Carnival games are notorious for their seeming simplicity and incredible difficulty. They are designed to capture the carnival-goer's attention, offer a cheap prize for the completion of an apparently simple task and make tons of money for the operators of the carnival. One particularly difficult mechanical game is the quarter or token pusher.
How the Coin Pusher Game Works
The game has many variations but essentially all quarter pusher games involve the player attempting to land a coin directly inside a specific space. This space can be a small container, or various holes each with a different prize value based on the difficulty of landing the coin. Usually an element makes the game especially difficult by having the coin slide down a moving arm or by having the prize container move. This forces the player to have to synchronize his movements with the movements of the machine.
The Best Strategy
The one way to beat the game is to time the drop effectively. Before even placing a coin inside the machine, observe it closely for a while. Wait until the moving arm is farthest away from the prize container or hole. At the very second when it is farthest away, begin counting seconds and stop at the point where the arm and the bucket meet. This will happen quickly, so you must count quickly and be as accurate as possible. Repeat this at least two times to obtain the most accurate reading. When you play your coin or token, remember the number of seconds that you calculated. Begin the count when the moving arm or prize container is farthest away. Have your coin ready to drop. When the arm gets halfway to the prize container, drop the coin. The coin should land in or near the prize container. Repeat this same strategy a few times until you win. However, know your limit. If after five tries you are unsuccessful, save your money and walk away.