Jacks Open

Pinside rating

This game received 66 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.269 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #29 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.408

Artwork: 8.024

Sounds/Music: 3.868

Other Aspects: 8.415

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.


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Found 44 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 44 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 day ago
When I was 15-16 yrs old, after school, we would quietly walk into the shitty little dark all day dive bar in town (the Drake!) to play Jack's Open!!
This title was one of three (El Dorado & AbraCaDabra) play as much as possible games for me back in my day and it was always a quick game with Jack's Open as we would get loud and get kicked out almost every time..... sometimes chased! Damn, it was fun.
I loved Jack's Open!! That bar was the only place that had it. It was 1980-81 and the mall had moved on to electronic games and it was getting harder to find the EM's I had mastered!
I lost interest in pinball soon after, but 25 yrs later when I came back, this was the hardest to find damn game!
Jack's Open is a special game and that's why it's hard to find.... people play it and then they want it.
One of Gottliebs last wedgeheads and one of their best!!
3 months ago
Love this game! Lots to shoot for.
5 months ago
I am fortunate to own a number of EM machines, and Jacks Open is easily my favorite of the bunch. I play it virtually every session.

The rule set is great, and it's really fun to accomplish the goals and roll the score over and watch the 100,000 light pop on. Don't get the idea that the game is too easy--the open lanes will punish you if you try to get cute and cradle the ball too often. Learning how to roll down through three of the top lanes (but not all four!) to maximize the drop target scores is critical to success.

My machine was altered by some operator back in the day so that the extra drop target scores were not registering. When I looked under the playfield, I found four cut wires that were neatly taped off. With the help of some of the knowledgeable EM tech experts here on Pinside, I was able to correctly re-solder the wires and take the game back to full factory functioning. The game has been rock-solid ever since. I can understand why the Gottlieb wedge-heads have such an appeal.

Highly recommend this game--if you can find one, get it.
6 months ago
Great rules!
8 months ago
This is one of few EM tables I enjoy. I like the simplicity of just shooting for drop targets to complete hands. It's simple but fun, and challenging. I could keep coming back to try and score the special over and over.
9 months ago
Such a wonderful playing game, I like to add one but it's pretty pricey :0(. I can play this game over & over, dosent get boring. I never tried it's add a ball clone Lucky hand, but I might consider one, if it's great shape. Would of been nice if they added a bell with the chimes, I find at times it's pretty quiet, a bell would of been a great feature to look forward to. One thing that might not flow well with some, is the top rollover is best to hit 3/4 to maximize drop target points(4000) when you hit them. If you hit the forth it resets to minimum point structure for the drop targets(1000) but advances the series, and rollovers sequence starts all over again we're lite ones are worth (5000) vs unlite at (500). I don't have a problem with it but some people might not like that rule. I think they should of added more points if you hit the 4th rollover, and possibly a big bell noise. Great game, I would of rated this game higher, if it wasn't for that void of noise at times when it can get quiet, art work isnt as spectacular like centigrade 37, as most card theme games kind of look the same, but the backglass is the exception, great artwork on the glass. This game is right up there with volley, c37, atlantis, sky jump, etc so much fun!!! I updated my rating feb10 2022 since I have been playing it alot more now, because I added to my collection. Overall it's a top tier pinball machine. Right up there with centigrade37, Atlantis, Sky jump, volley, super spin, etc... Outstanding rule set, no wonder they made S.S version of it.... I would give it a higher rating but playfield art is pretty simple, but nice and appealing
11 months ago
Simple combo drop target that keeps you coming back game after game in an attempt to do better. I'm typically not into straight forward symmetrical layouts but the simplicity of the foundation of this game is what makes getting further more rewarding. Fantastic Gottlieb wedge head and I'm happy to own one.
12 months ago
This is a great EM with staying power. Just keeps you coming back for more.
1 year ago
One of the best drop target games by the kings of the day Gottlieb
1 year ago
Kept my Jacks Open for about 20 years, finally sold it but if I could have it back I'd take it. So fun completing the drop target sequences, the 'shaker' outlanes that let you try to save the ball, terrific execution of a card hand theme. Incredible lastability.
1 year ago
This is definitely one of the best EM Pinball machines ever made, it keeps you wanting to come back and play more each time you finish a game, it has a amazing rule set for its time. Hit the corresponding drop targets to advance to the next level, cool out lanes to keep the ball in play, I just love playing this game!
1 year ago
I have a restored copy of this pin. Painted and cleared playfield, rebuilt mechanisms and a freshly painted cabinet. The game plays and looks great. Drop targets are very challenging. I like completing one suit and seeing the targets reset for the next challenge. I get close to free games about half the time, but hardly ever get there. The sound of the knocker is rewarding on those occasions I actually win. It keeps me coming back.
1 year ago
Jacks Open is probably my favorite Gottlieb EM. I love the card themed games and this one delivers on that! The objective is clear and quite challenging. The artwork is colorful on the playfield and the backglass is very attractive when the Bg is in good condition. The purple fades or paint flakes it becomes a focal eye sore. The game play is simple and over the top! Love drop targets and this game delivers!
1 year ago
Have one (twice) and very much enjoyed it. Symmetrical playfield is good for me, middle drop targets are fun, and those darn Outlanes that can drain if you don't play the shot right!

