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Having come across the game Pachinko a number of times, we decided to deep dive into the topic and explore why it isn’t as popular as others such as slots and bingo. Many online players haven’t even heard of Pachinko, so if you’re one of them then we are here to tell you all about the game’s origins from America and why this is now a popular pastime in Japan. As well as explaining what Pachinko games online are, we will bring you which casino sites offer it as an option and our tips to improve your playing time.
What Is Pachinko and How Do You Play It?
The best way to imagine a Pachinko board is to think of a vertical pinball machine, but the bumpers at the bottom have been removed. When you consider the online version, then imagine a vertical pinball and combine that with a slot game.
Whether its land based or online, the premise of how the game works is the same. Ball bearings are launched onto the board using a control button and they will bounce around various obstacles until they strike a bonus bucket, or they simply disappear. It is very alike pinball in this respect, because by hitting that bonus bucket, you will win more balls or even a jackpot payout if you land in the optimal zone.
In both forms of the game, you will be able to buy a set number of balls for a specific price at the start. The aim of Pachinko is to finish with more balls than you started with and thus ending up with more money.
You can adapt your game play through the launch button, by varying the speed at which you shoot the ball. In essence the player will strategize whether to launch the ball soft or hard, to determine which is the best way to hit the target. For most Pachinko games the more to the right the control, the harder the ball will be fired. But that isn’t always the best way to play, so you have to work out the sweet spot. This is because you don’t want to overshoot (too hard) and the ball disappears or launch too soft so the ball doesn’t even release. Many regular players would describe Pachinko as a game of chance, but you will find that there are skills to becoming a master player.
If you land a ball on an upper or middle level bucket, then you will see the slot machine part of the game kick in. This will involve you playing a mini feature or bonus game, where for example you may have to match three symbols on a slot reel with a chance of winning more balls.
We mentioned it quickly above, but it is actually the ball bearings which are the currency in this game. They are individually worth a set amount, and this can vary on each Pachinko game. After you have completed a round then you can choose whether you want to cash out or continue and use the balls to play more. If you play through all of the balls before the end of the round, then your game is sadly over.
The popularity of the game in Japan is evident by the number of small Pachinko parlors all over the country. Because the history of the game is so interesting, we’ll delve into it a little more within this article. We know that some of you like to diversify your gaming and try something new, which is why many software developers saw an opportunity to bring Pachinko to the masses. There are a few options available including 3D, so why not give yourself a treat and try it.
The History and Origins of Pachinko
Although we have mentioned Japan being the place where Pachinko grew its fandom, the game was actually created in the windy city of Chicago. It was originally a wooden child’s toy named Corinth, then a larger version began to appear in Japan around the 1920’s. They were found in confectionary shops and used to try and keep the children in there for longer, so that they would buy more sweets. The children named the game Pachi Pachi due to the sound made by the ball when it was fired.
Pachinko was scrapped for a while during World War 2, when metal was required for the war effort. But thankfully there was a resurgence once it had ended and Japanese citizens were eager for entertainment, even though they had little money. The fact that surplus ball bearings were made during the war which could be used on a Pachinko board, only added to the progress.
The first adult Pachinko parlor opened in 1930 within the city of Nagoya, and their popularity led to another 35 opening within six months. What makes this rapid rise so fascinating, is the fact that gambling has been banned in Japan since 1907.
Within the last couple of decades there has been a decrease in the number of parlors, but you will still find one or two in most towns and cities. The machines have evolved with the players, so you will find that the latest versions come with immersive sounds, lighting effects and digital wheels which launch the balls. Similar to slot machines Pachinko games tend to be themed from popular movies, anime, sports, bands, and TV shows.
Pachinko vs Gambling Ban
So how has Pachinko managed to grow in a country which doesn’t allow gambling? Simple, it introduced a few clever loopholes!
The law in Japan concerning gambling, prohibits any form of gaming where the player is rewarded with money. So, the parlors came up with an ingenious idea to instead offer tangible prizes. This could be food or drink which will vary in size depending on the prize amount. There is also the more popular option of a token which is given to the player, they will then leave the parlor and enter another shop where the token is ‘sold’ for the original value. In reality the owner of the parlor and shop is the same person, but they must ensure that these businesses are not linked and as such be classified as gambling.
Best Online Casino’s to Play Pachinko Slots
Gambling sites will always try to expand on what they offer their players, so it’s of no surprise that many have jumped on the Pachinko band wagon. We imagine you want more than just a great range of games from your site, so what are the best online casinos? These are our preferences and don’t worry they are all UK Gambling Commission licenced (UKGC).
The incredible options above are easy to use if you’re newer to online playing, and they offer some great bonuses and a variety of banking choices. You may find demo versions of Pachinko on there, but that is normally once you have signed up. We always recommend having a try of the demo game first, just so you can see if you like it and get the gist of how it plays.
Pachinko Games on Mobile
All gambling sites are now required to provide mobile compatibility if they want to rank on Google. So, you will find that no matter which one you choose, you can play it on your mobile, desktop, or laptop. This means that your Pachinko playing time can be whenever you want, because all you need is an internet connection.
Pachinko Online Machine Formats
Most Pachinko game designers have created two formats and they are mobile and traditional. The standard traditional game is more alike the land-based version. In comparison, for mobile options you will see that the game has been adapted to suit the smaller screen.
How to Increase your Odds of Winning at Pachinko
There are many Pachinko experts out there who claim to know how to beat the game, but in reality it is purely chance. The only way to improve your luck is by varying the speed of the balls until you find a sweet spot. This is the element which most Pachinko players love, because it gives them a feeling of control and makes it more interesting.
Pachinko games have an average RTP (return to player) of 95%, which the experts out there will know is a little lower than your average slot. In addition to that it’s also a high volatility game, which basically means that you don’t win as often, but when you do it tends to be for bigger pot amounts.
Summary of Pachinko Games Online and the Best Sites to Play
It’s exciting to try something new, so this option is ideal if you’re getting a little bored of the same old slots and casino options. What may enhance your interest is when you discover that Pachinko really doesn’t need a lot of skill to play. In general, the main game is straightforward and offers the same type of exciting bonus features which you would find on popular slots.
As we mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to use a demo option of a game, if they have it available. Especially something so new such as Pachinko because you can get a taste for it before using real money. Another idea is to look for reviews of the game and any online videos to see how it all works. We hope that along with a Pachinko history lesson, we have given you the basics so anything else will just be a bonus.
Do take a look at the trusted casino sites we have recommended, as they are all UKGC licenced and have been in the industry a number of years.
The reason Pachinko is so beloved in Japan is because it’s so much fun and incredibly easy to play. You don’t need a strategy on how you’re going to approach the game, you simply start firing those balls. Hopefully you will end up with more than you started with and can walk away a Pachinko winner! It’s completely understandable why gamers have become such big fans of Pachinko, because it’s such a unique option and we hope to see more themed versions appearing in the future.