Claw machines are famous for being very difficult to win. Especially since they are programed when to allow you to win. But with a few tips, you can beat them even when you are not supposed to.
A while back some documents were published that showed claw machines can in fact be rigged to make you win only when they decide to. For example they can vary the strength with which they crab the toy, they can randomize the times a player wins so you can’t count the games and so on.
But even with the odds stacked well against you, there are some tips to win at the claw machine. For a start the state mandates a minimum number of games the claw machine must allow the player to win. In Nevada in 1 out of every 15 games the claw machine has to give out a prize. In California it’s one out of 12 and so on. This doesn’t guarantee a win, as there are other factors involved, it just means that at least once out of these number oftimes you will be playing with a full strenght claw.
What the claw machines do within that frame though is up to them. They can give out a prize three games in a row then nothing for 15. They can give out a prize four times in various increments or just two times here and there. So you need quite a bit of luck unless you want to spend more money than the prize is worth until you get it.
You also may benefit from team work. A friend or two can observe the toy you want and the claw form different angles. With their help you will be able to position the claw muc better, which increases the chances of winning. They will also help you position the toy correctly above the chute before you drop it. Don’t rely on the mirror as it distorts the depth perception.
Also take note where to grab the toy. It may take some trial and error to find a spot that even with a weakened claw, it won’t slip out that easy.
Four-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.
When using three-pronged claws for stuffed animals, instead of positioning two of the prongs above the arms, position the prongs around the left or right arm. Have the claw at an angle so that it covers the whole chest area of a stuffed animal.
Observe the toys. Sometimes they may seem just resting on top of the others, while a leg of the stuffie is lodged inbetween others to make it more difficult. Others are just too tightly packed.
Have strategy. Sometimes toys are stacked near the chute. Instead of picking the one at the top. Why not try to lift the one under it? You may need to lift it up just a bit to push up the toy above up and around the chute giving you a win.
Pick the machine carefully. Don’t play a machine that only has a right and forward button, when you’ve pressed and released each button once the claw will drop without you getting the chance to adjust. Look for one with a joystick and a “drop” button. Also note how far the claw reaches. Don’t go for toys near the class.
Try not to rush. The timer is there to force you to hurry up and make an error. So stay calm and try not to move the claw to fast so not to make it sway which will increase the chance of dropping the toy when you are not ready.
Never bang or push the machines. They have sensors for that and will lock up. You will most likely also be asked to leave for cheating.