Balloon Popping

Carnival Dart Throw

Carnival goers

A spruiker to bring in punters and someone to run the game.

The Scam
Carnival con artists run a game where the victim has to try and pop a balloon with a dart. Each balloon has a number or symbol inside which is matched with a prize. The victim never, ever wins.

Rigging this game is almost as easy as it is to run. A carny can set up the joint in as long as it takes to blow up a few balloons and can bail on the stand if they get busted. Even if police confiscate their gear, the con artist can set up again with little effort. To rig the game the carny will.

  • Blunt Darts: The point of the dart is filed down on a stone causing the dart to bounce off the balloon.
  • Under inflatated balloons: The balloon is only half blown up. The dart can not penetrate the balloon.
  • No good prizes: All of the symbols in the balloons are for dud prizes.
  • Balloon spinning: The balloon is not stuck down solidly and spins when the blunt dart hits the balloon anywhere but the middle of the balloon.

$5 for three throws.


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

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