Author: Anna Sukiasyan
Sep 05, 2023

Pachinko or Plinko: Which Game Will Steal Your Heart?

Did you know that even though Plinko and Pachinko are both popular arcade-style games, they each have their own unique features and origins?
And, are you ready to get to know more about these two captivating games of chance that have captured the hearts of so many players around the globe? 


If you are, in this article, we will explore the origins, game logic, and the potential winnings you can get while playing Plinko and Pachinko games.

Let’s start with Pachinko. Pachinko is a popular game of chance that originated in Japan and has so quickly become ingrained in Japanese culture. Pachinko is usually played on a vertical machine resembling a pinball machine, with a cascade of small metal balls that are used as the playing pieces. The game combines elements of pinball, slot machines, and sheer excitement.



Why is Pachinko so popular in Japan? Well, its popularity can be attributed to many different factors. Firstly, the game combines elements of chance, skill, and, of course, lots of entertainment. Thus, the atmosphere of pachinko is associated with dazzling neon lights, lively music, and enthusiastic crowds.



Another reason for Pachinko’s popularity in Japan is its potential for substantial winnings. While gambling for cash is technically illegal in Japan, players can exchange their winnings for tokens or prizes. These tokens can then be taken to nearby establishments known as “turf clubs,” where they can be exchanged for real cash. 

How does the Pachinko game work?


In a typical Pachinko game, you must put small metal balls into a machine and let them go, trying to get them into winning pockets. The machine itself is a marvel of engineering, designed with a bunch of obstacles, pins, and pegs that make the balls bounce around in fun ways. If you’re good at it, you can control the machine a bit, aiming your shots just right to win big prizes. You might even hit special spots that give you extra chances to play and see captivating animations that make the game even more exciting.


Now that we have some understanding of how the game works, we should dive into the exciting mechanics of both the offline and online versions of Pachinko:

Offline Pachinko: Playing and Winning Steps


Pachinko machines are mostly linked to Japan, where they’re really popular and can be found in places called Pachinko parlors. These parlors are all over Japan and are a big part of how people have fun there.


But Pachinko’s fun has travelled beyond just Japan. In some other Asian countries, especially where lots of Japanese people live, you might spot Pachinko machines. And in different parts of the world, people have made games similar to Pachinko that you can play in arcades or fun places.

To start the game, you need to:


  • Load the balls

Get small metal balls from the counter at the Pachinko parlor. These are your playing pieces now.


  • Release the balls 

Enter the Pachinko machine area and find rows of machines. Put your balls into the top of a machine and let them all go at once.


  • Navigate the maze

Generally, the balls move through a complicated setup of metal pins and obstacles inside the machine. They bounce around unpredictably due to gravity.


  • Aim for winning pockets

Your goal is to aim the balls at certain spots in the machine that have pockets for prizes. These pockets are usually at the bottom and you need to control how you release the balls to increase your chances of landing in a winning pocket.


  • Try hitting bonuses and specials prizes

As you play, you might come across obstacles and features that help you win. Some machines have bonus rounds where you can get extra balls or more chances to aim for winning pockets. 


  • Exchange for prizes or tokens

You’ll earn points or tokens based on the machine’s rules if you get your balls into winning pockets. You can trade these points or tokens for prizes or unique items in the Pachinko parlor. You can also take your points or tokens to other places that buy them back for cash, like “turf clubs.”


Online Pachinko

Playing Pachinko online is almost completely similar to playing a virtual version of the game. Here’s what you do:


  1. Pick an online casino: Choose a website where you can play Pachinko online. Many online casinos have this game available.
  2. Decide your bet: Before you start, decide how much you want to bet. Online casinos usually let you pick from different bet amounts.
  3. Use the virtual machine: When you’re ready, you’ll see a virtual Pachinko machine on your screen. It looks like the real one with pins, pockets, and obstacles.
  4. Release virtual balls: Just like in real-life Pachinko, you release virtual balls into the online machine. You can do this by clicking a button or tapping your screen.
  5. Watch the balls: Watch how the virtual balls move through the machine. They bounce around based on luck and computer programming.
  6. Win and get prizes: If your virtual balls land in the right pockets, you win virtual points or tokens. You can use these to play more, get bonuses, or try other games on the online casino website.


