Why the classic arcade crane game is rigged (video)

Classic arcade crane game illustration 
By: David Ross 

(Scroll down for video) The arcade crane game, also known as "claw game," are apparently quite simple: put in the money, position the crane on a prize, drop the claw and hope that your skills are good enough to take home the prize.

However, winning requires more than skill. These machines are like slot machines, which children are allowed to play. Like a slot machine, the operator can control how often you win a prize.

The strength of the claws is reduced in order for the player to lose and the grip strength increases for the player win. In a sense, they are worse than the slot machines since the player still requires a bit of skill when the odds are in their favor.

The claws must be strengthened in order for one to win a prize. The odds of the claws having enough grip strength to win a prize are regulated by some states and therefore vary. For example, in California, the claws only have to be strong enough in 1 out of 12 games. In Nevada, the law allows for the claw to strengthen in only 1 in 15 games.

In other words, 1 out of 15 games the claw will be strong enough to pick up a prize, but you still have to aim well to win.