Bottle Game

Tin Can Ally, Three Little Bottle, Six Little Bottles

Two (one spruiker to bring in the rubess and one game runner)

can.jpgThe Scam
This carnival con is devastating simple. The victim has to throw a baseball or softball at a pile of bottles or cans and knock them all over. Just to prove that it is possible, the con artist will demonstrate a few times.

When it comes time for the victim to try, he just can’t knock over the tower.

The reason why? Half of the bottles or cans are heavily weighted. When these cans are on the bottom, there is no way to knock over the tower. The centre of gravity is just too low. But if they are placed on the top of the pile, the con artist can, with practised, learn how to demonstrate a winning throw using this less stable stack.

He may even go so far as to give the victim a couple of practice throws with the cans stacked in the winning position. But when the money is on the table and the prize is at risk, the con artist will rarely stack the cans fairly.

In one variation the ball is rolled at three bottles across a table rather then thrown at a stack. This appears much like a simple game of ten pin bowling with three bottles instead of pins, a softball instead of a bowling ball and a table instead of a lane.

However, the ball is very light and requires a great deal of force behind the roll to knock over the three bottles. The con artist prevents his victim from using enough force by only giving a small space to roll the ball from. There is only 20cm between the edge of the table and the large red line that the victim is not allowed to cross with their hand.

Imagine going ten pin bowling but instead of getting a run up and a nice swing you have to stand on the spot, place the bowling ball on the ground and shove it down the lane!

A few dollars per throw.


Created by Nicholas J. Johnson
Australia's Honest Con Man