Before you plunk down your hard-earned cash to test your strength or match wits with carnies in the ring toss, know that the odds are never in your favor. It’s like The Hunger Games that way. You’ll have a better chance at some games than others, and some (like the one with the bowling pin you have to knock over) are just physically impossible.
Did you know that the game where you use a ring on a fishing line to stand up a beer bottle is probably the easiest to win? Or how about the secret to knocking down the cats in the cat rack? We collected pro tips to help you knock down milk jugs, sink baskets, flip coins onto a plate, and many more.
Step right up and read all about it, then vote for your favorite tip that you can use to win big at your next carnival!
Throw Hard When You Play Balloon Darts
If you want to pop a balloon and win your boo a prize by playing balloon darts, you need to remember a few things. The balloons are underinflated and the dart tips are dull, so throw the dart as hard as you can.
Additionally, the best prizes are almost always behind the balloons on the edges, since most people tend to aim at the middle.
Aim At The Bottom In The Milk Bottle Toss
Shoot Around The Star, Not Right At It
Ignore The Rungs To Beat The Rope Ladder
The trick to climbing carnival rope ladders, according to Blifaloo.com, is to ignore the rungs and only use the outside ropes to climb on. While applying equal pressure with your right foot and left arm, move your left foot and right arm at the same time. Then do the same thing with the opposite limbs, shimmying yourself up the ladder.
Do not move both hands or both feet at the same time because you’ll lose your balance.
This Game Tests Your Accuracy, Not Your Strength
Line Up Your Shot Early In The Water Gun Game
In the water-gun game, a row of people play and each one gets a water pistol. The object is to be the first one to fill his or her balloon with air that’s mounted on top of their clown head, which you do by firing a stream of water into its mouth. The trick to edging out your competition is to line up your shot and squeeze the trigger before the bell even rings.
If you’re already lined up and focused instead of distracted by all the carny nonsense, you’ll be that much more likely to win.
Ask To Guess Your Birth Month, Not Age Or Weight
Unless you are significantly overweight or really don’t look your age, it’s best to have a carnival operator guess your birth month. However, according to Blifaloo.com, you should say that your birthday is in October even if it’s not. Here’s why: If the carny uses this trick (not all do) they will scribble down something like the image above. Does it say Jun, Jul, or Jan? The guesser could claim it’s whichever is closest to your birth month.
That wide spread allows the carny to be within two months of any month except one: October.
Swinger Is Unbeatable
The reason why you can’t beat the Swinger game is basic physics, according to Artofmanliness.com. In the game, a wooden pin sits on a table. Above it hangs a ball suspended from a rope. The object of the game is to swing the ball past the pin and knock it over as it returns towards you.
Basic physics says your ball will return in an arc the same distance from the pin on the return swing, meaning the ball will miss the pin completely on its way back. So just steer clear of this unwinnable game.
Tricky Tubs Of Fun
Use Gentle Backspin For The Basket Toss
Aim For The Back Of The Milk Can And Use Backspin
Keep Your Arm Low For Whac-A-Mole
Aim For The Noses In The Cat Rack Game
It’s All In The Wrist For The Ring-Toss Game
Graze The Board To Win Flukey Ball
A Little Spit Could Help You Win A Coin Toss
The object is to toss a coin onto a plate without the coin bouncing off. There are a few tricks from Blifaloo.com that can help increase the odds of winning this game:
1. Use a very high arc with as little spin as possible when tossing the coin. You can even try tossing the coin right up into the hanging stuffed animals above.
2. Covertly cover the coin with spit before tossing it.
3. Some people recommend purposely bouncing the coin off one plate in order to make a second bounce land on a plate safely.
Even If You Win, The Goldfish Loses
One of the easiest games at any carnival is the goldfish game, the one where you toss a ping pong ball into a bowl to win that live pet you never wanted. Even if you win, though, the fish probably costs less than what you paid to play the game. And you’re stuck carrying the little guy around the carnival in a little plastic bag.
What goldfish doesn’t want to hang out in a sandwich bag while you stuff your face with cotton candy and play games?