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10 Tricks Carnivals And Fairs Use to Wring Money From You

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In 2013, 30-year-old Mr. Henry Gribbohm lost $2,600 playing the ball toss game at a carnival all for the desire to win an Xbox Kinect. While people rarely spend this sum of money at a fair, the question that remains is why he kept on losing. This list of tricks behind the most popular carnival games will provide you with the answer.

Bright Side collected some information that proves that many of our favorite carnival games are rigged. Read this list till the end to know which games to avoid and how to win the biggest toy next time you are at the fair.

1. Fun tubs

The game of fun tubs is totally rigged. The carny throws the ball in the tub from his comfortable vantage point. When the carney's ball is in the tub, it prevents your "practice" ball from bouncing out to create an illusion that the game is easy. When the basket is empty, the ball you throw will never stay in. Tubs are specially made of a plastic that causes extra bounce.

2. Duck pond

The duck pond is a popular and easy game for small children. When you get the plastic duck out with a fishing pole, your prize is indicated on its bottom. You're hoping to win the jackpot, but most prizes are nothing more than junk.

3. Balloon darts

The underinflated balloons are not that easy to hit in the carnival's dart game. Moreover, the darts themselves are not sharpened to ensure the extra bounce once they hit the balloon. The only possible way to win this game is to throw the darts really hard. Aim for the balloons on the sides if you want a better prize.

4. Whack-a-mole

The game Whack-a-Mole is not as rigged as the others. There is actually a secret to getting the best score possible. Don't raise your hammer too high and make your movement as small and as sharp as possible to beat all those little creatures when they're popping in and out.

5. Milk bottle pyramid

Milk Bottle Toss is extremely hard to win. The bottom bottles are either made of metal or they are filled with lead. While the bottles are heavy, the softball is light. The carny may even fill it with cork to reduce its weight. Pay attention to how the bottles are positioned, if one bottle slightly juts from the others, it may absorb all the strength of your throw.

If you still want to try, throw the ball as hard as possible, aiming for the bottle in the middle on the bottom.

6. Rope ladder

The game is simple: the player has to climb the rope ladder and ring the bell at the top. The problem is that the ladder is angled and attached to the constantly moving pulleys. To keep your balance, place your hands on the outside ropes, not on the rungs, and your feet on the spot where the rung and the rope meet. Finally, counterbalance your every movement.

7. Ring toss

The rings in a ring toss game are made of a bouncy plastic and are only a little wider than the neck of the bottle. The carny's ring that easily lands on a bottle, is a little wider than the rings that are given to players. A little trick to make this impossible-to-win game a little bit easier is to get the best possible spin on the ring when you toss it.

8. Free throw

Too many things are wrong about both the rim and the ball at the carnival basketball toss game. The hoops are taller than normal, the rim is oval, not round, and is smaller than a standard rim. Also, they overinflate the balls which makes them bounce too high.

9. Ball bounce

Ball bounce was the game that ruined Henry Gribbohm. In this game, you have to bounce the ball against a vertical board and into a basket. The trick here is that you'd have to stand right next to the board to give the ball the right bounce. While the carny can stay close to demonstrate how easy the game is, the line you have to stand behind prevents you from coming close enough to the baskets and winning the game.

10. Shoot the star

The aim of this game is to make the red star on a sheet of paper fall by shooting it. If the target is printed on high fiber paper or linen, this task will be almost impossible. You will need to carefully adjust your aim as all the guns are worn out, and the carny might have tampered with the scopes. After aiming is adjusted, shoot a circle pattern around the star instead of shooting directly at it to win the game.

Have you ever played any carnival games? Have you ever won a prize? Share your opinions, tips, and tricks in the comments!

Preview photo credit sakura/flickr, Laura/flickr
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