How to Win Carnival Games

A balmy summer evening at a carnival would not be complete without a trip to the midway. But many will tell you that attempting to win your date a prize is a fool’s errand. They’re rigged, aren’t they?

But the answer is: Not quite. While carnival games are more than a test of strength and speed, as they may suggest, like all riddles, they can be solved! With these simple tricks in mind, you can impress your friends as you hit the target and take home your own giant teddy bear.

Always Try in Bulk

Often, carnival games will offer packages of attempts. One try may be $1, but five tries is only $3. Many players think it best to risk only $1 on a game they’re sure to lose. However, paying for multiple attempts is worth it, as your first try will itself be merely a test of the game’s system. Once you see how heavy the milk bottles are, for instance, you will know better how hard and at what angle to throw your softball.

Assume the Proper Posture

You may know how to throw a Frisbee out on the grass, but a carnival game is likely to give you one with a hole in it, or otherwise present you with familiar items that are slightly altered. For instance, in a basket-shooting game, the basketballs provided are often not of a standard size. Adjusting your posture and technique based on the game’s parameters, rather than relying on previous experience, will make you more likely to succeed.

When in Doubt, Rely on Physics

Investing in multiple attempts and adjusting your technique based on the circumstances can only take you so far. You must also be able to observe how the game adheres to the laws of physics. If attempting to sail a ring around the neck a glass bottle on a revolving deck, factor in the weight of the ring and the speed of the deck’s rotation into your approach. This will enable you to properly time and execute your toss.

Be Patient!

A carnival is a raucous, fast, energetic place, and your fellow fair-goers may be eager to see you win (or lose depending on how friendly you are). But do not allow yourself to be rushed! If the game requires you to hammer a button that ejects plastic balls into a basket, for instance, be patient enough to allow the balls to resettle on the launch pad before striking the button again. Rushing your attempts will put your success at risk! Take a deep breath and let that Ping-Pong-ball flow into the fishbowl.

With these simple steps, you can also triumph over the midway, leaving behind the bean-bag toss with a stuffed zebra and an inflatable guitar in hand, a trail of excited children shouting in your wake, cheering the champion of summer.