Not everyone is familiar with the term ‘provably fair’ so before I give you my opinion on the matter, let me try to break it down for you.
What Is Provably Fair?
Provably fair is basically an algorithm that can help you check and verify an online casino’s fairness towards its players. As players, we have all been suspicious at times and this is a way to make sure you’re not being tricked.
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Unique to Crypto Gambling
As a new technology, provably fair is so far unique to Bitcoin gambling and adds a layer of transparency to crypto casinos by being able to verify any bet outcome to be correct and fair.
Every game or transaction has its own algorithm and it can be checked to determine its fairness. So far so good, right?
Blockchain Platforms Are 100% Transparent
With crypto becoming a bigger part of online gambling, it also comes with some additional advantages. One of them being that blockchain platforms are 100% transparent and permanent.
Because of this, purchases and payouts are open to all on public ledger and therefore cannot be tampered with. There is a program code that can oversee the entire process, making sure there is zero human interference involved.
How Does It Work?
When it comes to provably fair systems, players actually have the chance to add a seed number. By doing this, you can ensure that the casino isn’t in control of the outcome.
If I can try and put this into context of provably fair, when a seed number is hashed, it means it is now encrypted. Remember how I said it’s easier to make sure things are fair in crypto gambling? This is because cryptographic hashes used at crypto gambling casinos are considered unbreakable. In order for a provably fair system to work, this is key.
How Provably Fair Systems Are Implemented
As an application, depending on the casino or provider, it is possible that it can look slightly different. Regardless, the principle is always the same, at least for single player games.
Some games can make things a little bit more complicated the more players that are involved. If you are playing slots by yourself compared to a multiplayer poker game for example.
Why? Because a poker game would mean that there has to be an encryption for each and every card that is being dealt. You can imagine things tend to step up a notch.
A Bullet Point Break Down
I know this may seem complicated as it’s not that easy to understand for everyone. Believe me, I know. How about if I put it in the following order:
- The casino creates a seed number for the bet you just made
- This is hashed and sent to you
- You add a seed and the bet is played out
- After the bet, you receive the seed used that was used in the bet
- If it matches the bet is verified. Meaning there was no interference
- If the casino tried to manipulate the bet in any way, the hash function would be changed and the bet would not be verified.
- Bottom line – the result of a bet can now be verified by you in real time. Nice!
Provably Fair Blackjack
The provably fair system is applicable in a game like Blackjack. So if 21 is your favorite number and this is the game for you, pay attention. An online Blackjack game would use the following:
- As the casino shuffles the deck, you will be given a hash of the shuffle outcome
- You would then provide a seed (randomly generated or manually given by you) which will then change one of the cards or some other factor of the game. Neither party will be aware of how it is changed.
- The card is dealt and the outcome will show you either win or lose
- Now the deck will be laid out in its original form as well as how it was affected after you added your own seed
- You can now verify that everything looks how it should be.
No risk of Player tampering
With a regular game algorithm, a casino has to make it public in order for players to verify its fairness. Because of this, there is a chance that players, at least in theory, may be able to tamper with the game.
What’s the difference with provably fair you may wonder? Well, even though the result of the spin or game is predetermined, neither you or the casino are aware of the outcome until it has been played out.
How to Verify a Bet
To be able to give you a closer look, I decided to head to BitStarz Casino and play the popular game Platinum Lightning by BGaming. In this game, there is a button you can click to open up your provably fair testing.
It’s the first button out of the 4 that looks like a medal.
Clicking it will open up for testing and you can adjust the numbers however you please. Any change will result in a different hash. Feel free to copy the hash.
After your spin, it is now possible to check the original hash against the final result by clicking the verify button at the bottom. If all is well, it will say ‘successful verification’.
For this particular test. The final result that was given and verified looked like this:
If I put this next to the actual reels, you can see that everything is correct and there has been no manipulation of the outcome of the spin.
Pros and Cons of Provably Fair
+ Players can check if the outcome of a games is as promised
+ Because of the algorithm, there’s no need for a third party to keep an eye on things as the blockchain is a public ledger
+ 100% Transparent and secure
– Only works for crypto, not fiat
– The quality of provably fair games is not great but getting better and better
Once again the blockchain public ledger delivers. Because of the blockchain and the provably fair algorithm, there’s no need for any authority regulations.
Do People Care About Provably Fair Games?
Yes, of course they do. Players wish all or at least more games were provably fair. If I get suspicious I want to be able to check for myself that there’s no shady business going on.
Are Provably Fair Games the Future of Online Gambling?
Definitely. Considering crypto is getting stronger by the day and also is taking a bigger piece of the online gambling pie, I definitely feel it will be a big part of the future. Why? Because players are getting tired of feeling they are getting ripped off. Even if it’s all according to the rules, being able to check to settle the nerves is a great thing.
One thing that needs to change however is the quality of games. This is where the industry needs to step up. For players that are used to regular slot games with great graphics are going to be very hesitant to switch. Until this issue is resolved, players will accept a certain risk of tampering.