Provably Fair Games - What does it mean?We explain what is meant by provably fair casino games, what games that are built on this algorithm and where you can play them.
Fast Facts about Provably Fair Games:
|Main goal of the algorithm:||Verify the fairness of a specific title.|
|Cryptocurrencies admitted:||Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Tether, Cardano, among others.|
|Usage of Third-party authentication:||No|
|Availability in these game types:||Plinko, Dice, Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, Keno, some Slots and some Crash games.|
Guide to Provably Fair Casino Games
With the rise in technology, many options for online gambling have emerged. One of these options relates to the specific use of cryptocurrencies in what many refer to as crypto crash gambling.
While many who do not understand cryptocurrencies might raise an eyebrow in skepticism at using these platforms, the truth is that they have allowed gambling to grow in unexpected ways.
One of these relates to the transparency of fairness in so-called ‘Provably Fair’ algorithms. But what is this algorithm, how does it work, and what does it mean for the world of crypto gambling and even ordinary forms of online gambling?
Today we’re investigating this topic and unearthing all the details for you. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.
Can provably fair be manipulated?
One of the top reasons the use of this technology is so exciting is that there is no way for any player to manipulate the data. Since the blockchain – the massive ledger-like system on which cryptocurrencies operate – handles provably fair calculations, it is impossible to manipulate it for personal gain.
What does provably fair mean?
‘Provably Fair’ aims to go a step beyond the idea of a game simply being labeled as ‘fair’. Compared to typical black box algorithms – that is, where players must trust the casino on how fair their systems are without any real, verifiable evidence of the inner workings of said algorithms – provably fair provides complete transparency regarding its algorithms. ‘Provably’ being the key word here.
Can I deposit in any cryptocurrency while playing a provably fair game?
That will depend entirely on the platform you choose for your online crypto gambling. You should quickly be able to view the supported cryptocurrencies for the game you want to play on the platform of choice – even before creating an account and committing to said platform’s services
What organization is behind the provably fair project?
The idea of provable fairness started a few years ago, but the currently used system seems to be an amalgamation of work done by various organizations. As far as we can tell, the latest iteration of provable fairness uses ideas presented in an MIT paper by Lujing Cen, Gloria Fang, and Andrea Jaba. (1)
5 Benefits of Provably Fair Games
Now that we understand what the system is, we need to investigate the reasons for implementing it. The provably fair algorithm provides many benefits compared to typical black box algorithms implemented by most online casinos that don’t use cryptocurrencies.
Here is a list of the benefits provided by provable fairness, which should also explain why so many casinos are opting to use this system:
- Players can check the outcomes of their bets at any time – even after games.
- Avoid third-party auditing since the algorithm ensures fairness.
- Organizations can prove they use fair systems since anyone can view the algorithms.
- It is preferable to black box fairness algorithms that force players to simply ‘trust’ the inner workings are fair.
- It has changed the way online casinos work and will continue to improve player experiences.
What is a Provably Fair Game?
It’s worth noting that the provably fair algorithm is not itself a game. It is merely an algorithm that tells games how to handle their own data, both during and after games, to make sure it maintains a level of transparency that makes it trustworthy.
Provably fair games would then, by deduction, be games that implement the provably fair algorithms into their games – or simply host games on their platforms that already utilize this algorithm.
One reason cryptocurrency casinos have frequently mentioned these types of games is that it’s not yet implemented in ordinary online casino games. This gives cryptocurrency games using this algorithm an advantage over games that don’t, as players can reliably see beforehand which games offer fair, unmanipulated odds.
Why do casinos present Provably Fair as ‘safe crypto gambling’?
Given the nature of cryptocurrency, there are seldom any refunds on transactions. This can lead to serious problems if you’re gambling online where the games do not have provably fair algorithms, as once you deposit money, you’re at the mercy of the platform.
Using provably fair algorithms allows casinos to provide security to their players, especially in cryptocurrency.
When you play at these casinos, you know that the platform isn’t manipulating the games to decrease your chances of winning. This process provides a ‘safe crypto gambling’ experience for players.
How does the Provably Fair work?