Remember, different online casinos might have different rules and visuals for their online Pachinko games.


What is Plinko Game? 

Previously, we have covered the Tips and Tricks for the Online Pinko Game, where we have mentioned everything related to the online Plinko and useful strategies for winning it. In short,  Plinko started in the 1970s as the “Pricing Game Board” for businesses to promote themselves. Despite changes over time, the basic way you play stayed pretty much the same.


In the game, you drop a ball or chip down a board with pegs. Where it lands decides what you win. Different spots have different prizes, from small ones to big jackpots.


Origins of Plinko:

Plinko was created by Frank Wayne, a producer on “The Price Is Right,” and it made its debut on the show in January 1983. The name “Plinko” was derived from the distinctive “plink” sound that the chips make as they bounce off the pegs on the board.


The concept of Plinko was inspired by a game called “The Pachinko Game,” which was popular in Japan. However, Plinko itself is not directly based on Pachinko, as it was developed as a unique game specifically for “The Price Is Right.”


Since its first debut, Plinko has become one of the most beloved games worldwide, mainly thanks to its simplicity, easy and engaging gameplay, and the chance to win huge prizes.

How the Plinko Game Works

Let’s dive into how the Plinko game works in both real-life and online casino settings:


Offline Plinko:


The setup

In a real-life Plinko game, you’ll find a large vertical board with a grid of pegs. At the top of the board, there are a series of slots or openings from which chips can be dropped.


Drop the chip
To start the game, you need to take a flat, round chip and release it to the top of the board. The chip will travel through the pegs, bouncing and ricocheting its way down.


Path of the chip

As the chip descends, it hits the pegs, causing it to change direction and velocity. The path the chip takes is influenced by the random interactions with the pegs, which makes each chip’s journey unique.


Prize slots

At the bottom of the board, there are multiple slots or compartments, each assigned a specific prize or value. The slots typically have different sizes or shapes, representing various prize tiers.


It’s all about the landing
The excitement builds as you watch the chip fall and hope it lands in one of the desired slots. The outcome is determined by chance, as the chip’s path is unpredictable.


Claim your prize

If the chip lands in a slot, congratulations! You win the prize associated with that slot. The prize could be anything from cash to merchandise or other rewards.



Plinko in online casinos worldwide

Plinko has also made its impressive way into the world of online casinos. Here’s how it typically works in a casino game format

Pick an online casino
Choose a website where you can play Plinko online. Many online casinos have this game available.


Select your bet

Before starting the Plinko game in an online casino, you’ll need to choose your bet amount. Casinos often offer a range of betting options to suit different player preferences.


Virtual Plinko board
Once your bet is set, the game presents you with a virtual Plinko board on your screen. It surely resembles the real-life setup, complete with pegs and prize slots.


Release the virtual chip

You’ll need to release a virtual chip onto the Plinko board with the click of a button or by tapping a designated area on your screen. The chip will then make its way down the board.


Random path and prize slots

Similar to the real-life version, the virtual chip’s path is influenced by chance. It will bounce off the pegs as it descends, with its trajectory determined by predetermined algorithms.


Prize slot outcome
When the chip reaches the bottom of the virtual board, it will land in one of the prize slots. The slot it lands in determines your prize or payout for that round.


Claim your winnings

If the chip lands in a winning slot, you’ll receive your prize or winnings, which will be added to your account balance in the online casino. You can then choose to continue playing or cash out your winnings.


No matter if you’re playing Plinko in person or online, the fun stays the same. The randomness, the excitement of waiting, and the possibility of winning prizes all add up to make Plinko really exciting for all players.


