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While not technically an arcade game itself, pinball is a staple that frequently appears among arcade games for adults. On the surface, it seems straightforward: Keep the balls in play and hit stuff. However, like its checkered history (it was outlawed for a period of time), pinball isn’t quite as easy as it looks. Before you go crazy with the flippers (see tip one below), you might want to learn a few practical tips that can turn that basic premise into a game of skill. And while these tips won’t be enough to get you playing professionally (yes, that’s a thing) they will hopefully set you on your way to a fun round of pinball and a decent score the next time you venture out for some arcade games in Dallas.

 

Avoid crazy balls. Know where you are shooting.

If you are guilty of blindly manning your flippers in a hope-to-hit-it frenzy, you can turn in your pinball expert card now. A classic newbie mistake, shooting blind is one of the least productive, and possibly embarrassing, techniques you can use when playing this classic. Granted, the flashing lights, fast pace, and overall noise of the game lend themselves to a frenzied approach. However, the highest scorers always have a plan.

What does that look like in pinball? Take a deep breath, and decide where you want the ball to go—before you move the flipper. That might mean letting the ball rest on your flipper for a moment, shooting it into a place where it will not immediately drain down the outlane so you get a moment to think, or strategically sending it toward one of those tempting flashing lights. Whatever your plan, adopt the British mentality: Keep calm and carry on.

 

Aim for the flashing lights.

Of course, having a plan for where to send your silver balls should include knowing where to safely earn a few points. And your pinball machine will actually tell you. (Now how many arcade games in Dallas will give you that kind of insight?) In fact, you probably already know instinctively where to shoot: Right at the flashing lights.

And don’t worry about those pinball aficionados rolling their eyes as they prepare to tell you all about the other, more refined strategies for building points. You need a place to start, and when the noise begins and those tiny balls start bouncing around like they have minds of their own, you need to minimize thought and maximize action. In other words, resistance is futile. Prepare to send the pinball toward the lights.

Close up of pinball machines at PINSTACK

Use one flipper at a time.

Crazy flipping is a natural instinct when you are a pinball rookie, accustomed to more traditional video arcade games. But it’s not the only newbie mistake you can make. The other is to move both your flippers at the same time, usually in a desperate attempt to catch a ball (any ball!) and send it back up the machine. This strategy is not just a sign of desperation, it is actually pretty ineffective.

The reality is that with both flippers in play you don’t have anything available to catch a ball that escapes and heads toward the outlane. Keep one flipper down at all times to catch any errant balls. You might be surprised at how much easier it is to catch the balls and send them back up the machine. Plus, you know, not looking like a slightly manic newbie is always a plus.

 

Know thyself, or at least your pinball table.

Did you know that not all pinball machines are created equal? And we aren’t just talking about the different theme each table has (though who can argue with the awesomeness of a Star Wars pinball machine?). Every pinball machine hides some pretty cool strategies and rewards. For example, one pinball machine might want you to unlock certain doors, spell out a word, or achieve objectives. What do you get for succeeding? The respect of your friends and family. Oh, and some awesome points, too.

So before you set up at a pinball machine among some arcade games in Dallas, consider learning more about it. There are apps that can tell you more about almost every type of pinball machine out there, which can help you to prepare for an epic pinball game focused on the strengths of the particular table you are playing. Now that will make you look like an experienced gamer.

Of course, the best way to get past being a rookie is to spend time playing the game. And that means you need a place with awesome arcade games in Dallas, including a great collection of pinball machines. Lucky for you, we have one right here at PINSTACK. You can work on your pinball game, and enjoy some other fun activities, including Bowling, Laser Tag, Indoor Rock Climbing, and more. By following a few smart tips and logging some time at the machine, you can come a newbie and leave an experienced pinballer.