Choosing a Prize
- Start by examining the machine and the prizes inside. Evaluate the cost. If it's a few dirty, cheap-looking stuffed animals, they won't be worth the money you spend on them. If the machine contains candy, you'll typically pick up between one and four pieces. You could get more candy for 50 cents from a candy machine. If you see a nicer stuffed toy or prize you want, decide which one you're aiming for before you insert your money. Choose a prize away from the back or sides of the machine, and one that is loose instead of crammed in with other prizes. A stuffed animal with a belt or a collar makes an excellent choice if you can hook it and drag the toy.
- Use all but the last 5 seconds of your allotted time to adjust your aim. Have a friend stand at the side of the machine and tell you how your aim looks. If you have time, run around and check your location from the side yourself. On a small machine, you can hold the control and aim the claw while looking in through the side glass at the same time. This gives you a better sense of location than looking in from the front. Occasionally you'll see prizes stacked higher than the opening where the prizes are deposited. Try to grab one of these. Even if the claw slips off the item, it may still knock it into the opening for you to retrieve. If you spend more than $2 or $3 and still haven't won a prize, walk away. It's not worth your money.
Three- Versus Four-Prong Claws
- A three-prong claw can be used to grip a section of a stuffed toy. Try to latch onto a head or the center of the body. The claw will normally fall on its side when it lands, so aim for the largest section of the toy you think the claw can still fit around to give it something to grip. With a basketball, look for one that is sitting loose, and center the claw over it. If the claw drops directly over the center, it can catch the ball. Examine the claw to make sure it's not so large that the ball will roll out. For a four-prong claw, catch an animal around its chest and aim below the arms so it does not slip out when the claw starts moving.