[Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

How to play pachinko?

A Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Foreign Beginners

When you visit Japan, one thing that might catch your attention is Pachinko.

You might have seen it near train stations, large outlets in the suburbs, or even in anime and dramas.

But how do you play it?
Is it even allowed for foreigners to enter?
It’s a mysterious place that you might not visit because you don’t know much about it.

To answer your questions, yes, foreigners who are visiting Japan can enter a Pachinko parlor and play.

All you need is “CASH in Japanese Yen”, and you don’t need a passport.

Of course, you won’t be breaking any laws, and you can play under the same restrictions as Japanese people.

But remember, “You must be over 18 years old to enter!”

One of the great things about Pachinko is that it is not only found in urban areas, but is present throughout Japan, so you can play wherever you are.

On this site, I, a Pachinko master from Japan, will guide you through the mysterious culture of Pachinko and how to play it.

Please feel free to immerse yourself in this Japanese culture during your trip and enjoy it.

  1. Simple Flow of Pachinko Play
  2. What kind of plans are there?
  3. Basic knowledge
    1. Budget? Can I use a credit card?
    2. How much time is needed?
    3. About the rate
    4. Types of Pachinko Machines
      1. A-1, Middle High (1/319)
      2. A-2, Middle (1/199)
      3. A-3, Low (Ama-deji) (1/99)
      4. A-4, Hane-mono
      5. A-5, Smart Pachinko (1/349)
    5. About the standard machine
      1. 海物語 Umi-Mono-gatari (Sea Story) Series
      2. エヴァンゲリオン EVANGELION Series
      3. 北斗の拳 Hokuto-no-ken Series (Fist of the North Star)
      4. ガンダム Gundam Series
  4. How to play Pachinko?
  5. 1, Find a Pachinko parlor
      1. 1-0, Business Hours
      2. 1-1, Difference in store type (large, medium, small)
      3. 1-2, Difference in store location
      4. 1-3, Specific Days
  6. 2, Entering the Store
    1. 2-1, Checking for Pachinko machine Locations on the Floor Map
  7. 3, Choosing a Machine
    1. 3-1, How to Read the Data Counter
    2. 3-2, Is the Machine Available or Reserved?
  8. 4, Sitting at the Machine and Preparing to Play
    1. 4-1, Where to Insert Money
    2. 4-2, Inserting Money and Borrowing Balls
  9. 5, Starting the Game
    1. Feather Types
  10. 6, Detailed playing guide
    1. What should I be looking at?
    2. More than four balls are a waste!
    3. The screen is too sparkly to understand!
    4. What is a Jackpot?
    5. What to do after hitting a Jackpot?
    6. The machine says, “The bottom plate is full. Please remove the balls.”
    7. Are there different types of Jackpots?
    8. What to do after the Jackpot ends?
  11. 7, It was fun. How to finish?
    1. What to do with the receipt?
      1. The Three-Shop System?
    2. Where are the special prize buyback dealers located?
  12. You’ve now mastered everything about playing Pachinko.
    1. Translate with Google Lens
    2. Local Rules
    3. Want to play first thing in the morning!? (For intermediate players!)
  13. Want to win?
  14. Want to have more fun? There’s also Pachislot!
  15. Japanese Tradition and Entertainment: The Pachinko Experience
  16. Finally, Why Pachinko?
  17. The Charm of Pachinko
  18. Points to Note for the Pachinko Experience
    1. Experience Pachinko: Unique Japanese Nightlife
  19. Conclusion on the Pachinko Experience
  20. I have some questions!

Simple Flow of Pachinko Play

thumb beginner 2 300x225 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

pachinko beginner

  • Enter the Pachinko parlor
  • Sit at a machine and play Pachinko
  • Hit the jackpot
  • Receive your prize and go home

That’s all there is to it.

But I understand that there are many things that you might not understand about each step.

So, let’s take a look at each step in detail.

What kind of plans are there?

plans 150x150 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Depending on your budget, whether you want to play or compete, various plans can be prepared according to your mood.

