Write Better Reviews, Give Better Understanding

You may have had an experience with a site that caused you to want to write a review about it. Maybe you had a positive experience, or a negative one. Ultimately, you'll want to learn to write your reviews in the best way possible so that you can cleanly convey your thoughts to your readers.

Focus points for good reviews

  • Be concise. Readers will often skip right past big walls of text without reading them.
  • Only include relevant details. Nobody else cares what your dog ate that day, and it doesn't help readers who are reading to form an opinion. Keep the information restricted to what will help people.
  • 5 star reviews aren't always taken seriously. Was there really nothing wrong? Readers will often browse critical reviews first to find recurring problems instead of looking at only positive reviews. Instead, consider listing both pros and cons in your reviews to cover as much as possible.
  • Edit your review. If possible, when important circumstances covered in your review change, edit your review to reflect it. Instead of changing your review completely though, simply add a note at the end that states the problem was corrected or made worse. This helps to keep your review relevant.

These are only focus points. Sometimes, you can't keep your review short. You may instead need to type up a long story that fewer people will read but brings more impact. You must be the judge of your own content. If you post high quality content, then people will trust you more and your future reviews will have more impact.

Finally, if you receive money for your reviews, make sure to keep them honest and high quality. Nothing hurts your integrity more than churning out a bunch of poorly researched, low quality reviews.

If you're looking for a place to post reviews of gambling sites, check out CGF's reviews forum. You can post reviews on many sites and discuss your views and concerns with others. You can find the casinos in both the verified operator and unverified operator sections.


The “Welcome Bonus” gimmick

Online casino bonuses come with Terms & Conditions that are not player friendly. Accepting these bonuses often leads to bettors not being able to withdraw their winnings, and in some cases having both their deposit and bonus confiscated by rogue casinos.

The average gambler, especially those unaccustomed to the online casino scene, are often not aware of some of these bogus T&C's. Many see the welcome bonus sign and proceed to deposit funds, thinking it is all free money. Sadly, a lot of online casinos operate solely to cheat players, and do everything possible to ensure players lose.

Wagering Requirements

The most controversial welcome bonus condition set by casinos is called the wagering requirement. This is the amount set by casinos which a player has to bet before their bonus is credited into their cash balance.

Most times, when a player opts in for a bonus, they are unable to withdraw their deposits and bonus until they have made enough bets to reach the required turnover threshold set by the casino.

It is worth considering that casino games are always established to be in favour of the house. The house-edge, vig or over-round are set in a way that ensures players lose in the long-term. Even when gamblers go on winning runs, they eventually lose trying to reach the turnover limit set by the casino.

To add insult to injury, some bets are deemed ineligible for clearing turnover requirements. For example, bets made playing blackjack don’t often qualify because very good players are capable of devising strategies to minimize losses and increase their win rates.

In sports betting, the required odds are set very high by the casinos. This, coupled with the number of times a player must turn over their deposit and bonus amount ensures they lose it all. Generally casinos aren’t enamored towards winning gamblers and often ban or limit them as soon as possible.

Experienced online gamblers often say claiming welcome bonuses is too much of a hassle these days. However, there are still genuine offers that aren’t designed to cheat players.

Casinos also use this method to protect themselves from players that abuse sign-up offers. There are a few things a player can do to ascertain if a bonus is worth claiming or not, before depositing their hard-earned money into an online casino.

  • Look out for predatory T&C's
    It is the player's responsibility to always read the casino’s bonus terms and conditions. The player must make sure they fully understand all the clauses before making a deposit. If the turnover requirement is draconian, avoid the casino at all cost.
  • Operating with true fairness
    Before depositing into any casino, it is very important to confirm that they are either providing provably fair gambling, or in some way or another are regulated and have a license. If they don’t have any form of fairness system in place, avoid them at all cost.
  • Positive reviews and endorsements
    Players must try as much as possible to search online for reviews and feedback from other players, both positive and negative before making a deposit. This is often the best way to gauge if a casino will cheat you or not.
  • Verification & jurisdiction
    Most casinos require KYC to determine if a player is eligible to use their platform. Always confirm if a casino allows players from your country. And whenever possible, confirm your identity before depositing to save yourself future hassles during the withdrawal process.

Established casinos have a brand to protect and more often than not offer bonuses with reasonable terms. However, these conditions are designed to keep players betting for extended periods and only a lucky few complete them. The only way players can protect themselves is by researching and due diligence. Always read the T&C’s before committing.


Why I believe in provable fairness

Bitcoin was created on the principle of trustlessness. Back when it was created, it didn't attract the same crowds that it does today, the investors and the people wanting to make money off the rise. The people that worked on and built the Bitcoin ecosystem were there because they didn't want to have to put their trust into anybody. Provable fairness was created as a direct consequence of this. People looked at traditional gambling and saw something that could be improved upon, something that could be changed the same way they looked at money and thought of Bitcoin. The result was the first completely trustless gambling system the Internet had ever seen, and it sparked a boom. Although the system originally only applied to generating random numbers for dice, the process was quickly adapted into many other games and a whole new community was formed.

