Master these tips on everything from darts to Big Buck Hunter, and your next walk home from a night of drinking will be a victory lap.
Ted Spiker 1 / 9
Rule the Room
We all know the goals of any bar outing: Blow off some steam, watch the game, have a few drinks, maybe get a number or two. And kick someone’s butt. Doesn’t matter if it’s pool, darts, or any other game, you want to be king of the room—for no other reward than the temporary and hazy pride that comes with 1:30 a.m. victories. Here, your guide to winning it all.
<p><a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/leisure/travel/the-10-most-infamous-bars-in-a... Most Infamous Bars in America >>></a></strong></i></p>
Tighten up your technique and improve your accuracy with some simple adjustments. You want to minimize your movement and keep your throws consistent with a solid stance. “Good shooters have a base technique of 70% of their weight on the lead foot and 30% on the back foot,” says Mark Fair, a top American Darters Association pro.“The less you’re doing before you throw, the more consistent you’ll be. So take one form and do it like a robot.”
Guys think that to win Foosball you have to be able to hit all kinds of shots from all kinds of positions. But all you really need is one shot, says Robert Mares, a three-time gold medalist at the World Cup of Table Soccer. If you can get the ball to one of the front players—and shoot at either right, left, or center of the goal, you'll <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/women/dating-advice/6-tips-to-fighting-rightw... always win.</a> Since only two players can cover the goal, there will always be an open spot. Perfecting three shots from one player will win. “The shooter always has the percentage,” he says. “There aren’t enough defenders to block it.”
Big Buck Hunter
You’ll need to shoot with speed and accuracy, since you earn more points for both hitting your kill quickly and using as few shots as possible (which also helps because it takes points away from your opponent). But it’s not just about keeping your eye on the target, says George Petro, creator of Big Buck Hunter. “When you pump the shotgun, it changes the position of the barrel,” he explains. “A minimum amount of pumping leads to better accuracy.” Also, memorizing the game’s various levels will help increase your score.
<p><a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/leisure/the-top-must-have-gaming-gear"><stron... Top Must Have Gaming Gear >>></a></strong></i></p>
For team competitions, stack your team with diversity in ages and occupations. “I’ve seen teams of lawyers and doctors who finished 24th and 25th out of 25,” says Wilson Casey, a Guinness world record holder in trivia who’s written more than 30 trivia-related books. “You want a team with different age groups—a college student, a construction worker—people who know a little about a lot of things. That’s what wins.” Another <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/25-ways-to-make-your-brain-... move</a>: If you play at a regular place, study the host’s tendencies to get a sense of their favorite categories.
If you’ve already got a few beers in your system, your tendency will be to shoot the mini ball too hard—way too hard. So success is all about using the same stroke you’d use normally—just back off and slow down your motion. Move your lead arm up slowly, but still flick your wrist, and follow through all the way, says performance coach Doug Newburg, Ph.D., who played basketball at the University of Virginia. If you’re playing carnival hoops, you may even try shooting from your knees to help soften the shot—unless you’re with a date.
<p><a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/women/dating-advice/top-warm-weather-dates"><... Date Ideas >>></a></i></strong></p>
Keep a level cue to avoid giving the ball any spin (unless you know how to do that accurately). Roll the stick across the table from side to side. Any wobbling indicates that the stick is bent or that the tip is
“mushroomed.” “You also have to stay down on your shot,” says pro shooter Shanelle Loraine. “Everywhere I go, I see nine out of 10 people jump after they hit the ball. You need to stay down on your shot to complete it in its entirety—and make sure to follow through.”
After a casual greeting, get the conversation going with a guessing game, says dating coach Dan Bacon of themodernman.com. She asks what you do, and, with a smile, you tell her to guess. It not only starts conversation, it also makes it clear that you exude confidence: You’re willing to be judged. “It’s a good demonstration of your personality,” Bacon says, ”because it shows you have the social intelligence to be relaxed and easygoing in that kind of environment.” (Not advised if you’re out of work.)
It’s always best to walk away from a bar fight. Bad stuff happens when fists and beer combine. But if you’re forced into a scrap, remember to protect yourself at all times. “Nothing reeks more of inexperience than a guy with his hands down and chest out, jawing at someone,” says judo black-belt and Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple-belt Martin Rooney, C.S.C.S., founder of trainingforwarriors.com. But if you have to punch your way out, Rooney says, keep your hands up, a tight fist, and punch with the knuckles of your index and middle fingers.
<p><a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/ufc’s-10-greatest-fights">>>><i><strong>10 Greatest UFC Fights</a></strong></i></p>