Pachinko Machine Balls

Pachinko Machine Balls. All you need to know

Yesterday we talked about Pachinko Machines for sale and how you could acquire one. In this article we will take a closer look at the balls used in the game. Pachinko balls are an essential part of the pachinko machine. Made of steel, the sound they make is unmistakable. The balls are used in any pachinko machine in all parlors across Japan. They actually do all the hard work, with the player only pulling a lever to get them rolling.

The pachinko machine is a vertical pinball-like type of game that also resembles slots. It uses small steel balls that are rented to the machine by the owner (parlor). The size of these balls is 11 mm. in diameter, which is pretty different than the metal balls used in pinball machines. Unlike the pinball balls which are part of the gameplay, pachinko balls are also the bet and prize.

What Do the Balls Do?

To play the game of pachinko, a player loads one or more balls into the machine. They then pull a spring-loaded handle similar to pinball which hammers the steel balls across the machine. They go through a metal track which guides the balls to the edge of the playing field. Once the balls lose momentum, they fall back. Some pachinko machines allow the ball to travel across the whole field, others have a bumper that bounces the balls when they reach the top.

The field itself is populated by brass pins and cups which are the machine’s objective. A player hopes that the ball will fall into each. Once they start flying, the balls bounce from one pin to another which help it travel across the field If the ball enters a catcher, it triggers a payout. In this case, you get loads of new balls into a tray in front of the pachinko machine that can later be exchanged for cash at another location.

Some vintage pachinko machines have the so-called “tulip” catchers that open and expand the size of the catcher. This is controlled by the machine and happens randomly. Expert pachinko players can launch the ball with some impulse and great timing in order to reach the tulip catcher open, which triggers bigger payouts.

The goal of the pachinko machine is to collect as many balls as possible. The more you have, the bigger the rewards. In the early days of pachinko, the machines were purely mechanical. They were later modernized to include electronics, bringing them a step closer to modern slot machines.

Where Can I Buy the Steel Balls?

You can’t buy pachinko balls in a parlor – they’re rented by the owner. You simply pay for a tray of these balls which are then used to play the game and win rewards. If you’re a collector and you want original steel balls for your vintage pachinko machine, you can buy them online with ease.

Most pachinko machines hold over 1,000 pachinko balls. There are some that can hold less (around 500), but it’s better to have a bigger capacity machine because you’ll be burning through your balls pretty quickly.

The cost depends on the balls themselves. Original steel pachinko balls are around $50 or so, but if you want engraved or gold pachinko balls, they are going to set you back much more.

golden pachinko balls
golden pachinko balls are much more expensive