Exploring the Origins of Pachinko

When most players think of casino games, blackjack, baccarat and roulette are some of the classic examples that come to mind. However, the spectrum of casino games available encompasses so much more than slots and table games – and Pachinko is a perfect example.

If you’ve ever played a real game of Pachinko, you’ll know all about the unique atmosphere this arcade-style game creates. With a fast-paced energy, cheerful sounds and colourful designs, games of Pachinko have come to encompass the lighter side of Japan’s casino industry.

In fact, so big is Pachinko in Japan that there are dedicated Pachinko parlours across the country, offering the game in an environment that simply can’t be recreated. However, if you’re not quite ready to hop on a plane to Japan just yet, read on to learn about Pachinko’s origins and how you can enjoy the game online instead.

Pachinko’s First French Roots

Pachinko is instantly recognizable as an imaginative mix of slot machine and arcade game. With its proudly Japanese heritage, it may surprise you to learn that the very first prototype of Pachinko appeared not in Asia, but in France during the 1700s!

Billiards was exceedingly popular in France at the time, and a couple of modifications to the original billiard games of the time created a brand new casino game, Bagatelle. A similar version of Bagatelle would later on become Pachinko, along with some input from other games around the world. These French roots are an important part of Pachinko’s history, but the real action began later on in the 1920s in Chicago, USA.

Bagatelle Travels to Chicago

Manufacturers of gaming machines in 1920s Chicago created what has come to be known as Pachinko today. Bagatelle had carried on through the decades, and a new version of the French game intended for children was released around the early 20th century.

The creators of the new game added various changes to the original, including a bigger plunger for the bagatelle board. Little did the creators know that their simple modification would later become the inspiration for pinball, as well as a brand new generation of arcade games. This children’s version of Bagatelle was called the Corinth Game, and included features like brass nails in place of wooden pegs just like the Pachinko machines of today.

The Corinth Game Hits Japan

It wasn’t long before the Corinth Game found its way to Asia. Japan soon adopted the game in the mid-1920s, and it became an instant hit with children after being featured in candy stores. Japanese shop owners began to display Pachinko games on their counters, attracting children to play a game and offering candy as a reward for particularly high scores.

Thus, by the time the 1930s had arrived, Pachinko had become a permanent fixture in candy shops across Japan. The game was dubbed Korinto Gemu, meaning Corinth Game, but local children called the game Pachi-pachi instead as a reference to the unique sounds made by the Pachinko machines.

Unique Features Added by the UK

Yet another influence on the origins of Pachinko was busy brewing in the UK. British players had begun to play a game called the Circle of Pleasure, which contained many features that were adopted by modern-day Pachinko.

These features, like scoring pockets and flippers, were what made the Circle of Pleasure a wildly popular game in British pubs, and Japanese game manufacturers soon adopted the latter game’s smaller size as well.


Pachinko Debuts in 1929

Our well-known modern day Pachinko officially appeared just before the turn of the 1920s. The new game stood upright, and contained features of both the Corinth Game and the Circle of Pleasure. It wasn’t long before Japan’s very first Pachinko parlour opened, introducing Pachinko to adoring Japanese gamblers as well.

Of course, with the constant evolution of technology Pachinko has continued to change over the years, with many exciting electronic aspects being added. Once the 1980s and the technological age had arrived, Pachinko took on a much more digital stance, with most game tables being redesigned to be fully electronic. This has all led up to our sophisticated online Pachinko games, which are available at modern online casinos around the world.

Try Pachinko Anywhere in the World

And what about Pachinko today? The game has remained incredibly popular in Japan, and you can still experience the atmosphere of a real Pachinko Parlour when visiting the country. Today’s Pachinko machines are mainly electronic, and online software developers have also developed their own versions of the game for real money players.

With endless options at both land-based and online casinos, it’s easier than ever for you to enjoy the legacy of Pachinko for real money. Try an online Pachinko game today to experience all the fun without having to buy a plane ticket first!

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