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Cartesi Texas HODL’em: Cartesi Brings Trust Back to Turn-Based Games | by Nathalie Brahler | Cartesi | Jun, 2021

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The solution to centralised trust issues, packed in a poker demo

Nathalie Brahler
Cartesi Texas HODLem Cartesi Brings Trust Back to Turn Based Games

What if people could invest their time and energy in games without worrying if the game will be taken offline, if the rules of the game will change, or if assets they earn in the game will become useless afterwards? What if these online games could directly interact with value and have a real economy?

Cartesi’s new technology can be applied to many use-cases in turn-based games that involve disputes, such as online poker. In the soon-to-be-released demo, Cartesi Texas HODL’em, players will use Mental Poker to play the game, taking advantage of the advanced cryptographic library LibTMCG, written in C++. All actions are logged on the blockchain but the game itself runs inside a Cartesi Machine, which is much cheaper than executing it on the blockchain.

Running a decentralized online Poker game on top of Polygon infrastructure is a breakthrough achievement for blockchain applications that showcases the power of Cartesi. The unique architecture allows for the development of a wide variety of turn-based games, without needing to code a single line of Solidity. Imagine the possibilities from chess to complex battle strategy games!

If there is any disagreement, Cartesi’s technology allows the blockchain to verify the true result and determine the outcome. Any dishonest party can efficiently be identified.

Cartesi’s special Mental Poker “Referee” design will allow verification to rely on the strong security guarantees of the blockchain without the players needing to disclose any additional private information. Check out the first technical article of a sequence to navigate through Cartesi’s solution.

In the following weeks, Cartesi will release the source code for the following building blocks: Poker engine, TurnBasedGame smart contracts and the Web Application. Texas HODL’em is restricted to a 2-player game for now. The entire logic of the Poker game is encapsulated in the engine, so that smart contracts can be agnostic to the actual logic of the game being played.

The very same contracts can be used for any other turn-based game: developers only need to develop the engine (in C++ or any other language that runs on Linux, like Python).

All building blocks will be presented as a developer-friendly deep dive into each module. Stay tuned on our channels!

Want to know more about the ugly truth in online poker and the solution Cartesi brings? Soon you can watch how online poker players Rick and Sam enter the new world of Cartesi Texas HODL’em.

  • As we speak, Cartesi is finalizing the integration of the Web Application with the other modules of the solution, but each part already runs by itself: the TurnBasedGame contracts triggers a verification using Descartes, the Mental Poker engine and its cryptography working both in the browser and in a Cartesi Machine, and the Web App UI.
  • Soon the Cartesi community will be invited to test and contribute to the MVP Texas HODL’em. Stay tuned and follow the Texas HODL’em page!
  • Check out the code on Github

About Cartesi

Cartesi is a multi-chain layer-2 infrastructure that allows any software developer to create smart contracts with mainstream software tools and languages they are used to while achieving massive scalability and low costs. Cartesi combines a groundbreaking virtual machine, optimistic rollups and side-chains to revolutionize the way developers create blockchain applications.



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