Hacks

The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games 

Robert DeSalvo
Updated October 3, 2018 43.2k votes 12.2k voters 4.2M views 23 items

With some so seemingly rigged, 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!

1
Throw Hard When You Play Balloon Darts
Throw Hard When You Play... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

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.

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2
Aim At The Bottom In The Milk Bottle Toss
Aim At The Bottom In The... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
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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3
Shoot Around The Star, Not Right At It
Shoot Around The Star, N... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
This is one of the most difficult carnival games. According to numerous sources, the way to beat it is to shoot around the star to make a circle so the paper will fall out with the star. Note that the gun barrels are often bent, and their marks are not accurate. It's important to gauge just how far off the mark the gun shoots and adjust your aim accordingly within the first few shots.
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4
This Game Tests Your Accuracy, Not Your Strength
This Game Tests Your Acc... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ways To Beat Carnival Games
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
You don't have to be built like Vin Diesel to win a big teddy bear during one of those test-your-strength games, the ones where you try to ring a bell by hitting a target with a mallet. It's all about accuracy, not strength. Hold the mallet as far down the handle as you can, judge how far away you can stand, and hit the target dead center.
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