(Topic ID: 135177)

"Pinball is pretty much luck, not skill, right?"


By Soonerbrink

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by DarthXaos
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    #1 4 years ago

    I try to bring up the good game of pinball with nearly everyone I meet, and I have been asked several times "Pinball is pretty much luck, not skill, right?"

    Does anyone else get this question?

    Let's hear how you respond!

    21
    #2 4 years ago

    "I'll bet you $20 and give you 2-1 odds, then?"

    #3 4 years ago
    Quoted from Euchrid:

    "I'll bet you $20 and give you 2-1 odds, then?"

    Best response ever. I'm going to start using it.

    #4 4 years ago

    I always tell 'em to come over to my house and try their luck against me. They usually wind up shooting pool in about ten minutes.

    #5 4 years ago

    Never had anyone say that to me before. I get a lot of, "oh I didn't realize there was all this stuff to do on here."

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Never had anyone say that to me before. I get a lot of, "oh I didn't realize there was all this stuff to do on here."

    Yeah I don't get the luck but I always get people who seem like their mind has been blown when I explain each game has it's own rule set.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from Soonerbrink:

    I try to bring up the good game of pinball with nearly everyone I meet

    There's your mistake.

    #9 4 years ago

    There is, of course, much luck involved in pinball, and it's the Great Leveler in the game. Doesn't matter how good you are--if the stars aren't aligned, and you have a few mistimed bad bounces, you could be in for a very long day in a tournament. Likewise, complete idiots like me can have one epic ball that gets you a high score. Doesn't mean you're good by any stretch of the imagination--just lucky that one time.

    #10 4 years ago

    Yes, I've heard that many times before. I tell them you might think so, until you watch someone play that knows what they are doing. I remember the first time I stood next to a world class player and watched them play. The revelation was - we are playing the same game, but they don't play the same way I do! I've learned quite a bit since then.

    #11 4 years ago

    A very tight tilt makes it even. Well, maybe not even, but possible.

    #12 4 years ago

    i have heard that question a couple times but it's pretty easy to dispel. i call my shot a few times, that impresses them, even if it's a wide ramp or a huge bash toy. just pick the easiest shot on the table and hit it a few times. then i show them a post pass -- that's super easy, but looks impressive in terms of demonstrating ball control.

    i tell them i'm not even very good, and that watching the real masters dissect a table is amazing.

    i explain my own personal #1 rule, which is always avoid intentionally ceding control of the ball. aimless flailing and randomness = bad. do that and you ARE relying on luck. when you hit a ramp, it will usually feed right back to a controlled flipper shot. that's good. when you hit a hole, that usually spits it back out towards the flippers for a slightly less controlled shot. that's fine if you know the tendencies of the kickout. pop bumpers send the ball out of your control. that's bad. orbits can be dicey.

    i think maybe explaining those kinds of general concepts first goes farther than trying to explain a bunch of complicated table-specific rules.

    #13 4 years ago

    Luck is a part of the game, but the better you play the less luck you need to win.

    #14 4 years ago

    It's a combination of both skill and luck.

    #15 4 years ago

    Then how do the same guys win PAPA and Pinburgh every year!?

    #16 4 years ago

    Magnets in their pockets.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from Boatcat:

    It's a combination of both skill and luck.

    Poker.

    #19 4 years ago

    Don't even know 'er.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    Then how do the same guys win PAPA and Pinburgh every year!?

    Those guys sure are some lucky SOBs!

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    Then how do the same guys win PAPA and Pinburgh every year!?

    Telekinesis.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    Then how do the same guys win PAPA and Pinburgh every year!?

    They don't. Skill will get you to the top ten. A little luck gets you to #1.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    i have heard that question a couple times but it's pretty easy to dispel. i call my shot a few times, that impresses them, even if it's a wide ramp or a huge bash toy. just pick the easiest shot on the table and hit it a few times. then i show them a post pass -- that's super easy, but looks impressive in terms of demonstrating ball control.
    i tell them i'm not even very good, and that watching the real masters dissect a table is amazing.
    i explain my own personal #1 rule, which is always avoid intentionally ceding control of the ball. aimless flailing and randomness = bad. do that and you ARE relying on luck. when you hit a ramp, it will usually feed right back to a controlled flipper shot. that's good. when you hit a hole, that usually spits it back out towards the flippers for a slightly less controlled shot. that's fine if you know the tendencies of the kickout. pop bumpers send the ball out of your control. that's bad. orbits can be dicey.
    i think maybe explaining those kinds of general concepts first goes farther than trying to explain a bunch of complicated table-specific rules.

    Pinball is all about ball control. Keep the ball off the slings, where there is no ball control. They can be deadly, such as in IM , XM and ACDC. Avoid shots up the middle until the risk is worth taking. I find there is a bit of luck involved, but a lot of skill. Miss shots and you rely on the luck of the bounce. Use skill and make shots, no luck is needed.

