This video shows how claw machines are rigged

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This video shows how claw machines are rigged
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Stefan

Claw machines are very popular during fairs and even around some regular stores. A new video shows exactly how they are rigged to not let you win the toys.

We’ve covered the subject before here on There were even drawings and people from the claw machine business saying it is a normal thing. Then we had some tips, too. But it is not always possible to defeat the software that powers the claw machines and allows them to adjust the strength of the claw’s grip, how long should it have the maximum power, which prong should be loose and so one.

Newer machines even allow their owners to do all of this remotely via a smartphone. Older machines require them to physically come to the machine to tinker the settings. But the newer models are so intelligent they can even handle the controls themselves and only inform the owner of the results.

“Managing profit is made easy, simply input the coin value, the average value of the merchandise, and the profit level. The machine will automatically calculate when to send full strength to the claw”, writes VOX, who had a look at the instruction manual of one such claw machine.

They even have a “dropping skill” setting which allows for “accidental” let go of the prize just as you think you were about to win. The idea? To make you think you have gotten the hang of it and you are going to win, so you want to play again.

The video is pretty clear. Winning at the claw machine has little to do with skill. It’s all about being lucky for it to let you win. Maybe that is why claw machines are classified as gambling devices. With that being said, it’s not fair to say all claw machines are bad. It depends on how their owners have set them up. Some go overboard with the settings, while other are more open to let players win. But again, this is about luck, if you manage to come across such a machine.