Crypto Economy · February 4, 2022

The essence and the benefits of provably fair gambling

The essence and the benefits of provably fair gambling

It is not a secret that the usage of Bitcoin as a payment method frees us from having to trust other parties involved in the transaction. Thus, it might be a solution for the problem of some unfair online casinos cheating their customers, as trusting somebody on the Internet might be one of the weakest links of the system, which leads to cheating as such. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin gaming websites have long been in the search of new ways to prevent this and make provably fair gambling technologies available to their players. Now, players don’t need to trust online casinos, and vice versa and this might be the key element of the mutual advantage.

Believe it or not: even ‘traditional’ (real-money) gambling portals can actually offer their customers at least one efficient no-cheat mechanism. The thing is, gamblers will need to get acquainted with the concept of online gaming fairness provability first to be prepared for playing casino games on websites where this functionality is applied. It all starts with the conversion of player-generated input data into alpha-numeric sequences known as hash strings. For an average gambler, it is almost impossible to find a mathematical solution for these strings, but this solution, however, can be verified. As a result, if you could hypothetically solve any of the hash strings, you would be able to retrieve the data encrypted in them. After that, you would need a seed which is an extra string of characters serving as the hashed data modifier.

Let us take a closer look at the way such provably fair gambling tools can be used by BTC casinos and gambling portals. In card games like blackjack where the deck is required to be shuffled properly, we need to keep the card to be dealt disclosed from the casino. So, the first thing in the fairness probability mechanisms on websites offering such games is automatically shuffling the deck the way they do usually do it. The next step is enabling you, the player, to see the hash of this shuffle. After that, you need to provide a seed that your browser randomly generates and submits automatically or manually, and there should be no possibility for the seed to be revealed to the gambling website in any manner. This seed will be used to shuffle the card deck so that the final card order is impossible for the website or player to learn or predict. What happens next is the hand is laid out, and after that the initial deck can be shown, allowing the player to verify if the deck has been dealt as indicated by the website-provided hash. Finally, the final deck is shown for the player to verify that all the changes to the initial deck have been made in accordance with the seed they provided.

Randomness is also used in roulette and other online games alike. Random numbers here can be self-generated or provided by a special third-party tool. In both cases, there will be two ways for you to conduct the fairness provability check: if you have a good understanding of programming and cryptography, just look for useful tips and verification guides online, or, if not, simply ask a good expert to help you with that and/or do outcome verification for you. Basically, doing so is trusting someone, and in the very first paragraph, we have already discussed the undesirability of trusting other parties in online gambling. Currently, provably fair Bitcoin casinos are not as popular among gamblers as they ideally could be, and one of the reasons for that may be the lack of understanding of their concept. Most players just need some time to finally go for this beneficial solution.

As for the usage of fairness provability tools in virtual sportsbooks, it is worth noting that such websites are initially expected to be somehow provably fair originally, because there is no possibility for either player of the house itself to get the results of an event beforehand, and the sportsbook cannot refuse to pay you the odds you were promised when making a bet. Nevertheless, you should be expecting to face the issue of a real-money betting website avoiding paying you the promised percent of the total pool to you, as you don’t know how big this pool actually is. With Bitcoin, such problems can eventually become non-existent, as all the bets made are recorded in the blockchain making it possible for any player to calculate the total prize pool and match it with the payouts made.