My favorite part about spring, besides the good weather, is the arrival of carnivals. Carnivals are little bastions of legalized gambling wrapped up in a nice funnel cake shell and deep fried in clown makeup, less than safe rides, and bright flashing lights. I love carnivals because you can walk around for free, listen to the cheer of the crowd as someone wins an oversized stuffed animal, and enjoy the outdoors while sampling a bit of capitalism here or there.
The cornerstone of every carnival is the game area. I say it’s legalized gambling because otherwise rational people hand over real money to play fake games and win stuffed prizes. When you go to a casino, you know all the games have a house edge. When you go to a carnival, you know all the games are rigged. If you insist on playing, as I do, it’s important to maximize your fun. If maximizing your fun involves winning a prize, then we have a rule you must follow if you want to get the most for your money. If you are just playing to have fun and could care less about winning a prize, play whatever makes you happy.
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