Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Losing at the Shoot Out the Star Carnival Games

We have earlier discussed how all carnival games are fixed. They can be won, but generally the money you put in is much more than the value of the prize you get out. This year St. Anthony's Italian festival(warning crappy flash interface, for a festival?) had no Wack-a-Mole! and no Bowler Roller! It was a fun carnival game desert. So I tried the Shoot Out game and then got out of there.

To win the Shoot Out the Star BB gun game you have to remove all of the red star from the card. Every single bit of it. This turns out to be hard to do. I am sure I will have commenters tell their winning Shooting Star stories, but for my part, I always leave some bit of red.

This one has a lot of red gone, but a lot left.

This one almost has it all gone, but almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and thermonuclear warfare.

I know to never use the sight because they are all messed up. What's the secret? Does anyone know?


Ryan said...

There is no secret. I watched people lose all day. No one wins!!! EVER!!!

I hate this game, i found this blog when looking online to see if any one ever wins. Its chance. WHere the BBs fall is where they fall. Hold the trigger and hope for the best,

It sure is fun, and stleast you get the tag.

Thats more than you get with baloon pop darts.

Br'er Shaygetz said...

Found this when I was looking for star games parts so I figured I'd answer your question.

I worked the guns for two summers back in '78 and '79 at a park called Playland Amusement Park in Ocean City, Md. I was one of three gun operators in town, the other two being Trimper's Rides and The Pier. We would actually compete with each other---not to see who'd get the star---but how many shots were left over when you did it. My record is 8, the best I've seen is 12.

I will grant you that it is difficult but it is not impossible to win the game. The key is control and patience. The trick is that you only have 10-12 shots to zero in your gun before it's too late. By looking over the barrel and not through the sights, gently squeeze off 2-3 shot bursts and cut around the star...taking at least 5-6 seconds between bursts. A tight gun will cut it out with BBs to spare. If the gun sprays them, finish out and get another gun.

Don't try more than 2-3 times, the carney will already figure out you know what you're doing and may try one of two things.

1. He will direct you to a gun has a wider shot pattern. Always pick the gun yourself.

2. Watch the hand he loads the gun with. If his thumb is near the open end of the rod, chances are he's going to short you. He will do this by tipping the rod before it completely empties and capping it with his thumb, leaving you with 85-90 shots instead of the 100-102 that a rod can hold.

NOTE---I never did these myself as I had learned long ago that most folks don't have the patience or the desire to do it right. Those that listened and knew how to shoot usually got it within $10-15. The game depends on your average Joe being a closet Machine Gun Kelly and 99% of the time, that's exactly who plays it.

I hope you try these tips out, you just might surprise yourself. I still do them at every fair I go to---only once---but I'll walk away with a big one 1 in 5 times still, my only disadvantage being that I'm not as familiar with the guns provided as I was with the ones we had at our booths 30 years ago.

Blessings, B

Anonymous said...

1st) with small round bursts shoot right above the tip of each point

2nd) Where you shot out the tips start walking the holes from between the tips. But dont shoot to much or youll run out of ammo

3rd) Watch the star fall in on itself.

YOU NEVER)> Want to try and shoot the star out its impossible. This is the only way. I have never lost might take two or three trys but i always win. I get kicked out most of the time because i exceed the limit of 1-2 wins per day. Let me know if this ever helps you.

Anonymous said...

Been trying this game for 30 odd years, and finally won it last night! The how to already listed is excellent. br'er is exactly right.

Tommy Russ said...

br'er/Anonymous have it pretty well.

My technique is to fire single-shot bursts. Difficult, but possible if you gingerly finger the trigger.

Also, I aim slightly further away from the star. If a BB hits red, that is a wasted BB.

Jake said...

Draw a circle around the star. The gun actually fires #2 lead shot not BBs. You have over 12" of ammo, around a 100 shots. 3 shot bursts see where you hitting and adjust. I am one of the lucky few that own one these guns and can practice as often as I like. The problem is once the carney sees that you know the drill, he will cut you off or try and rig the game!

Mike said...

I am looking forward to trying the tips this October at the NC State Fair (provided they still have the booth).

I made a big score over Labor Day at the (way huge) Hillsville VA flea Market (the town of 10K is covered with tents and gets 100K people per day - awesome scrounging!)

I found an old style Tommy Gun Feltman! It certainly had been around the block - but they're tough and the only obvious damage was cosmetic - the barrel shroud rubber was developing some large cracks.

