How they fool us, or why it is so difficult to pull a toy out of the machine

If your child can’t get a toy out of the grabber, don’t be so quick to blame him for being awkward. Such machines are initially set up so that players do not win more often than necessary. Otherwise, the business will be unprofitable.

How they fool us, or why it is so difficult to pull a toy out of the machine

A photo: Wikipedia CommonsWikipedia Commons

Those who have played with the grab many times know that picking up a toy with a crane is not so easy. Even if you have already managed to grab the prize, it may fall out of the claw of the apparatus at the last moment. And this is not an accident. Everything is in the settings of the machine. Such methods of deception are not even a trade secret, but publicly available information. Instructions for machines can be found on the Internet. After reading them, everything becomes clear.

English edition Vox studied the manual for the Black Tie Toys grip. From the instructions it follows that the owner of the crane machine can fine-tune the gripping force of the claw in advance. The settings allow you to make sure that the “hand” could pick up the prize only in a short period of time from the entire period during which the game is going on, the material says.

Another special feature is to ensure that the loot escapes the player at the last moment. When the toy is already in the claw and stretches upward, it suddenly falls out of the “fingers”. The number of such unsuccessful attempts can also be configured.

The machine also allows you to choose the allowed number of wins – when players can grab the toy and pull it out.

The owner of the device can choose at his own discretion how fair or unfair the game will be. For example, you can make the claw be strong only in one case out of 23.

The publication notes that these functions are a universal standard for crane machines, and not some special solution used in the products of a single manufacturer.

On the site “” you can find instructions for crane machines and tables with their settings. So, the machine based on the KIT 664 AV game board allows you to choose the “level of difficulty of pulling out the toy” from the options “standard” and “complex”.

For the same machine, you can set the “number of games for which the winning game falls.”

The accompanying text says that one of the switches “makes it easy to adjust the claw grip strength in test mode.”

If, despite all of the above, you still want to play with the grip, look at things more optimistically. No one wants to be in a game that will never lead to a win, so slot machine owners set their machines up for a certain percentage of wins.

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