Winning 2 prizes during only 1 play. Sometimes this is done by picking up 2 prizes at once, but most times it's accomplished by raking in one prize, then winning another during the drop phase of that play. Here is a very unique 2-in-1 in which I win a prize by clamping it, and also another prize by the tag!
Same as a 2-in-1, but winning 3 prizes. Very difficult, but it can be done - as seen in this video:
The area, usually in the front of the machine, where the claw can not reach effectively enough to grab a prize. Some machines also have a side dead zone, although this is more rare.
When the claw drops to the bottom, stops, raises up about an inch or two, closes completely, and then drops again. Usually results in a loss, but can result in a spectacular win. Seems to happen on some machines more than others.
When the claw is at the extreme rear or right side of the machine, sometimes if you let go of the control the claw will move by itself towards the center of the play field. This is called drifting, and can be a real pain to deal with sometimes because the prizes in the far back and/or far right are no longer gettable. In super rare occasions, it can actually be used to your advantage by dropping the claw behind the prize you want, then the drifting will pull the claw towards you once it starts to raise and the weight of the claw will want to swing towards the front of the machine, possible knocking it in the prize chute. A quick example of using the drift to push a prize into a better position:
A win so spectacular, there's no other choice but to call it epic. Sometimes it's overused in claw machine videos, but here's one I feel to be the most epic of all time:
A prize that appears to able to be won. It can be picked up fairly easily, and is usually on the top of other prizes in the playing field. Identifying which prizes are gettable comes with experience playing claw machines.
A prize that is not associated with any other TV show, movie, or well-known character. A plain blue and green dog would be an example of a generic prize. Examples:
A prize that is associated with a TV show, movie, or well-known character. This requires permission from the owner of that character. Scooby-Doo, Fred Flintstone, and the characters from Hotel Transylvania are examples of licensed prizes. Examples:
Sometimes, when particularly large prizes have been in the machines for a while, the vendor will put paper straps on them to make them easier to win. You'll have better luck trying to pick up the loop than you would trying to grab a huge plush with a small claw.
National Entertainment Network
NEN for sort, they're the self-proclaimed nation's largest entertainment vending company. From their website - "We are, by far, the nation's largest entertainment vending company." (http://www.nen-inc.com/aboutUs) - Many of the machines I play are provided by the good folks at NEN, so stop in and give them a shot!
The number of times over a given amount of tries that the claw will actually close hard enough to be able to win a prize. Machines with a payout rate are usually considered "riggeed". "Hitting the payout rate" means you won on a machine with a payout rate. Here's an example of a very lucky fellow who "hit the payout rate" on the Mega Stacker game:
Another art form, this one involves picking a prize off of a wall by "pinching" part of it on the very top of the claw (right where the string disappears into the claw housing) when it's ascending back to the top. Very rare, although the Claw Boss on Youtube perfected it.
Using the claw to push/pull the prizes that are high enough to hit with the prongs without dropping the claw. Many times, you will be able to rake a prize into the prize chute, and then use your remaining time to try a normal drop to win another.
Usually seen where a claw will pick up a prize, then drop it before it gets to the prize chute. Many newer machines are considered rigged, and have a payout rate established to ensure the owner makes money on their machine. It makes good business sense, but as the player, you can't help walking away feeling like you were ripped off by the claw machine.
Successfully pulling a prize off of the wall while raking. Prizes are usually attached to the walls by a suction cup. Ripping usually results in a very gettable prize, and possibly a sweet suction cup win.
Spinning the claw
Using another prize, or the claw spring cord to twirl the position of the prongs in order to gain an advantage on another prize.
During a drop, one or more prongs of the claw "stab" another nearby prize, causing the claw to not go where intended. Usually results in a loss, however, if used properly, can actually result in a win for the large prizes that the claw can't pick up. Here's a great example of using the intentional stab technique to win a large witch head, which the claw normally won't pick up.
See NEN (National Entertainment Network), they're the same company.
There are three methods of the swing technique. The first one used when there is a prize near a side of the machine, that is unreachable by a normal drop of the claw. You first align the claw near the prize, then move it toward the middle of the playing field a short distance. Then with about 1/2 second remaining, you pull the claw towards the wall, and if timed correctly, the claw will hit it's extremity at the same time that it drops, creating a swining back and forth motion. Sometimes this allows you to get the prongs where you normally wouldn't using a straight drop. The second method is usually found on machines where the claw doesn't sit tight against the claw housing. If you wiggle the joystick around quickly in different directions, you can see the claw flop around. If this happens, you can usually swing the claw left and right quickly, and when you push the drop button, the swinging motion will continue. A third way to implement the swing technique is to shake the machine while the claw is descending. Gravity pulls the claw down, and the machine's movement sets the claw swinging, which, if timed right, allows the prongs to reach the dead zone. All three techniques offer a small advantage, sometimes just enough to win that prize.
Grabbing a prize solely by the tag and having the claw drag it to the prize chute. One of my favorite styles of wins at a claw machine, here's a sweet example:
The act of massively shaking the claw machine to get prizes to roll into a more advantageous position, or better yet, directly into the prize chute. Here is a great example of a Thundershake winning 3 prizes!
Up and Across
Machines where you use buttons instead of a joystick. Usually, you're limited to pushing each button just one time, which makes positioning the claw exactly at the desired location much more difficult.
Using your angles
Looking around all available sides of the machine to ensure your claw is properly lined up before dropping.
The person responsible for refilling the claw machines. Don't be afraid to talk to them, from my experience, they're very nice people who would love to chat with you about their business. Show them that you really enjoy claw machines, and I'd bet most of them would be willing to "help" you win a prize. They can't just give you stuff, but they can make prizes easy to win. This has happened to me a handful of times.
Winning x number of prizes on consecutive plays. Here's a video with 12-in-a-row!