Everyone and their mothers have seen their fair share of claw machines; those dreadful contraptions which only serve to tease us with the promise of awesome prizes. The excitement quickly builds after inserting a coin, only to drop like a rock in a lake when you find that the user-operated claw is weaker than a baby’s grip. Yes, we’re no strangers to failure when it comes to claw machines — or Crane Games, as they’re sometimes called —, which is especially infuriating when the prize pool has something we actually desire.
Well, as it turns out, after thousands of cries of “this game is rigged!”, some claw machines can actually stack the odds against us. Now, we’re not saying all of the claw games are completely rigged, but the vast majority of them are configured to yield prizes only after a certain amount of money has been deposited. For example, if a prize is worth around $5, while each round costs 50 cents, and the owner wants 50% profit from each prize, then the crane can be programmed to yield prizes once at least $7.50 to $8 have been deposited into the machine. This interval is completely random so it can’t actually be predicted, and the way it works is by making the crane grasp weaker the less money has been deposited.