(Topic ID: 142848)

3 Ball vs 5 Ball at home?


By colorado_cabrio

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Pinhead1982
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Topic poll

“In your home arcade are your games set for 3 ball or 5 ball play?”

  • All 3 Ball; I'm a purist 77 votes
    53%
  • All 5 Ball; I'm looking to enjoy the game 22 votes
    15%
  • Mixed 3 & 5 Ball; Depends on the game 46 votes
    32%

(145 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

#1 3 years ago

So here's the question; I grew up in a pinball house where all games were 5-Ball. Allowed us kids to explore all settings and modes of the games. and have the most fun.

To date I've had the same in my own home; but just set one of my games (Elvira) to 3-ball to make it more challenging and my own kids have started a revolt! "It's too hard now Dad", not that EATPM has all that many modes...

So what do you guys do?

#2 3 years ago

I mix it up. My eatpm is 3 ball for the same reason .

#3 3 years ago

3 ball on any solid state and 5 ball on an EM.

Modern games would play way too long and games would get very boring if they were 5 ball. EMs would play too quick and having a house-ball would hurt a game too much if it were 3 ball.

#4 3 years ago

I'm a 3 ball man. If I go to someone's house and they have a 5 ball game I'm in full support of it. Heck this is a hobby not work. Do whatever you want that makes you happy.

#5 3 years ago

Depends on the game. Some of my games can last less than a minute on 5 ball. Some can last half hour on 3 ball. It's all relative.

#6 3 years ago

I like short games, so I'm at 3-balls on most games.

Definitely set 3 or 5 based on the game lengths you prefer.

-mof

#7 3 years ago

3 ball on everything. I used to do 5 ball on EM's but it just doesn't feel right to me and the games can be too long.

3 ball is also more challenging. If you have any DMD on 5 ball you're going to finish the game much sooner and possibly get bored with it.

I've seen it happen.

#8 3 years ago

Mixed - 3 balls for modern games and multi-player EMs. 5 balls for single player EMs.

#9 3 years ago

My EMs? Always set to 5 balls.

My early Bally solid states? (Mystic, Flash Gordon, Fireball II) 5 ball.

Anything later than that? 3 ball.

It's how the games were meant to be played IMHO, and the rules and gameplay are the most balanced because of it. And the old games are drain monsters. So even a 4 player game on Flash Gordon with 5 balls can be shorter than the first ball on Metallica. It's nice, because you can all hang around the game and play together, and it rotates fast. A couple minute ball is a great ball usually. Keeps it moving. And you're bound to have an unfair shit ball or two, these games are like that!

For me System 11/DMD games are just too long on 5 ball. I keep extra balls on instead, set to 3 ball. Make you earn another chance, and feel like you accomplished something by earning it. You might play 5 balls, but only if you're playing well and on a run. And that's fun to me.

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from pinball4ever:

I used to do 5 ball on EM's but it just doesn't feel right to me and the games can be too long.

Many EMs are 5 ball and cannot be changed.

I have several of my EMs on 3 ball but there are a couple that are almost impossible to complete on 5 ball, namely River Boat and Teachers Pet, so they and a few others are on five ball. If they become easily beatable I may change it. That's why I take it on a game by game basis.

Modern games with ball saves and tilt warnings already give you extra balls and chances so no more than three are necessary.

#11 3 years ago

At my house the adults play 3 ball and the kids, they play 12 ball.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from colorado_cabrio:

To date I've had the same in my own home; but just set one of my games (Elvira) to 3-ball to make it more challenging and my own kids have started a revolt! "It's too hard now Dad", not that EATPM has all that many modes...
So what do you guys do?

Set it to 4 ball game . I have done this in the past on a few DMD . Not sure about EATPM . I think you can set it to 4 ball game .

#13 3 years ago

3 ball. If I "finish" a game by seeing all the modes it is time to sell. Unless it's already sold - then gotta get those last games in before it goes.

#14 3 years ago

5 balls on EM's, 3 balls on newer games. It feels like that is how the makers intended. Then again it's all about the game. I have a Stampede that is pretty easy to max the score at 19990 on 5 balls, so I turned it down to 3. I try to set a game up as close to out of the box as possible, unless a compelling reason makes me want to change it.

#15 3 years ago

3 ball, I'm looking to enjoy the game. Not particularly a purist at all. It's just, the LAST thing I want to do to myself or guests is make a game too long, and potentially boring. Long games aren't inherently more fun than short ones. The trick to getting someone to love something is in leaving them wanting more, not sating them completely. Cutting them off when they're still a little hungry.