Play Plinko by Galaxsys


Differences between Plinko and Pachinko


Plinko and Pachinko may share similarities in their names and some gameplay features, but they are distinct games with notable differences. 

Let’s explore the differences between Plinko and Pachinko:


Gameplay Mechanism:

Plinko: In Plinko, players drop chips from the top of a peg-filled vertical board. The chips bounce and zigzag their way down, eventually landing in prize slots at the bottom of the board. The outcome of the game and your potential prizes are determined by the chip’s path and randomness.


Pachinko: Pachinko involves players shooting small metal balls into a vertical machine filled with pins, pegs, and obstacles. The balls ricochet and bounce around, aiming to land in winning pockets or cups located at the bottom of the machine.


Popularity and Cultural Significance:

Plinko: Plinko gained widespread popularity through its appearances on “The Price Is Right” and became an iconic segment of the show. It has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide and is often associated with the excitement of game shows.


Pachinko: Pachinko is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and has become a significant aspect of social interaction and leisure for many Japanese people. Pachinko parlors are vibrant social spaces where players gather to enjoy the game and its lively atmosphere.


Legal Status:

Plinko: Plinko is a game commonly found on television game shows and in some amusement parks or events. It is not typically associated with gambling for cash.


Pachinko: Pachinko operates within a legal gray area in Japan. While gambling for cash is technically illegal, players can exchange their winnings for tokens or prizes. These tokens can then be taken to nearby establishments where they can be redeemed for cash.


Visuals and Animations:

Plinko: Plinko boards often have colorful designs and engaging visuals. The pegs and slots are visually distinct, creating an appealing aesthetic for players and audiences.


Pachinko: Pachinko machines are known for their vibrant and eye-catching designs. They feature dazzling neon lights, animated displays, and intricate artwork.

Is Plinko Based on Pachinko?


While both Plinko and Pachinko share the element of objects falling down a vertical board, they have distinct gameplay mechanics, origins, and cultural contexts. Plinko became widely known through its appearances on the game show, while Pachinko has its own rich history and cultural significance in Japan.


So, while Plinko drew inspiration from the idea of Pachinko, it is not considered a direct adaptation or replication of the game. Each game stands on its own as a unique and enjoyable experience.


How much money can you win with Pachinko?

The potential winnings in Pachinko can vary significantly. Pachinko parlors offer a range of prizes, including cash rewards, tokens, and collectible items. The amount of money one can win depends on various factors, such as your skill level, the machine’s features, and, of course, luck. Some players have reported winning substantial sums, while others may walk away with smaller prizes or tokens.


How much money can you win with Plinko?


In Plinko, the amount of money one can win depends on the prize values associated with different slots at the bottom of the board. The specific winnings vary based on the rules established by the game show or online casino platform. Prizes in Plinko game shows often range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

To conclude, Plinko and Pachinko both offer captivating and thrilling gameplay experiences that have enthralled players around the world. Whether you find yourself drawn to the immersive world of Pachinko with its intricate machines, cultural significance, and the potential for substantial winnings or captivated by the simplicity, suspense, and nostalgic charm of Plinko, both games promise an exhilarating ride. The potential winnings in each game are influenced by factors such as skill, luck, and the specific rules established by pachinko parlors or online casinos. 


Related articles
blog image
Blog Aug 31, 2023
Exploring Keno Patterns and Their Impact on Winning
In this article, we will take a look at some of the common patterns, examine how Keno catches work, and how you can use that information for a better chance of winning.
Author: Anna Sukiasyan
Read more
blog image
News Aug 30, 2023
Galaxsys is shortlisted for the 3rd Annual SBC Awards Latinoamerica
The team at Galaxsys is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Award Category of Rising Star in Casino.
Author: Mark McGuinness
Read more
blog image
News Aug 14, 2023
Galaxsys shortlisted for SiGMA Balkans/CIS Award
The team at Galaxsys is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Award Category of Game Provider of The Year.
Author: Mark McGuinness
Read more