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

Morgan has always been attracted to 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 out of your Brothers Grimm … 1 time I clawed six animals consecutively. There was a crowd around me! It was so silly.” Yamato’s obsession with claw games began in her own adult life. “I only realized I was proficient at it because I kept winning stuff and that i was monitoring it on Instagram,” she says. “I’m an experienced person quite often, and it’s among the only things which I will let myself be completely competitive about. … You get to bask in the glory of holding your bounty high above your face and saying, ‘Yes, I snatched this prize using this machine! I beat it!’”

It could appear like fun and games-and, obviously, it can be. But there’s real skill involved, too. Listed below are the techniques Morgan and Yamato use to nab a prize.

The initial thing you should think of when contemplating playing Ocean monster plus fishing game is the prize pit-specifically, how tightly the prizes are packed. “An easy tell takes place when every one of the stuffed animals are already front faced and they’re packed in like sardines,” Yamato says. “That means nobody has jiggled anything loose yet, or possibly a staff member just stuffed them in super tight.” A tightly-packed prize pit can make your career a good deal harder: “I’m not gonna bother playing a unit that is certainly clearly stuffed too tight,” Yamato says. “I won’t be capable of reel anything in.”

Morgan agrees. “If the toys are stuffed so tightly that grabbing is impossible, don’t waste your time and effort,” 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 the maximum amount of. Those are the only places you are able to win because there’s more room to drag an animal.”

“Don’t necessarily watch the way they play, but watch how the machine reacts when they play-that information will help you whenever you are looking at be your turn,” Yamato says. “I can see if the claw grip is way too loose, or maybe it’s designed to let go or give you a jiggle after it grasps something, i then won’t play because I realize chances are definitely against me … unless it’s an incredibly, really sweet toy which i want. Then I’ll spend some extra time.”

Yamato and Morgan go following the prize that appears one of the most attainable. “Sometimes, by far the most desirable prizes will be the hardest ones to obtain,” Yamato says. “Being realistic about what you can win in almost any given machine can help you win far more.”

“If the pretty pony from the far end, stuffed tightly near the cute teddy bear, is undoubtedly an impossible option, you’re going to have to settle with all the ugly duck/monster thing with red shoes and a cape or no matter what the hell it is and live with it,” Morgan says.

The best prize is “sticking out a little bit, isn’t being blocked or obstructed by almost every 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 permit the claw to get close enough to nab it.) Morgan also advises staying on prizes which can be near the chute: “Don’t drag something through the very end of your machine,” she says. “That rarely works.”

Yamato also avoids round or rotund objects. “Those are hard because many of the time there’s nothing to grab onto,” she says. Instead, aim for a prize which includes some kind of appendage-a head, or perhaps an arm or a leg-sticking out: “Something you can find among the claw prongs under is your best option, in case the angle’s right.”

After Yamato has picked her prize, she’ll play once, “to test the tensile grip of your claw to find out how easily it would hold after it closes,” she says. “A large amount of them will jiggle open soon after they close, so even if you’ve caught something, it’ll screw you over by opening up the claws slightly.” If that happens, Yamato says she won’t play again … “probably.”

Generally speaking, it’s quicker to play machines which may have a three-pronged claw rather than a two-pronged claw: “It’s by pointing out grip-in case the claw carries a weak grip, forget it,” Morgan says. “The two-pronged claws seem weaker for me.”

“One method is bumping another animal taken care of to seize another,” Morgan says. She also advises grabbing and dragging a prize even closer the chute to help you to grab on the second try.

Most claw machines drop and grab with one push of a button; some need two pushes-one to drop the claw, another to seal it-but that’s rare. In any case, “Most machines offer you plenty of time to position your claw, and the majority of them enables you to move it forward and backward after which sideways,” Yamato says. “I usually attempt to spend quite often from the clock running down to make certain that I’m exactly above where I want the claw to drop.” Once you’re in the very best position, drop it.

Most machines cost 50 cents to perform, so Yamato will put in a dollar. “Maybe half time I get a prize on my own first dollar,” she says. “I’ll usually play a few dollars at most of the before I realize that I will leave. It’s like gamb-ling-for no monetary gain!”

Morgan says grabbing a prize often takes her a number of tries “on good machines,” she says. “On bad machines-plus they seem worse now-it will require me about five or ten times or never. I will not go past ten. That makes me feel like a junkie.”

A few weeks ago, Vox posted a write-up that explained how lottery simulator game machine owners can rig them-but Yamato doesn’t think that’s true for each and every game. “People might play less mainly because they think every claw machine is rigged to screw them over, yet not all claw machines are rigged,” she says. “I always feel that every claw is winnable-it’s just a matter of simply how much I want to stand there and maintain playing generally if i know already this particular machine is form of stuck.” But people should prevent the machines which may have money wrapped throughout the prizes: “In my experience,” Yamato says, “those tend to be those that 14dexcpky rigged.”

Morgan, on the flip side, does believe that many of the machines are rigged-which is the reason she would rather play machines in places off the beaten path, such as California’s Yucca Valley. “Are they less rigged from the desert? I believe so,” she says. “I have incredible luck available. Normally i play inside the desert.”