What is provable fairness?

Online gambling has grown very popular over the last few years, and with good reason. It’s faster, easier and less costly than gambling in person. However, many bettors still have concerns when it comes to digital wagers. In-person betting has been the traditional standard, and the internet is infamous for enabling email scams, phishing attacks and more.

That’s why betting websites have gone the extra mile when it comes to transparency. Provable fairness is a system used by betting sites to prove the likelihood of outcomes before any bets are made. Every reputable casino game has a provable fairness system that any bettor can access. Proving that every wager on a casino game is fair sounds like it would be a difficult task, but it’s now easier than ever to check that your bet was processed in good faith.

No one likes a cheater when it comes to gambling. Half the satisfaction from a won bet comes from the decisions that led to a victory. Fairness is an essential part of any bet, so let’s break down how provable fairness works, why it's important and how you, as a bettor, can leverage it to your advantage. Armed with this knowledge, you can become a safer, more confident online gambler.

How provable fairness is generated

The provable fairness process begins as soon as a bet starts. The casino will immediately send the bettor a hash code, which is unique for every bet. Then, your computer will automatically generate a code of its own that is added to the end of the hash. After the bet finishes, you can decrypt the code and make sure it matches the original one. If the decrypted code matched the original, it confirms that your bet’s outcome was fair and determined at the publicly-available odds. If they're different, it’s undeniable proof that your wager was altered.

Your wager result is determined before you decide how much money you plan to place on it. For example, in a roulette game, the slot that the ball will roll into is determined before it even starts spinning. While this is different from in-person roulette, it also means that there’s no way for the game itself to change outcomes after you stake your bet. Since there’s no physical element at all, it could be considered even more secure than an in-person bet.

Here’s how it works chronologically; first, the digital roulette determines that the ball will land on, say, 17 black for the next round. You, the bettor, then decide to put €50 on black. Since the result is already determined, the casino game can’t go back and change the results. Then, the ball falls on black, and you collect your winnings!

If you’re familiar with cryptocurrency, this process might sound similar to blockchain technology. In fact, many digital casinos use a blockchain for their provable fairness systems. A publicly distributed ledger allows you to check your own bets’ fairness and thousands of bets from other users. Gambling sites were some of the first businesses to accommodate cryptocurrencies and now use similar technology to ensure fair play.

The importance of provably fair casino games

Provable fairness is essential for a few reasons. Ensuring your bets’ integrity is an important part of gambling, but provable fairness also helps online casinos run smoothly. Angry or regretful bettors could try to leverage the digital aspect to their advantage, but provability can either protect the casino from a legal situation or prevent the anger in the first place.

Newer bettors are also the most concerned when it comes to fairness. The simple process of proving their bets is something that casinos will often advertise with the express purpose of easing any newbie jitters.

To see the hash itself, you’ll need a SHA256 calculator. Many can be accessed online, such as the one here. Add the random result the game sends afterward to the end of the code and make sure it matches up to the original hash.

Integrity through blockchain technology

We mentioned earlier that many digital casinos use blockchain technology as part of their provable fairness systems. For those not familiar, the blockchain allows computers to communicate with each other on a digital level. Each computer on the blockchain is a node, and any changes to the blockchain, such as storing new hashes and codes, have to be approved unanimously by every node.

Because of this, no one can change any records on the blockchain after they’ve been created. The blockchain also records the bet’s time and place, so you can reference it yourself if you’re still suspicious after confirming codes.

One last thing to keep in mind is that betting sites actively want you to see the provable fairness mechanisms. They’ll often display the hash right on the machine or in the settings menu because they want you to keep security in mind. Thanks to the same technology that powers cryptocurrency, online gambling is safer and more transparent than ever.

If you want to try provably fair casino games, then check out Spin or Crash game developed by Thunderpick. Both games are provably fair and their fairness can be verified using methods mentioned in this article.