But as Bitcoin grew more and more, and started attracting different people, people started joining the community that weren't familiar with these systems. These people through no fault of their own simply didn't understand the significance of being provably fair, or what it really meant. Later on, some people with lighter sets of morals started trying to take advantage of this lack of knowledge. Some of them used software they bought from some other company, something they could not possibly understand the inner workings of and claimed it to be provably fair. Or worse, they created systems that at first looked to be provably fair but upon closer inspection contained holes that made it difficult for users to keep the site truly provably fair. These people looked to take advantage of the newcomers that didn't know the reasons behind this technology that had been created for the user's benefit.

I want to see this community be reminded of why provable fairness was created. I want to see people educated, and I want to see people take advantage of these systems that have been set up for their peace of mind. I also want to see these people that claim they are what they are not brought to light. I believe that all the new people that have joined our once small community will all be able to see the benefit once they understand the technology and the reasons for it's creation. I believe in provable fairness because it shares the same core principles as Bitcoin itself, and once people see and understand it I know that they will see what an amazing thing it is.


What is provably fair gaming?

Before we may begin to understand what makes a casino provably fair, we need to study how the basis of online gambling works. Simply put, players bet on the outcome of randomly generated numbers.

Formerly, these random numbers were generated solely by the host of a game, leaving complete control in the hands of operators. Participants had to trust the host not generating results in favor of anyone. Casinos operating on these merits caused conflict of interest for those seeking a fair gambling experience.

Due to lack of transparency, the essence of provably fair games was born. Corresponding concepts provide a way for both the operators and players to contribute to randomization, which in turn removes any possibility of deceit or cheating.

The foundation of fair gaming algorithms were laid by pseudorandom number generators, utilizing seeds which determine the outcome of wagers.

A seed shall be equally influenced by players and hosts, meaning that the result of each bet at a provably fair casino is a team effort. The house is no longer in complete control of randomization.

So, wouldn't this mean that players are able to manipulate results in their own favor?

Commitment schemes to the rescue!

To prevent malicious behavior, hosts mustn't show us their actual seed at first. Instead, they present a commitment of their own seed to us. Similarly to envelopes, commitments seal and conceal messages contained by them. They cannot be altered or revealed without consent from the sender. For example, hosts may commit a seed by using a one-way hash function or public key cryptography.

Hosts shall provide transparency and proof of authenticity by revealing their actual seeds at the end of each game. Anyone in possession of a host's commitment may verify the immutability of the corresponding seed.

Bets shall be reproducible once the host seed gets revealed. Players can constantly audit the behavior of hosts by comparing random results calculated by a host and them.

Proving that the outcome of a wager is computed fairly and transparently should be performed by anyone at any time. We strongly believe in widespread use of provably fair algorithms throughout the gaming industry.

download If you would like to learn more about the technical workings of provably fair algorithms, you can download my whitepaper found here.


White-label software: It's time to move on

Where we're at

Bitcoin has ushered in a new era of systems, schemes and ideas. People have realized that we no longer need to place our trust in intermediaries. We've developed amazing tools such as provable fairness, decentralized exchanges, smart contracts, atomic swaps, and many more ideas on the horizon. However, some people seem stuck in the past. Some Bitcoin casinos still choose to use white-label software and other "one size fits all" scripts and programs for their platforms.

For the unfamiliar, Wikipedia defines white-label software as "a product or service produced by one company (the producer) that other companies (the marketers) re-brand to make it appear as if they had made it". As far as Bitcoin casinos go, this means companies buy premade casinos and rework it to make it "theirs". Software packages designed like this are often not designed to work with Bitcoin out of the box. As a result, you end up with websites with awkward alternate currencies, using outdated dependencies like Flash, that don't really present themselves as websites pushing a new technology.

Where we should be

With the rise of Bitcoin, we got a chance to start over. To stop accepting mediocrity, and work towards the best technology we could create. Instead of using white-label software, write your own. Bake in Bitcoin support from the ground up. Make it an integral part of the user experience. Use the new technology available to build the best user experience possible.

It often seems like the sites that develop their own software care more about their users as well. Who would you trust with your money? The site that bought their software, or the site that designed everything from the ground up? Some things you won't find in white-label software at all, provable fairness, early deposit credits, cheaper batch withdraws. When a chain fork occurs, who do you trust to give you both coins?

Design-level decisions can't be made with white-label software. Everything is handed to you as-is, and making changes is usually difficult and dangerous. Changes in code someone else wrote could end up with unintended consequences leading to loss of user funds, security holes or similar things. And if you have a new amazing idea for a game, or want to introduce new technology, often times you're just out of luck./p>

Final thoughts

The types of people likely to buy software instead of build it themselves are usually more interested in making money instead of their users. The websites usually lack a lot of features that people have come to expect from Bitcoin websites. The point of this article is to get the point across that we have the technology to make great websites. It's time to take advantage of all of this innovation and stop settling for average.