You're not gonna win big at arcades

Seriously people, when you go to any arcade, those big prizes like consumer electronics and giant stuffed animals are simply a cocktease.  They look so pretty you just wanna take'em home and show them just how much you love'em.  You won't.  Let's do a little math here.  At my arcade, games are supposed to regularly pay out about 20% of what they take in (1/5 for those not so inclined into percentages).  That means your money is shrinking to 1/5 of its original amount.  Once you actually get in the redemption center, most everything's priced at double the cents (not dollars) it cost to bring it in, so now your money is really 1/10 of what it originally was.  Assuming completely average skill and assuming you only play skill-based games (good luck finding them), you're going to spend 10x what it would actually cost to purchase items.
My point is not to say you will never succeed, just that it should not be your goal to get those big items.  I have actually seen one player skilled enough at the games that he consistently can make a profit off of us.  Yeah, just one, in the 3+ years I've worked there out of everyone I've seen.  For the rest of you, just play to have fun.  If you like an arcade enough, hold on to your tickets and build them up as you keep visiting.  It then gives off an idea of a frequent visitors reward, like frequent flier miles.  You rack it up and don't use them until you decide to cash it in for something awesome.  You can track how many visits it would take by finding your average tickets per visit.  It'll definitely take some time depending on how often you visit, but people who save are usually rewarded.  For those deluded enough to actually try playing for prizes instead of fun, I just have one tip: look for games of physical skill where any lights are merely decorative.  If you're dependent on a screen or light telling you your prize, you've already lost.


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