  • Very Light Plan: 1 hour, 1,000 yen (Experience pachinko with 1 yen pachinko and Ama-digital)
  • Light Plan: 3 hours, 10,000 yen (Play firmly with 1 yen pachinko and middle, middle high)
  • Middle Plan: 3 hours, 30,000 yen (Lightly compete with 4 yen pachinko)
  • Heavy Plan: 5 hours, 50,000 yen (Compete with 4 yen pachinko middle, middle high)
  • Very Heavy Plan: 10 hours, 100,000 yen (Compete with 4 yen pachinko, middle high, smart pachinko)

I will explain each one from now on.

Basic knowledge

Budget? Can I use a credit card?

  • Very Light Plan: 1,000 yen
  • Light Plan: 30,000 yen
  • Heavy Plan: 100,000 yen

The budget is about 20,000 to 30,000 yen per day, and you can play with up to 100,000 yen.

Of course, sometimes you’re lucky and you only need 1,000 yen because you hit the jackpot right away.

Also, you can only use cash bills (1,000 yen, 5,000 yen, 10,000 yen), and you cannot use coins.

93e8e 1591 bd9e8ec8 1cc72ed7 300x200 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Of course, you cannot use credit cards or electronic money.

This is because it is decided like this in the entire Pachinko industry, and there is no difference between stores and regions.

It’s a very closed and classical world in this era, isn’t it?
Even Japanese people think so (lol).

How much time is needed?

Pachinko, which is rather a time killer and has a strong element of games, is not made to produce results immediately.

If you want to play small, at least 1 hour, if you want to play moderately, it would be good to have 5 hours.

(I, who am heavy, am in the Pachinko parlor from opening to closing for 12 hours. Lol)

If you have a little time, it is a good choice to choose a low-risk machine, sweet digital, and if you want to play for a long time, choose a high-risk machine.

Conversely, if you have 1 hour free, it is a shop that you can put in, and that is also a pachinko parlor.

About the rate

Pachinko rates 300x190 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

You can play with your favorite budget not only on the table but also on the bet.

The main of the shop is 1 ball 4 yen.

You can borrow one silver ball for 4 yen, and you play by increasing or decreasing that ball.

Depending on the Pachinko parlor, there are also rates such as 1 yen, 2 yen, 0.5 yen, etc.

It’s an image of playing by combining the low to high of the table and the low to high of the rate as you like.

“I want to play but I don’t want to compete”, such as playing with 1 yen pachinko, etc.

It would be good to play at a rate that is convenient for you.

Types of Pachinko Machines

There are two main types of pachinko machines.

The first is called “Digipachi” (major), which determines the jackpot by a digital lottery.

The second is called “Hane-mono” (classic and minor), which is an analog pachinko machine that was common in the past but has become less common today.

Furthermore, Digipachi allows you to choose your risk-return preference, with three main probabilities of hitting the jackpot:

  • A-1, Middle High (1/319)
  • A-2, Middle (1/199)
  • A-3, Low (Ama-deji) (1/99)

All A-1, 2, 3 have the same structure, but the lower the probability of hitting the jackpot, the more balls you get (high risk, high return).

If the balls are not many, but hit in detail, stress is less likely to accumulate (low risk, low return).

I hope you can choose the risk-return according to your mood and wallet.

A-1, Middle High (1/319)

This is the basic model.

Because it draws a jackpot at 1/319, it doesn’t hit easily, but when it hits, you can get a lot of balls.

A-2, Middle (1/199)

It’s relatively easy to hit, but the balls are also moderate.

Please think of it as a risk-return in the middle of Middle High.

A-3, Low (Ama-deji) (1/99)

o0600080015284484705 225x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Ama-deji(甘デジ)

This one hits you little by little.

But the balls are also small, low risk, low return.

A few months after the Middle High model came out, it is often released as a low version, and it is also suitable for those who want to see the performance of their favorite model.

If the probability is different for the same model, the performance itself is the same.

A-4, Hane-mono

hanemono 192x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

羽モノ hane-mono

The pachinko of the past era (about 50 years ago) when there was no digital lottery was mainly machines called Hane-mono.

old hanemono 300x256 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

old-hane-mono

This was a machine with a structure in the center of the table, where you put the ball, and if you put it in the jackpot hole, you could get the ball.

