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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
    More: Cool, Mission Viejo, Southern California, accounting analyst, Laguna Hills  
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18356 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2013 at 12:59 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-09-20 03:43:25 PM  

Low Budget Dave: 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.

That's actually brilliant. The iPods are too heavy, and anyone inserting $5 won't be going for the easier to get plush toys.

Who the heck plays that? Might as well spend that $5 on the super lotto.
2013-09-20 03:54:08 PM  
Most have an actuator that only allows the claw to grip at predetermined intervals. There is no real skill in newer machines
2013-09-20 03:57:53 PM  
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2013-09-20 04:55:34 PM  

cfroelic: 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...

I played those machines in Reno and only got Stewies when all I wanted was a Brian in a banana suite. I didn't even see any of the other characters, I was focused on getting a Brian.
2013-09-20 05:26:52 PM  
So he has a lot of stuffed animals? Lucky him.
2013-09-20 05:48:16 PM  

Halstread: 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.

My guess is because quarter/coin pushers constantly break and jam and are a pain in the ass to fix.
2013-09-20 06:50:40 PM  
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2013-09-20 07:03:19 PM  
The key to running the claw machine is having the prizes cost less then 50 cents or whatever the cost to play is. No need for tricks or quotas, just watch out for kids with wire hangers.
2013-09-20 07:53:16 PM  

Wettner: 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.

There's a psychological name for this: Random reinforcement. It's well known that people will become much more addicted to random wins than patterns, even if the wins are spaced far out. I wouldn't be surprised if more machines were using that style now, instead of a set ratio, because it's already been heavily exploited in the design of online games (especially freemium ones with in-app purchases).
2013-09-20 11:44:03 PM  

Halstread: 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.

Nothing like that. Quarter pushers are more rigged than claw machines ever thought about being. There are locations on quarter machines where you can set prizes (or folded money) that look like they're sitting on the edge and never, ever move. It's pretty awesome to set up what looks like an easy score and watch people try in vain to nudge a five dollar bill 1/8 of an inch.
2013-09-21 01:11:11 AM  
My ex-wife used to just hammer one at a bar we would hang out at.

So much so, that one day a little enraged gentleman started screaming at her, and I had to put him under a bar stool.

Turned out that he owned the machine, and was pissed because she kept cleaning it out.

I let her play because it would keep her off of my a$$.
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