Mental Poker Musings (or Not)

In, for example, a profitable sustainable and fair poker environment that fosters and favors intelligent players AND with a mental poker implementation in which each player secretly and securely commits to their own trusted “random” number to create the random number that generates (for example) the deck permutation for a particular hand…

poker then becomes the foundation and security mechanism for the creation, the sustaining, and the securing of an RNG.

In other words you use the intelligence of a free poker market to sustain the integrity of a fair deal, and a fair deal contains always effectively random numbers.

It seems the assumption of a deck that players pass around with different shuffle/encryption algorithms is really overstating the problem. Not only is there not necessarily need for a deck, but as “money” is a bi-product of an “inferior” economic system, it seems too that cards are simply an artifact of practical usefulness!

Furthermore, and following this line, we might see that mental poker is not the proper encapsulation of the problem. Especially when we take a different kind of implementation that might be more “ethereum” friendly, there is only the problem of two individuals creating a “random” seed in which each trusts the other cannot attain an edge in its result.

The most elementary possibility for this might be the individual random choice between 0 and 1. From here, for example, it shouldn’t be too hard to see that two players could be made to make two choices, and/or they might choose between the top or bottom half or zero or 1 (or top or bottom of a card), and so we might then use the most primal version of the question: how might two players create a single seed that each player might trust the other player cannot “manipulate”.

This brings 2 important points that need to be made in order to solve this “problem” and to implement it.

The seed does not need to be truly random, it only must be trust-able to the individual. This will be difficult for many people to swallow, especially those that feel they are truly looking for an rng. “If its not truly random what is the point?”

In other words “randomness” by any practically useful means only needs to be AS random as needed or sufficient for its purpose. Along with the obvious implications this means that mental poker + bitcoin’s security mechanism creates an “entity” with an rng that gets continually more and more “random”.

And (2) this is how the implementation becomes extremely relevant, important, and defined. If the generated seed is not random, then, in a game of intelligent players, the security flaw will be detected.

This means that ideal poker, that is the freest market for poker that creates the most intelligent and creative game theorists, is set to create the equilibrium that will bring about an RNG.

In other words a truly fair deal would create a sufficient rng that external observers could access “fairly”. In order to truly corrupt the randomness you would have to corrupt “ideal poker”.

It shouldn’t take much convincing to bring to light the incredible value of a rng, and therefore the incredible incentive to attack and corrupt it. And so in order to have the kind of strength needed to combat this intensive real life political pull, you will need a collective of strong game theorists.

Few other games then (if any) can take this role on, and the most popular games today seem like the most likely candidates.

Coming from a different view, it may be that the implementation of mental poker will create a kind of equilibrium that will begin to naturally extend the securing of more levels of “locking” mechanisms.

This “conjecture” suggests something to the author.  That any rng conceived and implemented is going to have the problem of securing its implementation like bitcoin, in fact did and does.  Many people seem to be relying on blockchain/ethereum technology to secure this, however, if we understand the implications of ideal money or pay attention to the social political movements (aka behind the scenes involved in the evolution of bitcoin, then we can clearly see that the implementation rng needs help from a collective of game theorists.

That is to say, there is no better verifier/protector of randomness than the free “poker” markets.

(note study: Szabo:


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