It’s not you. Claw machines are rigged.

It’s not you. Claw machines are rigged.

Anyone who has played a claw machine can relate
to the experience of having the claw perfectly
positioned only to see it weakly graze the
prize before pulling back up. “No Man!” It
may seem like the machine isn’t even trying.
And well… “It is not your imagination, those
claw machines are rigged!”
There are a couple
of beloved stuffed animals that I have that
are from a claw machine, a koala and a bear.
That is writer, Phil Edwards.
“I looked at the instruction guides for a few
of the biggest claw games out there. Take
for example, the manual for Black Tie Toys
advanced crane machine. If you look at page
8, section subheading Claw Strength you will
see a horrifying piece of information. “Managing
profit is made easy. Simply input the coin
value, the average value of the merchandise,
and the profit level. The machine will automatically
calculate when to send full strength to the
claw.” Alright, so if it cost 50 cents to
play the game, and the prize inside cost 7
dollars. To make a profit of 50% full power
will be sent to the claw only about once every
21 games or so. That sucks. They also randomize
that winning game within a range so that players
can’t predict when exactly it will happen.
And you might notice a subheading that says
“dropping skill” they can program the machine
to make you think you almost won. They taunt
you with it. You see the stuffed animal flying
in the air. And then it drops it. And that
just ruins everything. So, most of the time
claw machines are more like slot machines,
than like skeeball or wack-a-mole. “Who’s
in charge here!” “The claw!”
The question of whether claw machines are a game of skill or chance goes back decades. The earlier versions
back in the 1930s had very little element
of skill and were marketed as highly profitable
for their owners. This was the depression
era and people were desperate for ways to
get money moving. During a crackdown on organzied
crime in the 1950s federal law classified
claw machines as gambling devices and prohibited
the transporation of them across state lines.
After those laws were relaxed in the 1970s
newer claw machines from Europe and Asia spread
throughout the United States. They actually
started calling them “skill cranes” because
the joystick gave players more precise control.
But owners had increasing control over profits
as well. And they’ve been met with a patchwork
of state and local laws and regulations. If
machine operators want to make that claw really
really unfair against the players, there’s
not a lot stopping them. Most of the regulations
focus on the prize size, not the strength
of the claw. That’s a reason that you might
see fewer of the “win a free iPad” claw machines
or “win a free iPhone” claw machines around.
And more of just old fashioned stuffed animals.
It’s great if players know what they are up
against. Especially since sites like Youtube
have enabled claw machine enthusiast to broadcast
their victories. Like this guy. “I’m Matt
Magnone. Join me as I venture out and win
as much crap as I can from claw machines!”
My best outcome of this is not that all the
claw machines go away. Since I first wrote
this article, I’ve spent a dollar on claw
machines… and I’ve lost. All I want for
people to know is that they are not the problem.
The claw machine is the problem.
“Ah, you piece of crap!”

100 thoughts on “It’s not you. Claw machines are rigged.”

  1. Always in the Phillipines claw *
    Cause every time I catch a toy,I just open randomly making the toy fell

  2. Hello I've won in a claw machine it's a frog in shakeys u wanna know it? I knew the claw was weak not strong and saw the frog about to fall after that I've tried to push it down and it worked I hope u win in claw machine 🙂

  3. Well my brother got me Teddy from Mr.Bean and that was the sweetest thing my brother did. And also i got the blue baby coockie monster

  4. It is me I FEEED the claw machine money so it can pay for its upkeep there for staying in the store/streets/idk/okayifyouarestillreadingyourtowniskindacreepyhavingvendingmachineallover.

  5. I won and was like. WhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaat I won.

  6. reminds me when i won a claw machine at first try and my brother had to waste has money just to win

  7. I grabbed this necklace in a claw machine game right… it rose to the top… anchored itself and swung the necklace out of the claw… first off why did it swing when it was anchored

  8. Phew I thought it was just me

    Once I almost did it but my little brother saw a big red button and….

    Pushed it……

  9. My little half brother, who was 10, managed to win one those big stuffed animals from those huge claw machines first go at a Dave & Busters. I was both impressed and a bit jealous

  10. When me and my bf go to places who have claw machines, we always look if there are plushies from Nintendo or plushies from things we are fan of. Anyways, we look around online how much the plush is worth and just try to stay under the price🤣 Most of the time we are really lucky though and get plushies by only a few bucks. The worst we had once was a plushy we spent around 30,- on, but was online 42,- worth. Still a small victory I guess.

  11. Once in Rhyl there was a claw machine with Thomas the tank engine plushies in and my brother really wanted one and tried to get one, but it didn't pick it up. He started crying and a worker at the arcade was so nice and used the keys to get not one, but 2 Thomas the tank engine plushies for him! She was so kind!

    Also, once at WizzKids this little boy had put his money into a claw machine (a win every time one) didn't get a prize and then his parents called him to go home because they didn't realise it was a winner every time one so once they left I just went straight to it and won a free dolphin plushie! 😂

  12. my dad won danny dog peppa pig and mummy pig toys guess what i did i undressed peppa pig and mummy pig and got them pregnant the fbi is here help

  13. When I was 3, my mom won me a rabbit plushie from a claw machine, by a thread hanging off it. I was really happy and still have that rabbit on my desk!

  14. there was a very nice guy who owned a claw machine thing, and he like put the toys on the edge. so you can actually win! i won like 4 i think.

    that’s how to make a real successful machine.

  15. So is it considered illegal since they didn’t no? But I mean I guess it’s not since u had the choice to not put a coin in?

  16. I remember perfectly grabbing a toy, the claw was perfectly wrapped around it and when it went up it slid right off. Extremely rigged and a waste of money tbh.

  17. but they could make more money if it was fair because if it was there would be a higher chance of winning a stuffed animal and if people won more the more attraction it would get making people want to spend more to get more

  18. Just spent $5 trying to win a Sonic plushie at Walmart. I swear I had him each and every time but the claw had to be 0% power, wouldn't even lift a little.

  19. I once played a machine were you could win money. It costed 1€ and i played it like 15 times and actually won 40€ which was the top price lol but now i feel like it wasnt worth it

  20. Unrelated but can you guys stop trying to take down conservative media…

    FOR MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  21. I mean the glass covering the prizes next time be prepared with a hammer because it's not like it's unbreakable glass

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