Because you have to control the force of hitting the ball more finely, you also need a technique.

It’s very analog, but that’s why it was fun to follow the movement of the balls, and there was a point where you could be delighted the moment you entered the hole.

Even now, there are not many types of tables that follow that classical element, but they exist.

In addition, there are also machines that are hybrid with Digipachi, and when you enter the structure, it is drawn digitally.

There are also models that used the 3-stage Clune that appeared in the manga “Kaiji”.

A-5, Smart Pachinko (1/349)

This is a model called Smart Pachinko that was recently created.

Customers can no longer touch the balls directly.

It’s hard to cheat, and maintenance costs are also low.

They want to spread it in the future, and it is now expected to be the highest risk and return.

By the way, all the specifications of Pachinko Pachislot are decided by discussions between the lower organization of the Japanese police and a private group, and only machines that follow all those specifications can be circulated.

About the standard machine

“What kind of pachinko machine should I touch first?”

The machines are replaced frequently, and popular models are used for a long time, but if they are not popular, they may be removed in a month.

Therefore, it is a little difficult to introduce each model one by one.

However, there are also models called standards, and although they appear and disappear in detail by changing the version, the basic mechanism is the same, and they are familiar to many users.

There are also ones that use original characters and popular anime and manga, and they are very diverse.

The standard in Pachinko is the “Umi Monogatari” (Sea Story) series, Evangelion series, Fist of the North Star series, Gundam series, etc., and these are machines that are introduced in almost all Pachinko parlors.

海物語 Umi-Mono-gatari (Sea Story) Series

This series has become a staple of modern pachinko.

Various characters inspired by the sea add to the pachinko experience.

The risk-return balance is about average, making it a series that can be enjoyed by beginners, advanced players, and even grandparents for a long time.

エヴァンゲリオン EVANGELION Series

It protrudes from the chassis!

This series has attracted attention for its visual impact, but it is a series that has been supported for its fun.

Although it is a famous anime work, when it was arranged for pachinko, its unique worldview and risk-return were accepted by users, and it is now more popular than the Sea Story.

This series is recommended for its engaging and easy-to-understand performances that can be enjoyed even by users who do not know the anime.

北斗の拳 Hokuto-no-ken Series (Fist of the North Star)

One of Japan’s popular manga, in pachinko, its end-of-the-week worldview and high-risk, high-return match, making it a long-hit series.

It’s just training until you hit the jackpot, but when you do, the explosive power is tremendous.

This series is recommended for those with a sense of adventure with such an image.

ガンダム Gundam Series

Popular robot anime works are also a long-hit series with a high-risk, high-return and worldview match.

This series is especially recommended for those who want to enjoy flashy performances.

How to play Pachinko?

Now, let’s take a detailed step-by-step look at how to play Pachinko.

1, Find a Pachinko parlor

p world exa 223x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

p-world-example

First, let’s find a Pachinko parlor.

Let me tell you in advance, there are some minor differences, but there are no terribly fraudulent Pachinko parlors.

Type “Pachinko” into Google Maps or something similar.

If you want to input in Japanese, please use this link.

Choose your favorite Pachinko parlor from the ones that come up.

Most Pachinko parlors have a link to their HP, and in many cases, the domain is the same.

There are many cases where the prehistoric website called p-world is the majority, so let’s open that link too.

It’s full of Japanese based on images.

Automatic translation is not available, and it’s very difficult for foreigners.

So, I’ll explain what’s written.

1-0, Business Hours

While the business hours are roughly the same throughout Japan, there are regional differences.

The basic business hours for pachinko parlors are often from 10:00 to 23:00 (game ends at 22:45).

Some small shops may be open until 22:50, but due to police guidance, customers must leave the store by 23:00, hence these business hours.

However, there are regional differences.

I don’t have a grasp of all the prefectures, but for example:

  • In Fukui Prefecture: from 9:00 to 23:00
  • In Mie Prefecture: from 9:00 to 24:00

It seems that there may

be about an hour difference.