The vendor listed $250 and I bid $175. He didn't come down for a while as "it's getting a lot of interest". Well, interest yeah, but nobody knew what it really was.

End of day - a lot of visual interest and not a single bid - and he met my bid and it's now mine!

I'll be practicing and ready for the upcoming flea market.

All you - now that you know the tricks - give it a try or two. Most of the games are rigged one way or the other and knowing the tricks makes it an even-fun competition for a few bucks.

Juli said...

Many people forget that the joy of shoot out the star isn't in shooting out the star. It's in firing the full auto BB gun.

I will easily spend my dollar (or two these days) to rip 100 rounds of chilled #2 shot downrange at a paper target each and every time I see the game set up. I try to win, but the fun is in shooting the machine gun.

Anonymous said...

Dear Richard
It's simple how many tries did it take to ride a bike
The same is true about this game
Practice practice practice
It's not the prize, it's the pride you get when you do it
I don't need to cheat you because you will beat yourself
By every mistake you make
Practice will make you a winner
By the way I own that game u played
Hope to see u there this year
Stop by and say hi

jesse said...

Ive won a few times, what you have to do is not use the sights for one thing just look where the bb hit and move just slightly around the tips of the star in a circle.and only tap the trigger dont hold it down.

Jeff said...

I won it at the State Fair of Texas tonight. Used the affore mentioned technique and it worked like a charm. Home theater system for $5! Hope it works ...

Mike said...

I love these things! I've probably dumped at least a couple months paychecks at various fairs and carnivals over the years. I've never won so I decided to setup a one in my basement. Finally found a Feltmans on an online auction. I'm trying to setup a range , but I don't know what the distance from the target the end of barrel is. Any tips? Thanks! Mike

Tman said...

I am an owner of a "Shoot out the star" and enjoyed reading a lot of these comments. Most of them are exactly right, patience is a key word on this game. This game is not meant for just your average person, it does help to know a little about shooting, but when it comes down to it you must have patience.

As far as the operator shorting you on your shot, in most places you really don't need to, you are still going to get your average makers, I am sure back in the day they might have done this, but this is a whole new generation. Now you have to have winners or people will just think it is impossible and never play. I play the same towns year after year and I myself want everyone to come back.

I have a FB page set up for those who really want to know what is legit and what isn't. Remember you must keep an open mind and realize that if we don't make money will can not come back next year so everything is based on an average.

Joey Madden said...

Snap your trigger finger like you would if your were listening to music. The air compressor is pushing the trigger forward at 150 pounds pressure. Look over the barrel and watch where the lead shot travels to. Slowly move the barrel from above each of the star's points and cut the star from the paper. I worked the mid 70's Shoot out the star for Conklin shows as well as amusement parks throughout New York with my partner and repaired guns for Feltman in Coney Island

Anonymous said...

the trick is slowly shoot around it. Cut out the whole. to make sure ur carrney isnt cheeting you count every sho, and record it so if he does cheet you you have enough evidince for a law suit.Once you say im calling the cops you almost always get your prize :D

JD said...

Shooting out the red star with the bb gun is my favorite game at the fair. I haven't won yet but I'll keep at it and some day will. I was at the local carnival last week and watched a young Marine from the recruiting booth win! He shot a near perfect circle around the star in short bursts! It was fun to watch.

Unknown said...

Yes the trick is to shoot around it, but you also have to make sure the target is not a thicker target than the one he used to show you how. I worked in them yrs ago, and I know that to show them how to do it you have to use a thicker cardboard paper than the one you give them.

Unknown said...

Just like ranger Joe Said, shoot above each point of star and let the sparatic shots cut it. Thump trigger for minimal bb shot to exit. Preferably 1-4 bb's/ trigger squeeze. Try different guns for accuracy and short burst. I do it every year within 2-4 attempts. I talked my 10 year old thru it on second attempt he did it with 20 percent bb's remaining.

Jillian said...

The odds are with the house, always! But, whether or not anybody ever wins depends on the carnival's owner and the game owner. Lot's of times there will be a straight shooter under the table and they'll bring that out if business is slow. The occasional winner is good for business. But if you have one of those "Never give a sucker a break types, give it up. Bored out bores, bent barrels, every dirty trick in the book and you'll never be able to prove it.
The thing to focus on is, it's a game. The object is to have fun.
Jim, writing under my wife's account name.