One of the pleasures of opening a new table in blackjack is seeing the cards get spread before the start of play. The dealer takes his deck of cards (assuming single deck action), spreads them out, and lets everyone take a peek while the dealer verifies the deck has all 52 cards. Honest and open play works for both sides, and spreading the deck shows the player that the casino isn’t in the business of cheating him. That’s one of the many benefits of live blackjack.
Online casinos historically have not had this ability to “show off their honesty”. A player must trust the casino to play fair. When the player wins, this isn’t a problem. But when he loses, that’s not the case. The blackjack player who went broke playing online will inevitably complain about an unfair game; the decks were cooked, he might say, or the decks were missing a few 10s and aces, giving the house an enormous advantage over the player.
Until recently, there was little an online casino could do to verify that its game were on the up and up. The deck shuffling is done by an algorithm, not a dealer handling the cards. The advent of bitcoin casinos, however, have also brought about a way that online casinos can prove they are dealing an honest game. This method, an algorithm that can be analyzed and verified for fairness, is called “Provably Fair”.
Provably Fair is a system that doesn’t allow either the casino or the player to cheat in the game. The method uses cryptographic hash functions that methodically transform data into strings. These strings are a series of unbreakable alphanumeric characters, meaning the data inside the strings can’t be cracked. The string is a fingerprint of a shuffled deck. Since the player can’t crack the string, the casino can safely let the player look at the string before the game begins. When the game is over, the player is given the ‘secret’ to the string, allowing him to very verify that the shuffled deck he was shown prior to the game is the same shuffled deck that was used in the game.
James Hampleton of Nitrogen Sports, rated as one of the top bitcoin sportsbooks in the world today, uses Provably Fair in its online casino and encourages its players to both understand and demand Provably Fair standards.
“Verifying that a hand is Provably Fair requires that players understand hashing and can run shuffling algorithms,”
Hampleton told CoinTelegraph.com. “In order for it to really take off as a standard, it requires support from the people who are not only capable of this, but are passionate about it.”
“This is the future of betting online,” added Hampleton. “Players should be demanding more transparency from their casinos, and Provably Fair technology not only allows this, but mandates it.”