Part I of this two-part article examined the general nature and history of pachinko. Part II will talk about the technology used and how the technological and cultural changes in Japan affect the industry.
Pachinko machines cost about 150,000 yen (approx. US$1,350), and parlor owners usually buy them outright. Even a small parlor will have at least 100 to choose from. Larger parlors house 500 or more.
Although variations abound, and terminology seems to vary somewhat, there are three main types of pachinko machine: Hanemono, Deji-Pachi and Kenrimono.
Hanemono (hane means “wing,” and as a suffix, mono means “type”) is the easiest to play. This type of machine has a central scoring slot with wing-like appendages which momentarily open under certain conditions, allowing balls to enter more easily. In hanemono, the placement of the pins remains a factor in winning. They are less expensive to play because they are less risky, but the wins are less spectacular.
Deji-Pachi (a contraction of the katakana rendering of “digital pachinko”) refers to a type of machine in which the payoffs are controlled by a computer–hence the name. Deji-pachi machines feature an LED or LCD display in the center, activated when a ball enters a particular slot. The central display usually resembles the drums on a slot machine by Ingatbola88, but pachi-suro, or “pachinko slots” are a different category altogether (see below). On deji-pachi machines, placement of pins is of less consequence than on a hanemono machine. When the central display shows 7-7-7, or some other winning combination, a pay-off sequence known as a “fever” begins, and these machines are sometimes referred to as fiiba type.
Kenrimono (kenri means “right/claim/privilege,” and mono means “type”) machines are for serious gambler-types. The name is a …