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Pachinko Parlors

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How to Win at Pachinko (Japanese Pinball)

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  • Pachinko: Japan's Pinball Betting Parlours?
  • Six OClock.
  • ISBN 13: 9780804816953;

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Image not available Photos not available for this variation. Used : An item that has been used previously. As recently as ten years ago, the majority of machines had revolving drums, but most machines now have animated screens instead. When two symbols on the drum or screen match, a player has a chance of winning: called a 'reach'.

The goal is to match three symbols. When this happens, thousands of steel balls come tumbling out into a well at the base of the machine.


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  6. The player then empties the well into a plastic box on the ledge beneath. The boxes are just big enough to hold the number usually 4, of balls that emit from one win. During wins the lamp at the top of the machine starts flashing, and the 'song' of the machine changes, as does the screen in the middle.

    How to play Pachinko(Japanese casino gambling) パチンコのやり方・はじめ方

    For example, if the symbols on the drum are sexy animated women, the main character may start to remove her clothes. The recent trend, however, is away from sexy and toward cute.

    Shop with confidence

    Adorable dinosaurs, little baseball players, and saucer-eyed jungle adventurers are becoming more common than alluring women - perhaps because women make up a much larger percentage of pachinko customers than in decades past. Horse, bicycle and boat racing, pachinko's more 'legitimate' cousins in the Japanese gambling family, are government-operated, but pachinko is only government-tolerated. It has long been considered a dirty business, and so run by those on the edge of society. For this reason, Korean ownership of pachinko parlors is common.

    Some Japan observers claim that pachinko profits are often funneled into the coffers of the North Korean government, and perhaps this is so, but a more pressing question might be just why it is that this niche in Japanese society continues to be filled by Koreans. Police often check pachinko machines to make sure that customers are not being cheated. They are also interested in ensuring that shop owners do not cheat on their taxes by under-reporting the amount of money taken in each day.

    One way the police do this is to demand that shops do away with machines that accept cash directly. In the early 90s, machines that take a pre-paid card instead of cash became the norm. Called 'CR' machines, they usually have animated screens instead of physical drums, and are much more of a high-risk high-return proposition than the older type. A player who hits the jackpot on a CR machine can earn as much as , yen in a single day. On the other hand, 10, yen will disappear in about forty minutes of non-winning play on a typical CR machine. Still, there are 'pachinko pros,' people who make their living playing the game.

    They usually do this by attending the grand opening of new shops, or by going to older shops whenever a new type of machine is put in. Recent media reports have it that, in order not to create an image of a nation of gambling addicts in the minds of foreign observers, pachinko parlor owners heeded government requests to refrain from installing new machines during the World Cup year. Even so, pachinko attendance is not likely to have fallen much; it is simply far too popular a game. Since pachinko is not government-operated, customer service varies greatly from one parlor to another.

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    Some pass out candy to customers, keep everything clean, and instruct attendants to be polite and helpful to customers. Some shops have ledges overhead filled with the empty plastic boxes one uses to hold balls in. In most places once a box is filled an attendant will come round, give the player a new box, and place the full one on the floor.

    This is very important, because a full box often needs to be placed on the floor while a player is still in the middle of a winning period and cannot let go of the knob. Fast players can let go of the knob, pick up the box, swivel around and place it on the floor perhaps balancing it on several other already full boxes , turn back round, grab the knob and begin shooting - all in one fluid motion and without causing the winning streak to end prematurely known as a punku , from the Japanese transliteration of ' punc ture'.

    But one has to play for a while in order to get that good; so in the beginning it is best to go to a shop whose attendants come round quickly and with a smile on their face. Generally speaking, if foreigners are playing it will be assumed that they do not know what they are doing anyway, and so the attendants will keep a careful eye on them and be ready with an empty box if the need should arise.