23:23
  • Excacly, how can I do this? Oct 15, 2012 at 0:00
  • 2
    Closely related question on SO. ORDER BY random() LIMIT 1 is actually rather slow because it needs to scan and sort the whole table. Fine for small tables, impractical for big tables. Oct 15, 2012 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


To pick a random row, see:

quick random row selection in Postgres

FROM words
WHERE Difficult = 'Easy' AND Category_id = 3
ORDER BY random()

Since 9.5 there's also the TABLESAMPLE option; see documentation for SELECT for details on TABLESAMPLE.

  • 3
    This way is very slow
    – Minions
    May 20, 2020 at 10:13
  • Yes, it is. This isn't a use case SQL was really specified for. However newer PostgreSQL versions have tablesample support now. May 21, 2020 at 5:13

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