A concern all online casino players share is whether or not the operator they are playing with has rigged the games. What good is playing in a casino that has tempered with the games and made winning impossible for the players? Thankfully, there’s a way to check the game fairness, and we are not referring here to third-party audits and certificates. Meet provably fair gaming.
The provably fair gambling technology allows users to verify the outcomes of each round and see the inner workings of RNG. This article delves deep into the cryptography behind casino game fairness, how it works, and its future in iGaming.
What is Provably Fair Gaming?
Provably fair gaming refers to playing Bitcoin casino games whose outcomes you can verify independently and confirm their fairness. In order to facilitate this verification, online casinos that operate on the blockchain use a special code dubbed a provably fair algorithm.
The algorithm generates an encrypted key containing the results of the game round, be it slot, table, or any other casino game. The encrypted key is then sent to the player alongside another key that lets you authenticate the accuracy of the results.
The first mention of provably fair gaming was in 2011, when BGaming, the first major casino software and game developer, launched games that support the technology. In the following years, many new Bitcoin casinos that rely on its proprietary software began implementing the provably fair algorithm into their games, contributing to the expansion of provably fair gambling. In fact, only those gambling platforms operating on the blockchain can support such technology, which gives them a crucial advantage over traditional online casinos.
Among the main benefits of probably fair gaming, we can highlight the following:
- Full transparency — As a player, you can check and verify the outcomes of your bets, making sure they are entirely fair.
- No need for third-party audits — Thanks to the provably fair algorithm and the blockchain, which is a public ledger, there’s no need for third-party labs to certify the games. Blockchain technology takes care of that.
- Greater RTP — Provably fair games are known for offering higher RTP rates than their counterparts. Their visuals and gameplay may not feature so many details, but the RTP rates are somewhere in the neighborhood of 97-99%, which not even some of the best-paying slots can offer.
- Privacy — By playing in provably fair casinos, you can make payments using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, thus making sure your personal banking details are never divulged to operators or payment processors.
Cryptography and Fairness in Online Casino Games
Online casinos rely on the use of cryptography and encryption to ensure the absolute security of the players’ funds and information, as well as the fairness of the games in the lobby. Cryptography mainly represents the link between the client, the browser it is using, and the server.
This link is usually protected by the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) cryptographic security protocols that guarantee the safety of data and information. No matter if you are making a payment or completing a registration procedure, the encryption protocols are active.
Cryptographic algorithms, such as the SHA-256 hash function that’s vital to provably fair gaming, are used to ensure that the outcomes from the random number generators are truly random and impervious to any manipulation and interference. Through the SHA-256 hash algorithms, the RNG’s output can’t be predicted or influenced by not even the operator, making casino gaming completely fair.
How to Verify Fairness in Provably Fair Games
Before you can verify fairness in provably fair games, there are some cryptographic basics you need to be aware of. First, three components determine the outcome of any spin, card shuffle, or game round in provably fair games, and these are:
- Serverseed — data provided by the casino
- Clientseed — generated by the browser you’re using
- Nonce — a variable that increases by one with every game round so that you can keep track of the hands played and game rounds.
Here’s how you use the data to verify fairness in a step-by-step guide:
- Before you start the game, you get the encrypted hash (more details) of the serverseed that contains the entire game you are about to play so that not even the casino can’t change it. Since the hash is encrypted, you can’t calculate the results of the rounds you are about to play.
- You get the seed through your browser (clientseed) as a player, and the game round occurs. This is a crucial part of the process, allowing you to check out the secret seed once the game round ends.
- Once the game plays out, the casino will reveal the original seed. You can opt to use a third-party calculator to confirm the results, such as Xorbin, to generate the SHA256 hash (see Wikipedia) of the serverseed. If the hash generated by Xorbin matches the serverseed, then you know the casino hasn’t tempered with your bet in any way.
You should adjust the clientseed before you begin playing, thus effectively ensuring that the casino doesn’t know it in advance.
Challenges and Limitations of Provably Fair Gaming
Although playing in provably fair casinos is simple in its own right, verifying the results and the entire procedure does require a certain level of technical skill that not many players possess. Of course, online casinos nowadays gave programs that use nonces to calculate the results of rolls and rounds faster, all you need to do is input the seeds and the number of bets made and let the verifier program check it for you.
However, doing it manually can be tricky. Also, provably fair gaming only applies to casinos running on blockchain, which are still not the majority in the market.
Ultimately, future developments in the area will likely be focused on simplifying the procedure and improving the reach of provably fair games in the first place, with more software providers creating and implementing the technology in their games.
The Future of Provably Fair Gaming
Provably fair gaming is here to stay. We are seeing an increasing number of crypto online casinos launching their native provably fair games to appeal to players looking for additional assurances with respect to safety and fairness.
With provably fair games in their portfolios, online casinos are going to the necessary lengths to build strong customer bases that appreciate the sense of security such gaming environments provide. As a result, we can see an even greater number of provably fair casinos on the market, with an array of additional safety features.
However, the biggest challenges remain the legalization of such casinos since the process itself requires the incorporation of strict Know Your Customer policies, directly in collision with the nature of cryptocurrency.
Provably fair gaming involves giving players the ability to test and confirm the fairness of the online casino games they are playing. The fairness of games is an indelible part of a smooth and enjoyable online casino gaming experience, prompting an even wider market reach for casinos that support such a feature.
Last Updated: May 18, 2023