Playing Pachinko and Exchanging for Prizes

How to Play Pachinko

Explaining how to play pachinko is simple: Visit a pachinko parlor, select the pachinko machine you want to play, get a certain number of balls, shoot them using the “handle” (round knob) on the machine, and exchange your winnings for prizes. However, lately this process has become a little more complicated due to technological advances in ancillary facilities and serving equipment. Such facilities and equipment vary from pachinko parlor to pachinko parlor. We must admit that some players often feel a little confused when playing pachinko in an unfamiliar pachinko parlor. It should be noted that a typical pachinko game proceeds as follows:

First of all, it is necessary to select the pachinko machine you want to play and then get some balls for it. Sit in front of the pachinko machine. The rectangular device located on the left of the machine is a “Ball Lending Machine.” This unit is commonly known as a “CR Unit” (card reader unit). CR Units differ in appearance and operate differently according to the manufacturer. It used to be necessary to purchase a prepaid card to use a CR Unit, but now most CR Units are designed to allow you to get balls by inserting cash directly into the unit.

Insert your money into the CR Unit. The amount of the money is displayed on the CR Unit’s LCD or it is indicted on the pachinko machine. Every time you push the lend balls button on the CR Unit or on the pachinko machine, a certain number of balls are discharged into the upper tray on the pachinko machine. The number of balls discharged per push differs according to the ball price. In the case of a pachinko machine with 4 yen per ball, which is used mainly in units of 500 yen, 125 balls are discharged per push. Every time you push the lend balls button, the remaining amount of money is displayed on the CR Unit or it is indicated on the pachinko machine. When you finish playing, don’t forget to eject your card on which the remaining amount of your money is recorded. It can be refunded using the refunding machine located inside the pachinko parlor.

You can shoot balls by turning the handle at the bottom right of the pachinko machine. If a shot ball goes into the pocket called the “Start Chucker” (start gate: rotation for main digital is started) on the pachinko board, the pachinko machine makes a random selection and the LCD device at the center of the pachinko board starts providing many different animations. If an oatari (jackpot) is hit, a large winning hole, known as an “Attacker,” is opened. However, it should be noted that the location of the Start Chucker differs according to the pachinko machine used: it is important to check it beforehand. The majority of large winning holes used to be located under the Start Chucker on conventional pachinko machines. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in the number of pachinko machines with the Attacker located on the right side of the machine. In the case of such a pachinko machine, an instruction such as “migiuchi” (right-hand Attacker) is displayed on its LCD. If this is the case, stay calm and follow the instructions to win additional balls.

How to Play Pachislo

Let’s talk about pachislo machines. First of all, you have to get tokens, in stead of balls. Unlike pachinko machines, the Token Lending Unit is located on the right of the machine. In the case of a Token Lending Unit designed to accept only thousand-yen bills, you may simply receive the number of tokens corresponding to the amount of money you insert into it. However, Token Lending Units that accept all denominations are designed to provide a certain number of tokens every time the discharge button is pushed. If the pachislo machine in use is equipped with a nozzle to automatically send tokens from the Token Lending Unit to the lower tray, you have to make sure the outlet of the nozzle is in place on the tray. If not, the tokens may fall onto the floor.

Get a certain number of tokens and insert them into the token slot on the right of the pachislo machine. Almost all pachislo machines are designed to need three tokens per game. Even if you insert more than three tokens at a time, up to 50 tokens will be “credited.” Therefore, you can insert any number of tokens you like up to 50 to play a series of games in a row. After inserting the number of tokens required the machine is ready to play. Hit the “Start Lever” to rotate the reel and start playing. Push the “Stop Button” to stop rotating the reel. If you achieve a winning combination, you will get the number of additional tokens that corresponds to the combination.

Exchanging for Prizes

If you have additional balls/tokens after you have played some games, call the parlor staff. A staff member will come over to you and count your balls or tokens using his or her counter. You will receive a receipt that records the number of balls or tokens which you can exchange for prizes. You can select your favorite items that correspond to your winnings. This is the typical process of playing pachislo. Recently developed Ball/Token Lending Units are equipped with a ball/token counting function. If such a Lending Unit is attached to the pachislo machine you are using, eject your card that records the number of balls or tokens you have. The pachinko parlor offers many “attractive” items, including daily necessities, local specialties, brand products, etc., as prizes. Some of them may be resold to a third-party shop independent of the company that runs the pachinko parlors.

Recent pachinko/pachislo games are a little complex for beginners. Thus, if you are interested in pachinko/pachislo but hesitate to visit the pachinko parlor, it is recommended to ask someone who is familiar with such games to take you to his/her favorite pachinko parlor. Some pachinko parlors employ a “Concierge” that explains to beginners how pachinko/pachislo games work in an easy-to-understand manner. If such a concierge is available, please feel free to ask him or her for a hand.