Win Prizes at a Carnival or Fair

You CAN win at a Carnival Game
Try these hints at your next visit to the State Fair or carnival.....up your chances against the carnival's odds!  You are aware that many of them are "fixed" in favor of the carnival...right?  They are there to bring in money....not to send you home happily carrying a stuffed animal or plastic bag with a live goldfish in it.
Balloon Dart Throw
The balloons are under-inflated, and the dart tips are dull. Don’t hurl the darts straight for the balloons, loft them in an arc for a better chance. Most people aim for the middle, so the game operators will often hide the "good prize" tags behind balloons on the outside edges.
Milk Bottle Throw
The bottles used in this carnival game are often made with leaded glasses making them very heavy. The secret to winning the milk bottle throw is to aim at the base of the bottom two containers rather then at the intersection of all three bottles.
BasketBall Free-Throw
The basketball is over-inflated, the hoop is smaller than regulation size and often an oval shape rather than circular. The backboard is made of plywood and is very bouncy.   Do not try to rebound the shot. Use a high arc underhanded granny shot.  Ever wonder why so many kids end up with a prize?  Underhanded granny toss.
Milk Can Toss 
Aim for the back of the rim and toss the ball underhanded by gripping the ball on top. Give the ball some backspin as you release it give a little flick of the wrist so the ball starts spinning backwards in the air.  The ball will hit the back rim and the backspin will dump it into the milk can.
Test of Strength…the King of Carnival games
The object is to hit a pad with a mallet and ring a bell.  To “win” aim for the center of the pad. Remember, the center of the pad is the sweet spot. Make sure the face of the mallet hits the pad squarely. Swing the mallet like you were splitting wood.  Have your strongest hand towards the head of the mallet and your weaker hand as close to the handle edge as possible.  Bring the mallet up and over your head and as you swing down your strong hand will slide down towards the end of the handle.  This gives you more control and balance.
Water Guns / Balloon Races 
First clue:  Some guns have better water flow then others, some targets are more sensitive then others, and some compressors have better airflow then others.  The only way to know for sure is to observe a lot of games and see which ones win more often.  
Second clue:  Make friends with  the carnival worker, he can almost assuredly tell you which stations were most likely to take home the prize.

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