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Unless you’re sufficiently small to climb inside, grabbing a prize out a claw machine may be pretty tough. But Daily Beast entertainment reporter Jen Yamato and film critic Kim Morgan are really, excellent at it: arcade amusement game machine estimates that she’s nabbed 100 toys from the prize pits of claw machines, which she’s deposited in her own car as well as her house, as well as some point, Morgan says, she had “two large garbage bags overflowing with stuffed animals from merely one year. I donated them.”

Morgan has always been fascinated by claw machines, but got really hooked in 2008: “Must be the dumb kid in me that spies a big box of stuffed toys,” she says. “A claw? It’s almost something from the Brothers Grimm … Just once I clawed six animals in a row. There seemed to be a crowd around me! It was actually so silly.” Yamato’s obsession with claw games began in their adult life. “I only realized I was proficient at it because I kept winning stuff and I was monitoring it on Instagram,” she says. “I’m a professional person most of the time, and it’s one of several only stuff that I am going to let myself be completely competitive about. … You get to bask from the glory of holding your bounty high above the head and saying, ‘Yes, I snatched this prize out of this machine! I beat it!’”

It could appear like fun and games-and, of course, it can be. But there’s real skill involved, too. Allow me to share the strategies Morgan and Yamato use to nab a prize.

The very first thing you should think of when considering playing thunder dragon fishing machine is the prize pit-specifically, how tightly the prizes are packed. “An easy tell takes place when all of the stuffed animals have already been front faced and they’re packed in like sardines,” Yamato says. “That means nobody has jiggled anything loose yet, or perhaps a staff member has just stuffed them in super tight.” A tightly-packed prize pit is likely to make your work a great deal harder: “I’m not going to bother playing a piece of equipment that may be clearly stuffed too tight,” Yamato says. “I won’t be able to reel anything in.”

Morgan agrees. “If the toys are stuffed so tightly that grabbing is impossible, don’t waste your time and energy,” she says. “I think it’s easier to find those weird lone claw machines in locations that seem more abandoned-they don’t get stuffed just as much. Those are the only places you are able to win because there’s more room to drag an animal.”

“Don’t necessarily watch the direction they play, but watch the way the machine reacts when they play-that information can assist you whenever considering be your turn,” Yamato says. “I are able to see in the event the claw grip is just too loose, or if perhaps it’s designed to let go or offer a jiggle after it grasps something, then I won’t play because I know the odds are definitely against me … unless it’s an incredibly, really sweet toy that we want. Then I’ll spend a little bit more time.”

Yamato and Morgan go following the prize that looks one of the most attainable. “Sometimes, probably the most desirable prizes would be the hardest ones to have,” Yamato says. “Being realistic about what you are able win in any given machine will allow you to win a lot more.”

“If the pretty pony inside the far end, stuffed tightly near the cute teddy bear, is surely an impossible option, you’re going to need to settle with the ugly duck/monster thing with red shoes as well as a cape or regardless of the hell it is actually and accept it,” Morgan says.

The ideal prize is “sticking out a little bit, isn’t being blocked or obstructed by any other prizes, and isn’t too near to the side,” Yamato says. (In case a prize is leaning versus the glass, the claw track won’t enable the claw to obtain close enough to nab it.) Morgan also advises sticking to prizes that are close to the chute: “Don’t drag something from your very end in the machine,” she says. “That rarely works.”

Yamato also avoids round or rotund objects. “Those are hard because a lot of the time there’s nothing to grab onto,” she says. Instead, achieve a prize containing some form of appendage-a head, or perhaps arm or perhaps a leg-sticking out: “Something you can find one of many claw prongs under is your best bet, in the event the angle’s right.”

After Yamato has picked her prize, she’ll play once, “to test the tensile grip of the claw to see how easily it will hold after it closes,” she says. “A great deal of them will jiggle open soon after they close, so regardless of whether you’ve caught something, it’ll screw you over by opening the claws somewhat.” If that happens, Yamato says she won’t play again … “probably.”

On the whole, it’s easier to play machines which may have a three-pronged claw as opposed to a two-pronged claw: “It’s by pointing out grip-in the event the claw carries a weak grip, forget it,” Morgan says. “The two-pronged claws seem weaker for me.”

“One strategy is bumping another animal out of the way to get another,” Morgan says. She also advises grabbing and dragging a prize closer to the chute to make it easier to grab on the second try.

Most claw machines drop and grab with one push of a button; some need two pushes-a person to drop the claw, another to seal it-but that’s rare. Either way, “Most machines provide you with enough time to position your claw, and the majority of them will allow you to move it forward and backward and after that sideways,” Yamato says. “I usually make an effort to spend most of the time of the clock running down to make certain that I’m exactly above where I want the claw to decrease.” Once you’re in the very best position, drop it.

Most machines cost 50 cents to experience, so Yamato will devote a dollar. “Maybe half time I become a prize on my small first dollar,” she says. “I’ll usually play several dollars at most before I know that I will walk away. It’s like gamb-ling-for no monetary gain!”

Morgan says grabbing a prize usually takes her several tries “on good machines,” she says. “On bad machines-and they also seem worse now-it takes me about five or ten times or never. I am going to not go past ten. That makes me feel like a junkie.”

A couple weeks ago, Vox posted a post that explained how lottery simulator game machine owners can rig them-but Yamato doesn’t think that’s true for each game. “People might play less because they think every claw machine is rigged to screw them over, but not all claw machines are rigged,” she says. “I always feel that every claw is winnable-it’s only a matter of how much I wish to stand there whilst keeping playing basically if i may have learned that this particular machine is form of stuck.” But people should avoid the machines who have money wrapped across the prizes: “In my experience,” Yamato says, “those are usually the ones that 14dexcpky rigged.”

Morgan, alternatively, does assume that many of the machines are rigged-which is why she prefers to play machines in places from the beaten path, as in California’s Yucca Valley. “Are they less rigged in the desert? I feel so,” she says. “I have incredible luck out there. I always play from the desert.”