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  • Jonathan Shiek

This Is Why It’s So Hard To Win A Prize At Claw Machines

It once took me and my friends over 30 collective attempts before I managed to pick up a prize at one claw machine. At that point, winning a prize on my very last coin felt like a miraculous feat but looking back, it appears that luck had nothing to do with it because to put it simply, claw machines are just rigged.

According to Umehara Keiji, a Singapore-based content creator and avid arcade visitor, claw machines are rigged in the sense that they have certain features that make it intentionally harder for players to win.

Umehara himself once briefly owned a claw machine and that was when he found out that the settings for most claw machines are so detailed that you can configure anything to make it more challenging or exciting for users.

Credits: Quik Play (YouTube)


Owners can even set the claw strength differently for when it goes up, comes down and reaches the chute. This explains why sometimes you’d managed pick up a toy firmly until the claw reaches the chute and just like that, your toy drops back in the pile.

The difficult level of the claw machine can also be adjusted based on the prizes of the claw machine. While you can probably win a small stuffed toy on your fifth attempt, the same can’t be said for that expensive box of iPhone that’s just sitting there in the next machine, collecting dust.

Credits: Arcade Warrior (YouTube)


In fact, another Singapore-based claw machine fan known as Claw Coach revealed that claw machines are programmed to ensure that the cost price of the prizes must be fulfilled before a payout can be released.

Basically this means that if a prize is worth RM10 and the claw machine charges RM1 per use, owners can program the machine so that it will only release a toy on the 15th try, so they can make an extra RM5 from this toy.

This is also why sometimes you’d spend 10 consecutive tries on the claw machine, only to walk away empty handed, but the next person who attempts it wins a toy immediately. As mentioned, it’s not about skills or luck, it’s just rigged.

But don’t worry, according to these claw machine experts, there may be ways you can beat the system. The first is the “double-tap” method, which requires you to tap the button once to drop the claw, before tapping it a second time when it is right above the prize. Apparently, this allows the claw to move into the “ideal position” to catch the prize.




Another tip is to check the strength and grip of the claw when other people are playing with the claw machine. “Watch other people play first, let them lose their money, and once you know the strategy … you come in for the kill,” said Umehara.

But the most important tip is to know your limit, ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend on the prize. And if you’re down to your last coin and the claw is still weak and flimsy, know that it’s time to walk away.

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#arcade #clawmachine #difficult

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