Explaining Provably Fair Games

Casino games using the ‘Provably Fair’ algorithm are now becoming the new fad in online casino gaming with many of the top game developers now producing video slots and table games enabled to accept cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, and more.

Just to avoid confusion, and to get straight to the point, the provably fair algorithm only applies to cryptocurrency casino games while fiat currency games use random number generators (RNGs).

Therefore, when you see the term ‘provably fair’, this is referring to an algorithm-based technology designed to randomise the results of cryptocurrency enabled casino games. Online video slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker games can all take advantage of what is essentially an enhanced version of a Random Number Generator (RNG).

Now you know where to find the provably fair algorithm and how it applies to online and mobile casino games, we are now going to explain how it works using a very simple process so as not to overcomplicate the explanation thus making it very easy to understand.

How does the Provably Fair algorithm work?

Much like an RNG, the provably fair algorithm randomises the outcome of a card deck shuffle, a roulette wheel spin, dice rolls, and even a coin flip. It does this by using the blockchain architecture the crypto used to make the bet originates from.

One of the major differences from standard RNGs used to randomise the outcome of fiat currency games is that the provably fair algorithm creates an immutable record of the ‘transaction or bet’ results on its respective blockchain.

· The algorithm generates an encrypted key containing the outcome of the bet

· Players receive the encrypted key and another key to verify the randomness

The key advantage here is that players can go back and manually verify that the outcome of the bet was fair and random. If the player suspects that there is an issue, he or she can report to the casino and the casino can easily check the record of the bet on the blockchain.

Provably Fair Online Casinos Versus RNG Online Casinos

Just to be clear, some casinos offer its members both cryptocurrency and fiat currency games. In this case, the fiat games use the RNG algorithm and the crypto games use the probably fair algorithm.

RNG Casinos

· Players cannot check the results of the RNG algorithm

· Players must trust the casino’s RNG integrity

· Players must trust that the casino regularly tests it RNGs

· The casino needs a licensing authority to hold the casino accountable

Provably Fair Casinos

· The provably fair algorithm generates results and stores them in a hash for verification

· All results are recorded on a public ledger so there is no need for third-party testing

· Players can verify the results produced by the blockchain manually

· As results are public there is no need for a licensing authority to check the randomness of results

Although most provably fair cryptocurrency casinos do hold a casino license, it is generally not for game results integrity so to speak. Games on these casinos are already considered fair because all records of every bet are kept as immutable records, anyone could expose a casino if it miraculously found a way to manipulate results.

A simple software report could bring to light any casino scam because the results are available in a public ledger for each game.

Cheating would ultimately lead to the casino losing credibility and therefore the casino would be out of business. With social media, affiliate websites that review online casinos, and thousands of blogs, news of a cheating casino would soon be rattling the wires of the online casino gaming community.

Not only that, but it is also virtually impossible to manipulate results on any blockchain architecture.

How Do Provably Fair Casinos Work?

Now we are clear on the differences between provably fair and RNG algorithms, let’s get down to some of the nitty-gritty and determine how provably fair casinos implement this blockchain algorithm.

There are several ways that an online casino can implement the provably fair algorithm technology. However, most of the online casinos you will play at will stick to the standard Serverseed, Clientseed, and Nonce procedure.

· Serversideseed: the casino provides the serversideseed portion of the probably fair algo

· CLientseed: your web browser or casino app will provide this part of the algorithm

· Nonce: every hand, spin, or roll the nonce variable will increase by a 1-count so you can go back and verify hands, spins, or rolls according to sequence each one played out

Key Point: The serversideseed hash contains the results of the entire game you will play

Serversideseed Hash Creation

When you open the cryptocurrency casino game you want to play, for example, an ETH blackjack table, the ‘Serversideseed’ gives you an encrypted ‘hash’. Inside this hash are the outcomes of hundreds of hands which are the results you will receive when playing the casino game in question.

Now if you are playing blackjack the algorithm already knows the sequence of the cards that will come out from the deck on for each hand because this was pre-set when the provably fair algorithm created the hash.

Consequently, the only variable that will change the result is whether you decide to hit, double down, split, or stand. All these card deck sequences are inside the hash provided when you opened the game.

· The player opens the casino game

· Provably fair algorithm requests a hash

· Blockchain creates a random hash full of pre-set hands

· The player runs through this sequence of hands

Does having all the results inside a hash make it easy to hack?

