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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » How to beat carnival games (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott Cram
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Here's an interesting article on beating some classic carnival games:

http://www.blifaloo.com/info/beat-carnival-games.php

Any responses or thoughts?
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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By and large reasonably accurate, but the underlying idea is a bit wrongheaded.

Reason 1 - You're never going to win some of the games described. Not EVER.

Ring-toss (ring the bottle neck) is nearly unwinnable. The strategy is right, but there are usually big ol' bears hanging in a solid ceiling over the bottles, so that high arcs can't be achieved - and those bears will be there next season, and the next, every last one of 'em. Stand-up-the-bottle, the method described is way outside the rules for the game as I understand it. Guess-your-weight is basically a 'hanky-pank', a game that collects much more for a play than a prize is worth, and the agent can dispoense a prize every time and still go home with a good profit - add to this a very practiced skill at guessing weights, or huge leeways ("birth month within 2 months") and there's no need to cheat.

Reason 2 - If you're spending money to go home with a valuable ugly stuffed animal, you'll do better at Wal-Mart. If you're spending money to have fun, go to a carnival. If you really want that 2LiveCrew mirror, your time and money would be better spent improving your taste (unless you're one of those people who thinks a giant Jack-Daniels-logo poster is a great accent piece for the living room).

Reason 3 - At some point, "robbing marks" got embedded in carny subculture just about as firmly as it got embedded in the public consciousness. But a good agent, someone who has sawdust in his or her blood, generally doesn't have to cheat (notwithstanding that the infallible ability to 'take' an annoying customer is the dream of everyone faced with an unending stream of the public - from the carnival jointy to the wage slave stuck behind a Kwickee Mart counter). As Susan Adcock points out in her marvelous carnival-photography blog "Cliffhanger," no matter how disreputable a jointy looks, "the jointy is there by virtue of his or her personality. He is a talker, of the first order. He talks to people, strangers, all day, every day. If given the chance and a few dollars, he will teach you how to play the game, talk you through it, be your cheerleader, and entertain you while you play (NOTE: this never works if you are standing there !@#$%ing about how he's robbing you) He has a variety of people skills which if encouraged, can make you laugh until your face hurts. Now, your basic pizza delivery guy can't do that (or supply you with a toy) and you don't hesitate to give him a few bucks."
Police Magician
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It matters not if you are the most skilled person in the world. If the game agent does not want you to win, you won't win. Interesting article. As Ross put it, you cannot win the gaffed games. This includes those who use alibi's.

Glenn
Todd Robbins
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Ross and Glenn are just sore losers who are lousy at carnival games. They know nothing. Go ahead and play the games. What Ross and Glenn are not telling you is the big secret that these games are actually run by a large not for profit foundation that want to give you these prizes and bring joy to the world. By all means, play the games. Especially the one with a point conversion chart. The guys running these game REALLY want you to win, and if you should run out of money, they will even keep the game going while you go get some more money. This is against the rules, but they want you to WIN. They are givers.
Cholly, by golly!
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Somewhere in my garage is:

1. a stretched Pepsi bottle filled with blue colored water.

2. a cheap Panama hat (complete with pink roach clips and a Skynyrd headband.

3. An "invisible" dog leash.

The late 70s were quite lucrative for me.
rossmacrae
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Look, maybe I'm just still stinging from sending my 16-year-old to King's Dominion, where he discovered a knack for winning wheelbarrow-loads of redemption tickets from some machine.

Now I have to find some way to escape the clammy slap of a big ooky-rubber "sticky hand" and hide an outrageous wide-brimmed fur-trimmed pink "pimp hat" - great values for the $40 in cash I never saw again!
Todd Robbins
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I rest my case!

Todd

Quote:
On 2007-09-01 16:46, rossmacrae wrote:
Look, maybe I'm just still stinging from sending my 16-year-old to King's Dominion, where he discovered a knack for winning wheelbarrow-loads of redemption tickets from some machine.

Now I have to find some way to escape the clammy slap of a big ooky-rubber "sticky hand" and hide an outrageous wide-brimmed fur-trimmed pink "pimp hat" - great values for the $40 in cash I never saw again!
rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2007-09-01 18:44, Todd Robbins wrote:
I rest my case!

Todd

Todd, that represents everything dark and evil about the carnival ... ... Can I see some more? (Don't tell mama!)
MagicSanta
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Glenn...who posted up there in this thread, is an expert at the carny games from a police perspective and has some really interesting ebooks on the subject.

Dangest thing I ever saw was my sister playing a game when she was about eight months pregnant. She had the knack for rolling a ball at a strange angle she has never been able to repeat. Even the guy running the game was facinating saying he'd never seen anyone hit it time after time. Still she lost money on the deal!
erichall
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Almost 20 years ago I paid my money and actually knocked down three cats. This was the entire goal of the game. If you knocked down three cats you won. So I got a small yellow astroturf pig, stuffed with sand. I had the luck in me! I tried a few more times and lost. I think, as they say, "the pig paid for itself"..

I had fun. I have a memory. I don't have the yellow pig.

life is good!
Police Magician
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Wanna see the collection of spider rings I won. All that plush and I win a few stupid spider rings.

My coins skipped off the plates like a flat rock on water.

The wind blew my ping pong ball away from the goldfish bowl.

The basket ball hit the rim and flew off into space.

I hate hearing the air coming out of the machine gun when there are no more bb's to shoot out the red star.

My duck always had the "S" on its belly.

The dart I used to attempt to pop the underinflated balloon almost hit me when it rebounded.

I did win the Bowler Roller once, after a few tries.

There went the money I had saved up to win a stuffed animal for my girlfriend when I was a teenager. She left me for someone else when I could not win her that prize.

Ah yes, the good ole days. What memories they hold.

Glenn
rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2007-09-02 00:44, erichall wrote:

I had fun. I have a memory. I don't have the yellow pig.


Yeah, I won a stuffed bear once, trying to impress a girl.

I don't have the bear now. And I didn't impress the girl, either.
cardone
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Todd speaks the truth .......... Belive it ! or .....
JRob
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The first time they say, "Alriiiight! You're half way there, sport. Just another $[fill in price per play]..."
I'm outta there.
"Jim Roberts, AKA: Professor Jay Rob "<br>
The Professor's Facebook Page
JRob
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Quote:
On 2007-09-02 07:42, rossmacrae wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-09-02 00:44, erichall wrote:

I had fun. I have a memory. I don't have the yellow pig.


Yeah, I won a stuffed bear once, trying to impress a girl.

I don't have the bear now. And I didn't impress the girl, either.

I had a girl ask the guy if I could just buy one I was doing so bad. That was our last date.
"Jim Roberts, AKA: Professor Jay Rob "<br>
The Professor's Facebook Page
NJJ
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Check out the Encyclopedia of Scams below. I list which games can be beaten, which are hard and which are impossible.
Police Magician
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Very good info, Nick. I am glad you are an Honest Charlatan or you would be fleecing the flock. Keep up the good work.

GLenn
ringmaster
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Glen just made some Fellman agents very happy.
Reminds me of Harry Anderson''s story about th Kansas blowdown that was so bad the only thing left standing ont he lot were three milk bottles.
Bally Hoo and Hullabaloo
one for me and none for you.
Police Magician
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Ringmaster, good to see you again. I have a set of those bottles. Four and a half inch bases, but all under three pounds.

Glenn

Click here to view attached image.
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