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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Weight guessing? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of cheesewrestler
I had always heard that carny weight guessers operated by first pretending to write down your weight and then surreptitiously writing your weight for real after you stepped off the scale.

Recently I read a book that said they didn't even bother trying to get your weight right. Maybe they did but if not, so what? - because the "prize" you got for your $2 initial payment was only worth $1. (Figures approximate.)

This seems to go against the basic principle that you don't ever let the sucker win, so I was surprised.

Glenn Watson
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752 Posts

Profile of Glenn Watson
The more that win the more that play.This eliminates having to seem winnable it is mostly winnable,You might throw in a correct "guess every so often ,so no one catches on.
it barley even a scam. Someone wants a prize ,They pay your markup,they get a prize,No different than Walmart.You only occasionally "guess" correctly so a few lose.You could have an even cheaper consolation prize.
Noel M
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San Rafael. CA
208 Posts

Profile of Noel M
When I was a teenager I went to the feast of San Gennaro in NYC where a barker offered to guess my last name for fifty cents. (This was a long time ago.) He asked me if I was Italian and the first letter. My last name is Marcovecchio so I was curious to see if he could write all twelve letters with his thumb. He wrote a name on paper but his thumb never moved. He wrote, Millio. I won; he lost, Then I figured out the value of the 2 inch plaster of Paris poodle he handed to my girlfriend.
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In Your Thots
505 Posts

I think a classic psychology principle at play.
There is no better freedom than choice and no better choice than freedom.
Docc Hilford
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Profile of Docc Hilford
Ask Harley Newman and Todd Robbins.
The three of us stayed up all night at a Weerd! Weekend, working out the variants.
We worked out weight fairly soon.
Then we set out sights on birthdays.

No special tools or gimmicks.
And the pencil goes behind the ear.
I’m not at liberty to share all the details, but let’s just say the little pad has much to do with getting it right.

And remember, the hustle isn’t to guess your weight;
it’s to guess your weight within two pounds!
That’s two pounds either way, or four pounds.
With practice, noticing four pounds on a woman may be easy to detect without any ruse at all!

I believe the erroneous misinformation stated from the book is probably from the Steve Martin movie, The Jerk.
He gigs as a weight guesser and loses repeatedly.
He’s distraught until his employer had explains the profit margin.
He calls all the prizes “crap”.
The next line is Martin yelling, “Step right up and win some crap!”

A call to service Professor Flora and I rallied to often.
I can still hear him saying it as we stepped onto the fairgrounds.

Docc Hilford
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PS. It’s a little known fact that the weight guesser had his pick of the prettiest girls on the lot.
He ALWAYS lost with them.
Guessing too low.
They got a BIG prize.
And he could use that little pad and pencil to jot down more than weight guess numbers!
padre rich
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530 Posts

Profile of padre rich
The old timers used a small slate.they pretended to write the weight on the slate without showing it and put it behind their back until the mark got on the scale.they had jammed chalk dust under the thumbnail of the hand holding the slate.once the weight came up they wrote the number on the slate,kind of a poor man's boon writer,then brought the slate back out...
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
Nestor D
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France (Paris)
787 Posts

Profile of Nestor D
There is a no gimmick method in John Fisher's Body Magic. I have not tried it but I do believe that it is workable (especially with a pad to help you...).
Pop Haydn
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Los Angeles
3381 Posts

Profile of Pop Haydn
There are ways to jot down weights in a shaky script that can be interpreted several ways. Basically, the guesser can write something down, take the weight, and then show what he wrote on the pad to the mark, claiming it was whatever he wanted to claim.
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