Name of the Game: Pachinko  パチンコ

Game Type: Gambling/Casino

Origin: Japan

Introducing Pachinko Game

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, ‘Japan’? Well, the country is the largest exporter of automobiles. That’s the first thing that comes to OUR mind.

Perhaps you think of the Cherry Blossom trees or delicious sushi rolls. What do the people do for entertainment? Do they sit under a Cherry Blossom tree or eat sushi and tempura all day long? That’s a stereotypical thought!

On second thoughts, Japan is known for quite a few things including massive castles, sumo wrestling, vending machines, samurai swords, temples, and even karaoke.

The natives like to indulge in gambling games too! If you have EVER been to Japan, you would know about the Pachinko game.

Pachinko is technically a countrywide obsession in mighty Japan. A cross between a slot machine and pinball, the game has become an integral part of the culture. Do you know that the Pachinko industry makes approximately $200 billion annually? That’s actually more than 30% of what people expend in Macau and Las Vegas in an year (combined)!

It is strange that an extremely popular game like Pachinko never stepped out of the border! It never succeeded in the foreign land, but is the most lucrative and electrifying game in the nation.

Pachinko parlours exist in Japan, and they make up four percent of the Japanese GDP.

Since it is such a popular game, we thought of reviewing it for our readers. Here’s an elaborate post that covers all the important aspects – definition of the word, history, trivia, how to play, gambling rules, and more.

There’s more information in this post! We will be sharing everything about the Pachinko online casino game for punters. The most popular Pachinko game that you can find online is ‘Pearl Pachinko.’ We shall tell you more about it as you move forward.

Let’s dive right into it without further delay!

Defining Pachinko

Head to any online source and they would tell you that Pachinko is a pinball game. But, we like to dig deeper. Why did the developers/makers choose this particular name? For starters, you must know that the name was extracted from the sound it makes.

The name is quite suggestive, because ‘ko’ means little. Perhaps the makers named it on the basis of how it looks. Physical appearances matter, right?

Moreover, there is a Japanese phrase called, ‘pachi pachi.’ There are two meanings attached to this phrase.

1. It expresses sound of an explosion.

2. It can refer to the sound of clapping hands.

Now that you are aware of what it means, you might be interested in the online version of this game.

About Pearl Pachinko – When you head to an online casino platform, you will find a popular variation of Pachinko. It is called Pearl Pachinko. You will find precious pearls on-screen which are bouncing around. These are referred to as the ‘balls.’

It is akin to the regular pinball game.  The pearls or the balls are thrown into the playing field, and then they move across the different obstacles. What happens next? You shall find out in the section that covers ‘how to play.’

Before understanding the game play, it is vital to skim through the objective of the game.

What is the objective of the game?

While we would happily explain you the game play later, let’s first understand what the objective is.

All you need to do is blast the ball and make them fall into the gaming zone. Pachinko is quite similar to a pinball machine. You will be able to relate to it once you see it for real! The Pachinko games have gone through a wave of technological advancement.

There is a significant difference between pinball and traditional/modernized Pachinko. For starters, the ball used in Pachinko is smaller than the ones used in ping ball.

The objective here is to get as many Pachinko balls.

Traditionally, Pachinko used to be mechanical, but now it is much more advanced. It is akin to a video slot machine.

You have to load the ball and simply release the handle. The outcome depends on where the balls fall. Make sure these balls reach the reward spot. That’s how you get more tokens (prizes).

Since we are talking about a Japanese game, you might have other queries in your head. What does a classic Pachinko Parlour look like? Perhaps you will be surprised to know the answer to this.

What Does A Pachinko Parlour Look Like?

If you step inside a Pachinko Parlour, it will remind you of any regular casino in foreign countries. These are spacious parlours with a never-ending crowd. Pachinko machines are kept in rows, and a large number of players can indulge in the game.

There are exuberant lights and interesting sounds that make the game play exciting. If you have been to a Western casino, it is not too hard to imagine a Pachinko parlour. There is a very close resemblance!

As you step inside a Pachinko parlour, it is noisy and crowded. Perhaps this builds up the overall excitement of the players. The good news is that Pachinko parlours see a mixed crowd consisting of both men and women.

As technology is advanced and kicking in today’s world, you do not have to head to Japan to experience the game play. Well, of course, Japan is a beautiful country and you MUST experience the retro look of the parlours.

History of Pachinko

Pachinko is a national game, so there must be an intriguing history attached to it. Earlier, it was a wooden game, and then it transformed into a metal pin and ball game.

