What the heck is Pachinko?
Japan Travel | .
published: July 28, 2016
Too many visitors to Japan have never played the game of pachinko, even though the country — whether you’re in Tokyo or Hokkaido — is packed with pachinko shops. With flashing lights, swirling sounds and hundreds of tiny metal balls, Pachinko, or Japanese pinball, is a must-try for any tourist looking for the “Japan experience.”
Basics of Pachinko
The game, which is sort of like pinball mixed with slots, gained popularity in the 1940s, and now Japan is home to more than 12,500 pachinko parlors, according to a BBC article. To start, a player inserts cash into the machine to get small metal balls, which the player then launches into the machine with a lever. Some balls fall out of bounds, while some land into bonus areas, usually resulting in a chance to win more balls.
Every time you walk into a pachinko parlor, the sights and sounds are sort of like a mini Las Vegas. Typically the player cashes out and gets a prize, which can later be traded for other goods as well at the counter in a pachinko parlor.
Each pachinko machine has different nuances.
Slot Jackpot/Special Time
Watch to see if three matching symbols appear on the slot machine. This is the jackpot, and getting it puts the machine into payout mode. During “Special Time” the probability of doing well increases.
Balls drop into bonus pockets, causing flashing lights and other effects. Different colors and flashing lights in the game can show a higher degree to which you can expect a chance to get a bonus. For example, a rainbow spectrum color signals the highest probability of chance for this game. Additional “big chance predictions” are: a group of characters on the screen, letters or backgrounds have a pattern (instead of solid), and other color shifts. Please see the YouTube video for more information.
Now, you’re ready to experience gaming in Japan with the DD Fist of the North Star pachinko machine. For the real Japanese experience, come to Japan to play pachinko!
1. Put money in the machine (cash only) on the left side.
2. Press the ‘Play’ button (marked ‟玉貸”).
3. Turn the round lever, which will let metal balls shoot out. Continuously hold it, so balls keep shooting out.
4. Aim the balls for the upper left area of the pachinko board.