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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 very, very good at it: toy crane game machine estimates that she’s nabbed 100 toys from the prize pits of claw machines, which she’s deposited in her car and at her house, and at one point, Morgan says, she had “two large garbage bags overflowing with stuffed animals from only one year. I donated them.”

Morgan has long been drawn 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 the Brothers Grimm … One time I clawed six animals in a row. There seemed to be a crowd around me! It was so silly.” Yamato’s obsession with claw games began in the adult life. “I only realized I used to be efficient at it because I kept winning stuff and I was keeping tabs on it on Instagram,” she says. “I’m an expert person more often than not, and it’s one of the only things that I am going to let myself be completely competitive about. … You can bask from the glory of holding your bounty high above your mind and saying, ‘Yes, I snatched this prize out of this machine! I beat it!’”

It might appear to be fun and games-and, needless to say, it is. But there’s real skill involved, too. Listed below are the techniques Morgan and Yamato use to nab a prize.

The very first thing you should consider when considering playing thunder dragon fishing machine is definitely 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 maybe a worker recently stuffed them in super tight.” A tightly-packed prize pit will make your job a lot harder: “I’m not gonna bother playing a machine that may be clearly stuffed too tight,” Yamato says. “I won’t have the ability to 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 places where seem more abandoned-they don’t get stuffed as much. These are the only places it is possible 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 whenever they play-that information can assist you whenever considering become the perfect turn,” Yamato says. “I can easily see when the claw grip is too loose, or if perhaps it’s created to let go or provide a jiggle after it grasps something, i then won’t play because I realize chances are definitely against me … unless it’s an extremely, really sweet toy that I want. Then I’ll spend a little extra time.”

Yamato and Morgan go right after the prize that looks by far the most attainable. “Sometimes, probably the most desirable prizes are the hardest ones to get,” Yamato says. “Being realistic about what you can win in every given machine will help you win far more.”

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

The perfect prize is “sticking out somewhat, isn’t being blocked or obstructed by some other prizes, and isn’t too near the side,” Yamato says. (When a prize is leaning versus the glass, the claw track won’t allow the claw to obtain close enough to nab it.) Morgan also advises staying on prizes which can be near the chute: “Don’t drag something from the very end from the machine,” she says. “That rarely works.”

Yamato also avoids round or rotund objects. “Those take time and effort because most of the time there’s absolutely nothing to grab onto,” she says. Instead, achieve a prize containing some form of appendage-a head, or perhaps an arm or possibly a leg-sticking out: “Something you will get one of 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 the claw to view how easily it is going to hold after it closes,” she says. “A lots of them will jiggle open right after they close, so even if you’ve caught something, it’ll screw you over by opening up the claws a little bit.” If this happens, Yamato says she won’t play again … “probably.”

On the whole, it’s much easier to play machines who have a 3-pronged claw rather than a two-pronged claw: “It’s everything about the grip-in the event the claw includes a weak grip, forget it,” Morgan says. “The two-pronged claws seem weaker if you ask me.”

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

Most claw machines drop and grab with one push of the mouse; some need two pushes-anyone to drop the claw, another to close it-but that’s rare. In either case, “Most machines offer you lots of time to position your claw, and most of them allows you to move it forward and backward then sideways,” Yamato says. “I usually try and spend quite often in the clock running down to be sure that I’m exactly above where I want the claw to drop.” Once you’re inside the very best position, drop it.

Most machines cost 50 cents to perform, so Yamato will devote a dollar. “Maybe half enough time I have a prize on my own first dollar,” she says. “I’ll usually play a number of dollars at many before I know that I would walk away. It’s like gamb-ling-for no monetary gain!”

Morgan says grabbing a prize usually takes her a few tries “on good machines,” she says. “On bad machines-and they seem worse now-it requires me about five or ten times or never. I am going to not go past ten. Which enables me feel as if a junkie.”

A few weeks ago, Vox posted a write-up that explained how kids indoor amusement game owners can rig them-but Yamato doesn’t think that’s true for every game. “People might play less because they think every claw machine is rigged to screw them over, although not all claw machines are rigged,” she says. “I always assume that every claw is winnable-it’s only a matter of just how much I would like to stand there and maintain playing should i know already this particular machine is kind of stuck.” But people should prevent the machines which may have money wrapped round the prizes: “In my experience,” Yamato says, “those tend to be those who 14dexcpky rigged.”

Morgan, on the flip side, does assume that lots of the machines are rigged-which is why she prefers to play machines in places from the beaten path, like in California’s Yucca Valley. “Are they less rigged within the desert? I feel so,” she says. “I have incredible luck around. I always play in the desert.”