If you like to gamble, you are in luck, because Bitcoin and online gambling are a natural match. Bitcoin’s effortless transactions simplify online gambling considerably and enable some convenience and security features for gambling sites that weren’t possible before Bitcoin. Some sites don’t even require you to create an account to start gambling. The offerings range from simple coin flip games, where you have roughly a 50% chance to double or part with your money, to more elaborate games, like poker.
Before you use a gambling site you should always check its reputation first and preferably use only sites which are provably fair. While Bitcoin makes many things easier and more secure, it cannot prevent scammers, so be cautious, especially with very new sites. A good place to look into the credibility of a gambling site is the dedicated subforum on Bitcointalk. Look for the thread of the site in question and see what other users have to say about it. Since the most recent feedback is usually most important, it might be a good idea to start reading from the last post backwards. No matter how reliable a gambling site seems to be, never leave your Bitcoins with them longer than necessary, a gambling site is not a wallet.
Also, the usual gambling precautions apply: don’t risk more than you are willing to lose and be aware that the house always has an edge in every game.
A major consideration when gambling on a site is how you could ever trust them not to manipulate the results of the supposedly random outcomes in their favor. Some kinds of bets are naturally immune to this problem, namely sports bets and other real world events, because they can be verified independently. A dice betting site on the other hand relies on a random number generator for its operation and it can only said to be fair if that generator produces truly random numbers.
Provable fairness is a way of generating of non-predictable results, while still provably guaranteeing that no party influenced the outcome in their favor For example, a simple implementation works like this:
The game is to bet whether a random number will be either 1 or 2. Before you press the start button the site shows you a hash value. That value is the result of the upcoming random number (1 or 2) plus a secret random string. After you have made your bet and the site has shown you the winning number, it also shows you the random string. By putting the winning number and the revealed secret string through the hash function, you can check that the result is identical to the hash value that was displayed at the beginning and thus that the winning number has not been tampered with after you made your bet.
The specific implementations vary between sites and gambling types, you should always look into how a site is doing provable fairness and perform your own checks to establish their trustworthiness. Since this kind of fairness guarantee exists, there is really no reason to gamble on a site that doesn’t implement provably fair random rolls.
Pick Your Gamble
Dice Games: In the Bitcoin gambling space dice games usually revolve around a random number being drawn and the bet being whether it is above or below a certain threshold. Often you can pick high or low to vary your bet, or adjust your winning chances and the resulting potential payout. This kind of gambling requires no strategy or further insights and can be played in rapid succession. A more elaborate dice game is craps, which features more complicated rules, but in the end also comes down to playing a variation of high or low.
Card Games: The most prominent card games to play online are poker and blackjack. Poker can either be real poker against other players, or single player variations like video poker, where you are basically trying to beat the odds with your drawn cards.
Roulette: Online roulette plays just like the real casino classic, you place your coins on the table to indicate your bet and a virtual wheel produces the winning number. Like dice games, roulette is a game of pure chance and there is really no strategy to follow.
Sports Bets: Betting on the outcome of sports events is a huge market and unsurprisingly Bitcoin is gaining a strong foothold in that area. Almost every competitive sport has a betting market, not only basketball, baseball and soccer, but also many niche sports and e-sports games, like StarCraft II. Many sports betting sites allow a number of different bets additionally to picking the winner, like betting that the outcome of a game is over/under a certain score or on the point difference between the two sides. The possible payout in sports bets is always dependent on the likelihood of the particular outcome, but different sites use different methods to arrive at their payout numbers and it’s often worthwhile to compare competing sites.
Predictions: In prediction bets players gamble on the outcome of a future event, usually one with two possible results or some kind of deadline for a specific event to happen. If you want to monetize or show off your prophetic skills, this is your kind of gamble.
In addition to the more popular gambling types, there are numerous sites with more or less intricate games to gamble Bitcoins on. Among them variations of minesweeper and similar games. As Bitcoin gains traction in the gambling market, it’s likely that we will see a more diverse landscape of betting and gambling in the future.
The Best Bitcoin Gambling Sites
PrimeDice — dice with variable odds
Quick automatic account creation, clean layout. Primedice is one of the most respected dice sites in the Bitcoin community.
Nitrogen Sports — sports bets
Can be used without creating an account, features a large selection of sports and leagues including e-sports.
SatoshiDice — dice and slots with variable odds
Ability to bet both against the house and with the house against other players. You can receive 200 satoshis of Bitcoin every 60 seconds for free from their Bitcoin faucet.
SatoshiDice is one of the oldest Bitcoin gambling sites still around, but has changed ownership many times over the years.
Account sign up required and deposit required. Website is not available to visitors with United States IP addresses.
bitZino — casino games
- video poker
- 3 card poker
Allows to gamble with play money, can be tested without an account, simple but effective site layout.
BitCasino.io — casino games
Not Provably Fair
- video slots
- video poker
- table games
Massive number of casino games. Currently running a promotion of 110% of 1st deposit bonus (up to 1000 mBTC) with a 1 month rollover and up to 35x wager. Use the following code on the Cashier page before you make your first deposit:
Requires account creation. Website is not available to visitors with United States IP addresses.