Please check when you go to play.

1-1, Difference in store type (large, medium, small)

The size of the Pachinko parlor’s corporation determines the difference between large stores and small and medium-sized stores.

Basically, large stores are more manualized and the service is a little organized, but the Pachinko machine itself is the same, so it’s not that the service of small and medium-sized corporations is bad, it’s your preference.

Personally, I like small and medium-sized stores where the quirks of the store are easy to read, but this is only relevant to people who go there on a daily basis.

1-2, Difference in store location

Actually, there are also two types of locations.

One is a station-front store, and the other is a suburban type store.

The characteristics are as follows:

Station-front store: There are many small stores, and many of the customers are light users who play lightly on their way home from work.

The store can attract customers without returning to the customer, so there are often many spicy machines.

Not all of them, but there are often stores that are hard to win.

But it’s convenient to go in from the station.

Suburban type store: These stores are located in places that require a car to visit, and they are often medium to large in size.

Recently, there has been a rise in super-sized stores with over 1000 machines, accessible by station shuttle buses.

Due to their less convenient access, these stores need to offer consistent rewards to attract customers, making them seem more player-friendly than those in front of stations.

However, they also have many seasoned rivals, and it’s rare to casually find a good machine available.

There are many who cling to a good machine from opening to closing.

More on this competitive aspect later.

1-3, Specific Days

p world specific days 223x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

example for specific days.

Though it’s an unspoken rule, many stores and their chains have specific days for events.

For example, the industry-leading Maruhan Group holds events on days with a 7 (7th, 17th, 27th), setting up machines that are relatively easier to win on.

No. 3 in the industry, and in the case of the Kikona Group, on a day that falls on a 3.

On these days, queues form from the morning, and targeting such days could be a strategy.

But as veterans say, “Don’t get your hopes up too high.”

2, Entering the Store

Let’s step inside the store.

Upon opening the door, you’re greeted with the noise and the world of Pachinko.

You might pass by some stern-faced people, which can be a bit disconcerting.

But rest assured, this is Japan, and you won’t be attacked.

2-1, Checking for Pachinko machine Locations on the Floor Map

In medium to large stores, you’ll often find a map-like display near the entrance.

However, it’s all in Japanese, which might be confusing.

Even if you use Google Lens to translate, I’ll explain what’s written.

3, Choosing a Machine

It can be overwhelming, can’t it?
Let’s find a machine to sit at.

But with rows of the same model, it’s hard to choose, isn’t it?
You can go by feeling, but if you look above the Pachinko machines, you’ll see some numbers.

This is called a data counter.

3-1, How to Read the Data Counter

3-2, Is the Machine Available or Reserved?

saucer 300x235 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Reserved lower plate condition

Is there a bottle, cigarette, mobile phone, or a card saying “Taking a break” left on the machine?
If so, it’s likely that someone else is playing, and to avoid trouble, it’s best not to use it.

If they don’t return after a while, the staff will clear it and make it available.

4, Sitting at the Machine and Preparing to Play

Now, let’s get some balls.
Have you prepared your cash?
How does this turn into balls?

4-1, Where to Insert Money

insert money 300x200 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Where to insert your cash bills

First, sit down and look at the lower right and left side of the pachinko table.
There will be a place like the one in the image.

This slot is located right next to the machine.
(It’s not specific which side is left or right.)
I personally find that it is often on the right side.
(The image shows the slot on the left side.)
Let’s insert your bills here.

4-2, Inserting Money and Borrowing Balls

ball loan 300x225 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

borrow a ball

Let us now return to the pachinko table.
Look at the lower right side of the table.
The decoration and layout may vary slightly from platform to platform, but you can see the buttons as shown in the image.

Then, numbers like 10 or 100 will appear on the Pachinko machine.
These represent the value of 1000 yen as 10, similar to dollar conversion.

Next to it, there are buttons labeled “球貸 Tama-kashi (Ball Loan)” and “返却 Hen-kyaku (Return)”.
Pressing “球貸 (Ball Loan)” dispenses balls in increments of 500 yen.

