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(Patch)   Computer analyst finds the secret to the claw machine and takes home thousands of stuffed animals from restaurants throughout Southern California   (missionviejo.patch.com) divider line 61
    More: Cool, Mission Viejo, Southern California, accounting analyst, Laguna Hills  
•       •       •

18075 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2013 at 12:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



61 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-20 12:15:48 PM  
This just in: those machines are rigged. Ric Romero reporting.
 
2013-09-20 01:00:39 PM  
That doesn't take a genius. Just bust the side open and take all you want
 
2013-09-20 01:01:29 PM  

Saborlas: This just in: those machines are rigged. Ric Romero reporting.


I figured out the secret too, and stopped playing with them.
 
2013-09-20 01:03:05 PM  
I don't get his advice. The ones around here are just a button. You move the claw into place, press the button, and then have no control after that point.
 
2013-09-20 01:04:00 PM  
As someone whose daughter at one point had over 500 animals from those machines, I agree with his tips completely.
 
2013-09-20 01:04:07 PM  
i'm a winner, see my prize, you're a loser who sits and cries
 
2013-09-20 01:06:18 PM  
Sometimes you see these people stocking these machines and you wonder how anyone can get anything, yjey pack them in so tight.I doubt even the Blues Brothers could get one if they were driving by...
 
2013-09-20 01:08:07 PM  
www.wikinoticia.com
The claw chooses!
 
2013-09-20 01:08:19 PM  
media1.s-nbcnews.com

Just tell the kid which one you want.
 
2013-09-20 01:09:02 PM  
I just send in my two-year-old...  or someone else's.

i34.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-20 01:10:01 PM  

netringer: [media1.s-nbcnews.com image 474x356]

Just tell the kid which one you want.


arrrgh!

/I even looked first
 
2013-09-20 01:10:46 PM  

hailin: I don't get his advice. The ones around here are just a button. You move the claw into place, press the button, and then have no control after that point.


static.guim.co.uk
 
2013-09-20 01:11:03 PM  
Those things are the saddest things ever. From the generic plush toys made overseas by kids, to the desperate poor people's kids that are attracted to the cartoonish features of the stuffed rabbits looking out, to the low profits, to the government* that feels the need to emit permits to operate them...
*In Quebec. Pretty sure all governments need to protect citizens from unregulated plush rabbits.
 
2013-09-20 01:11:28 PM  

netringer: [media1.s-nbcnews.com image 474x356]

Just tell the kid which one you want.


Kid looks like he just hit the jackpot
 
2013-09-20 01:11:30 PM  
www.ohgizmo.com

Have one of these at a local place
/would buy the beer if he catches the lobster
 
2013-09-20 01:13:20 PM  
what does wearing all black have to do with IBM?  what are they, in mourning?  i didn't realize it was that bad over there.
 
2013-09-20 01:16:26 PM  
My record is 5 in a row. All the kids standing around thought I would give them away. They thought wrong.
Good learning tool.
 
2013-09-20 01:16:50 PM  
I had read somewhere that the pressure the claw grips with is randomly determined. You could follow his steps and still not have enough clamping power in the claw to grab the Made in China plush.
 
2013-09-20 01:18:16 PM  
I used to pick up my wife at her job and pretty well won a prize every time I played, if the prize was in the right position and worth getting.

Depends on the machine - some let you drop the claw a little bit at a time, which is what the one I played did. I would drop it down so that eventually the claw enveloped the targeted toy. Then I would drop it a bit more so the claw was still wrapped around the toy, but resting on its side. When time ran out or I held down the button, the claw would start to close, but it would be able to wrap around the toy before the claw got lifted.

It also helps to try and pick a loose toy so the claw can wrap it properly, as well as end up on its side.
 
2013-09-20 01:21:48 PM  

rainbowbutter: what does wearing all black have to do with IBM?  what are they, in mourning?  i didn't realize it was that bad over there.



Yeah, right?

I thought it was supposed to be navy blue?

I think the thing is IBM is/was known for a very conformist corporate culture and everyone dressed the same.

/or something
 
2013-09-20 01:24:20 PM  

roughridersfan: I used to pick up my wife at her job and pretty well won a prize every time I played, if the prize was in the right position and worth getting.

