Cover the Spot Secrets
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Author Topic: Cover the Spot Secrets (Read 36834 times)
thatsmedickiet
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Reply #80 on: August 08, 2006, 12:38:29 PM

Like a lot of other people here, I was just searching for a simple explanation on how the stupid game is done correctly. All the nonsensical, stupid, useless postings that people have been putting up with no useful information are a complete waste of everyone's time. Why, in this vast age of information and the internet and the message boards and the billions of users out there, there isn't ONE SINGLE place where a simple explanation or diagram of the game is found, is beyond me. SOMEBODY out there (who isn't a carny and does the game for a living) MUST know how it's done and be willing to share the info. The Bill of Rights says it's okay. WITHOUT saying "well so-and-so wrote a chapter in this book and just go buy it from Amazon" or whatever. The point is, that we DON'T WANT to go out and pay for a book or possible instructions or what have you; some of us just want to see how it's done out of curiosity, and that's all. Just like everyone else, I saw this game done as a kid at carnivals and never understood the trick. It isn't like I have time to travel the carnival circuit beating Spot Operators out of giant stuffed animals.

I swear to God, if somebody doesn't give a straight answer soon on how this game is done, I'm going to go out and buy one of these books and publish the trick (in my own words, of course) for the whole world to see for free anyway.

In the meantime, here's a somewhat useful link (the State of Montana's legal code on the operation of carnival games, where it states the spots and disks must all be of uniform shape and diameter, with the disks being a MINIMUM of 64% of the diameter of the spot. You can bet anyone working in Montana doesn't use any disks bigger than 64%, given that info.

http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/mca/23/6/23-6-104.htm

Dickie T.
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IanKendall
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Reply #81 on: August 09, 2006, 02:45:47 AM

Dickie,

I'm surprised at your statements; I can only assume that you have not read the thread through.

The bottom line is that the method for Cover the Spot is not unlike any other magic trick - it is not meant to be freely available. This is why internet searches are unfruitful for you. The bottom line is that noone has a _right_ to know this information.

The vast majority of the resources on the game are cursory at best. Many will have only a diagram of the final layout with little or no instruction on how to get there, or the things to watch out for. Buying a book will not neccessarily teach you how to play the game.

Buying a book and publishing the information out of spite would achieve nothing, save perhaps lessening your frustrations a wee bit. In the end, the half dozen people who might run a search through Google may find it, but would put you in the same boat as the other magic exposers who offer passive information (although to be fair, it would require a bit of active participation). I'm sure many members of the board would request that you not do this.

There does exist at least one detailed lesson on the game, but I'm not sure it's what you are looking for, as the current price of membership is 30 pounds. I'm sure you can get a book for less.

Take care, Ian
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Ian Kendall - Edinburgh magician

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Reply #82 on: August 09, 2006, 05:09:49 AM

Hooray for you, Ian.

Just because you want to know doesn't mean you get to know.

It's like the shell game, fast and loose, Monte, and chink-a-chink you can purchase on this site with written and video instructions.

Pay the price in money for the props and the schooling, do the time in practice, and then perform it until you can do it right -- and then see how willing you are to give away the secret.  Not me, buddy! 

I've been asked to show secrets lots of times, most often about the linking rings, and usually people are pretty nice when I explain they wouldn't enjoy the show if they knew how it worked.  I also point them in the direction of Stevens Magic here in Wichita, knowing full well they won't ever go there or spend their money to acquire this kind of knowledge.

It's amazing the previous exchange on this thread happened this morning, because last night I had my first aggressive inquiry -- at a nice bookstore of all places!

A wierdo tried to pick a fight with me when I wouldn't show him how the three shells or chink-a-chink work.

"How did you do that?" 

"I did it very well, ideed.  Grin " I borrowed Cellini's dodge.

"Tell me how you did it."

"It wouldn't be any fun for you if you knew.  Grin "

"You're going to tell me, right now."

"Why?  I don't even know you."

"Tell me or. . . ."

At which point, I stood up -- still smiling. 

Occasionally, it's nice to be a 6'2",  300-pound powerlifter.  People get real unaggressive real fast. 

 Grin ed
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Reply #83 on: August 09, 2006, 06:00:49 AM

Dickie, Dickie, Dickie.

It dosen't work that way my friend.

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Reply #84 on: August 09, 2006, 07:06:58 AM

I read the statute law on the amusement games.  Seems they allow gambling and razzle games as well.  I think Montana does have carnival inspectors.  Dickie, you might want to ask them about it.

Glenn 
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thatsmedickiet
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Reply #85 on: August 09, 2006, 07:35:44 AM

Ian, you might just have convinced me.

I went ahead and built a computer simulation of the game, using PowerPoint, and just using trial and error, found what's probably the optimal drop pattern. The simulation turned out to be pretty easy to build:

just start with a new blank PP file, and use the AutoShape function to create a single large circle (I used dimensions of 3 inches). In the Format AutoShape menu, just make sure in the Size tab that the Height and Width are exactly the same, so you know it's a perfect circle. Give it a solid color like red. Then, copy and paste that circle to start your first disk. This time, format/downsize that circle using the Scale % function to however much smaller you want it. I used 64% as was stated in the Montana link, for lack of any better information. Give the disk a color like half-shiny/half-rusty metal and copy/paste it four more times. Now you've got a big red spot and 5 smaller disks, all perfectly round. On the "Ordering" make sure you used Send to Back for the spot, and you're on your way.Just drag and drop the disks and you can easily tell if you've covered it completely or not. To make the simulation more challenging, just reduce the disk size incrementally smaller, until it's so small that it's impossible to succeed.

As for the optimal drop pattern, I wouldn't necessarily know how to prove what it is mathematically, but you can get a general idea through series of trial and error.
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Stuart Coyle
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Reply #86 on: January 18, 2007, 02:21:22 AM

For the mind bending mathematical explanation for the ratio of disk sizes in this game try this link:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/DiskCoveringProblem.html

With a ratio of 0.618..., I.e. about 62% you should be able to cover the spot with a symmetrical pattern. Using an asymmetrical pattern the ratio can
be reduced to 0.609... about  61%. I haven't found any clues as to what that asymmetrical pattern may be but the symmetrical one is given here.

It's all quite simple really.  Wink
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DaveV
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Reply #87 on: January 18, 2007, 07:16:57 AM

That's exactly why the people with "symmetrical" thinking lose at this game. It's that one percent that makes all the difference between winning and losing. The tolerances are so tight on this that even the operator has practice before he can get it right. It's the mark's paying for that practice time that makes him the money.
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IanKendall
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Reply #88 on: January 18, 2007, 08:09:27 AM

My disks are .619 of the large spot, and a symmetrical pattern will not work. I read through the maths on the page you linked to, and it made sense, but experience tells me otherwise...

Dave's right - the tolerances are small in this game; a millimetre out can make the difference between a win and a loss.

Take care, Ian
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Erik Anderson
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Reply #89 on: January 18, 2007, 06:57:14 PM

I read through the maths on the page you linked to, and it made sense, but experience tells me otherwise...

Much the same as economics. An economist is one that, upon seeing something that works in practice, wonders if it will also work in theory. Smiley

By the way, astrology was invented to make economics look like an exact science.
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Erik "Aces" Anderson
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