Pressing “返却 (Return)” issues an IC card with the remaining amount, which comes out from the right.

Always carry the IC card with you when you leave your seat.

Now, please press “球貸 Tama-kashi (Ball Loan)” button to borrow balls.

5, Starting the Game

Finally, you can play.
You’ll see silver Pachinko balls in the lower tray.

Let’s launch them and aim for the winning slots!

  • How to Play?
    5ddce748 d3e4 46aa ba4e 7743ac1f06b5 300x225 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

    pachinko handle

    There’s a handle on the right side of the machine.
    Grip it and turn it to the right.
    This will launch the Pachinko balls inside the machine.
    Turning it fully to the right launches the balls forcefully, while a light turn results in a weaker launch.

  • Where to Aim?
    aim pachinko 300x169 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

    where to aim pachinko

    It’s hard to get the balls in just by touching randomly.
    You need to aim at an efficient spot.
    While not all machines are the same, there’s generally a target area.
    The design is such that aiming in a similar spot works for most models.
    There are slight differences depending on the model, so I’ll explain.

Now, grasp the handle, turn it to the right, and adjust the handle to aim at the “Middle” location.

Feather Types

aim hanemono 188x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

aim_hanemono

Hane-mono (Feather Types) is composed of 4 stages:

  1. Basically, you keep aiming for the white circle in the upper left.
  2. Then, the ball goes down and enters one of the three start checkers below.
  3. Then, the wings in the center of the table open, and you put more balls in there.
  4. The ball runs around the central structure and hits the jackpot.

During step 4, no additional lottery is accepted.

If you are releasing balls during this time, you will only lose, so let go of the handle or press the button that can be pressed with your thumb to stop the release of the balls.

This is one of the tips for playing Hane-mono.
Hane-Mono is more manipulative than the regular digital pachinko, requiring fine-tuning of the ball strike.

6, Detailed playing guide

What should I be looking at?

p06 300x285 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Place to insert the ball

When a ball enters a hole, the number in the center rotates.
If these numbers align to be the same, it’s a hit.

However, that alone would be bland, so various effects are prepared.

After two numbers align, it typically progresses from reach to super reach, and then to a big hit.

Winning from a reach is not very likely, but if it becomes a super reach, you can expect a big hit depending on the content of that reach.

More than four balls are a waste!

horyu 300x225 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

reserve balls of pachinko

When a ball enters the winning pocket, it is drawn once, but sometimes they enter consecutively.
Then, as a waiting draw, it is displayed on the screen (called a reserve).

There is a maximum of four reserves, and anything beyond that is ignored.

So, if you accumulate four reserves, either take your hand off the handle or press the button with your thumb on the handle to stop the launch of the balls.
If you don’t, you’ll end up losing money.

The screen is too sparkly to understand!

colors of pachinko 300x96 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

colors of pachinko

That’s right.
It’s hard to understand.

However, there is a common rule that naturally forms, and focusing only on that seems to be enough for any model.

That is ‘color’.

In pachinko, there is a mysterious rule that expresses expectations with color:

white < blue < yellow < green < purple < red < gold < rainbow

The expectation is represented like this.
If red, gold, or rainbow is displayed in characters, background, or effects, you can expect a high possibility of a big hit!

What is a Jackpot?

jackpot of pachinko - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

jackpot of pachinko

When a ball enters the central start hole, a lottery is conducted inside the machine.
The lottery is always at a fixed probability, and if it’s a 1/319 machine, it will be drawn at 1/319 every time.

Imagine drawing a lot from a box, putting the losing lot back in the box, and drawing again.
When you successfully draw the winning lot, the same numbers line up on the screen, and that’s called a jackpot.

What to do after hitting a Jackpot?

A super reach or rainbow effect, an incredible fanfare rings out, and the numbers align.
You probably have no idea what’s happening! But congratulations, that’s a jackpot! An arrow appears indicating “右打ち Right Hit,” and you are prompted to turn the handle fully to the right, maximizing your hitting power, and

aim for the right jackpot winning slot (attacker).