Same goes for music. I'm a Ramones fan. 2 minutes is about the right length for a song.

Back when I was a musician in a touring band, by far the biggest mistake I saw bands make (especially bands trying to build an audience) was playing too long. always leave them when they're cheering for more, not once they're politely clapping and checking their watches.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from kklank:

I'm a 3 ball man. If I go to someone's house and they have a 5 ball game I'm in full support of it. Heck this is a hobby not work. Do whatever you want that makes you happy.

absolutely this, too, though. they are your games. do what you enjoy most (or your kids enjoy most).

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from sed6:

At my house the adults play 3 ball and the kids, they play 12 ball.

"oh hey a start button! better press it 20 times..."

#18 3 years ago

I used to have my games (EM) on 5-ball until I started to feel like they were to easy to beat. I like to play them as they were intended, to me, a free game should mean something- so if I start playing for free I switch the game to 3-ball, if I still play for free I will move the outlanes to conservative, if thats not enough I will work on mechanisms to get the ball speed to its absolute max and raise the game.

I want it to mean something when you roll the score over on a game and walk away with 3 credits-

I also actually hate long games, I very much enjoy running down and playing for 5 minutes if thats what I have, I would much rather play 3 games and get my ass kicked than sit there and crush a game for 5 minutes and have to turn it off mid-game because i need to get going. I like hard games, it forces me to learn how to play better.

I don't worry about the kids, we have a big bowl of quarters, they can stack it up and play all day- they don't care about the score, just the lights and sounds.

#19 3 years ago

i suck at pinball so 5

#20 3 years ago

EMs aside, when I see "ball 4" show up on the screen, I lose all respect for the owner. Just saying

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

EMs aside, when I see "ball 4" show up on the screen, I lose all respect for the owner. Just saying

Agree, 3 ball or you're playing it wrong.

#22 3 years ago

3 ball because it feels natural. It has a very balanced "beginning, middle and end" feel to it.
First ball, hey here we go, right, good start good start, come on.
Second ball, ok still got two balls here, build on the good start or start digging out of the rough. Maybe settle in for some woodchopping.
Ball three, crikey this is it. Last chance. Make a good go of it here. Running behind then turn up the risk reward. On a good game then pile on.
5 ball and I find the game loses a bit of its dramatic structure and becomes just one damn thing after another.

#23 3 years ago

When I first got into it I put everything on 5 ball. I had a wcs and tron set to five ball, and now they are gone. I ended up beating the too easily and got bored. Now everything is factory and maybe an extra ball on a couple like woz so you can see more of the game.

#24 3 years ago

5 ball option is there so if they like it use it!

Who likes change and your taking 2 balls away. Wtf!!
But ..
Scoring and rules are sometimes changed so if you want to get them used to three ball have them try to figure out the differences.
Ie) pops scoring more

From my memory most all EM were 5 ball.
But as solid state games came out and well games with longer play time and the boom of arcades. If your playing your not putting the next quarter in right. So blame the change on the operators but it has been pretty standard for 30+ years.

Get them used to the real world is what I would do.

And remember it is all your fault for ever having it set to 5 ball to begin with.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

3 ball because it feels natural. It has a very balanced "beginning, middle and end" feel to it.
First ball, hey here we go, right, good start good start, come on.
Second ball, ok still got two balls here, build on the good start or start digging out of the rough. Maybe settle in for some woodchopping.
Ball three, crikey this is it. Last chance. Make a good go of it here. Running behind then turn up the risk reward. On a good game then pile on.
5 ball and I find the game loses a bit of its dramatic structure and becomes just one damn thing after another.

Well put,that's how I see it- especially on TAF. Bally SS, five ball all the way.

#26 3 years ago

Whatever is the default setting.

-1
#27 3 years ago

5 ball makes every game fun, every time, regardless of skill.

#28 3 years ago

When I got my first three pins long ago (TZ, IJ, and MM), I wasn't that great at pinball and I was enjoying the novelty of being able to set the machine for as many balls as I wanted, so I had them all set at 5 balls. After a year of playing them, I started getting pretty good, and 5 balls just seemed excessive, plus my scores weren't comparible to most guys who posted their scores online as most of these guys were using 3 balls and factory default settings. I then set the games to 3 balls and readjusted inlanes to mid postions and I didn't notice a decrease in my fun. Most DMD games from the 90's and after hand out at least 2 extra balls pretty easily on factory defaults, so you can take a 3 ball game and turn it into a 5 ball game by winning a couple of extra balls.

