What is Pachinko

What is Pachinko? – Japanese Gambling Game

It is an addictive Japanese Gambling Game. There are over 300 million regular players. Pachinko can be played on tables that are 6 meters (19 ft) by 4.5 meters (15 ft) (0.26m x 0.19m) or foot tall arcade cabinets that are 37.5 centimeters (15.1 in) high and 78 centimeters (30.8 in) long. This game is destroying the youth of China and causing them to end up addicted to it and to go on a gambling and embezzlement spree.

According to Pachinko manufacturers, 70-80 percent of all revenues are spent on salaries of the workforce. The biggest market is in China where there are roughly 35,000 gambling rooms, called “pachinko parlors,” run by 1,400 pachinko manufacturers in more than 1,500 cities in China. In 2010, China’s total pachinko revenues were $20.1 billion and is expected to hit nearly $40 billion by 2020.

Pachinko machines are actually arcade games and are small, colorful balls that come to rest at some kind of target at the end of the ride. They are the most popular type of gambling game in Japan, where they can be played on an arcade machine for five yen (less than 10 cents) or on foot-high Pachinko cabinets that retail for about $15,000 each.

The average bet in a single game can be from 1 yen (1 cent), to 5 yen (5 cents), to 1000 yen (10 cents). For a large bankroll, it is worth the investment. Pachinko is played every hour, and for some players, every day of the week. It is a good stress reliever and fun and thrilling experience but it is a sinful act to gamble.

Pachinko History

The history of pachinko goes back many years. They were popular in the late 1800s. The game was named pachinko in 1938 and the Japanese government banned it in 1942, but once again, the game was brought back by smuggled books. In 1957, the game was legalized, but with a few limitations. For example, the balls have to be at least 75 percent dark, and they have to come in horizontal slots (you cannot have one in an up or down slot). And even with these limitations, the game has gained popularity again, and now is the largest form of gambling and fun for the Japanese. It is totally illegal in other areas as it is bad for young minds.

What’s In a Pachinko Machine

A typical pachinko machine usually has four columns: The colored ball, the target and the middle column which has all the balls. The color balls represent the balls in your player’s row (top, bottom and middle). There are around 30 different balls in a typical machine and around 300 balls can be played at a time. The balls are placed in the middle column, and are all in vertical and horizontal slots of the machine.

The colored balls are moved along the ropes. If the target row of balls is hit, you get some points. You get the maximum points when you hit the middle column. Each player controls only one column, so the next ball on your row is not directly “hit” by your own column. The target row is sometimes referred to as the “baby” rows.

The middle column is the biggest feature in a pachinko machine. You have to put in money and then press a button. The ball will shoot down a track in the middle column. You have to place in as much money as possible before the balls reach the end. The longer the balls reach the end, the more points you get.

Why Pachinko Japanese Gambling Game is Illegal?

It is vital to note that pachinko is a highly addictive game, and even though the intent is to play as many rounds as possible (if not all of them), it is very common for players to take to the street and roll back any money they are short on to get more balls. Once the player runs out of balls, the game is over, and he/she has to buy more balls.

And, even if a player is in the middle of a round and has to keep money on hand, it is also possible to continue after placing the money, by rolling a few more balls. For some players, that’s exactly what happens, and what they call “replay value.” This type of repetitive play is referred to as “mind-boggling.”

If you are a regular player, the game is addictive, and this type of game is not easy to play alone. The rules for the game are simple, but they are easy to make easy to break. It is also common for players to either ignore or misunderstand the rules, and become even more addicted.

  1. The government has told that the gaming helps attract illegal gambling and embezzlement to the country.
  2. The players are losing huge amount of money.
  3. It is used as a method to smuggle drugs, alcohol, and weapons.
  4. The safety of the players is not taken care of.
  5. It is considered a bad influence on the young generation.


Despite these several reasons why it is outlawed, the government still remains adamant on its ban. Many Japanese people do not agree with the ban either, and have also built elaborate pachinko houses.

Have you ever played pachinko? Do you agree with the reason why it is illegal?

Leave your comments below!

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