If you don’t do this quickly, the jackpot will be as if it never happened.
It’s the most crucial time.
Each time a ball enters the attacker, about 15 balls are paid out.
If you continue this, you can get up to 1500 balls = jackpot.

The machine says, “The bottom plate is full. Please remove the balls.”

2019102019025501c 225x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Please remove the ball.

「下皿が一杯です。球を抜いて下さい。」
“Shitazara ga ippai desu. Tama wo nuite kudasai.”
“The lower tray is full. Please remove the ball.”

After hitting the jackpot, a lot of balls come out from the second.
Then the lower tray will soon become full and no more balls will come out of the table (temporarily)!

To remedy this, pull the lever on the lower tray and transfer them to a box or something.

  • Until a few years ago, every time you hit the jackpot, you had to call the clerk to change the box.
  • Recently, more and more machines are automatically counting the balls.
    kakudaikeisuuki1 300x224 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

    Balls of pachinko flow here and are counted.

If you don’t know what to do, don’t be in a hurry to call the clerk and ask what to do.

Are there different types of Jackpots?

Jackpot types 300x196 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Jackpot types of pachinko

There are actually two types.
There’s the normal jackpot (which ends after one time) and ST (Special Time).
Also, although it has decreased recently, there are cases where it’s called a probability change (“Kaku-hen (Kakuritsu Hendou)”) instead of ST.

The normal jackpot is close to a consolation prize, and the true jackpot is ST or “Kaku-hen (Kakuritsu Hendou)”.
When you win ST or “Kaku-hen (Kakuritsu Hendou)”, you enter a state where jackpots continue consecutively.

ST is a state where if you draw a 1/66 jackpot within 100 times, you continue to win consecutively.

“Kaku-hen (Kakuritsu Hendou)” means the next jackpot is 100%.

When you hit the next jackpot, it’s drawn whether the “Kaku-hen (Kakuritsu Hendou)” continues or it becomes a normal jackpot.

To make matters more complicated, each machine has different names for ST.

“Special Bonus!” or “Shin IMPACT RUSH” or “Hokuto Bonus” etc, it’s all arbitrary.

It’s confusing!!! Let’s explain it simply.

ST is a super jackpot.
In addition, there is a Normal jackpot.
Normal jackpot ends after one time.
If you enter ST, you continue to win consecutively.

What to do after the Jackpot ends?

It’s back to the beginning.
You are told to return to “Left Hit,” and an arrow appears to the left, so loosen the handle and aim for the jackpot from the beginning.

7, It was fun. How to finish?

Play finished! What should I do?


  1. If you still have a balance, let’s settle it.
    There’s a counter in the center of the store, and a settlement machine is placed nearby.
    Insert your IC card into it, and your remaining money will be returned.
  2. pachinko loser 300x169 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

    Who lost at pachinko


    If you have no balls left, that’s the end.
    Make a bitter face, head for the store’s exit, and go home.

  3. If you’ve hit a jackpot and have balls left.
    The staff will count how many balls you’ve won.
    You can do it yourself, but if you don’t understand, it’s better to have the staff come to your seat.
    There’s a call button above.
    Press it, and the screen display should switch to “Calling.”
    Stay in your seat, and the staff will come to you.
    You can say “Finish,” or convey in Japanese that you want to stop, such as “End,” “Finish.”

What to do with the receipt?

p13 300x285 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Exchange for prizes

Take it to the counter in the center of the store.
You can exchange it for prizes according to the number of balls.
Prizes are lined up in front of the counter, marked with “1000 balls,” etc.
Tell the staff you want to exchange for that.
No prizes you want?
In that case, you can also cash it in.

The Three-Shop System?

three shop system 288x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

three shop system of pachinko. The Dark Side of Japan

Now, let me guide you through the darkness of Japan.

In Japan, public gambling is permitted, but private gambling is illegal.
All pachinko parlors are private enterprises, not public enterprises.
Therefore, the act of a pachinko parlor directly cashing in prizes for money is gambling and is prohibited.
Yes, a pachinko parlor is merely a game center (amusement arcade), not a gambling hall.