That being said, if your kids, friends, or family are having more fun with the games on 5 balls, I'd let them play them on 5 balls. When it got back around to me playing the game, I'd reset it for 3 balls, but basically just do whatever provides you and whoever else is playing the game the most fun. Afterall, fun is what it's all about.

#29 3 years ago

I tried setting my ST to 5 ball but felt so dirty. Might as well take the glass off or start driving sheet metal screws into the outlanes. I quickly set it back to 3 ball play because that's just how it's suppose to be. I do change settings for easier extra balls but you still have to make shots to get them. My kids may like it better with 5 balls but don't think it will change the experience that much. They are not into pinball like I am.

#30 3 years ago

3 ball on everything... im a tech at heart not a player and I get bored with it after 2-3 balls. Often dont even finish a 3 ball game.

#31 3 years ago

EM = 5 ball
SS = 3 ball

Every setting in the game set up to make extra balls easier to get. Free games mean nothing at home, but an extra ball adds fun to the game.

#32 3 years ago

3 Ball

#33 3 years ago

3 ball with the exception of WOZ for the wife and kids so they at least get a chance to stack a multiball or two.

#34 3 years ago

All are set to three ball here except roadshow, nip-it, centaur and xenon. Keep the challenge fresh and fierce.
~Steveo

#35 3 years ago

Our Classic Bally games are all set to 5 ball, but have the most conservative settings! Sure, you get 5 balls, but have to earn everything!

Rob Bell
Robsgameroom.com

#36 3 years ago

I play all my games on 15 ball, it's more fun to play forever and see the whole game 6 times while playing.

#37 3 years ago

3 ball, but generous on the extra ball scoring.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

5 balls for single player EMs.

Quoted from Aurich:

My EMs? Always set to 5 balls.

No 3 ball Big Daddy challenge for you!

Quoted from rufessor:

I used to have my games (EM) on 5-ball until I started to feel like they were to easy to beat. I like to play them as they were intended, to me, a free game should mean something- so if I start playing for free I switch the game to 3-ball,

Proper.

#39 3 years ago

1 ball. Yeah you got to rewire your EMs, but whatever. 3 ball is for sissies.

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from Banker:

5 ball makes every game fun, every time, regardless of skill.

Actually it can make games boring fast. They get too easy to beat and then no reason to play for months.

#41 3 years ago

When I played pinball everything was 5 ball..... (then, they invented cars!)

#42 3 years ago

4 ball.

3 is too short for my wife and 99% of my visitors. 5 is too much for me to handle...

Pete

#43 3 years ago

I have all mine set to 5 ball...Like Ted, when I was playing as a kid everything was 5 ball. When some of the newer machines started showing up with 3 ball games I was ticked. I felt like I was getting ripped off and that it was unfair. So, to me 5 ball seems "right".

In addition, I'm not that good of a player nor do I aspire to be one of the greats so 5 ball games work just fine for me.

When I go to other homes to play pinball I don't "lose respect" for the owners that have their games set on 3 ball. I just play the game, just like I do at home. Pinball is fun whether it's 3 ball or 5 ball (or 4 for those so inclined).

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBellMan:

Our Classic Bally games are all set to 5 ball, but have the most conservative settings! Sure, you get 5 balls, but have to earn everything!
Rob Bell
Robsgameroom.com

Recently obtained Paragon was set to 5 ball by previous owner, so it has stayed the same thus far......since my first or second ball is usually a house ball, I don't feel bad about it being set at 5. Flash Gordon is set at 3 ball...very playable that way, but games can be very short . All modern games are at 3 ball

#45 3 years ago

Mine are all on 3 but some of my family want me to switch whirlwind and sorcerer to 5 because their games are too short on them. 4 might be an ok compromise but I'm happy with 3. My modern games are set to give free balls instead of replays so more than 3 balls default on those would just give too many balls.

#46 3 years ago

I have 8 grandchildren , 5 ball keeps them playing. Trying to keep 4-13 year olds choosing pinball vs Video games.

#47 3 years ago

5 ball for EM games. Mostly 3 ball for the rest. But depends on how hard the game is to POP

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from Banker:

I have 8 grandchildren , 5 ball keeps them playing. Trying to keep 4-13 year olds choosing pinball vs Video games.

I like pinball. I don't care if my family likes it. It's not my job to dumb down all my games so 4 year olds or teens that like video games play more.

I've found that my teen aged son likes video games and never plays pinball. But he will play if we do two player. Maybe engaging with the kids is better than making all the games dumbly easy for them

#49 3 years ago

UK Tornament settings 4 balls with extra balls turned off, so 4 is what you get.

All my games are on 3 balls with extra balls turned on, so could be 4,5 or 6 depending on how good I am on the day!

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