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What Is Pachinko?

I think we all know what the national sport of Japan is: sumo wrestling. The Japanese love it, but perhaps they love baseball even more, with more people watching it than any other sport. However, when it comes to games instead of sport, Pachinko surely eclipses both sports in terms of popularity.

Pachinko is variation on a slot machine…somewhat. It’s slightly more complicated in that, but thinking of it like a slot machine is the best way to comprehend it. However, you don’t put money into this slot machine, you put small balls in instead. This is because wagering money is illegal in Japan, so Pachinko players have to buy a bucket of balls to put into the machine and gamble them instead. Pachinko is available online at Casino Tropez.

The machine itself is very similar to a Bagatelle game: the balls are fired into the playing area and they work their way down a maze of pegs and if they fall into the bottom of the machine, they’re lost. However, if they land in various sections/holes in the board, they start up the slot machine section of the game, which is usually a digital display in the center board. Now, like all slot machines, you need three of a kind to win a decent prize. Of course, the jackpots are paid out in more balls. Hey, you gamble balls, you’re going to win balls!

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Jackpots in Pachinko machines activate something called “Payout Mode”, which is a special feature on the machine where the player has the chance to try and shoot balls into a special section of the board. If they do this, they tend to win between 10-15 balls for every ball fired into the section. Of course, for a veteran Pachinko player, this is where they can win a mountain of balls.

Of course, the machines tend to look a lot more complicated than they actually sound, but don’t let that put you off, should you ever encounter one. Seriously, it’s as easy as it sounds. But what do you do with the balls? Well, you can’t trade them in inside the Pachinko parlor, so all you get is a set of vouchers from the parlor, which can then be traded from another business separate from the Pachinko parlor, or you can trade them for various prizes if you’re not wanting cash.. It’s a novel way of getting round the anti-gambling laws.

Pachinko parlors are generally packed to the rafters from the first thing in the morning, with players taking it very seriously. Much like you’d get professional blackjack players in Vegas, or Atlantic City, you get professional Pachinko players who will sit from opening time to closing with an endless stream of balls going in and out of the machine. These players are also the ones who can tend to spot which machines are the best to play, by the setting of the pins and by knowing how the parlor has set the machines. You see, each parlor sets the machine to have a house edge of whatever they feel like, within reason and if a player knows where they are in the parlor, or is given a tip-off to which machines have the highest payout percentage, they’ll end up a lot better off than the other Pachinko players in the parlor that day.

If you want to try it out without traveling to Japan and having to worry about trading your balls in for a Tamagotchi, or Pokemon trading cards, Casino Tropez is one of the few casinos out there that offer Pachinko to its clientèle. The idea is the same, but you simply win credits instead of balls and each ball is fired rapidly until you decide you want to stop the game. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and because you tend to get quite a few wins, albeit sometimes smaller than some slot machines, it’s more exciting than a lot of casino games and there is still the potential to win a huge jackpot in comparison to some slot machines.

I really love Pachinko, as it’s a novel take on the slot machine and because I’m a sucker for pinball machines as well, I always fire up the Pachinko game when I play at Casino Tropez.

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