Depends on the machine - some let you drop the claw a little bit at a time, which is what the one I played did. I would drop it down so that eventually the claw enveloped the targeted toy. Then I would drop it a bit more so the claw was still wrapped around the toy, but resting on its side. When time ran out or I held down the button, the claw would start to close, but it would be able to wrap around the toy before the claw got lifted.

It also helps to try and pick a loose toy so the claw can wrap it properly, as well as end up on its side.


I am thankful that I can't describe in detail the proper technique for the claw machine.
 
2013-09-20 01:24:32 PM  

netringer: [media1.s-nbcnews.com image 474x356]

Just tell the kid which one you want.


stamped human bacon: I just send in my two-year-old...  or someone else's.

[i34.photobucket.com image 414x245]


And to complete the trifecta...


31.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-09-20 01:25:02 PM  

ChaosStar: [www.ohgizmo.com image 500x375]

Have one of these at a local place
/would buy the beer if he catches the lobster


I won a lobster dinner the first time I saw one of those.  I was getting lunch with people from work and was so amazed that I had to try it.  $1 lobster for dinner isn't a bad way to have lunch.  Even if I missed having the boss pay for lunch.
 
2013-09-20 01:25:08 PM  
I used to play claw machines all the time - the one at the arcade in the Colorado Belle in Laughlin is particularly easy to get animals out from. I'd save them all up through the year and then give them to the local radio station when they started their Toys for Tots stuff a few weeks before Christmas. One year, I was able to give them 4 huge trash bags full of toys, all from the claw machines. If I had to guess, I'd say I've fished out and then given away about 4000 plush toys from the claw machines since I turned 16 and started using my own money to play.
 
2013-09-20 01:25:24 PM  
Everyone I played once you push the button the claw drops and you have no control.

I noticed the ones at the beach get easier after labor day. Before than they are  rigged so they are worth playing.

When I was a kid $5 would get be a couple of armful of animals. I usually gave a bunch away to little kids and cute girls.
 
2013-09-20 01:25:54 PM  

ChaosStar: Have one of these at a local place
/would buy the beer if he catches the lobster


There was a restaurant near us where you could end up with a lobster dinner that way. I once had a pretty good lobster for only a single $2 turn.

I think it was finally removed. I would like to think it was because it seemed cruel, but I think it was just because people were winning too much.
 
2013-09-20 01:26:44 PM  
In other words, a computer analyst spent tens of thousands of dollars to take home thousands of stuffed animals.
 
2013-09-20 01:29:55 PM  
Came for Moss, leaving satisfied.

/I'd be living the dream Jen
 
2013-09-20 01:31:10 PM  

Saborlas: This just in: those machines are rigged. Ric Romero reporting.


At a local bounce house, there is a machine that has iPods mixed in with the stuffed animals. The machine is about $5, so I never see anyone play.

I just have to assume there is no way to pick up an iPod with a claw, or they wouldn't be in there.
 
2013-09-20 01:31:51 PM  
So what did being a computer analyst have to do with it and what was the secret that he cracked?

Look for the one key prize that has locked the others into place, and jostle itDrop the claw in front of the prize, then push it backwardsAs you squeeze the claw, try dragging the prize toward the opening at the same time Oh yeah, real top secret stuff there.
 
2013-09-20 01:35:14 PM  
Claw machines come in three types:
Older claws where you can't adjust grips at all (these are never on location)
One-set claws where you adjust the grip and it stays that way for the duration (mostly win every time and candy cranes)
Variable claws that "pay out" (your main modern claw machine)

Older claws where you couldn't adjust the grip were typically filled with prizes that were too big for the claw to manage. When the claw went down, it pushed the middle of the claw and that is what would activate the grip strength. Claws that are always set to a certain strength could be adjusted to be loose so prizes would fall out or tight when the owner filled it with items that he'd profit on even if you won. Today, claw machines can be adjusted to increase the gripping strength of the claw after 10, 20, 50 plays. Some of these claws are so cheap that they will fully open again while the claw is going back up.

All claw machines are winnable though, depending on the prizes. Knocking a prize into the chute, rather than picking them up, is one of the main way of winning prizes in other parts of the world (besides the US). The two pronged UFO claw machines are a perfect example of this. Still, aiming for tags you can snag or any sort of loop on the prize is a way to win regardless of grip strength.

