Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stay away from these machines!

Hey there arcade gamers, in my last post I explained how some games can be rigged to be impossible to win until the machine has earned enough money. As always, any game could be rigged like this, so if you are unfamiliar with the game, you should do a quick Google search for the game's manual. However here are some common machines that are ALWAYS rigged. Bear in mind that if you're feeling lucky and are good at any of these games, putting in a dollar or two isn't that bad as you may happen to play the game when it has received enough money, and will actually payout to the next winner, but these are not games you want to spend too much time or money on.

1. Stacker.

Stacker is a game where you have a screen with blocks that move from left to right. The objective is to stop each block on top of one another until you reach the top to win a big prize. Common prizes in these machines range from Xbox consoles, to Ipads, or large gift cards. Stacker machines come in various forms, but they are ALL rigged. The only exception to this is on some of the machines, there is a Small Prize you could win for only going halfway up, and usually small prizes are not rigged. I can confirm this with experience, because I've cleaned out a stacker machine of its minor prizes before. Usually the minor prizes aren't worth getting though, especially if you're looking to re-sell for profit. Occasionally though there is something like candy that is worth the 1$ you put in to the machine.

2. Most Roulette games.

Roulette games are the games where you usually have a big circle of lights, and you have to stop the light at a particular spot to win a prize or jackpot. There are hundreds of variations of these types of games, but in my experiences I'd say about 80% of them are rigged. A good rule of thumb if you can't obtain the game's manual is the bigger the jackpot, the more chance of the game being rigged. Its noteworthy to point out however that on some days Dave and Buster's arcades actually rig the machines to payout MORE then other arcades normally do. I suppose this is because in the eyes of Dave and Busters, people seeing someone win a jackpot on a machine is going to make them put more money into that machine. I made some decent tickets off one in a D&B a few years ago, because I noticed if I came back to the machine once every 30 minutes or so, I could hit a jackpot in 1-3 tries, and the jackpot was 500 tickets for 50 cents a play. Assuming it took 2 tries on average, 1 Dollar for 500 tickets, isn't too shabby.

3. Carnival games.

Some arcades include carnival games, and they are ALWAYS rigged. No exceptions on this one, and I've worked in an amusement park that had these kinds of games, so I know exactly how all of them are rigged. Maybe Ill do a post about this one day, but these types of games are borderline scams in my book. At my old job, which I wont disclose for personal protection, and legal reasons, we had a game where you can throw a bean bag at wall full of balloons, and each balloon had a spike behind it. The objective was to pop a balloon to win a prize, the balloons were each different sizes, so smaller sizes gave you bigger prizes, and larger balloons gave you smaller prizes. The large balloons weren't rigged in any way, so if you wanted to pay 5$ to get a bunch of small prizes, knock yourself out, but the spikes behind the small balloons were so dull, even pushing a balloon against it with your hand couldn't pop it.

4. Flaming Finger

Flaming Finger is the game where you have a maze, and you have to use your finger to navigate the maze to the end before the time limit is up. And as you progress through the maze the time moves faster and faster. Some people swear that there is a method you could use to consistently win this game, and some youtube videos of people winning convince a lot of people this game is skill based. But the truth is, according to the game's manual, the arcade can set how often the game is winnable. Its worthwhile to mention some arcades actually don't utilize this feature, and thus the game could be skill based in some locations, but usually these arcades don't have great prizes. Some Flaming finger games have their own prizes like Xbox games, or movies, while some just payout tickets based on how far you got before time was up. The same rule of thumb applies here, the bigger the payout, the more likely the game is rigged.

5. Most Claw Machines.

Claw Machines, are a completely different ballpark from other arcade games. They are a staple in arcades and wal-marts alike, and have been around for years. Newer claw-machines however, are rigged. There are many ways they can be rigged, but typically the claw has 2 different strength settings, weak, and strong. And once the claw machine receives enough money, the claw becomes stronger until someone wins. The newer a claw machine is, the more chances of it being rigged. However, there are still plenty of skill-based claw machines out there, usually in small businesses who likely got the machines because they were cheap. However, despite claw machines being rigged, there are still many ways you could win off them, as physics cannot be manipulated by machines. If you like claw machines, check out a popular youtuber by the name of Matt3756. This guy knows more about claw machines then anyone I've ever met, and he's even bought one of his own just to practice and study it. Claw-Machines usually aren't my go-to game, usually the only time I play them is if I see something I want personally, or I stumble upon a skill based claw machine and try to clean it out. But Matt has some great tips for winning claw machines that aren't supposed to let you win, and you should definitely check his videos out. If you do, let him know I sent you there, because my blog sure could use the publicity.

