Provably Fair Poker

Last update: 08.10.2021

Brief History of online poker

Poker is one of the most popular gambling games on the planet. Not surprisingly, people wanted to be able to play it anywhere, anytime. First attempts to transfer poker to the virtual space began back in the 70s. You can, for example, remember the game Casino for Atari 2600, released in 1978. 

Five-card stud poker and poker solitaire were available in this game, and up to 4 players could play at the same time. Of course, it was impossible to win any money there, but the beginnings of online poker were laid down at that time.

Atari 2600 Poker

With the development of the Internet, it was only a matter of time before the emergence of online poker where players could bet with real money. Players didn’t have to wait too long, as in 1998 the first such poker site called Planet Poker appeared. But this resource has not survived to this day and their software is no longer functioning.

Planet Poker Interface

The next logical step in the development of online poker was the ability to play using cryptocurrencies. According to most sources, the first poker room to accept Bitcoin was Seals With Clubs. By the way, their site is still functioning.

Even in spite of the use of cryptocurrencies, users could not be 100% sure of the honesty of the owners of online poker rooms. All the players could rely on were the assurances of the software developers, the reviews from other players, and their own feelings. Let’s be honest, these are not the most reliable sources. Fortunately, there are poker rooms where you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s assurances. Everything in them is as transparent as possible and players can check whether the casino has cheated them. And all this is possible thanks to the Provably Fair algorithm.

What is Provably Fair Poker?

This is a form of poker that uses decentralized card shuffling. In this type of game, the deck is shuffled on the servers of all players and then encrypted. Thanks to this, neither the casino nor other players can see your cards. Also, the casino cannot know in advance what cards will fall while playing board. Thanks to this approach, players can have no fear that the casino will cheat them, which is theoretically possible. This is with regard to Poker Rooms.

The Provably Fair algorithm can also be used in table poker. In this case, the players can verify the outcome of each round on their own and make sure that the casino has not deceived them.

How does Provably Fair Poker Work?

The Provably Fair algorithm has gained its popularity mainly through games such as Dice. We have already discussed in detail how the algorithm works in the Provably Fair Gambling guide. In this article, we focus on the features of poker using the PF algorithm. We will consider the operation of the algorithm using two examples. When used in poker rooms where real people play with each other, and on the example of table games, where the game is played against the computer.

Poker Rooms

The main problem that raises doubts about the honesty of the poker operator is that the deck is formed by their server. In this case, players cannot be 100% sure that the casino server does not know their cards. It is this problem that the Provably Fair algorithm solves.
 
The casino server generates the deck, then transfers it to the players. Each player shuffles the deck and encrypts each card using a unique key. When all players have shuffled the deck, they take turns removing their shuffle key and re-encrypt each card with a different key. That’s it, the deck is formed and cards can be dealt.
 
When cards are dealt, each player receives keys with their card indexes from other players. It turns out that the player has encryption keys for his/her own cards only. So no one except the player can see what cards he/she received. Neither the casino server nor other players.
Provably Fair Poker Room
Then the flop comes out. The players see what index the laid-out cards have and use the corresponding keys to reveal them. The same procedure is repeated for the turn and river.
 
For a better understanding of the process, I advise you to familiarize yourself with the scheme of the entire process here.

Table Games

The difference between table poker and poker rooms is that you play alone against the computer. These games are more like regular online casino games such as blackjack or roulette. There is a slightly different atmosphere, and if you want a quick return on the game, then this is the place for you. Nevertheless, even in such games, there is a place for the PF algorithm.
Provably Fair Table Poker
The algorithm starts working even before you start playing. As soon as you start the game, the outcome of the round is already determined and is available to you in encrypted form. After you have finished the round, you are given access to the decrypted result. There you can see the order of the cards in the deck and the final result of the round. Using your client seed and the decrypted casino server seed, you can independently verify that the game was fair. Read more about round verification here.

Where to play Provably Fair Poker Games?

Unfortunately, poker using PF technology is not very widespread. While table poker games are relatively common in casinos, there are very few poker rooms. Here are some casinos where you can play Provably Fair poker.

Fair Poker

Fair Poker

This is a Provably Fair Poker room. Playing here you can be sure of the fairness of the game because you yourself can check the outcome of the round. Fair Poker is a very open site, they tell in detail how their software works and even openly show it on GitHub. Among the disadvantages of the site is that it only accepts Bitcoin and does not give any bonuses. Perhaps both of these disadvantages will be fixed in the future.

CryptoWild

CryptoWild Logo

CryptoWild is a classic crypto online casino, where users can choose from a variety of games. Among them is poker. This is a table poker game from the BGaming studio. Users have access to games such as Carribien Poker, Casino Hold’em, Oasis Poker, Texas Hold’em, and Trey Poker. All these games support a PF algorithm and players can verify the outcome of each round.

Stake.com

Stake.com Casino

Stake is one of the most popular crypto casinos. Many players love it for a series of in-house games that support the Provably Fair algorithm. One of these games is Video Poker. This is a form of table poker where you play against the computer. In addition to this game, there is also Casino Hold’em from BGaming available.

More poker sites that accept Bitcoin you can find on Professional RakeBack.

Provably Fair Poker in fiat casinos

Thanks to the BGaming studio, Provably Fair technology is available to poker players in fiat casinos. This studio makes standalone games for both crypto and regular online casinos. All their features are equally available for playing with regular money and cryptocurrencies. But that’s about table poker games. Unfortunately, there are no poker rooms that support this algorithm in fiat casinos yet.

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