    #24 4 years ago

    That Elwin guy sure is a lucky s.o.b.

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    Use skill and make shots, no luck is needed.

    Yeah except for true house balls. Those are the worst especially after an amazing ball one.

    #26 4 years ago

    It is certainly a combination of skill and luck. That is what I both love and hate about pinball. I am in the top 150 on IFPA rankings. I'm totally convinced that pinball is about 30% luck- 70% skill. Unless your playing on a short flipper, huge outlane EM. Then it's probably about 50-50.

    #27 4 years ago

    Any ADULT that thinks this, is not worth trying to talk to about such things.

    Focus on starting a tournament or league in your town, rather than wasting your breath on those in the "general public" that has no interest in pinball at all. You will never convince them of anything in the world that they have not already discovered on their own. Most often because they are just not interested in our hobby.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Any ADULT that thinks this, is not worth trying to talk to about such things.
    Focus on starting a tournament or league in your town, rather than wasting your breath on those in the "general public" that has no interest in pinball at all. You will never convince them of anything in the world that they have not already discovered on their own. Most often because they are just not interested in our hobby.

    couldn't disagree more. i've been asked the skill vs luck question a few times, and it's always been because they never really played pinball before. it's not like it was some deeply held unalterable personal conviction or anything. that would be weird. it was an honest question, easily answered.

    #29 4 years ago

    I say "yep....just like poker, care to play either for cash?"

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from Astropin:

    I say "yep....just like poker, care to play either for cash?"

    had some neighbors over on the 4th of July, I proposed a weekly poker group, and one of them said "oh, cool, I've always meant to learn to play poker" and about 3 of us were like "OH WE WILL TEACH YOU!"

    #31 4 years ago

    Actually it's all ball bearings these days...

    #32 4 years ago

    Luck is a combination of skill and practice.

    With enough practice and skill you will begin to control the luck of the table.

    Everyone can have a bad bounce that they equate to poor luck, but the most skillful players will have enough practice to deal with it.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from Soonerbrink:

    I have been asked several times "Pinball is pretty much luck, not skill, right?"

    They must have been watching me play.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from kvan99:

    Actually it's all ball bearings these days...

    Don't forget to check the seventh fetzer value. I think it's been stickin'

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    Then how do the same guys win PAPA and Pinburgh every year!?

    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    They don't. Skill will get you to the top ten. A little luck gets you to #1.

    Over the past 18 years, there have been 9 different PAPA World Champions.

    One Time Champion (6) - Joey Cartegena, Rick Stetta, Paul Madison, Jorian Engelbrektsson, Andrei Massenkoff, Cayle George
    Three Time Champion (2) - Lyman Sheats, Bowen Kerins
    Six Time Champion (1) - Keith Elwin

    Three players, Lyman, Bowen & Keith, have more combined titles than the other six.
    These three men destroy the idea that pinball is mostly luck. While a small amount of luck does indeed happen in pinball, the best players in the world use far more skill than luck to win multiple World Championships.

    http://papa.org/papa-tournaments/papa-world-championships/

    PAPA 1 - World Champion Joey Cartegena
    PAPA 2 - World Champion Rick Stetta
    PAPA 3 - World Champion Lyman Sheats
    PAPA 4 - World Champion Bowen Kerins
    PAPA 5 - World Champion Paul Madison
    PAPA 6 - World Champion Keith Elwin
    PAPA 7 - World Champion Lyman Sheats
    PAPA 8 - World Champion Bowen Kerins
    PAPA 9 - World Champion Lyman Sheats
    PAPA 10 - World Champion Jorian Engelbrektsson
    PAPA 11 - World Champion Keith Elwin
    PAPA 12 - World Champion Keith Elwin
    PAPA 13 - World Champion Keith Elwin
    PAPA 14 - World Champion Andrei Massenkoff
    PAPA 15 - World Champion Keith Elwin
    PAPA 16 - World Champion Bowen Kerins
    PAPA 17 - World Champion Cayle George
    PAPA 18 - World Champion Keith Elwin

    Marcus

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    Over the past 18 years, there have been 9 different PAPA World Champions.
    One Time Champion (6) - Joey Cartegena, Rick Stetta, Paul Madison, Jorian Engelbrektsson, Andrei Massenkoff, Cayle George
    Three Time Champion (2) - Lyman Sheats, Bowen Kerins
    Six Time Champion (1) - Keith Elwin

    These guys all cheat though, I see them shaking the machine and stuff. You're supposed to just flail both flippers wildly at the ball. The object is to just keep it in play as long as possible while doing this according to everyone I've spoken with about the issue outside of this weird community.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    OP
    Soonerbrink said:

    I try to bring up the good game of pinball with nearly everyone I meet

    Quoted from RCA1:

    There's your mistake.

    Absolutely this! Glad I wasn't the only one thinking it. Unless gaming somehow comes up naturally in the conversation, I never try to push it. Having the arcade video games comes up way more even though I also don't bring that stuff up.

