Tip & How-To about Video Game Consoles & Games

Flipping pinball flippers like a pro

Growing up my dad was a pinball machine collector, so we always had machines in the house and at a young age playing pinball was one of my favorite pass times. After spending many long hours playing and flipping those little flippers like a manic I realized that there was an art to using the flippers.

When it seems that the ball was going to go straight down the center of the playfield I would use both flippers to try and stop the ball from draining, but it was an action that never worked. I discovered that using only one flipper helped me to catch the ball more often. And this also helped me to discover that you don't need to flip the flippers as often as you might think.

The game of pinball is all about timing and aim, there was one time that I discovered that if I raised the flipper at just the right moment I could bring the ball to a dead stop. This gives you the ability to better control the ball or even take a short break so long as you don't take your finger off that button. You will learn after the first few times playing pinball that it is not a game of random chance that the ball hits places on the playfield and win points but that there is an element of aim involved. With practice you learn the playfield well and the power that you need to hit the ball with to hit the targets. You will find that using a certain part of the flipper will cause the ball to go exactly where you need it to.

Pinball is a very fast paced game, in some instances the ball can be moving at speeds of 20mph! With this in mind when you successfully hit the ball you should immediately let the flipper fall. Holding the flippers up when you don't need them leaves a gaping hole in the center of the playfield and makes it harder to hit the ball if it comes down fast.

With time and practice you too can master the art of being a pinball wiz and amaze your friends with your unbelievable high scores.

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Gottlieb manuals and schematics can be purchased from Steve Young's Pinball Resource or from Marco Specialties. They are authorized licensees for copyrighted Gottlieb material.

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