How to Win at a Claw Machine

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20-09-2019, 20:00
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Updated: August 28, 2019 Claw machines can be a lot of fun to play and even more fun to win. However, if you’ve ever played a claw machine before, you know how hard actually winning a prize can be sometimes! Luckily, once you know how to study claw machines and go for the best prizes, you can make it a lot more likely for you to win at claw machines.

Selecting a Good Machine

  1. Choose a claw machine that isn’t full of tightly packed prizes. In other words, go for the claw machine that people have already been playing for a while. This way, the prizes won’t be packed together so tightly that they’re hard to pick up with a claw.
    • This effectively means that you should look for prize pits that aren’t more than about halfway full.
    • Be on the lookout for prize pits where all the stuffed animal prizes are facing outward and look very tightly packed. The prizes in those machines will probably be very hard to pick up.
  2. Aim to use machines with 3-pronged claws for the best results. 3-pronged claws are generally easier to win with than 2-pronged and 4-pronged claws. Although 4-pronged claws are pretty good at picking up stuffed animals, you’ll have the most luck with most prizes by using a 3-pronged claw.
    • 4-pronged claws are great for grabbing around the chest area of a stuffed animal. When you use this type of claw on a stuffed animal, try to maneuver the claw so that the four prongs are positioned both above and below the arms with the central part of the claw close to the neck or high chest area.
  3. Watch somebody play the claw machine before you to study it. As that person is playing, pay attention to how the machine operates and how difficult it is to pick up a prize with it. Count how many seconds the machine gives the player after they put their money in, as well.
    • For example, when the player ahead of you goes to pick up a prize, look to see how loose the grip on the claw is. If it’s a very loose grip and doesn’t hold on to prizes very well, you probably shouldn’t play that machine, since it’ll be very difficult to win.
    • Another thing to pay attention to is how easy the crane is to move around. It will be useful to know ahead of time how jerky or smooth the crane moves around over the prize pit.
  4. Pick a prize to go for before you put your money into the machine. This way, you won’t spend precious seconds trying to decide which prize you want. The best prizes to go for are the ones near the top of the pile in the center of the prize pit.
    • Note that rounder prizes, like baseballs and footballs, are usually more difficult to pick up than angular objects, like stuffed animals.

Positioning the Claw

  1. Have a friend stand on the side of the machine to help you. Ask your friend to watch from the sides and help you determine when the claw is directly over the prize you’re going for. This will help you to move your claw into position as quickly as possible and save precious time.
    • If you don't have anyone around to help, judge the claw's position by looking at the mirror inside the claw machine. The mirror can serve as your second person.
  2. Spend the first 10 seconds maneuvering the claw over the prize. Begin doing this immediately after you put your money into the machine. Try to move the claw into position over the prize as closely as possible.
    • This is assuming you only have 15 seconds before the claw drops. If you have 30 seconds, spend about the first 20 seconds moving your claw into position.
    • Be sure to look at the position of the claw from the side of the machine, as well, to be as accurate as possible in your positioning.
  3. Use the last 5 seconds making tiny adjustments to the claw’s position. Make tiny movements to get the claw into just the right position over your prize. Have your partner on the side of the machine help you guide the claw into position.
    • Be very careful making your adjustments in these last 5 seconds. Don’t move the claw so much that it’s completely out of position for picking up the prize.
  4. Drop the claw when you’re in the absolute best position. Be sure to press the button that lowers the claw before your time runs out. Otherwise, the machine will move the claw back into starting position and you’ll have to start over.
    • Note that on some machines, the claw will automatically drop when time runs out, no matter where it is.
  5. Repeat this process to try again if you didn’t get your prize. Odds are, you won’t get your prize on the first try. On subsequent tries, try to move the prizes in the pit around to put the prize you want in a better position.
    • For example, if there’s another prize on top of the prize that you want, use the claw to bump the first prize out of the way to put the prize you want in a better position.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

  1. Set a budget for how much money to spend on the machine. Since it will probably take you multiple tries to get the prize you want, it’s easy to end up spending a lot of money on 1 claw machine. Aim to spend only a certain amount of money trying to win at the claw machine and quit trying once you’ve spent that much money.
    • For best results, your budget should not exceed the actual value of the prize. If the prize you want costs $5, for example, don’t spend more than $5 trying to win it at the machine.
  2. Be on the lookout for machines with prizes that are too good to be true. If the prizes in the pit look very expensive, that machine is more likely to be rigged. In those instances, trying to win at that claw machine is probably just a waste of money.
    • For example, steer clear of prize pits where the prizes are high-end pieces of technology, like smartphones, or have money wrapped around them.
  3. Refrain from going after prizes that are very low or near the windows. Prizes near the windows tend to be harder to grab with the claw. Prizes that are very low, meanwhile, will be harder for the claw to get to. If possible, aim for items closer to the drop box section.
    • Prizes near the drop box are ideal because if the claw drops your prize, there's a better chance it will fall into the drop box.
    • If a prize is very low, this also increases the likelihood that the claw will drop the prize as it’s picking it up.
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