How to win the machine grabber
In April, the Vox edition released an expose of popular slot machines, known in Russia as “crane machines” or “Khvataiki”.
In the instructions for the machines of BMI Gaming, the journalists found that such devices specifically incorporated a loss mechanism, but it does not work in an obvious way.
Two months later, representatives of the community of manufacturers of such machines responded to the recording, and BMI Gaming removed the instructions from open access.
In the manual for the Advanced Crane Machine of the brand Black Tie Toys, journalists found several customizable parameters that are responsible for the probability of loss.
They determined how strong the claw hold would be and how often it would fall to the player to the full.
With such options, the owners of “Khvavayka” could set it up so that the winnings occurred only one of several dozen times.
And the “hard grip” fell out randomly, so that the programmable loss was harder to detect.
This allowed the players to think that the chances of winning depend on their dexterity, and made them play more and more.
As explained by the publication, the ability to independently adjust the profits received from the machine gave its owners a room for experimentation.
For example, they could first make the machine more “simple” so that it could earn a reputation for easy money among the players, and then change the strategy to a more profitable institution.
In some devices, this percentage of profit was automatically adjusted depending on the player’s skills.
Not only did one particular brand have such capabilities: according to the authors of Vox, these parameters are industry standard. In the US, local laws are in charge of regulating gaming machines in general, but in the case of “taps” we are not talking about the integrity of machines, but about the value of winning. Usually it is limited to several tens of dollars: so the machines do not become a lure for large players, but they are still of interest to children.
After the publication of the article on Vox, industry representatives responded to the relevant edition of the Vending Times. According to them, it was not the first case of such disclosures, however, the journalists touched on the important problem of the lack of state regulation of such devices or, on the contrary, the use of too old laws, many of which are over 60 years old.
According to the authors of the notes in the Vending Times, the automata manufacturers are moving towards 100% dominance of players' skills over a programmable loss and independently manage the industry without government intervention. Nevertheless, BMI Gaming, on whose website the mentioned Vox instructions were publicly available, deleted them without explaining the reasons.