Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become more and more popular in recent years. That said, online casinos are making a bigger effort to involve Bitcoin banking and blockchain technology.
Provably fair casinos have come as a result of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The basic idea behind provably fair gaming is that you can verify whether or not you’re dealing with legitimate casinos.
Most internet casinos offer fair games anyways, because they don’t want to cheat customers and ruin their reputations. But a few bad apples have run rigged games in the past. Anybody who’s worried about the nightmare scenario of rigged gaming should be thrilled about provably fair sites. But what exactly is a provably fair casino and should you use them?
Keep reading as I discuss more about these sites, along with the pros and cons of provably fair gaming.
What Is a Provably Fair Casino?
A provably fair casino gives you the ability to verify the fairness of your bets. In theory, such a casino can’t/won’t cheat you when considering that they’d easily be caught.Smart contracts platforms like Ethereum and NEO make it impossible for gaming sites to alter results. Games on these platforms are governed by programming code, meaning there’s no chance for a casino owner/employee to change anything.
Basically, a provably fair casino is all about transparency and allowing you to enjoy fair gaming without worry.
Traditional Bitcoin Casino vs. Provably Fair Gaming
You’ve likely heard the term “Bitcoin casino” thrown around many times. But is a Bitcoin gaming site always provably fair? No, a Bitcoin casino can simply refer to the fact that the site accepts BTC as a banking option. Some online casinos only accept Bitcoin.
A traditional Bitcoin casino is one that uses random number generators (RNGs) and third-party auditors just like standard internet casinos. Provably fair Bitcoin casinos also allow customers to check their wager results on the blockchain.
How Do You Check Provably Fair Casino Results?
Being able to verify your online gambling results on the blockchain is a nice luxury. But undergoing this process requires some technical understanding.
Provably fair gaming can be implemented through various means. But one of the most-common implementations involves the following three variables:
- Server seed – This is provided by the casino.
- Client seed – Your browser creates this.
- Nonce – This is a number that increases every time you bet and identifies each wager.
Right before you make a bet, the casino client will provide you with an encrypted hash that contains the server seed. The fact that you’re receiving the server seed means a casino can’t alter your betting results. This seed’s encryption also ensures that you can’t hack into it and determine the result of your impending wager.
After all, online casinos transfer the server seed before your bet is determined. This means that the gaming site can’t do anything to change the result, because they don’t know the outcome until after the wager.
Pros of Provably Fair Casinos
Provably fair gaming is increasing in popularity, because it offers several advantages over traditional internet casinos. Here are the main benefits to playing at provably fair sites.
You Can Check Your Own Bet Results
I just described how the process of checking your bets at provably fair sites works. This is an inherent advantage over regular iGaming sites. You can’t verify fair gaming at a regular online casino. The site and their software providers control everything internally.
Any online casino that’s had their games tested and approved normally displays the lab’s seal at the bottom of their homepage. It’s certainly great when casinos are willing to undergo auditing. But what happens when you’re dealing with a site that hasn’t had their games tested?
Herein lies a big benefit of provably fair casinos, because you can be the auditor.
Provably Fair Sites Eliminate the Need for Third Party Auditing
Continuing off the last point, provably fair gaming eliminates the need for third-party testers.The three agencies I mentioned above are all respected testing labs. Therefore, you can guarantee that their seal means something when it’s displayed on a casino’s website.
Some iGaming licensing jurisdictions require that casinos undergo auditing. The UK Gambling Commission is a perfect example, because they require all licensees to undergo game testing annually.
Unfortunately, not all licensing authorities demand auditing. Lax jurisdictions like Antigua & Barbuda, Costa Rica, and Panama are more worried about bringing in revenues from licensees rather than gaining respect and protecting players. These licensing entities up don’t force their casinos to undergo game testing. Therefore, you have no idea if some of the casinos licensed under these jurisdictions are offering legitimate games.
This brings me back to the point about how you don’t need to worry about auditing when dealing with provably fair sites. Instead, you can always check results yourself in the absence of a testing lab.
Provably Fair Casinos Feature Many Elements of Traditional Casinos
If you’ve played at online casinos in the past, then you’ll feel right at home with most provably fair sites. Provably fair casinos include many of the same elements that are found at regular gaming sites. These aspects include bonuses, quality games, VIP programs, and customer support. Welcome bonuses are always popular, because they give you a chance to earn free money right away. All you need to do is make your first deposit and meet the terms and conditions to withdraw your money.
Most provably fair casinos offer a welcome bonus in cryptocurrency. For example, you might be able to earn a 100% match bonus worth up to one Bitcoin. Considering that a Bitcoin is worth $6,495 at the time of this writing, you have a chance to win lots of bonus money in this case.