    I had somebody really put the press on me with Disney collectibles, all these little ceramic thimbles, cups and figurines. I tried to be nice, but couldn't even feign interest and also couldn't get away quick enough. I never want to be the guy doing that to someone that doesn't give a shit about pinball. lol

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    These three men destroy the idea that pinball is mostly luck. While a small amount of luck does indeed happen in pinball, the best players in the world use far more skill than luck to win multiple World Championships.

    My point exactly. Everything has to come together for you to win. It's not just skill. I think all of these guys are on the same basic level, but it comes down to who had a good day and who didn't...and a lot of times when you're talking about that, you're talking about luck and chance. Has nothing to do with somebody's skill suddenly evaporating at one tournament. We all have those days when you know it's a pinball day or it's not. It doesn't mean you suck one day and you're great the next. When it's not your day, it's not your day.

    #39 4 years ago

    Unless you make every shot you aim for, then there is absolutely luck involved. Thought the better you get at hitting your shots, and nudging to save the ball......the less luck you need

    #40 4 years ago

    Yeah, I usually tell people.... Don't play against *me* -- Play against the *machine.* Play against *me*? You. Will. Lose.

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from TOK:

    Absolutely this! Glad I wasn't the only one thinking it. Unless gaming somehow comes up naturally in the conversation, I never try to push it. Having the arcade video games comes up way more even though I also don't bring that stuff up.
    I had somebody really put the press on me with Disney collectibles, all these little ceramic thimbles, cups and figurines. I tried to be nice, but couldn't even feign interest and also couldn't get away quick enough. I never want to be the guy doing that to someone that doesn't give a shit about pinball. lol

    Yeah, I probably didn't phrase that properly. Typical conversation might be "What did you have going on this past weekend?"
    One of the several things mentioned in my reply 'might' be pinball related. This gives them a handful of topics to inquire about. If they inquire about pinball rather than (or in addition to) family, friends, sports, work, or cars....I'll discuss pinball for a few minutes if they continue to have an interest. If they have no interest from the beginning, then pinball is not discussed. I recognize pinball isn't for everyone, and I have found it easy to tell who is truly interested in discussion pinball, and who is not.

    It has been pleasantly surprising to be talking to a coworker or acquaintance whom I presumed had no interest in pinball only to find out that they too have been going to the same pinball shows for years and have a passion for the game.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    These guys all cheat though, I see them shaking the machine and stuff. You're supposed to just flail both flippers wildly at the ball. The object is to just keep it in play as long as possible while doing this according to everyone I've spoken with about the issue outside of this weird community.

    It's not cheating until the tilt bob hits the ring.

    #43 4 years ago

    I'm surprised by the "don't talk to people about pinball" sentiment expressed by a few in this thread. I bring it up with everyone I can, and have brought a few people into the hobby that way. The most common reaction is people being surprised and curious - and it only takes me a minute or two for them to realize that "wow, pinball is a thing".

    #44 4 years ago

    Played my brother on my IM today. Guess which score was mine.

    He refuses to trap the ball to aim for shots saying he's rather fate decide than stop the ball. Oh well.

    image.jpg

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from Grinder901:

    Played my brother on my IM today. Guess which score was mine.
    He refuses to trap the ball to aim for shots saying he's rather fate decide than stop the ball. Oh well.

    And it appears he paid the iron price for it.

    #46 4 years ago

    NO!

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from TOK:

    Absolutely this! Glad I wasn't the only one thinking it. Unless gaming somehow comes up naturally in the conversation, I never try to push it. Having the arcade video games comes up way more even though I also don't bring that stuff up.
    I had somebody really put the press on me with Disney collectibles, all these little ceramic thimbles, cups and figurines. I tried to be nice, but couldn't even feign interest and also couldn't get away quick enough. I never want to be the guy doing that to someone that doesn't give a shit about pinball. lol

    There's a difference I think. I'll bring it up if someone says to me "what did you do on the weekend?" which is common around the office I might say I picked up a pin, spent time working on one, had friends over to play pinball and the conversation goes from there if they ask questions about it. If they don't that's the end of it. I think when people say they bring up pinball it isn't a case of a one sided conversation where you just cram a bunch of info down their throat.

    #48 4 years ago

    I have never had that said to me but I'd be happy to take their money just the same

    #49 4 years ago

    Like everything else, the more you play/practice, the better you get.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinmanguy:

    There's a difference I think. I'll bring it up if someone says to me "what did you do on the weekend?" which is common around the office I might say I picked up a pin, spent time working on one, had friends over to play pinball and the conversation goes from there if they ask questions about it. If they don't that's the end of it. I think when people say they bring up pinball it isn't a case of a one sided conversation where you just cram a bunch of info down their throat.

    You work with better people than me... If I brought it up, there would be nonstop singing of Pinball Wizard and The Accused references. Funny but a bit relentless. lol

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