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How to Beat the Claw Machine—Win Every Time

Updated on January 30, 2015

Want to Win the Claw Machine?

The infamous claw machine—it always seems to have the upper hand. Well, maybe to you it does. You can master the claw after learning my proven strategies.

You see them at restaurants, movie theaters, the mall. They can be anywhere. Stuffed animals waiting for a home to go to while they sit and wait in limbo in temporary housing. Set the poor toys free, let them roam! Okay, deep breath, let me calm down. I got so hyped up from the excitement of being able to help you with my degree in beating claw machines. I win almost every time and never put in more than a dollar or two (if you're putting in more, throw the towel in! It's not worth it.)

Read on to learn how to beat the claw machine and show those (mostly) cheap toys who's boss!

Think you can beat the claw machine? You can!
Think you can beat the claw machine? You can! | Source

Tips on How to Beat the Claw Machine

Let Someone Else Use the Claw Machine First

The first tip is to let someone else go before you. Observe, watch, and take mental notes. The grip on the claws can be adjusted. Sometimes you can lift anything in the machine while other times it is set so loose it couldn't lift a single marshmallow. This is why observing someone else is crucial—you get a good feel for the hand that you're being dealt. See what you are up against out of the gate. If you see someone lifting toys and they drop as soon as the claw moves, then run away. It will be a waste of time and money regardless how cool the prize is in the machine. Usually the more valuable the prize, the harder the game is.

Look For Loose Prizes

Now say you see someone win something. Or maybe they weren't successful but you did see that this particular claw has a good grip. This means you're ready for the next step! Walk up but do not put your money in yet—patience is key, young grasshopper. Look at the prizes and see what is even possible to grab. Is everything stuffed in together so close that it is like a can of sardines? Then do not waste your time, because you will be wasting more money. Look for loose prizes that you can get a good angle or grasp of.

Aim for the Neck or Mid-Body of a Stuffed Animal

Have you have spotted a prize that is not stuffed in where you can't reach? Maybe it is sitting right on top of the pile as you salivate, picturing yourself running through the finish line. Wait, not so fast. Bring back the patience and now plan on how you are going to grab the prize. If it is a stuffed animal, will the claw fit around the animal? Usually when the claw grabs the neck area or mid-body where you can get a good balanced hold, you'll end up with the prize 9 out of 10 times. Granted that you have some decent depth perception, of course. That part is something you will have a talent for or something that with some practice will improve

Be Careful With More Expensive Prizes

Now, say the prize is a new video game, cologne, or even a new mp3 player or phone you have had your eye on. Usually these will have a string or a handle to grab, to seem to help you get that item. Don't fall for that trap, It is very, very hard to grab the item by a handle or string with the claw. You can try if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you. While this isn't impossible, it's just very difficult. Assess the item and see if it's too large or too small for the claw, as well. Changes are that the item has been devised to be very hard to get a good hold of. Think about it, you wouldn't put a 100 dollar iPod in a machine for people to get with their first few dollars. You would be out of business pretty quick with that turnaround.

Bottom Line: Be Perceptive

Now, when you are moving the claw to pick up the item, look from all angles. This includes the front view and the side. Then, make sure that it is lined up with the prize. Keep your eye on the timer. If you prepared it should be a cakewalk to get the prize. Basically what it all boils down to is being perceptive and analyzing the situation. Once you do this you will have it down to a science. I have won so many prizes that I wracked up huge boxes of animals and prizes. I even won video games, an iPod, etc. I give them to my son, and even donate some boxes of prizes to the children's hospital.

If you have any experience or questions let me know! Good luck.


Do you win at claw machines?

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    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Ha! Will try. However, with a puny dollar, I can get nothing, but with more than a few, I can get the cheapest thing in the game.

      Those shops that house these claw things are winning.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Great tutorial!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I'm trying for an apple watch

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I need to win this mp4 player

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Ill try this. Thanks!

    • grittysavage profile imageAUTHOR

      Gritty Savage 

      4 years ago from Brooklyn, NY to Florida

      I am so glad you all are winning!!!! yayyy!!!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I think that i might actually win something this time! Thanks for the tips i hope i win i really really really want to!!!!!!!

    • willoughbysarah profile image

      Sarah Willoughby 

      4 years ago from Surrey

      I love this. When I was a kid, I use to be pretty good at these, however since I got older, I have not managed to win a single thing.

      Sad times.

    • profile image

      The anonymous 

      4 years ago

      I just won an xbox 1 and ps4 in a claw machines for 1 dollar

    • robert2day profile image

      Robert Day 

      4 years ago from New York

      I believe most machines are programmed to "grab" every so often and the frequency can be changed by switches inside the machines.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I won at Hawthornes 25 times in one night

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I just won an mp3 today at walmart for 1 dollar i bet my boyfriend that i could with his help the key really is to have someone on the side of it telling you if you are in a good spot you can view it from the front and from the back if it has a mirror and then from the side with another person it helps loads i've never lost with someone helping me from the side he said i was perfect in the spot i put it i pushed the button down it went and up came the mp3 by the handle

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      i just won mp3 and mp4 from claw machine at walmart for two dollars


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