Pachinko Casino Online - Japan's Favorite Game Hits the Web!

Vienne-GarciaVienne Garcia
5 min read

Pachinko Facts

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Pachinko is one of the most famous arcade games out of Japan. Bright, colorful and happily noisy, pachinko parlors are such a huge Japanese icon that they are bound to be in the picture every time there is a scene set in Tokyo.

You might have seen it in the background of movies, like Lost in Translation and Wolverine. The Enter the Matrix video game features a pachinko machine with footage from the Trilogy itself. And now you can play Pachinko online.

Originally, pachinko is like a vertical pinball machine, except you have a ton of steel balls rolling down a maze of nails. You let the balls roll down and hope that they land in the right boxes at the bottom, which can include bonuses with more balls. The player can then exchange the wins for different prizes at the pachinko parlor.

Now, you won’t quite get the bustling excitement of the pachinko parlors online, nor would you get the thrill of pulling the lever to launch the balls down the machine, but gaming studios have been developing slots with pachinko as a side game, and there’s even pachinko bingo. Unlike the one at the Japanese parlors though, you can win real money with these games.

The closest to the real thing though is probably Plinko, a crypto game that pays out in digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Play Pachinko Online – the Best Pachinko Casinos

Pachinko at online casinos is a specific game from Neko Gaming in partnership with Microgaming. It plays more like a bingo game and it’s easy to get started. You can play Pachinko for free at these sites and see how you like it before opting to play for real money.

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How to Play the Original Pachinko

pachinko original slot

This is how the original pinball machine Pachinko looks like.

The original Pachinko is like a mix between a vertical pinball machine and a slot machine. However, it differs significantly from the pinball game we know in the West. To begin with, there are no flippers to save the ball from dropping. Then, instead of just one ball, there are several hundreds of tiny metal balls, which usually have a diameter of just 11mm.

To play, you drop the balls from above, or depending on which variant of the machine you’re playing on, you might launch the balls with the lever. The balls then move down a maze of pins, and your goal is for as many balls to land into the catcher at the bottom, which is basically a hole. The balls that land in the catcher can be exchanged for prizes.

The pattern of the pins can vary, and since the ‘60s, there have been so called “tulip catchers” which have mechanical flippers that open and close. These tulip catchers can change the path of the balls or capture them for you, depending on your skills and luck. Some catchers can give you more balls, which is the equivalent of getting a bonus. More modern machines have added a variety of electronic features with video slot elements, and there are all now pachinko machines with all sorts of different themes. Whether you’re playing on an old school pachinko machine or the newer electrified version, the balls that land in a catcher are your winnings.

info iconThere are even newer versions of the game called Pachislots, which have become hugely popular. These look just like regular 3 reel fruit machines. The difference is that instead of pressing a button to spin the reels, you have to press a button to stop the spinning reels at the right time. The delay between pressing the button and the reels stopping is usually less than 0.19 of a second. A high degree of skill would definitely be to your advantage!

While there are no regulations in Japan governing online casinos, gambling – with the exception of sports betting – at land-based establishments has traditionally been illegal in Japan. That’ss why the pachinko balls are exchanged for prizes at the parlors rather than for cash.

Pachinko-hallePachinko parlor at Akihabara.MoreLess

Play Pachislots Online

Although it’s not quite the same as sitting in front of a machine inside a busy gaming hall in Tokyo, you can easily play pachislots at online casinos. The most well-known and popular online pachislot is Pachin Girl from EvoPlay.

If you’ve ever played slots, you will find Pachin Girl easy to get into. Even if you’ve never played slots before, it’s easy to get started.

pachin-girl-1Pachin Girl from EvoPlayMoreLess

Play Pachin Girl at Woo Casino

Basically, when you press the Start button, it launches some balls that fall down a maze, just like in a pachinko machine. Balls that get caught by the pigs on the bottom of the screen are then shot into the bosom of the rather cute Pachin Girl. Each ball that Pachin Girl gets will spin the 3 reels in the center of the screen. And just like with regular slot games, there is a Wild and a Scatter symbol to help you form a winning payline or trigger a bonus round.

Online casinos like 7Bit and Woo have seen a fan base growing around the Pachin Girl slot. So while Pachin Girl is still the only pachislot available at online casinos, we’re expecting more developers will start making pachislots to bank in on this new game format!

The History of Pachinko

The history behind this iconic Japanese game starts in 1920s. Pachinko was originally a children’s game called “Corinth”, which is named after the American game Corinthian Bagatelle, in which the goal was to get a ball past a set of wooden pegs. Japanese billiards, where players have to roll a ball up a piece of wood and try to get them into the highest value holes, were also a source of inspiration. By the 1930s, the game had been widely adopted by adults in Nagoya and pachinko parlors started to emerge.

