Remember that episode of SpongeBob Squarepants when Mr. Krabs set up a crane machine at the Krusty Krab? Poor Squidward wasted his entire paycheck (and was eventually paid in quarters to encourage his crane addiction) just trying to win one teddy bear. Of course, SpongeBob took a more zen approach and won on the first try!

Sadly, this scenario plays out every day on the Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights boardwalk, where hapless tourists try to strike gold winning everything from a stuffed animal to an iPad or an elusive purse!

I feel your pain, which is why I searched high and low for tips on how to give you the best edge when your child begs you for that ONE LAST DOLLAR in an attempt to score at the shore! Here is a list I came up with:

1) Look for a less filled machine. Sometimes, your odds are way better if it isn't stuffed all the way to the top with all of those Hello Kitty dolls.

2) Always go for the neck of the animal.

3) Loose toys at the top are far more likely to be captured than those stuck under another toy. Stick to the top of the pile.

4) Round shaped toys are impossible.

5) If a claw seems loose, move on.

6) Crane strength is on a timer. Observe before you play.

7) It's all about the prongs!  Three pronged cranes work best on the arms of a toy. Four prongs for the chest.

8) Use a buddy! Have a friend observe from the side of the game to guide you to the best position. Remember--the mirror will alter depth perception!

For the best tips, look HERE,  HERE, and HERE

Do you play? Do you have anything to add or share with the class? Hit us up in the comments below! And don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @943ThePoint to tweet us pics of your winnings if these work!

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