Is It Impossible To Win at a Claw Machine?

Claw Machine. Photo Source: Attribution Some rights reserved by Mitchell Haindfiel on

By: Giselle Lozada , Journalist

Claw machines are everywhere like bowling alleys, malls, arcades, and even some stores. You may wonder why you can never win. The answer is… they’re rigged. You also may wonder, why aren’t these things illegal, aren’t they basically gambling machines?

I mean technically, they were illegal in some places for a bit, but as they became popular in Asia and Europe, they were allowed and are now considered a “skill” game.

People program claw machines to make people think they’re going to win.  In reality they aren’t going to.

Some are programmed to pickup a prize and the drop it right before the claw gets to the prize shoot, and others are programmed to receive a certain amount of money before the claw gets strong.  As a result of this, the owner gets a large profit off of these machines.

The prizes are worth about 50 cents to eight dollars so they aren’t even worth trying to win.  As the prize’s worth and weight go, up the claw’s strength goes down. Therefore you should not play a claw machine if it costs money.  That is, unless it says “winner every time!” on the front glass.