The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games

Have you ever wondered how to win carnival games? With these helpful tips, you can win at carnival games and trump ancient carny tricks. Every summer, colorful lights and the smell of fried dough lure you to a state fair or local carnival, where you just might be tempted to play a carnival game, especially if your heart's set on a giant stuffed SpongeBob.

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!


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    4,165 VOTES

    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 under inflated 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.

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    1,878 VOTES

    Don't Use The Backboard In The Basketball Game

    You might be a superstar at dunking in your backyard, but know that the basketball hoops in carnival games are nowhere near regulation size. The hoop is smaller, usually oval-shaped, and the balls are overinflated. To make matters worse, the backboard is rigged to be extra bouncy, so don't even think about using it to sink a shot.

    The key is to use a high arc and make a perfect swish.

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    3,586 VOTES

    Aim At The Bottom In The Milk Bottle Toss

    For the milk bottle toss, know that the bottles are weighted down and extra heavy. In order to knock them down, aim between the two bottles at the bottom, not the intersection of all the bottles.

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    2,518 VOTES

    Ignore The Rungs To Beat The Rope Ladder

    The trick to climbing carnival rope ladders, according to, 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.