Playing Online Slots with Bitcoins

bitcoins_3Bitcoins and slots? Why not? Ever since Bitcoin rose into cryptocurrency prominence a year ago, the influx of bitcoin-only gambling sites has been growing at a steady pace. You have pure chance based sites like Satoshi Dice to an establishment that runs the whole gamut of popular casino games such as WinPoker- there are a whole slew of gambling games out there for every kind of gambler. It’s actually quite a perfect match: online gambling goes perfectly well with Bitcoin’s virtues of convenience and anonymity.

So why hasn’t the whole Bitcoin gambling trend caught on with the general public yet?

The answer lies with the system (or the lack of) that Bitcoin gambling sites use. “Legitimate” online gambling sites are regulated and licensed within the state and country that they are registered in; they are subjected to rules and laws that ensure that none of them do any funny business and run off with their players’ money. These sites also go through accreditation for the proprietary backend software that they use (and which they pay a lot of money for).

Compare these “legit” online establishments with Bitcoin-only gambling sites. Bitcoin is unregulated and unbacked by any financial institution; it’s existence has already been challenged by academics, economists, lawyers, and politicians. Online gambling has a greyish legal status- some states and countries allow it, some don’t. When you combine these two together, it’s easy to see why people are very wary of Bitcoin-only online gambling.

Is Provably Fair Provably Good for Online Slots?

Thankfully, there is a method that offers a little bit of assurance to people who want to gamble using Bitcions. This system is called “provably fair.” Without going into the specifics, a provably fair system has mechanisms in place that prevents both the players and the casinos from cheating. It is an approach that uses a cryptographic method that ensures both parties will not be able to control the outcome of any game. This is particularly important for online slots wherein there are a lot of random transactions involved.

In Bitcoin slots, the player is usually required to shuffle a deck of cards (or any other random number generating system). The deck data is then converted into a specific number that would correspond to the number of reels and icons that the slot machine has.

With a provably fair system, the player has the opportunity to personally check if a game is fair or not. One such method involves checking the server seed against the hash (data strings) generated by the shuffle. If the two match, then it’s a fair outcome.

This is why when choosing a Bitcoin slots site, you must ensure that the system that they use is provably fair. “Unprovable” sites have no guarantee- you just have to take their word for it that their gambling mechanisms is not tamperable can give you fair odds on your bets. The provably fair system is a great way to ensure that you get what your Bitcoins are worth.