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Pachinko Machine

What is a ‘Pachinko Machine’?

Pachinko is a mechanical gambling device, resembling a pinball machine, that the Japanese have played in arcade parlours since the 1940s. The difference is that first, the Pachinko machines are vertical – similar to the design of a fruit machine – and second, the aim of the game is to capture the balls. The player can then exchange any ball he captures for prizes, including money. The players collect their prizes or gold coins at the parlour and then leave the venue, heading to another place at which they can exchange them for cash.

‘Pachinko Machines’ Explained

To win money at Pachinko, a player must have a good understanding of how the game works. The first thing a new player should know is that a Pachinko board is not sloped like in pinball, but vertical like a slot machine. After putting his money in, the player shoots the ball by twisting a wheel at the bottom of the machine. The further he twists, the faster the ball shoots out, but speed makes no difference here. The aim is for the player to find the position on the dial that causes the ball to bounce around the pins and fall into the the hole at the bottom.

As the ball bounces around, it triggers the many different bonus games, flashing lights and animated sequences that make this game so addictive. Initially players will start to win balls and points, but once they’ve lit three of the same symbols they have won the jackpot and they can claim the balls, which fall down into a tray at the bottom of the machine.

Pachinko is a hugely popular game throughout Japan. In most cities and towns, they have street front shops solely dedicated to the game. Pachinko is also a high-risk game – the chances of winning are said to be one in 319.