At this time, you might think, this hash sounds like a target for hackers and it is easy to see why because all the results of the next thousand hands or spins are inside this hash.

However, there is a slim to none chance of you or the casino manipulating the results inside a hash because it is an ‘immutable record of game results’ already created on its respective blockchain. If a player could hack the ‘hash’ he or she would only do so to see the outcome of every hand while this would be of no use to a casino.

As a result, the ‘hash’ is a perfect solution for giving players random results, and what’s more, it is this exact system that makes verification possible.

How Does the Provably Fair Results Verification Process Work?

Hand verification takes place once your session is over and not immediately after each hand. This is when the serverside and clientside hash need to match so you can receive the unhashed version of the serverside hash originally assigned to your session.

There are some casinos with custom-made blockchain ecosystems that allow you to verify every hand but usually, these casinos do not have games from the likes of big brand names such as Play’n Go or Red Tiger Gaming.

· When the game begins, you receive the ‘hash’ with hand results

· When the game ends, you receive the ‘unhashed’ version

· You can then check the hands were fair using software

You will only receive the unhsahed version of the serverside seed if it matches the clientside seed so make sure you use the same browser you played the game.

Here is how easy this process is:

Step 1: First, double-check that the unhashed server seed is the same as the hashed serverseed to make sure you are verifying correctly. A decent piece of software for this is Xorbin. This will generate the SHA256 hash of the unhased serverseed to make sure they are the same.

Step 2:Generate the results and compare them using an online software tool. In the very unlikely event, there are discrepancies, then you have proof and you can show this to your online casino which will also verify the discrepancy and should they agree, you get your money back. However, this rarely happens.

This is where the ‘nonse’ art of the process comes into action. As there can be thousands of bets to run through, you will need a software app to help you which can easily be found online. The alternative is to go through this process manually which means going through hundreds or thousands of manual checks to make which is, to say the least – a tedious process.

Look online for ‘provably fair verifiers’ or check if your online casino offers a provably fair verification tool or recommends one.

The process involved with verifying your calculations is easy:

· Enter the number of bets made for the session

· Enter the number of seeds

· Allow the verifier to check the serverseed hash

· Check the results against the casino

A provably fair algorithm in action on mBitcaisno

On mBitcasino there 2 seed stages which we will denote as the ‘single seed’ and the ‘secondary seed’.

A. Single Seed

A single seed is generated by mBitcasino before any gameplay. This seed is then hashed, and the hash is stored on a public ledger which now means anyone can see this hash. This is also an immutable record that cannot be changed.

B. Secondary Seed

Another seed is generated after every hand, dice roll or spin of the roulette wheel. That means as soon as one hand or spin is complete, a new secondary seed generates. Each new seed has what is essentially a serial number so there is no way it can be manipulated.

C. Single Seed and Secondary Seed Combining

Both the seeds in A + B above now combine creating a string of numbers that will now randomise the results in the same way a random number generator generates the results of a fiat currency casino game.

How Different is an RNG on Fiat Currency Casino Games?

We already know that there is no way of checking whether a random number generator produces fair results. The only thing we can do is rely on licensing authorities keeping the casinos in check and third part testing companies verifying that the results are random.

Another key difference with RNGs is that the results are not pre-determined in the same way as the provably fair algorithm. RNGs use something called a ‘constant shuffle mode’ which means the cards are always shuffling even when a hand is in progress.

The only time this ‘constant shuffle mode’ stops is when you decide to act. For instance, when playing Blackjack and you choose to hit, the ‘shuffle’ will momentarily stop and issue your next card, then once the card is on the table, it will return to the ‘constant shuffle mode’.

Online slots work similarly. All the possible reel combinations possible are in a constant shuffle mode. This is a long string of code that runs through hundreds of hands in a matter of milliseconds.

As soon as you press spin, the ‘constant shuffle’ will stop on a combination. This means that even though the reels will spin the outcome is already decided and therefore, the spin of the reels is purely for entertainment value.

To summarise, RNGs use a constant shuffle that stops when the player makes a decision, while provably fair games prepare the results before the player begins his or her session.

Summarising the Provably Fair Algorithm

There are simple steps a provably fair algorithm uses to produce full proof and fully verifiable results. This is why provably fair games are considered more trustworthy than RNGs.

Here is the simple process:

· A ‘seed’ is created when you start a new casino game

· An encryption algorithm creates random game results

· When the session is over the encryption is unhashed

· You can use software to check the results were fair

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