Every casino review website out there touts the fairness and safeness of the operators they put under the glass and successfully pass. But how can one be 100% sure of the claims anyone makes about a certain casino, unless they can somehow verify for themselves such affirmations? Undoubtedly this question will cross any player’s mind sooner or later and for good reason. It would seem rather easy for an operator to rig the games without the players’ knowledge. Moreover, there are recorded cases of operators that got caught doing this exact thing.
As the online gambling industry keeps growing, so do the numbers soar ever higher. Even with the regulations already in place, it has become imperative for the industry to provide a way to eliminate any shadow of a doubt in regards to the fairness of the games they offer. But it wasn’t until the age of cryptocurrency that online casinos were able to come up with the most transparent tool that put all cheating concerns to rest.
What does provably fair mean in online gambling?
Some refer to it as a tool, others regard it as more of a process, but either way, provably fair is the sum total of three main factors that come into play:
- Random Number Generators
- Seed Generators
- Cryptographic hashing
Don’t worry, it’s normal if you feel a bit lost right about now. For the complexity of the aforementioned terms, the whole process is fairly simple and quick to absorb.
The majority of gambling enthusiasts might already be familiarized with the Random Number Generator (RNG) and how it works. But just to refresh everybody’s memory, all an RNG does in an online slot is to constantly generate random numbers (millions or billions of them per second) to determine a spin’s outcome – in the case of online slots.
The numbers that are fed into the machines’ RNG algorithms are created by seed generators. Provably fair systems allow the players to add a unique extra seed number, which further ensures the operator is in no control of the result.
Cryptographic hashing refers to the process of shortening and encrypting a long string of data. It resembles something of an electronic signature for a text or data file.
How does provably fair work?
It looks pretty complicated on paper but a quick example will clear the air in no time.
- A hashed seed number is generated by the online casino and sent to the player;
- The receiver adds an extra seed to the mix;
- The round plays out and the outcome of the bet is decided;
- When the bet is settled, the seed that has been used is sent to the player
- The player checks the bet with a provably fair verifier
In reality, after a hand of blackjack, for example:
- The deck is shuffled and the player provided with a cryptographic hash of the shuffle outcome;
- The player provides the extra seed, which changes a certain property of the game that neither party is aware of;
- A card is dealt and the bet is settled as either a loss or a win;
- The deck is presented both as it was before and after the player added the extra seed;
- Player can therefore verify whether the hand was fair or not.
Provably fair is quickly becoming an industry standard among Bitcoin casinos. No third party is needed for players to independently cross-reference the data that comes out of an online pokie against a provably fair verifier, hence more transparency, anonymity, security and fairness than ever. With all these, however, responsible gambling is encouraged whenever playing at any online casino.