Unlike digital games like Stacker or stop the spinning light games that can be set to never pay out accidently, claw machines at least give you a chance.

/owner of two claw machines
//and a Sports Arena game
///and a quarter pusher... evil, evil quarter pusher
 
2013-09-20 01:43:46 PM  

ChaosStar: [www.ohgizmo.com image 500x375]

Have one of these at a local place
/would buy the beer if he catches the lobster


I've seen these in Japan, but I'm not sure if as a winner you should stop by the pet shop to buy an aquarium, or by the grocery store for some butter and garlic.
 
2013-09-20 01:44:59 PM  
CSB time: My GF loves claw games for some reason.... We were at Tully's in Syracuse NY (erie blvd) one time, and watched three college girls playing the claw game while waiting for a table... They must of played 20 times, and got nothing.. Once they walked away, my GF and I walk over there, and pluck some quarters in.. One of the girls comes of and tells us that its rigged, we'll never get anything, etc... She watches as we pull out THREE prizes in a single pull..

The look on her face was priceless.

/ Kept all the prices. GF was there. Lost opportunity there.
 
2013-09-20 01:50:52 PM  
The higher arcane
Spread out on the nightstand
The spirit obtained
Salvation is another chance
A sore loser
Yelling with my mouth shut

A cracking portrait
The fondling of trophies
The null of losing
Can you afford that luxury?
A sore winner
But I'll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn't bother me, no
It shouldn't (No, no)
It shouldn't bother me, no
It shouldn't -- but it does

The small victories
The trinkets and medallions
The little nothings
They keep me thinking that someday
I might beat you
But I'll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn't bother me, no
It shouldn't (No, no)
It shouldn't bother me, no
It shouldn't -- but it does

[Bridge]
It shouldn't bother me (No, no)
It shouldn't bother me

It shouldn't bother me (No, no)
It shouldn't bother me

If I speak at one constant volume, at one constant pitch
At one constant rhythm, right into your ear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
You still won't hear
 
2013-09-20 01:50:53 PM  
oyster.ignimgs.com
 
2013-09-20 01:52:21 PM  
Wasting valuable time learning things no one cares about.  Almost as bad as a liberal arts major.
 
2013-09-20 01:56:39 PM  

TreehouseEngineer: ChaosStar: [www.ohgizmo.com image 500x375]

Have one of these at a local place
/would buy the beer if he catches the lobster

I've seen these in Japan, but I'm not sure if as a winner you should stop by the pet shop to buy an aquarium, or by the grocery store for some butter and garlic.


I haven't tried the one near us, but if I did and won I'm not sure if they would let me take it home live. I think I need to try it now.
 
2013-09-20 02:07:52 PM  

Nightenstaff: Claw machines come in three types:
Older claws where you can't adjust grips at all (these are never on location)
One-set claws where you adjust the grip and it stays that way for the duration (mostly win every time and candy cranes)
Variable claws that "pay out" (your main modern claw machine)

Older claws where you couldn't adjust the grip were typically filled with prizes that were too big for the claw to manage. When the claw went down, it pushed the middle of the claw and that is what would activate the grip strength. Claws that are always set to a certain strength could be adjusted to be loose so prizes would fall out or tight when the owner filled it with items that he'd profit on even if you won. Today, claw machines can be adjusted to increase the gripping strength of the claw after 10, 20, 50 plays. Some of these claws are so cheap that they will fully open again while the claw is going back up.

All claw machines are winnable though, depending on the prizes. Knocking a prize into the chute, rather than picking them up, is one of the main way of winning prizes in other parts of the world (besides the US). The two pronged UFO claw machines are a perfect example of this. Still, aiming for tags you can snag or any sort of loop on the prize is a way to win regardless of grip strength.

Unlike digital games like Stacker or stop the spinning light games that can be set to never pay out accidently, claw machines at least give you a chance.

/owner of two claw machines
//and a Sports Arena game
///and a quarter pusher... evil, evil quarter pusher


Whys that, is your quarter pusher the big earner?  I love me some quarter pusher, but I really never figure out if Ive won or lost, I just walk away with what feels like the same  pocket full of quarters I walked up with.
 
