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What’s the Hype with Online Pachinko Games?

If you haven’t heard of pachinko, then prepare yourself for a look into a novel and entertaining world. It operates as a popular mechanical amusement machine, and it first originated in Japan back in the 1920s. The game has a loose resemblance to a pinball machine but in a vertical position rather than almost horizontal. Ever since being released, pachinko has risen to prominence in Japan, with many locations across the country playing host to the machines.

Originally, the machines were built as a children’s toy known as the “Corinth game”. This came from the American game, “Corinthian bagatelle”. It was in 1930 that pachinko gained notoriety as an adult pastime. While Pachinko parlors were closed down during World War II, they re-emerged towards the end of the 1940s, with the first commercial parlor being opened in Nagoya in 1948. Right up until the 80s, these games were all mechanical devices, utilizing bells as a way of indicating different states of the machine. Electricity was only used to flash lights and notify the user of problems.

Today, pachinko is a game that has moved to the online world as well as in land-based casinos. This is despite the fact that gambling is an illegal activity in Japan. However, it is classed as a game of amusement, so laws are not broken by people playing it.

How to Play Pachinko

When you play pachinko, small steel balls are shot into a vertical playing field. These balls are similar to those found in pinball machines but on a small scale. The machine functions by the player using a knob on the lower right-hand side of the machine to fire the balls. If one of these enters the ‘start’ hole found at the center of the game field, a digital screen is activated, similar to one found in a slot machine. Matching two symbols on that screen will present you with a chance of winning, which is known as a ‘reach’.

The idea with this is to match three symbols altogether, and when this occurs, a large number of steel balls come rushing out of the game into a well at the base of the machine. The player then gets to take this well of balls to a pay window and exchange the balls for a coupon. From this, players can claim prizes.

As with pinball, when playing pachinko, the balls can land in exit zones or non-paying areas. In this instance, the ball disappears, and you do not get a payout.

This is the basis behind playing the game, and that has expanded to the online world in a similar fashion. Obviously, you do not have a physical set of steel balls and a knob to fire the balls with online, so everything is done with a mouse click or a tap on a mobile device screen.

Pachinko in Japan

It is thought that more than 10% of the population of Japan are heavily obsessed with playing pachinko. Because of this, the industry surrounding this game is worth over £156.2 billion per year. Pachinko balls are bought from a teller or a cash slot in the machine in Japan, and this provides 100 balls for a cost of 400 yen (about £2.66). Those balls operate in the same way as poker chips, representing your money. Once you are done with playing the Pachinko game, you take all of your accumulated balls back to the teller and exchange them for the prize coupons. Most Japanese players do not exchange the coupon for prizes, though. Instead, it is common to see players head around the corner with their coupon and exchange it at a nearby shop for cash. This basically circumvents Japan’s gambling ban.

In the country, Pachinko gameplay is tolerated by the government, although not legitimate and operated by it. In fact, such games have long been considered quite shameful and a dirty business to be involved in. It is for this reason that Pachinko parlors are often owned and operated by Korean residents, with some people claiming that profits from the games are funneled into the waiting arms of the North Korean government.

Gambling is going through a revolution in Japan, too, so potentially pachinko and other gambling games could become available in a much more legal sense. An initial bill for this was passed by parliament towards the end of 2016. Unfortunately, a completely separate implementation bill should be approved before any law can be passed through. If such did happen, then Pachinko players could look forward to being able to participate for huge jackpot prizes, and the industry could bring in plenty of extra money.

Pachislot and Pachinko Relation

Japanese slot machines, which go by the name of pachislot or pachisuro, are actually descendants of the traditional pachinko game. Slots are a relatively new introduction to the country, and they will usually be found in the adult sections of amusement arcades or in pachinko parlors. Pachislots work in a very similar way to the UK fruit machines, though.

Pachislots are therefore operated on three reels as the classic slots we know of are. One of the major differences between pachislots and standard slot machines, though, is that the player is responsible for halting the reels of the former. This is done by hitting a button at the bottom of each reel, and it is because of this difference that pachislots are not labeled as gambling machines. Why? Because the fact that a player is stopping the reels themselves makes it a game of skill.

As with playing pachinko, the coins that a player has earned from spinning the pachislot reels are taken to a teller, and then these are counted out. A receipt is then given to you, which can be exchanged for prizes, including food items and household appliances. Anything but cash is available from such.

Engaging in Online Pachinko Games

The online gambling sector has become a location for many people to visit in order to get their gaming fix. This is why it has also become common for Pachinko and pachislots options to be made accessible on online websites.

In fact, a game has been released which unites the best features of both of these Japanese games, entitled Hawaiian Dream by the Golden Hero brand. Providing the three-reel setup that is common for such slots, as well as five fixed paylines, players accessing such can bet between 0.20 and 500 per spin. The game also has a variety of payout and bonus features, including bonus symbols and Rush payouts. It also comes with a 97% return to player (RTP) rate and a maximum win of 25,000.00.

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