Well there you have it, again you should ALWAYS check for the game's manuals before playing them, but here are some games you should always avoid. Hopefully this helps you not get scammed out of your money, so you have more money to invest in better arcade games. Lately I've been posting nothing but redemption game tips, so I'm going to start posting tips on non-redemption games, such as shooting or racing games. If anyone has a game they like to play and wants some tips on improving, feel free to leave a suggestion!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Basics of playing for profit

Hey there Arcade Gamers, before I start posting guides on how to profit off arcade games, there are a few basic principles everyone needs to know, and some good rule of thumbs to go by. So if you're interested in learning how to play for profit, here are the basics you need to understand before you even put your first token into a machine.

1. Get the Fantasy's out of your head.

If you're going into this with the mindset of being able to quit your day job and make a fortune off playing at Arcades, you are going to fail. Yes you can get some cool stuff for cheap, and even re-sell high ticket items for a profit if you're good enough, but you are NOT going to make a living this way. Your goal should be to have fun, and make the most out of playing arcade games.

2. Understand what you want to gain.

Everyone is different in regards to why they choose to play for profit. Some people play for big items such as Ipads or video games that they can easily sell to make a profit. Spending 100$ in games, to get 200$ worth of prizes could get you some decent profit, and if anything pay for your arcade trips. As for me, I don't have the patience to do that, my goal is usually to get something for myself, or something I think would make a nice gift for someone else, and try to get it cheaper then I would going to a store. A few years ago when I was at Dave and Busters (there isn't a D&B where I live, so I don't get to go here often) I ended up spending around 150$, and by the end of the day I won a Nintendo DSi, and an Xbox 360 game. Had I bought both of those at a store, I would have spent probably over 200$, so I ended up saving myself 50 bucks, and got to have a whole day of playing at an Arcade. To me, that is a successful day, but to someone who is looking to resell, that would be a small profit margin for them. Everyone is different, and if you identify what you want to accomplish, you'll be on a better track.

3. Realize that Arcades exist to make money

Remember those times as a kid, where you would play Stacker, and get right at the very top to win a major prize like an Xbox, and at the very last round, you SWEAR you hit it right, but the game said you lost? And then you probably cried about it and everyone said you were just a sore loser? Turns out, you were actually right, plenty of games are actually designed like Casino games to be impossible to win until the machine has earned enough money. In fact, comparing arcade games to casino games is actually a very great way to explain this. To put it simply, lets say there is a game with a 100$ gift card as a prize. The machine could actually be programmed to always lose no matter what the player does, until the machine has received 150$ in plays.  Then the game becomes skill based, and a player can win the prize. This is how arcades make their money, because in that example, the arcade makes at least 150$ for that 100$ gift card. Its a fair practice that you can't blame the arcades for, but knowing how to identify which games are programmed like this is the first step you should take. While most games are programmed with a predetermined payout, some games do rely on skill and skill alone. These are the kinds of games you want to focus on, because with practice, you could consistently hit jackpots and win big.

4. Read Game manuals

I just explained how some games have a rigged payout system, but I didn't explain how to tell which games do and don't have them. The easiest way to find out for yourself of course is to use the power of the internet, and look up the game's manuals. If you've ever bought a video game, you know games come with manuals, and arcade games are no different. Most Arcade game vendors, have the game's manuals on their website, intended for arcade owners to be able to look them over before purchasing. Of course that also means we as players can use this to our advantage to look out for games that are designed to lose. If you were to look up a Stacker machine's manual, you would see a section on how to set a payout. If you see something like this for any game, its probably a game you don't want to play. If you read the manual and don't see anything about how the arcade can set how often the game win's or loses, then that is a game you want to spend more time on. Basically, you gotta do a little research.