Did you know that Pachinko was first solid in candy stores? They were first built in the year 1920. During those times, the game was called, ‘Corinth.’ It was basically named and based on the famous Corinthian Bagatelle. It is possible that the game took inspiration from Japanese Billiards. Please note that the Japanese Billiards was first introduced in Europe in the 18th Century.

Speaking of candy stores, the Corinthin Bagatelle was imported into mighty Japan in the year 1924. It was also known as ‘Korinto Gemu.’ Candy store owners were so thrilled by the game that they put it up in counters. Children loved the game because they got candies and sweet fruits as a reward. They called it, ‘Pachi Pachi.’

Interestingly, adults started playing Pachinko and would get small rewards like a cigarette or soap.

The first ever Pachinko parlour was built in Nagoya, 1930. With its inception, the Pachinko industry became popular, and a total of thirty five parlours opened up. The Japanese natives loved it, and it soon became their favourite pastime.

During World War II, all the parlours shut as there was a tense situation in the country. In the year 1953, there were over three lakh Pachinko parlours in the country. Yes, the number of parlours decreased over the years, but the game continues to be a favourite among keen punters.

In today’s time, technology has evolved, and so have the Pachinko machines. Famous movies are sponsoring the machines which means there are different themes to choose from. You will find Star Wars-based machines too.

Pachinko Trivia

  • We did mention that the game was first available in candy stores. Children played it and won candies on the basis of the results of the game.
  • Pachinko is tailor-made to kill your time. Don’t be surprised when we say that Pachinko is a slow-paced game. It was designed that way! Unlike the fast-paced slot machine, Pachinko allows you to enjoy the process. It is an experience that you cannot miss!
  • Everyone knows that the United States is large in size. Everyone heads to Las Vegas for a casino holiday! Some gamblers win millions of dollars, and some are happy with the overall experience. Did you know that Pachinko game’s turnover is 30x than that of the dazzling Las Vegas? That’s true! It is true that Japan exports automobiles, but the Pachinko industry is as lucrative.
  • Since gambling is banned in Japan, any parlour in the nation cannot pay out in the form of cash. But, the system is more intricate than you think it is. If you get a token as a prize, sell it outside the parlour, and you will get money in return. But, some Pachinko parlours will give prizes like cool T-shirts, and other goodies.
  • The majority of the Pachinko parlours are owned by Koreans. Surprising, right? If you go back in time, the Koreans were the ones who brought the game into the nation.

These were some lesser known interesting facts about the Pachinko game. Now let’s get to the real deal – how do we play the game?

The next section covers the ‘how to play’ part.

How To Play Pearl Pachinko

Since we believe in inclusivity, let’s get your familiar with the online version. Even though Pachinko is a popular game in Japan, but people from many countries have embraced it. It is played in New Zealand and Australia as well.

Total WinPayout
JackpotFifty Five

Note: The payout refers to the # of balls. The total winning amount is calculated by multiplying the value of the ball with this number.

Now, let’s understand the game play. Follow it step-by-step to improve your chances of winning. We hope that Lady Luck will be by your side ALWAYS!

  • For starters, you need to choose the number of balls that you wish to throw. Please indicate the value of those pearls/balls. This shall showcase as to how much the player wishes to bet.
  • The pearls will move across different obstacles in the game. If they descend from the game’s playing field, the punter will not win anything.
  • If the pearls/balls fall into the special pockets, the players will receive a winning amount. Players will get the winning as per the pay table.
  • The good news is that the money gets transferred straight to the player’s account.

Note – In Japan, you do not get cash prizes in parlours, but the online version allows you to win money.

  • In case the ball falls into a bottle, you have a special chance (additional). A mini slot machine game will begin! When you see the mini slot, it will be similar to a trunk with some fixed locks. The locks will start rotating, and once it stops, either they will disappear or remain the same as before. The trunk will open up, and you will get your jackpot. Of course, everyone waits for the jackpot to enter into their player account.
  • The lower shells in the game are always open. If the pearls fall into these shells, the player will receive a payout. The top shell (two of them) are reversible and open.
  • Also, the bottle remains open all the time. The balls falling into this bottle probability actually depends on the position of the hanging fishes. Please note that the fish is hanging in two position – it either makes the ball/pearls easier and harder on the bottle.

Basics of the Game

Before you start playing Pearl Pachinko, understand the basics of the game.

There is a start option which you have to click. This will start the balls. The amount which is equal to the ball is deducted from the punter’s account at the beginning. Check the ‘BALL COUNT’ field to see how many balls are left before the game ends.

In case the punter chooses to play with hundred balls, he can stop the game whenever he/she likes. If certain balls are not played with, the value of those will come back to the player’s account.

