What is ‘Pachinko’
Pachinko is a mechanical game which originated in Japan during the 1920s. This popular parlour game is a hybrid of pinball and slots, with small Pachinko balls taking the place of money in slot machines. The game can be played for fun but is mostly associated with casinos, with large numbers of Pachinko parlours opening up across Japan.
Since gambling for money is illegal in Japan, players exchange cash for Pachinko balls with which to play. The player then plays to win more Pachinko balls, which can then be exchanged for prizes or tokens at the counter. These prizes and tokens can then be exchanged for money at a nearby prize exchange. The prize exchange must be separate from the Pachinko hall or casino and takes a small percentage of the winnings in exchange for its service.
To play Pachinko you must first obtain a number of Pachinko balls from the machine by inserting cash. The number of balls received is different for each machine and is set by the machine’s owner. The player then places the balls in the ball tray and pulls a lever to release the balls into play. The balls then fall vertically through the machines array of pins, traps, levers and gates until they reach the bottom.
If a ball reaches the bottom without being caught in a trap, it falls into the ball tray and can be reused. If a ball enters a trap the ball is lost, but a player can win more balls by hitting various points on the machine. The object of the game is to win as many balls as possible.
Traditional Pachinko machines use a mechanical lever to fire the balls into play, but modern machines use an electronic firing mechanism. This allows the firing intensity to be controlled by the player by twisting a knob.
Modern Pachinko machines also have a slot machine built-in. The slot engine is fired if a Pachinko ball falls into the gate. Each spin results in winning a small amount of balls, but a player can win a significant amount if he hits the jackpot.
When a player has finished playing he can exchange Pachinko balls for tokens or prizes. These prizes can then be exchanged for cash at a nearby Pachinko exchange. Under Japanese law, Pachinko exchanges cannot be operated by the same organisation that owns the Pachinko machine.
Pachinko is a game of chance, with the house holding a distinct advantage. Some believe that Pachinko is a game of skill because the player can control the release of the balls. But in reality, despite what some Pachinko magazines will tell you, this has little to no effect on the outcome of the game.