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Blog Post A Beginner's Guide to Playing Pinball

A Beginner's Guide to Playing Pinball

A Beginner's Guide to Playing Pinball

Are you new to pinball? If so, get ready for some Flippin' Good Fun! Here at Pastime Pinball all of the games are set to "Free Play" so you can skip what is typically the very first step -- inserting quarters or tokens into the machine -- and jump right into playing. But before you do, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the game so you know how it works. Every game has at least two flippers (the paddles used to hit the ball) at the bottom of the game table, but oftentimes there are additional flippers located elsewhere on the playfield that you'll want to be aware of. The same goes for ramps, habit trails (the wire rails that the ball travels on) and other elements such as bumpers, holes and targets. Knowing where they are will help you score points. To learn the basic goals of a game -- since each one has its own set of rules -- read the instruction card located to the left of the bottom flippers.

• To begin a game, push the round START button located on the left side of the front panel one time. Most games are multi-player, allowing up to four people to play against each other. To add another player, push the button again.

• To launch the ball, pull the plunger (the spring-loaded rod) on the right side. Most games are set for three balls, essentially giving you three turns, but if you're lucky you'll be awarded an extra ball or two.

• Use the buttons on the left and right sides of the cabinet to activate the flippers. Inexperienced players often think the idea is to hit the buttons simultaneously and repetitively, but to control the ball you'll actually want to use one flipper at a time. Follow the path of the ball and anticipate where it's going. Then use the closest flipper to send the ball back up into the playfield.

• Blinking lights are a pinball game's way of saying Over here! Over here! Many games will also broadcast or spell out what targets to shoot for. To aim the ball, cradle it first by letting it rest in the "V" formed when the flipper is up, then release the flipper and immediately push the button. It takes a bit of practice to capture a ball and line up a shot so don't be discouraged if your early attempts don't succeed.

When your last ball "drains" (goes down the hole between the flippers or through the outlane), the game is over -- but the fun is not! With 62 pinball games to play here at Pastime, you have lots of opportunities to practice your newfound skills.