How does it work in Brick-and-Mortar Pachinko Parlours?

If you get a chance to go to Japan, head to the brick-and-mortar Pachinko parlour. The game play is slightly different, but the objective remains the same.

To identify a Pachinko machine, head to any parlour with striking lights and a massive crowd. You will find that the small steel balls are actually smaller than pin ball too.

Since this is a technologically advanced world, the machines will display the number of losses and wins it has witnessed. Choose a machine that has not had many wins a day before. This way you get more wins! It is one of the most effective strategies while choosing a Pachinko machine.

When playing on a machine, do not use more than $10. Ideally, look for a crowded Pachinko parlour. That’s where you win the grand prizes!

While going to Japan seems like a fun and lucrative plan, but the tickets may cost a fortune. You can easily play Pachinko online and win a whopping amount. If you are a novice or a low roller, try out the game on free play version before placing real money bets.

Here’s the real deal: When you step into a parlour and find a machine, simply put money into it. Now, you need to press the ball-release option/button. It is also known as a the ‘TAMAKASHI’ button.

In case the balls do not drop, you can ask for help from any of the attendants around.

To start playing, pull the handle on the machine. You will find this handle on the right side of the machine. The ball will shoot up and the aim is that they should drop into the hole below. If these balls do not land up in the hole, you lose the game. But, do not be disappointed as you can try again.

Gambling Rules in Japan

In the year 1907, Japan put a ban on gambling. There is a twist here! Japan puts a ban on a game that gives out direct cash as a reward. That’s precisely why the entertainment industry or the gambling rooms started giving out other prizes.

As long as there is no direct cash involved, playing the gambling games is not a tragic situation. This brings us to the next question – What prize does the player get? Since direct cash is ruled out, the best form of prize is ‘token.’

What do you do with the token? There are shops outside the parlour where you can sell these tokens! Does the casino parlour benefit with such dynamics? Well, both the parlour and the shops that buy tokens are run by the owners of the former.

Hence, the law does not pester the gaming parlour. In fact, they do not even consider it as ‘gambling.’

Can Foreign Nationals Play Pachinko?

Even though Pachinko parlours only exist in Japan, but you still have ways to play the game. When you visit Japan, you will find that many foreigners enjoy playing Pachinko at the noisy and crowded parlours.

Of course, foreigners can play Pachinko at these parlours, but they might not be able to do it for ‘direct cash.’

Some parlours in Japan are not as accommodating and welcoming, but you may still find one that allows you to play. If the parlour is not as welcoming, they might have had a bad experience in the past.

Don’t take it to your heart! There are other ways to play Pachinko game.

Can You Play Pachinko Online?

Although Pachinko parlours only exist in Japan, but the online version is available. You can quickly browse these games and play the free version. Some of the platforms allow you to play for real money. Fortunately, anyone who is unaware of the game play, can start playing online without a sweat.

Low rollers like the free play version simply because it gives them a chance to explore. High rollers will have a gala time playing this game!

However, you need to find a legit platform to play the game. Read the reviews and then make an informed decision.

Since most of the casino platforms are embracing inclusivity, they have added Pachinko in their assortment of games.

In addition, some platforms give you the option of playing Pachinko on your smart phone or tablet. Well, that’s a no-brainer because the whole world is going digital. You can simply take out your tablet or smart phone and start playing the game. It is THAT easy!

What Does The Future Hold?

Pachinko parlours and online slots are here to stay. Even though the real action happens in Japanese parlours, but the online version is not bad either. It gives you a chance to win a bagful of money.

In Japan, we can say that Pachinko will not get banned in the coming years. The natives enjoy the game, and prizes can be won in multiple ways. You can get free WiFi as a prize or even a fun T-shirt.

Due to its reach, the game has become extremely popular and addictive. You will find that many older men still enjoy playing the game.

Make sure you exchange the balls/token outside the parlour within the same day. It is not legal to carry them around the city.

There are quite a few variants out there, and some are misleading. For example, the Pachinko 3D slot game is more like bingo. The name can be misleading for those who are interested in playing Pachinko. However, you can start playing Pearl Pachinko.

Start playing for free, and see how it goes! There is only one way to find out whether the game is interesting or not – JUST TRY IT!

Concluding Thoughts 

Did you enjoy reading about Pachinko game? If you do not have funds to head to Japan or simply want to try out the game, choose the online version. Indulge in free play, and then decide whether you want to play for real money or not.

Online Pachinko is fun, interesting, and you will get addicted to it in NO time.

So, read the pay table, understand the controls of the game, and begin!

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