So how do you legally cash in balls?
Here, the Japanese have devised a method called the three-shop system.

First, the pachinko parlor exchanges balls for special prizes.
These themselves have little value, and you’d be troubled to receive them.
Then, mysteriously, right next to the pachinko parlor (sometimes within the same building), there’s a second

-hand buyer who only buys these special prizes.
Take it there, and they’ll buy it at a predetermined price, and you’ll have cash in hand.

(You) Balls => (Pachinko Parlor) Special Prize => (Buyer) Cash.

By making a triangular system, it appears as if the pachinko parlor is not directly handing cash to the customers.
It’s a typically Japanese, ridiculous system.
The Japanese are appalled, but this is the reality behind the facade.
Now, let’s touch upon this aspect of Japanese culture.

Where are the special prize buyback dealers located?

When you hand over your receipt to the counter staff, you can exchange it for a special prize.
But where should you take it?

Naturally, even Japanese people don’t know when they visit a store for the first time.
So, show the prize to the staff and ask where to go.
It’s enough to make eye contact while showing the prize (Japanese people do the same).

Then, the staff will make a face like “I’m not sure, but…”
and point in the direction with their hand.

Let’s head in that direction and leave the store.
You’ll probably see a place with a narrow window right away.
That’s where the special prize buyback dealer is.

Please note, it’s okay to ask the same customer, so if you’re really in trouble, show the prize to a Japanese person nearby and they should guide you.

Ultimately, if you persistently ask the staff, they might guide you (I’ve never done it, but it should be okay).

It’s a strange Japanese culture, let’s explore hard (lol).

You’ve now mastered everything about playing Pachinko.

oldest pachinko 300x237 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

very old pachinko.
the banner of thanks for the full house.

There are uncodified local rules, ways to benefit, and even paths to winning, but those will be introduced separately as you’ll gradually learn or figure them out on your own.

Except for the detailed ways to play the pachinko machine, you can play this way all over Japan.

With this, you can play pachinko much better than a Japanese person who has never played before.

This site also introduces how to play machines called “Pachislot.” If you’re interested, please try playing the mysterious and seemingly difficult but actually simple pachinko!

Translate with Google Lens

pjimage  1  300x199 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

using google lends translate from japanese

This isn’t limited to pachinko, but you can use the camera feature of Google’s app to translate.

It might come in handy, especially in pachinko parlors that only have Japanese.

Try translating the map at the entrance of the store, or the leaflets placed to the left of the pachinko machines, which have simple introductions to the models.

Local Rules

house rules 219x300 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

house rules example

These are vague, and even Japanese people don’t fully understand, but there are rules in the store.

For example, sitting next to someone playing and watching their play without playing yourself.
If the store is crowded, you may be warned by the staff.
(If it’s not crowded, you might be overlooked.) If you obediently follow the instructions, there’s no problem, so comply.

Want to play first thing in the morning!? (For intermediate players!)

securedownload6 1 400x292 1 300x219 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Huge crowds lined up on event day at a pachinko parlor

If you want to sit at the machine you’ve targeted first thing in the morning and play seriously, you can line up and participate in a lottery.

Depending on the store and the content of the event, there are some minor differences, but you generally need to line up by 9:30, participate in the lottery, and then regroup around 9:50 to enter the store.
(The times are announced on the website for each store.)

Even on weekdays, a few people line up, but on days when you can expect the store’s situation (for example, days with a 7 or double-digit days), it can become a major event with 200 to 1,000 people lining up.

Especially for those who want to deeply taste Japanese culture and pachinko culture, and who have a basic understanding of pachinko play, it might be good to try once.

Want to win?

Mathematics for all Gamblers border theory 150x150 - [Pachinko] The Complete Guide to Playing Pachinko for Begginer of Foreigners

Mathematics for all Gamblers border theory

Not just playing, but want to win?
There’s one way.

That is, keep playing a machine that spins well.
It’s called the border theory.
In short, how many times can you draw a lot for 1000 yen?
That’s what pachinko is.