5. Pick a good time/location to play

This last tip can vary depending on what you are trying to accomplish, but this rule is very important for those looking to make a profit. If you're looking to make big profits, you're likely going to spend 4-7 hours on one machine, playing over and over again, while tickets pour out of the machine with no sign of stopping. This attracts A LOT of attention, both from spectators, and employees. So you should pick a time where there won't be as much traffic for a number of reasons. First, you're hogging a machine for hours, and that is actually out of your control. If you hit 3 jackpots in a row, even if you get up to let someone else play a round, you are still going to have to wait a good 10 minutes for your tickets to finish dispensing, and even though that isn't your fault, you might get a parent of a kid who gets annoyed with you and complains. Second, you might attract children who will steal tickets from you, or beg you to share with them. I usually do give alot of prizes/tickets away to kids because I like making people happy, but if you're playing for a profit, that isn't something you can really do, and its going to be hard to explain that to someone. If you play during times where kids are at school, and people are at work, you'll avoid problems. The location is also very important too. Big chain arcades like Dave and Busters or Gameworks, typically don't have a problem with Advantage players. In their eyes, customers seeing you hit jackpot after jackpot are going to make them want to play more, and they won't do as well as you thus making them money. I was on a first name basis with many Gameworks employees back when we had one where I live, and they knew I was making profit off them, but I was never asked to leave or stop playing. However I have been asked to leave smaller arcades in the past, because small arcade owners typically struggle to get by, and fear players like me could put them out of business. Most recently was a few years ago where I found a Skill Based Claw Machine, and was cleaning the machine out of all its prizes, and giving them to spectators, I was asked to leave by a manager. So if you're playing for profit, go to a big arcade, if you can't then make sure you always respect and follow what local arcades say. If you cause trouble, you not only make other advantage players look bad, but you risk not being able to return to that arcade. If you really want to fight it, respectfully ask to talk to a manager, share some of your knowledge of arcade games and try to make them understand that you aren't making a bazillion dollars at their expense like they may fear.

Hopefully this helps you get started on your arcade adventures. If even one person reads this, and uses my advice to win big at an arcade, I'll know this blog is worth it. One day when I open my own arcade, I'm going to make sure I only have skill-based games, and encourage players to try and improve their game.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Welcome to The Arcade Grandmaster!

Hey there everyone, welcome to my new blog! I want to kick this off with an Introductory post that explains who I am, and what this blog is all about.

So lets start with me. My name is John aka: The Arcade Grandmaster, and my biggest hobby is, you guessed it, arcade games. I am what people call an "Advantage Player" which means I play arcade games that favor skill over chance, and use my skills to my advantage. I know what you may be thinking "Aren't arcade games rigged?" and the answer to that is they usually are. However some games actually aren't rigged, and some Advantage players use that to make some good profit off arcade games by winning high ticket Items such as Ipads, Video games, etc and selling them for profit. Now before you go blow you're next paycheck at an arcade, let me pop your bubble by saying that there isn't a whole lot of profit to be made these days. And it takes a very long time to get good enough at these games to the point where you can make money off them. So please do not follow my blog if you're intention is to quit your day job and be a professional arcade junkie.

Back to me, I use my skills mainly to get things such as video games, electronics, etc for much cheaper then buying from a store. And I intend to post plenty of guides to teach how to do the same. However, the ultimate reason I do all of this is because I simply enjoy arcades. I've been playing and studying arcade games my entire life, ever since my first trip to a Dave and Busters. Even if I wasn't getting some cool stuff for cheap, I would probably still play just as much as I do now, simply because its fun. In reality I would honestly rather pay 100$ for a 60$ game at an arcade, because I get to have much more fun that way, and create some good memories too.

As for the future, my dream is to actually own my own Arcade/Fun center one day, and do things differently then other places. To create a place that people don't have to spend much to have a great time, and a place where employees are happy and take pride in their work. Of course I'm 20 years old, and just now starting school, so this dream is a long way off, but I hope to make it a reality some day. Until then, I'll be blogging about my passion, which is arcade games!

Thanks for checking out my blog, if you like what you see please check back often for more updates! Who knows, you might learn a thing or two and become an arcade master yourself!