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This paper presents a vision based method for grasp classification. It is developed as part of a Programming by Demonstration (PbD) system for which recognition of objects and pick-and-place actions represent basic building blocks for task learning. In contrary to earlier approaches, no articulated 3D reconstruction of the hand over time is taking place. The indata consists of a single image of the human hand. A 2D representation of the hand shape, based on gradient orientation histograms, is extracted from the image. The hand shape is then classified as one of six grasps by finding similar hand shapes in a large database of grasp images. The database search is performed using Locality Sensitive Hashing (LSH), an approximate k-nearest neighbor approach. The nearest neighbors also give an estimated hand orientation with respect to the camera. The six human grasps are mapped to three Barret hand grasps. Depending on the type of robot grasp, a precomputed grasp strategy is selected. The strategy is further parameterized by the orientation of the hand relative to the object. To evaluate the potential for the method to be part of a robust vision system, experiments were performed, comparing classification results to a baseline of human classification performance. The experiments showed the LSH recognition performance to be comparable to human performance.