If it only spins 10 times, the price of one lot is 100 yen, and if it’s 20 times, you’ve drawn one lot for 50 yen.

The pachinko parlor understands this, so on days they want to give back to customers, the balls are easier to enter.
(Events like days with a 7!) If you continue to draw lots at a cheap price until you hit the probability, you’ll end up winning.

However, this is a very difficult method as it doesn’t approach the convergence of probability unless you spin about 30,000 times…

Want to have more fun? There’s also Pachislot!

Did you like Pachinko?
If so, I recommend Pachislot, which is a slot machine based on Pachinko.
This slot machine is unique to Japan.

Recently, it seems that you can play older models even in Southeast Asia, but the latest models can only be played in Japan.

The highest-grade Pachislo machine, the AT machine, is the best entertainment where probability, technology, and exciting performances are all integrated.
Please take a look at this as well.

Japanese Tradition and Entertainment: The Pachinko Experience

Traveling to Japan is a great opportunity to experience its unique culture and traditions.
One of the fascinating activities you can enjoy is Pachinko, a unique form of entertainment.

Finally, Why Pachinko?

Pachinko is an arcade game using small steel balls, which you can enjoy at Pachinko parlors all over Japan.
Even in this digital age, it is not possible to play it outside of Japan, making it an ideal activity during your stay in Japan.

The Charm of Pachinko

Pachinko, with its bright lights and unique sounds, offers a fresh experience for foreign visitors to Japan.
In addition, Pachinko is part of Japanese pop culture, with anime and movie themes incorporated into the game.
Furthermore, Pachinko is a traditional form of popular entertainment that became part of mass culture after World War II in Japan, and it is a rare activity that you can still experience today.

Points to Note for the Pachinko Experience

  • Pachinko is a form of play, so be sure not to get too enthusiastic and play in moderation.
  • Many Pachinko parlors are somewhat lenient about smoking, so it’s important to understand that.
  • The staff at Pachinko parlors generally only speak Japanese, so it’s helpful to remember some basic Japanese phrases.

Experience Pachinko: Unique Japanese Nightlife

If you want to enjoy special nightlife in various local cities across Japan, try your luck at a pachinko parlor.
Pachinko parlors exist in every corner of the country, and many of them operate until late hours, often until 23:00.
These vibrant places offer entertainment, excitement, and a chance for big wins.
Here are the reasons why pachinko should be part of your nightlife schedule:

  1. Nationwide Consistent Machines: Worried that the machines might be outdated or biased in rural areas?
    Since only legally approved machines are allowed, you can have the same experience in cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hokkaido, and Okinawa across Japan.
  2. Even in Short Time: You can enjoy pachinko even for just 2-3 hours.
    There’s no hassle of ID checks during entry or exit.
    Instantly dive into an exciting nightlife.
  3. Thrill of Winning: While winning isn’t the sole purpose, it’s undeniably exhilarating.
    Pachinko offers rewards ranging from small payouts to big jackpots.
  4. Safe and Secure: Pachinko parlors have numerous surveillance cameras, ensuring safety and minimizing the risk of theft or crime.
    Remember, this is Japan – exciting yet safe.
  5. Explore New Machines: Pachinko parlors frequently introduce new machines.
    Even if you’ve been there before, you’ll always find new devices to try.
  6. Individual Enjoyment: Pachinko is a flexible game, allowing you to find your own way of having fun.
    Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, there’s something for everyone.

So step into the neon-lit pachinko parlors and immerse yourself in this unique Japanese experience!

Conclusion on the Pachinko Experience

Pachinko is a unique activity that allows you to experience Japanese culture and entertainment at the same time.
When visiting Japan, it’s nice to enjoy the calm nature, satisfying meals, and relaxing time.
However, Pachinko is also a safe yet exciting form of entertainment.
Please enjoy this exciting experience during your visit.

I have some questions!

I have written this guide in detail according to the current year (2024), but I think there may still be things you don’t understand.
Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section.
Either I or other foreigners may be able to answer.
Please note that good questions may be added to the article.

Comments

Optimized with PageSpeed Ninja