Paper 2018/157

ROYALE: A Framework for Universally Composable Card Games with Financial Rewards and Penalties Enforcement

Bernardo David, Rafael Dowsley, and Mario Larangeira


While many tailor made card game protocols are known, the vast majority of those suffer from three main issues: lack of mechanisms for distributing financial rewards and punishing cheaters, lack of composability guarantees and little flexibility, focusing on the specific game of poker. Even though folklore holds that poker protocols can be used to play any card game, this conjecture remains unproven and, in fact, does not hold for a number of protocols (including recent results). We both tackle the problem of constructing protocols for general card games and initiate a treatment of such protocols in the Universal Composability (UC) framework, introducing an ideal functionality that captures general card games constructed from a set of core card operations. Based on this formalism, we introduce Royale, the first UC-secure general card games which supports financial rewards/penalties enforcement. We remark that Royale also yields the first UC-secure poker protocol. Interestingly, Royale performs better than most previous works (that do not have composability guarantees), which we highlight through a detailed concrete complexity analysis and benchmarks from a prototype implementation.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Published elsewhere. MAJOR revision.Financial Cryptography 2019
PokerCard GamesFairnessBlockchainUniversal ComposabilityProvable Security
Contact author(s)
bernardo @ bmdavid com
2019-04-30: last of 4 revisions
2018-02-11: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Bernardo David and Rafael Dowsley and Mario Larangeira},
      title = {ROYALE: A Framework for Universally Composable Card Games with Financial Rewards and Penalties Enforcement},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/157},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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