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Traditionally, pachinko was a purely mechanical game with bells built into the machine. Matched with the maze of nails, it does get pretty noisy, especially when you have hundreds of these machines lined up one after another in the pachinko parlors!

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Pachinko in Japan

One of the reasons why pachinko parlors became such a mainstay in Japan was that gambling used to be illegal there, with the exception of sports betting. Instead of paying out in cash, pachinko balls were exchanged for prizes, which could range from candy, to cigarettes to bigger ticket items, such as a bike. Most players will opt to take the prize and then exchange them for cash at a nearby establishment instead. It was a handy workaround the regulations!

casinoAlthough gambling with real money has traditionally been illegal in Japan, there has been a liberalization in the laws and Osaka City will be partnering up with MGM Resorts International to open a casino soon.

Online Pachinko from Neko Gaming

There is also a game called Pachinko developed by Neko Gaming that can be found at online casinos. However, it plays very differently and is more akin to an instant bingo game with 90 balls and an Asian theme. It bears little semblance to pachinko or pachislots. Neko Gaming is a subsidiary of Microgaming, and you can easily find this game at Microgaming casinos.

pachinko logoNeko actually means cat in Japanese, and their Pachinko game features the famous Maneki-Neko, the Japanese cat that is supposed to bring good fortune.

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Neko Gaming’s Pachinko is pretty straightforward. Set your bet size, press Start, and some bingo balls will roll down. If you can fill the bingo cards with the specified patterns shown at the top of the screen, you win. Of course, that’s not it and there are also some special features too.

Jackpot

pachinko jackpotBeing more of a bingo game rather than actual pachinko, it means there’s a jackpot in this Neko Gaming production. And this Pachinko jackpot is worth a rather impressive 5,000x your bet size.

Bonus Game

The Pachinko bonus game is triggered when you fill in an outline pattern. The bonus round contains 5 levels. At each level, there are different Maneki Neko figurines to choose from, each containing multipliers. The multipliers increase with each level, up to a maximum of 550x. As long as the figurine you choose has a multiplier, you can progress to the next level – if not, you will exit and go back to the base game.

Free Balls

You will also get free balls, which don’t cost you a penny. It’s sort of like free spins and it gives you extra chances at winning.

Wild Ball

pachinko wildballThis is a golden ball and acts like a joker or Wild symbol in a regular slot game. That means it can substitute for any number to help you make a winning pattern. The golden ball appears randomly during the extra balls phase.

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Pachinko FAQ

  1. Pachinko vs. Plinko: Is Plinko like the Pachinko in Japan?
  2. Where can I buy a Pachinko machine?
  3. Where can I play Pachinko for free?
  4. How much can I win playing Pachinko online?

1.) Pachinko vs. Plinko: Is Plinko like the Pachinko in Japan?

The closest game you can get to the “real deal” that you find in pachinko parlors in Japan is Plinko. The format of the game is the mostly the same, with balls falling down a maze of pins. The main difference is that every slot that the ball falls into comes with a multiplier, and you get paid out in real money. Plinko is only available at crypto casinos like Stake, so get your digital cash ready.

plinko-oshiPlinko at Oshi Casino.MoreLess

Otherwise, the Pachinko from Neko Gaming is really more similar to a bingo game than anything else. The pachislot Pachin Girl is closer to a slot although it is clearly inspired by the new pachinko machines in the land of the rising sun.

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2.) Where can I buy a Pachinko machine?

If you look around online, there is always the odd machine up for sale. It’s a heavy machine though, so be ready for the shipping costs. Of course, you would also have to figure out the prizes for yourself, which probably makes it less fun. The easiest way to enjoy the arcade game is to play it online.

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3.) Where can I play Pachinko for free?

free iconYou can play Pachinko for free at the online casinos listed on this page. Whether it’s Plinko, Pachin Girl or the Pachinko bingo you’re looking for, the free play is obviously in demo mode. If you want to win real cash, then you would have to put down a real money bet.

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4.) How much can I win playing Pachinko online?

As there are different Pachinko inspired games at online casinos, the answer to this question depends on which game you are playing. Pachinko by Neko Gaming has a jackpot prize of 5,000x your bet size which means you could in theory pocket $50,000. Meanwhile, Pachin Girl has a top prize of $25,920. Plinko, like other crypto games famous for their high payouts, could potentially make you $2.5 million richer.

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Author: Vienne Garcia
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Article reviewed: Pachinko
Author Rating: 91%