Carny scams of 1930 (pretty much the same scams of today, but with fedoras)

This June, 1930 Modern Mechanix article on the cheats used in carny midway games is great — it's amazing how many of these cons are still in use today.

Ever play the bucket game? The idea is to throw balls into the bucket in so many attempts. Try and do it! Every bucket has a turn screw on the bottom, adjusted so that it will positively throw out the ball with which the game is played. Of course, the "capper" is allowed to win and occasionally the operator gets generous enough to allow some outside person a fair chance of "winning. There are many varieties of this swindle. One uses but a single bucket mounted in the center of a closely-woven net. The tautness of the net makes it impossible to pocket the ball. In another type the bottoms are hinged so that they can be deflected upwards and downwards. With the bottoms flat, the player has no chance whatsoever, but by pressing a lever, the "barker" can deflect the bottoms slightly, causing the ball to strike the inside on the rebound and then stay put.


See also:
Rigged carny game
Rigged carny game — secret revealed! (with videos)
HOWTO beat carny games