The provably fair algorithm might seem simple when explained in lay terms, but the truth is far from it. This algorithm is an intense process from start to finish. We will try to explain how it works here, but keep in mind that this is but one of many types of applications.
Before we start, there are three key phrases to note:
- Server seed: this is a seed provided by the casino.
- Client seed: this is a seed provided by the browser you’re using while playing games on the platform.
- Nonce: a variable that increases by one after every hand played to let players keep track of which hand was which at any point during or after the session.
Now the complicated part. Before a player starts their game, they get a hash of the Server seed – which is always encrypted.
This hash is essentially a piece of encrypted data containing the entirety of the game/round you’re currently playing.
Having the game in the hash is important to prevent the casino from altering any aspects of the game during play.
Now, you might think that if you have all this data, you could alter your own hands to increase your odds of winning, but that is precisely why the hash is encrypted – to prevent anyone from fiddling with it.
After a match has been played, the unhashed version of the seed is given to all players and stored alongside the Nonce (the round counter variable). Now you can see how the round played out.
You should always make sure that the unhashed seed matches the HASHED seed. If it doesn’t, the casino has provided you with altered gameplay, which means your match was not fair.
You can use online tools such as Xorbin to generate the SHA256 hash of the unhashed server seed. The result will allow you to easily see whether the results were provably fair or not.
Remember that the Nonce is essential here, as the verifier of the casino you’re playing at will have these Nonces stored alongside the relevant hashes. With thousands of games being played every second, manually trying to find your match number might prove near impossible.
Is it possible to verify that you’ve been cheated?
As mentioned above, you can verify the results of the initial hashed seed of the match against the unhashed seed the platform provides at the end of a game.
To compare the two, you must turn the unhashed seed back into a hashed seed using online tools such as Xorbin.
Once you have the initial hashed seed and the rehashed seed you make using the unhashed seed, you can compare the two seeds. The hashes should be precisely the same. If there are any differences, the results were altered, meaning you were cheated.
Let’s use an example:
- You join a game, and you’re provided with a hashed seed.
- You play the game to completion.
- After the game, you get what should be the unhashed version of the hashed seed you received when the game started.
- You take this unhashed seed to a tool such as Xorbin.
- You enter the unhashed seed and hash it yourself. The results should look the same as the hash you received initially.
Do all games in an online casino work with Provably Fair?
Most online casinos currently DO NOT implement this technology. You’ll primarily find it when playing at online casinos that allow cryptocurrency.
Examples of games from crypto casinos that utilize this technology include:
- Crash Games such as line crash games.
- Other typical casino table games.
Provably Fair Casino vs Regular Casino – what’s the difference?
The main differences between provably fair and regular casinos come down to transparency-related issues.
Provably fair casinos have no problem showing their players that their games are fair, which begs the question, why don’t all online casinos do the same?
The simple answer is that this technology requires a blockchain connection, which ordinary online casino games do not implement. Therefore, they cannot employ it at a moment’s notice.
It will require planning and will likely render many of their existing online games unusable as blockchain re-engineering will be required.
Ordinary online casinos will often offer significantly more game options to their players and support games played with regular currencies.
If you don’t mind a lack of variety and prefer knowing your games are fair, provably fair casinos are the way to go. However, if it's the variety you’re after, you might have to wait a while before these powerful algorithms are available at your favorite casinos.
Takeaway on Provably Fair Games
With the constant changes in technology, it’s not surprising that people started dabbling in ways to prove fairness in gambling once the idea of blockchain-based calculations became more popular.
Provably fair algorithms are a step in the right direction for fairness, as typical black box algorithms do not provide any transparency to players, meaning casinos could manipulate the data as they see fit unless they’re regularly audited – which can take tremendous resources and time.
If you love cryptocurrency and have been looking for the next best thing in online gambling, we recommend you give some provably fair games a chance and familiarize yourself with the systems.
It might become the new norm in a few years, so there’s no harm in learning the ropes.
Remember to gamble responsibly and always seek assistance if you notice an addiction developing. Gambling should be a fun pastime, not something that jeopardizes your well-being.
- Provable Fairness, MIT.EDU, Accessed 19 October 2022, <https://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.857/2019/project/2-Cen-Fang-Jaba.pdf>