If you’re an avid gamer, especially one who enjoys a good First Person Shooter, you’ve probably heard of and played Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Currently, it’s the most played FPS game in the world, and can also be considered one of the top 3 Electronic Sports titles, together with Dota 2 and League of Legends.
We can’t talk about CS GO without mentioning its skins. For the ones out of the loop, you can buy cosmetic items through Steam’s market or the in game store. These items don’t grant the players any advantages while playing (hence no “Pay to win” mechanics), but that doesn’t stop the hundreds of thousands of players who really enjoy carrying cool guns, knives, and gloves from spending a bunch of money to obtain them. Just as an example, some knives have their market price tagged above the $1.000 USD mark (and there are a few that go for way more money).
In this article we’re going to discuss a bit about the skin betting services – these sites combine the player’s craze for cosmetic items and gambling into adrenaline and fun filled mini games, where players take a shot at winning huge prizes (or losing the stuff they started with).
In our previous work we listed some of the factors you should consider when choosing a site to bet your hard earned skins, and in this one, we’ll go a little more in depth and explain the provably fair systems that have been popping up promising completely legit games to the users.
Why should you play on a provably fair site?
The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. If you are gambling skins that are worth good money (and lots of them are), you should always seek the fairest and most transparent games. That way you can gamble in a secure environment, knowing you’re not being cheated or the outcome isn’t being manipulated – that’s something provably fair guarantees to its users.
The addition of this feature to the Global Offensive cosmetic items betting market drove away most, if not all of the shady and scam oriented business since now the majority of users only gamble on these trustworthy fair games – and rightfully so!
Provably fair currently is highly used in the online gambling market. It is widely used not only by CS GO skin betting companies but also by the biggest online casinos.
How does it work?
The way it works is that the sites use open source algorithms to operate the bets and rolls results. This means that the outcome of any round can’t be manipulated or tampered with by the owner or admin of the site, because players have a way of verifying the integrity of the result – and if they find any fault in it, they can take action against the company that registered and owns the business (for fraud or deceitful advertising, to name a couple).
Going a little deeper into the technical details, we’ll go through how the system really works. Keep in mind that this is only one of the ways to ensure that the game is fair, and there are plenty of other ways to also guarantee it that we won’t cover – it would make the article too long and the concepts are basically the same throughout all of the most commonly used methods.
- The Random Number Generator, also known as RNG is what dictates whether the player wins or loses his bet. In a fair wager, this number is settled by a mix of different factors – these are called the seeds. There are server and client side seeds (we’ll get to those below).
- The users have full access to one of the seeds (the client one), but not the other (the server’s). They only receive a phrase made of mixed numbers and letters encrypted by the site’s usually very complex algorithm. This is called a hash, and it’s virtually impossible for the player to discover the original phrase from this hash (you can google basic encryption to learn more about the subject, its quite interesting).
- After the player places his bet and the outcome is given, the gambling site shows him the client side seed – with this seed the player can then input it on the open source algorithm that generates the results and verify if the hash that comes out is the same one that was originally provided.
- If both hashes come out equal, it means that the wager wasn’t tampered with or modified in any way and that the result of the event (in this case, the bet) was honest.
As stated before, this is a basic scheme of how the procedure usually works. It’s not very easy to understand it at first glance, especially if you’re not very tech savvy. In that case, I highly recommend doing some research on your own if you’re interested in this technology.
One more thing to note is that most sites that offer open source algorithms to ensure fairness also have a tab or section explaining how they make it work for their service. If you’re going to gamble your skins, definitely check it out and verify your own bets/rolls just to be on the safe side!
Hopefully, now you understand what the provably fair stands for in the sites you have chosen to bet! And if you’re gambling on a site that isn’t open source, I suggest withdrawing your funds and depositing them on one that is – safety is never too much when you’re talking about a highly unregulated market with a lot of money flowing around.
About the regulation aspect, the online skin gambling market is still in its infancy when compared to more traditional methods of betting. All of these other markets have a regulatory agency to provide guidelines and rules as to how the software should operate under different scenarios. If we want to be seen as a serious market share (or niche), with legit and trustworthy services being provided, we might want to start looking at this direction – one with standard regulatory measures, to protect both the players and the business owners.