How to win at the claw machine

Updated November 21, 2016

A claw machine is a game that offers a player a chance to beat the game and win a prize. Claw machines are typically located in retail stores and appeal to shoppers because of prizes that include stuffed animals, toys and watches. However, winning a price can be difficult. The number of claws on a machine can determine your odds of winning a prize.

Scope out a machine that has more than two claws. Also, watch a machine prior to playing. Claw machines are designed to award a prize after a certain number of plays. It helps to develop a strategy to help win at a claw machine.

Determine whether your machine has a grip setting. You don't want your claw grip to be too loose, or you'll lose your prize. Locate a prize you'd like to win before depositing your money into a machine.

Watch for toys that look easy to grab, such as a toy lying on top of a pile. Toys that are packed and wedged into a machine won't offer an easy win. Claw machines can't lift toys that have a limb buried.

Pay attention to your machine's timer. Spend a few seconds manoeuvring your claw over a toy, avoiding the machine's corners. Toys against the corners of a claw machine are difficult to win.


Claw machines will cost 50 cents to £1.30 to play. Limit the amount of money you're willing to spend. Many of the toys in claw machines aren't worth more than a few dollars. Machines that have a joystick and drop button will provide better odds for winning. Watching someone else play a machine can help you determine the speed and grip of the machine.


Don't spend more money than you intend. Don't jerk the joystick, which can cause the claw to move away from your prize. Stay away from machines that have only a forward and right button. Avoid machines where the same toys have been there for weeks or more than a month. Avoid machines that have a claw that doesn't close all the way or completely grasps an item.

Things You'll Need

  • Quarters
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