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Pinball Machine Parts

I bet you've played endless hours on pinball machines without knowing how exactly it works. This article will teach you the different parts of pinball machines and how those parts work.


Since the originating of pinball machines in the year 1947, it has been revered as one of the most exciting game which requires more skill than luck. Basically, a kind of coin-operated arcade game, in pinball, a player will attempt to score points by manipulating one or more metal balls on a playfield inside a glass covered case called a pinball machine.


The main constituents of pinball and pinball machines are the playfield, plunger, flippers, backglass and finally score points. Now, if you are a new entrant to pinball, here is your guide to know all about pinball machines and gradually hone yourself to be the master of the game.



  • Playfield: The playfield, a planar surface inclined upward from 3 to 7 degrees away from the player, and includes multiple targets and scoring objectives. However, the current convention is six and a half degrees to be perfect.


  • Plunger: The plunger is a spring-loaded rod with a small handle, used to thrust the ball into the playfield. Here is where skill rules. A player skilled in pinball machines can make the perfect shot to the specified target. In modern pinball machines, an electronically-controlled launcher is sometimes substituted for the plunger.Once a ball is on the move, it tends to move downward towards the player, sometimes randomly, as the result of contact with other objects on the playfield or sometimes by the player's own actions.


  • Flippers: Flippers are one or more small mechanically or electromechanically-controlled levers, roughly 3 to 7 cm in length, used to return the ball to the upper part of the playfield.Considered as the main control that the player has over the ball, flippers help player's to move the ball to hit various types of scoring targets, and to keep the ball from disappearing off the bottom of the playfield.


  • Backglass: The backglass is a vertical graphic panel mounted on the front of the backbox, which is the upright box at the top back of the pinball machine. The backglass mainly instated to enhance the artistic value of the pinball machine, contains the name of the pinball machine, striking graphics, the score displays and sometimes a mechanical device tied to game play.


  • Scoring Points: Scoring of points in pinball machines is either by contact or by manipulation of scoring elements -such as targets or ramps. While in the past, pinball machines used an electromechanical system for scoring; in later games these tasks have been taken over by semiconductor chips and displays are made on electronic segmented or dot matrix displays.


It has been observed at some pinball machines, where operators deliberately lengthen the threaded levelers on the rear legs and/or shorten or remove the levelers on the front legs to create additional incline in the playfield, making the ball move faster and harder to play. Therefore, players have to be cautious of suck tricks and make a quick visual test of the inclination of the pinball machine and make sure to level the playfield of the pinball machines.


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Source: www.a1articles.com