Unless you’re small enough to climb inside, grabbing a prize out a claw machine could be pretty tough. But Daily Beast entertainment reporter Jen Yamato and film critic Kim Morgan are really, excellent at it: thunder dragon fish game machine estimates that she’s nabbed 100 toys from your prize pits of claw machines, which she’s deposited in her car and also at her house, and also at some point, Morgan says, she had “two large garbage bags overflowing with stuffed animals from just one single year. I donated them.”
Morgan happens to be fascinated by claw machines, but got really hooked in 2008: “Must end up being the dumb kid in me that spies a massive box of stuffed toys,” she says. “A claw? It’s almost something out of your Brothers Grimm … Just once I clawed six animals consecutively. There is a crowd around me! It was actually so silly.” Yamato’s obsession with claw games began in her adult life. “I only realized I was great at it because I kept winning stuff and so i was keeping track of it on Instagram,” she says. “I’m an expert person quite often, and it’s among the only stuff that I am going to let myself be completely competitive about. … You can bask inside the glory of holding your bounty high above the head and saying, ‘Yes, I snatched this prize out of this machine! I beat it!’”
It could appear like fun and games-and, obviously, it can be. But there’s real skill involved, too. Here are the techniques Morgan and Yamato use to nab a prize.
The first thing you should think of when thinking of playing arcade fish game machine is the prize pit-specifically, how tightly the prizes are packed. “An easy tell occurs when every one of the stuffed animals have been front faced and they’re packed in like sardines,” Yamato says. “That means nobody has jiggled anything loose yet, or possibly a worker recently stuffed them in super tight.” A tightly-packed prize pit will make your work a whole lot harder: “I’m not planning to bother playing a piece of equipment that is certainly clearly stuffed too tight,” Yamato says. “I won’t be capable of reel anything in.”
Morgan agrees. “If the toys are stuffed so tightly that grabbing is impossible, don’t waste your time,” she says. “I think it’s easier to find those weird lone claw machines in places that seem more abandoned-they don’t get stuffed the maximum amount of. These are the only places you may win because there’s more room to drag an animal.”
“Don’t necessarily watch how they play, but watch just how the machine reacts whenever they play-that information can assist you whenever it comes to be your turn,” Yamato says. “I can see in case the claw grip is just too loose, or maybe it’s created to let go or offer a jiggle after it grasps something, then I won’t play because I understand chances are definitely against me … unless it’s an extremely, really sweet toy i want. Then I’ll spend a little extra time.”
Yamato and Morgan go right after the prize that looks one of the most attainable. “Sometimes, the most desirable prizes would be the hardest ones to have,” Yamato says. “Being realistic about what you can win in almost any given machine will allow you to win a lot more.”
“If the pretty pony in the far end, stuffed tightly next to the cute teddy bear, is an impossible option, you’re going to have to settle with the ugly duck/monster thing with red shoes as well as a cape or whatever the hell it is and tolerate it,” Morgan says.
The perfect prize is “sticking out a little bit, isn’t being blocked or obstructed by every other prizes, and isn’t too close to the side,” Yamato says. (When a prize is leaning versus the glass, the claw track won’t allow the claw to get close enough to nab it.) Morgan also advises sticking with prizes which can be near the chute: “Don’t drag something in the very end from the machine,” she says. “That rarely works.”
Yamato also avoids round or rotund objects. “Those take time and effort because the vast majority of time there’s absolutely nothing to grab onto,” she says. Instead, aim for a prize which has some sort of appendage-a head, or even an arm or a leg-sticking out: “Something you can find one of many claw prongs under is the best choice, in case the angle’s right.”
After Yamato has picked her prize, she’ll play once, “to test the tensile grip of your claw to find out how easily it can hold after it closes,” she says. “A lots of them will jiggle open soon after they close, so even when you’ve caught something, it’ll screw you over by opening up the claws somewhat.” If this happens, Yamato says she won’t play again … “probably.”
In general, it’s much easier to play machines who have a three-pronged claw as opposed to a two-pronged claw: “It’s all about the grip-if the claw features a weak grip, forget it,” Morgan says. “The two-pronged claws seem weaker to me.”
“One technique is bumping another animal out of the way to seize another,” Morgan says. She also advises grabbing and dragging a prize closer to the chute to make it easier to grab on your own second try.
Most claw machines drop and grab with one push of the mouse; some need two pushes-a person to drop the claw, another to seal it-but that’s rare. In any event, “Most machines provide you with enough time to position your claw, and many of them will let you move it forward and backward and after that sideways,” Yamato says. “I usually try and spend most of the time of the clock running down to make sure that I’m exactly above where I want the claw to drop.” Once you’re in the best possible position, drop it.
Most machines cost 50 cents to try out, so Yamato will invest a dollar. “Maybe half time I have a prize on my own first dollar,” she says. “I’ll usually play a number of dollars at most before I recognize that I will leave. It’s like gamb-ling-for no monetary gain!”
Morgan says grabbing a prize normally takes her a number of tries “on good machines,” she says. “On bad machines-and they also seem worse now-it will require me about five or ten times or never. I will not go past ten. That creates me seem like a junkie.”
A few weeks ago, Vox posted an article that explained how lottery simulator game machine owners can rig them-but Yamato doesn’t think that’s true for every single game. “People might play less simply because they think every claw machine is rigged to screw them over, but not all claw machines are rigged,” she says. “I always think that every claw is winnable-it’s just a matter of just how much I would like to stand there while keeping playing basically if i know that the particular machine is sort of stuck.” But people should steer clear of the machines that have money wrapped around the prizes: “In my experience,” Yamato says, “those are often those who 14dexcpky rigged.”
Morgan, on the other hand, does believe that a lot of the machines are rigged-this is why she would rather play machines in places away from the beaten path, as with California’s Yucca Valley. “Are they less rigged from the desert? I believe so,” she says. “I have incredible luck around. I usually play in the desert.”