Claw machines have always fascinated me. It's an interesting mix of emotions that arise when approaching one.
The desire for the prizes inside.
Formulating a strategy to win.
Resisting temptation when you're 99% certain you're about to be ripped off. Only to still deposit the 50 cents and get ripped off.
But, when you think critically, you can develop a solid system for anything. So in this post, I'm going to share my system that will increase your chances of winning the claw machine tenfold.
It's probably not what you think. But, here's my sequence of steps to minimize sadness and maximize your chances of winning.
1. Accept that not all claw machines are created equal. In fact, most don't work well and will just steal your money. Once you accept this in your heart, you'll have a much better chance of winning.
2. When you find a claw machine, assess whether any prizes can be grabbed. They must be sitting on stop, not buried with other prizes. If there are none, then don't play.
Or, come back once other people have tried it and perhaps moved a prize to a grabbable position. (Incidentally, Google claims "grabbable" is a word, but spellcheck says otherwise. Use your own discretion moving forward.)
3. If there is a prize that can be grabbed, wait for someone else to play so you can watch. Yes, there's a chance that the prize may be taken. But, you need to find out whether the claw has real grabbing power before putting your money in.
Most claw machines have no grip whatsoever. The claw sort of grazes the prize as it lefts back up.
But then, some have an acceptable grip that can lead you to victory. The only way to find out what kind of claw you have is to watch someone else play first.
If you try first, then you're gambling. And you won't learn the claw's grip until after you've put your money in.
Should you wait for someone else to play and your prize is nabbed, take a mental note that this is a machine with a quality claw for future prizes.
And there you have it. A solid system to win at the claw machine. Or at least, to increase your chances of winning when you do try.
It's not particularly sexy. And requires the discipline and patience to walk away or wait a number of times.
But, sometimes that's the price of winning.