2013-09-20 02:07:57 PM  
All of the machines I've played you lose control over the claw once you push the button. It drops straight down and does it's thing. Usually the claw won't close all the way either and it's got a very weak grip. I refuse to waste money on them. It's cheaper to just go out and buy a plushie.
 
2013-09-20 02:17:41 PM  
nerdapproved.com

Tell me more...
 
2013-09-20 02:23:41 PM  

roughridersfan: I used to pick up my wife at her job and pretty well won a prize every time I played, if the prize was in the right position and worth getting.


Your wife was in the machine? And I never cared about the position. Just getting some was prize enough.
 
2013-09-20 02:26:06 PM  
Man of many talents

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-20 02:28:11 PM  
When the cost of the prize is less than the cost to play, the operators come out ahead no matter what.

www.chronomaddox.com
 
2013-09-20 02:35:18 PM  
I can always get a prize from those machines.  The biggest mistake people make is going for the prize that they want, rather than the one that is easiest to get.  Take a look at the way the toys are piled up, a clever eye will tell you which ones are easiest to get.

A once played a claw machine at Circus Circus in Reno.  It was stuffed with about 45% Stewie dolls, 45% Brian dolls, and the rest Meg, Peter, Lois, and Chris.  I managed to get every one except Meg.  That biatch was burried under a bunch of Brians.  So I had to go in and mine away the Brian dolls to get to Meg.  I must have won about five of them.  My greatest glory at the claw machine came at that time.  I went in for one Brian doll, and came away with two.  That's right, two toys with one grab.  It was great.

The Stewie dolls weren't even a challenge, because of his head.  The claw fit around that perfectly.

Yes, it's a waste of money, but it's fun.  I've wasted a lot more money in Reno on other things--booze, blackjack, slots, a stripper named Molly...
 
2013-09-20 02:45:46 PM  
Unavailable for comment:

i1045.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-20 02:46:29 PM  
And if you're good enough at the claw machine you can reenact Pacman after seeing Iron Man 3.
 
2013-09-20 02:47:35 PM  
Weird. If I wanted a huge quantity of cheap shiatty toys I'd go to Amazon and buy them in 30 seconds flat. Ta-da!
 
2013-09-20 03:10:36 PM  

Slypork: roughridersfan: I used to pick up my wife at her job and pretty well won a prize every time I played, if the prize was in the right position and worth getting.

Your wife was in the machine? And I never cared about the position. Just getting some was prize enough.


I thought he meant he picked his wife up with one hand like a claw machine (or bowling ball)
 
2013-09-20 03:35:57 PM  
It just takes practice, not tricks. My mother has won (and given away to charity) thousands of stuffed animals from those machines ever since they started showing up in the late 80's or early 90's at the local grocery stores. She finally stopped--mostly--once the machines became so badly rigged that winning was almost impossible.
 
2013-09-20 03:40:12 PM  
From someone who's gone through the code, the majority of claw machines are completely fixed.  It's literally how they all work. There's a ratio that gets set by the owner, usually like 1 in 12 to 1 in 20 - state laws sometimes actually dictate what it can be.

Not only that, the good/bad PSI can be set based on what's in the machine - ever notice everything in there weighs about the same?  It's set so that when the current session is meant to be bad, it is too weak to lift any prize.  So, the claw grips at lower PSI for say, 19 tries, and then provides sufficient force on the 20'th one.  The shape of the gripper makes hooking or catching unlikely, so while skill plays a small part, it's usually not enough to win except on that 20'th try.  If you miss on the 20'th, you've got 19 more before it's good again.

There's no real trick to playing, the trick is knowing when to play.

First check your state laws regarding them.  California, for example, says they can't go any higher than 1 in 12.  That means almost all of them are set to 1 in 12.  Nevada goes to 1 in 15.  Not all states have laws about claw grabbers, but it's a good place to start.  You're trying to get an idea what the frequency of winning grabs is. Now find a busy machine and watch it.  Count down after a winner, and give it a shot.  To be safe, count the distance between two winners - usually the ratio won't be above 20, so if you go over, divide by 2 (it means someone missed a chance to win).  That's it.  On a good grab, you don't really even need the skill, getting it reasonably close with a high enough PSI will ensure the claw won't drop it.

That's it.  People who think skill is a factor are really just suckers who suffer from a gambling fallacy like confirmation bias.
 
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