Customer support is crucial at casinos, regardless of if you can monitor betting fairness yourself. You never know when you’ll run into an issue with a game or the signup process. When this happens, it’s nice to have knowledgeable customer support that’s available most of the day.
RTP Is Generally Higher at Provably Fair Casinos
As you may know, RTP affects your long-term chances of winning with a casino game. For example, an online slot that offers 97% RTP gives you stronger odds of winning than a slot with 94% payback.
I don’t recommend that you blindly trust a provably fair casino to offer excellent payout percentages. Always check a game’s help screen to ensure that you’re getting a good deal. By and large, though, you have a better opportunity to win with these games.
Cons of Provably Fair Casinos
Provably fair sites definitely have some good qualities. However, not everything is perfect with them. Check out the drawbacks to provably fair casinos below and decide whether or not any of them are deal breakers.
The Games Don’t Always Look Great
Earlier I mentioned that provably fair casino games have improved in terms of graphics, features, and overall atmosphere. But there are still many such sites offering rudimentary games that look like they’re from the 1990s.
Many provably fair casinos rely on their strengths of fair gaming and allowing players to check their own results. Consequently, some of these sites try to skate by with below-average games.
Again, you can find some provably fair sites with high-quality games and software providers. But others have bland games that are only fun if you’re obsessed about checking your results on the blockchain.
You Must Deposit and Withdraw with Cryptocurrency
If you’re already experienced in dealing with cryptocurrencies, then you’ll have no problem with the banking offered at provably fair sites.
Here’s a quick example of everything you must do to use cryptocurrency at a casino:
- Visit an exchange like Coinbase, where you can purchase crypto with fiat.
- Visit your preferred casinos banking section and generate a wallet address.
- Go back to the fiat exchange and choose the option to send your cryptocurrency.
- Enter the generated casino wallet address and approve the transaction.
- You may have to wait anywhere from 10-20 minutes until the deposit is complete.
I should add that using crypto gets easier as you have more transactions under your belt. But all of these steps are daunting to a gambler who’s already used to depositing with credit cards and eWallets.
You Need to Master the Value of Each Cryptocurrency before Betting
Another problem regarding the banking aspects of probably fair casinos is actually mastering the denomination of your preferred crypto.
Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that actually has named denominations, which you can see below:
- decaBitcoin (daBTC) = 10 BTC
- Bitcoin (BTC) = 1
- deciBitcoin (dBTC) = 0.1
- centiBitcoin (cBTC) = 0.01
- milliBitcoin (mBTC) = 0.001
- microBitcoin (uBTC) = 0.000001
- Finney = 0.0000001
- Satoshi= 0.00000001
Most online casinos use the mBTC denomination, because it’s the closest to a single unit of USD, GBP, and EUR. But mBTC is normally worth several units of these fiat currencies (e.g. mBTC = $6.50). Therefore, it’s difficult to keep track of how much you’re actually betting.
This only becomes harder when dealing with the many other cryptocurrencies that are available at provably fair casinos. Here’s a sample of the available crypto:
- Bitcoin Cash
Considering that none of these cryptocurrencies have named denominations, you may have to spend more time figuring out how much they’re worth in terms of fiat. Ethereum is worth US$275 at the time of this post. That said, a bet worth 0.01 ETH is equal to $2.75.
You can get the hang of mentally converting crypto amounts to fiat values over time. But you probably won’t find this to be more convenient than simply wagering with your nation’s fiat currency.
Your Bankroll Is Subject to Fluctuations
Adding to the problem discussed above is that cryptocurrencies are still volatile assets. One week your NEO could be worth $40, and the next it might drop to $20. Nobody wants to see their bankroll halved while it’s sitting in their account and not being used.
But most gamblers are worried about making their money through the actual games. They’d rather not go through two gambles, including betting on games and worrying about how much their funds will be worth the following day.
Every gambler loves having a better shot at winning. And provably fair casinos provide this through higher RTP. Provably fair sites also do a good job of emulating standard casinos by offering VIP programs, welcome bonuses, promotions, and customer service.
Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks to consider before you deposit at a provably fair site. These include some sites offering bland games, mastering new currencies, and bankroll fluctuations. Games are the lifeblood of casinos. And provably fair sites don’t always provide much substance in this category.
If you’re used to credit cards and eWallets, you may hate the process of moving to and learning cryptocurrencies. Finally, no gambler enjoys logging into their account and finding that their bankroll has dropped due to a crypto market fluctuation. The pros and cons of provably fair casinos are nearly equal. This leaves you with a tough decision on whether or not to play at these sites.
Assuming you do choose provably fair sites, then it always helps to familiarize yourself with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency that you’re using beforehand. Knowing how to use crypto and its value in terms of fiat will make your transition much easier.