Pachinko is a popular Japanese game that is yet to be well-established in Western culture. This is partly due to the difficulty of matching the experience of the Pachinko parlours in the Western world, though the game has become more and more common in online casinos. However, since Pachinko is not yet widely popular in Western culture in general, there is little common knowledge of how the game works and how players can best maximise their winnings while playing.
Getting to Grips with Pachinko
In a nutshell, Pachinko is a casino machine that is best described as the marriage of a traditional slot machine and a pinball machine. Players will have the chance to feed money into the machine and leave with actual winnings, much like in a slot machine, but the actual playing field is remarkably different – closer to the layout of a pinball machine.
Like a pinball machine, the main action of the game is centred around a little ball that drops down from the top of the machine and falls to the bottom, hitting various obstacles along the way. This has an effect on the game and the player’s winnings.
Begin Playing Pachinko
The game of Pachinko is relatively easy in some ways, and yet still remarkably difficult in others, largely because the player has such little power of control over the game. The only real control the player has is the level of force with which balls are launched into the playing field, which will affect where they land and, in turn, what bonuses, winnings or other balls this may release.
In order to release the balls, players will have to twist the wheel. The amount or force with which they twist the wheel will affect the speed of the ball. Small adjustments to this force affect the ball’s path from the top to the bottom of the machine. The ultimate aim is to let the ball bounce through the bottom pins on the field, so they fall into the ‘collecting’ hole. The best way to maximise winnings in a game of Pachinko, then, is to master the force at which the balls are launched into the playing field, to ensure their path lands them straight into the desired collecting hole.
The Slot Machine Aspect
Each ball that falls into the collecting hole will give players a reward. Either they will get an additional ten free balls to play with, or they will receive one free spin on a virtual slot machine that forms part of the Pachinko machine’s playing field. This virtual slot machine operates much like a traditional slot machine where three of a kind will win, though the slot machine portrays numbers instead of symbols.
However, similarities do not go beyond this, as players will then be launched into a game called ‘REACH’ as soon as they land two of a kind. Players will then be taken to a cartoon battle screen, with the good guy fighting against the bad guy. Players have little control over what happens in the cartoon battle, but will be well alerted by the machine itself as to whether they are winning or losing. If winning, the player will be rewarded with further balls to play the Pachinko game.
The traditional Pachinko parlours, as found in Asia, are not common in traditional Western land-based casinos, partly due to the intricacies of the game. However, the rise of online casinos has resulted in a growth of Pachinko in the Western world, and the game is becoming more and more common.