Had a chance at Lucky Hand, but passed it on to a good friend. "Lucky" him!

Good flow for a good EM.
2 years ago
I own both Jacks Open and its AAB cousin Lucky Hand, and this is probably the most addictive of the 10 Gottlieb EMs currently in my collection. The advancing card hands (two Jacks, three Queens, Full House, Royal Straight Flush) is really cool and it's addictive to try to get them all down and light the special (or WOW on the AAB Lucky Hand).

Love this game, and even though I'll probably sell Jacks Open eventually since I have its AAB Twin, this is a FANTASTIC EM pinball game.
2 years ago
There were a number of 70s EMs with a single horizontal bank of drop targets or spot targets at the top of the playfield, and Jacks Open is on top of all of them. I like games where you don't have to read a training manual to know what's going on, so here you go. Just remember to try to get 3 upper rollovers for the points bonus, since that's not obvious at first. I'd be a little concerned that the basic game objective would get a little old over time, but focusing on having the 3 rollovers done and then clearing the bank for points helps.

The art is a little odd but nifty. Cool late EM. Gotta be careful trapping the ball as it's easy to forget about those outlanes.

*Wife approval* "Wow this is addicting." Ha ha, thumbs up.
2 years ago
Jacks Open probably has one of the most unique hooks of all the Gottlieb drop target games. Making your way through the ladder of card hands is just as delightful as it is challenging, and requires genuine skill and aim. Flailing about won't get you much of anywhere here with the progressive ruleset.

Mastering the drop catch is your key to success in this game, as standard catches often end in failure with the open outlane configuration. A masterful game.
2 years ago
Jacks open is propably my best EM. It's got this little something, that little edge from the others. I can't describe it. It's the overall feeling that it gives me when I play it.
3 years ago
I don't have much to say except that I consider this to be one of the best EM backglasses.
3 years ago
Great card theme..she’s a real shooters game. Hard to trap the ball on the flippers, as it might go thru the opening of the outlanes..challenging but fun game..
3 years ago
Pros: A rule set that is more complicated than it might first seem really helps ou this deck. Getting 3 of the 4 aces and then shooting down drops is some of the most fun I have ever had in pinball. Great art package. Outland saves are great fun and also make playing for control in the game much more difficult. Getting to specials is an awesome touch at the end of a very long rainbow.

Only one way to score.

If you like em’s this is a must have and if you see it on location make sure you play it.
4 years ago
One of the best card themed EM's make poker hands and nudge the out lanes back in, fun stuff
4 years ago
This game is about drop targets. 9 total this is where your skill shot comes in. Start with the (2) Jacks. That will light 1000 point pop bumper and reset drop targets. Now shoot for the (3) Queens to reset target again and advance to the Full House. Now you'll need the (3) Queen again and (2) Kings.
4 years ago
My favorite em. Great logic for em era. Probably the most complex scoring of any em I have played.
4 years ago
One of the last great E/M's made by Gottlieb, featuring an escalating poker hand scoring system which demonstrates the height of this technology. I feel this is the best card themed wedge head ever made.

Scoring the top rollovers adds a 1000 point value to each drop targets until the fourth rollover is hit which advances the poker hand needed up the scale (from a pair of jacks to three queens for example) but lowers the value of the target back to 1000. The key to scoring major points is to hit the targets when the value is the highest. When the poker hand targets are hit, they reset during game play, and all the targets are again available for scoring. This was an amazing feature at the time.

The main challenges of this game are the open return lanes which make ball trapping difficult and ill-advised at times. It is also not easy to get the ball back up top. On top of that the space between the flippers seems wider than other Gottlieb games of the 70's.

A great back glass and superb theme coupled with great game play make this one of the top Gottlieb E/M's off all time. This game is desirable for good reason, and I'm lucky to have one. I remember this game when it came out and how tough it seemed back then. Sure, now that I own one I have had scores like 259k, but it's still difficult to beat. It is the only game I have set on 5 ball (in Vancouver all games were set on 3 ball and still are).

Is it better than C37 or Abra Ca Dabra? I'll leave for you to decide but there is no doubt, this one is classic Gottlieb all the way.
There are 44 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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