Riverboat Gambler

Pinside rating

This game received 42 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.184 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #234 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.253

Artwork: 7.282

Sounds/Music: 6.86

Other Aspects: 7.31

Pinside staff rating

None of the Pinside.com staff have rated this game. Sorry, no rating from us.

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Found 25 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 25 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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27 days ago
This is a good and challenging game with a non complicated ruleset. RG has the most important thing; fun and appeal.. The music is cosy but itches in your brain after a while an the callouts are over middle cheesy.
I will not sell mine, but you will propably not choose this game to be in your collection if you are limited to a small collection .
3 months ago
Shoot the ramps - all game long. Not much fun.
1 year ago
It’s not a deep game, and it’s not even close to being one of the greatest games ever made...
And that’s why I sold mine.
So why do I think about it all the time and regret selling it so much?
Because what it does, it does right.
It has that one more game thing going for it on steroids.
I should never have sold it. I could play it over and over and over.
One day I’ll own this game again.
1 year ago
This is a unique game worth playing however I find myself a little critical on some of the features some of which are personal preference. I've had one in the collection for awhile and plan to keep it. Maybe you will enjoy this game more than I do so definitely recommend playing if you have a chance. I recall this machine had a lower production and can be uncommon to see.

My machine has recently been shopped and find the close shots (drop targets) throw the ball into a number of random directions making the ability to control the game play difficult. A lot of the game advancement requires making either of the two ramp shots which will trigger a feature of chance.

A good score can be dependent on the progressive jackpot. You can have a great game in terms of what you have achieved in game play but you will end up with a lower score if your jackpot is low. Meanwhile a great score can be had with a quick game grabbing a progressive jackpot.
1 year ago
This pin is straight forward fun, the rules are simple and if you enjoy an old style casino set up this pin has it. Like others have said scores can be made or ruined based upon the luck of the roulette wheel, that's gambling. You win some times and you loose as well.
2 years ago
Enjoyed this one while I had it. I like the roulette toy.
3 years ago
This is the layout that Stern barrowed for High Roller Casino, but Williams did it right.
Having this game in my game room/ poker room is awesome. This machine gets lots of play from my poker buds who aren’t even pinball guys just because of the theme.
Pretty easy to understand all the shots because they are well built to be like popular gambling games.
I know some pinball guys don’t like the chance of the roulette wheel, but it fits the theme so well, it’s gambling!
I love this pin because it builds the gambling aspect in so well.

Will probably never leave the collection.
3 years ago
Fun game but a lot of luck involved with awards. Interesting option to place bets on the lockdown bar. Unique game but not for everyone.
3 years ago
Riverboat is a decent sys 11. Not the best nor the worst. Some people say that it is pretty deep, but it just isn’t. Gets boring pretty fast. Just because the music gets stuck in your head doesn’t mean that it is good although I do like the jackpot music. Call outs are pretty annoying. I just feel like there isn’t enough going on although some people will probably disagree with me. Not a fan of the rules considering you work up to a jackpot that is completely random and I know that it coincides with the theme, but it is disappointing to work for something that is completely random. You work hard to spell “CASINO” and you get really nothing. You can light multiball by going over a inlane? An ok game that can be fun sometimes, but not a game that I kept long.
4 years ago
bad flipper
5 years ago
Great pinball, complete; roulette and fun multiball
5 years ago
this game makes me feel like im am gambling ,it has nice flow smooth ramps ,easy to learn and fun to play, it seemed all the points wer on the left side of the playfield and got repetitive but all machines are...no dmd needed, the back glass art is sweet,not many out there, very different game play and a very nice job williams !!!
5 years ago
This is underrated unknown machine which deserves a bit more credence because it has some unique features.
Next to last designed System 11 machine before the age of the Williams Pinball Controller (WPC).

The playfield multiple "minigames" of blackjack, roulette, poker, and alpha numeric display slot machine are VERY well integrated into the theme.
Artwork is another "Linda Deal" special, and is colorful, eye catching, and "prone to fading" (a little humor of truth).
The main game music is catchy and blues style and great quality, although a bit repetitive after a while and will eventually get "stuck in your mind".

The really notable feature in the Roulette wheel in the backbox and "chip betting" risk versus reward feature.
One of the few machines that integrated multiple lockbar buttons for interaction.
Only a few other games did this feature, and no other with FOUR buttons.
You can win big for jackpot or lose it all.

"Ridin' on that lucky riverboat... Ridin' on that lucky river boat... Take a chance, make a bet, try your luck, you might win yet... Ridin' on that lucky river boat! "
You are not going to easily forget this quote.

FINAL NOTE: Around 500 or so of Riverboat Gambler machines had Diamond Plated (DP) playfields and are EXTREMELY hard to find in superb+ condition coupled with the fact this machine has a number of "unobtanium" game specific parts that have a tendency to get broken, especially the main ramp.
Many parts have never been reproduced for this machine, which makes matters more problematic.

I would not even consider another machine without DP and no factory mylar (which was installed on some machines).

Production number on PinSide is completely incorrect, a little over 3000 were produced not 1280.
Early production (~250 or so) do exist with a different playfield set of inserts.
General low production makes it hard to find in an general decent condition anyway, as many were heavily played into submission.

Nice examples will fetch good prices for those that like the overall theme.
5 years ago
Wow. What a pleasant surprise this pin is. Played one a PAPA and liked it enough to search out a diamond plated one.
First off, if you don't have LEDS in this pin, shame on you. Absolutely beautiful with them in.
For a system 11, it's quite deep in rules. There are 6 "games" you play to spell CASINO for a 2 mil prize. Also there is a progressive jackpot. The roulette wheel is damn fun.
Skill shot is one of the best of all time.
This pin is perhaps one of the MOST underrated I've come across, albeit I'm a bit partial to system 11 pins (the best era ever). The theme song isn't annoying like some say. The attract mode is cool too.. the pin teaches you how to play it, just like Pinbot does.

Staying for awhile!
6 years ago
Found myself wanting to learn the rules on this one...played it many times and enjoyed the game play. Found the rules to be easy to pick up and the roulette was a nice touch.

Not the worlds biggest challenge but provides some nice entertainment. Theme and art are well done.
7 years ago
Played a few hours. I was pleasantly surprised. I want to have it.
7 years ago
Game plays and feels like being in a casino. Play blackjack, roulette, and hit the slot machine for the big payout. I had one in excellent condition, only to sell it to make room for my holy grail.
7 years ago
This pinball is underrated. It is a fun game and I like it. Choosing the colors with the buttons is something different.
8 years ago
This is a fun game. At first glance the backglass isnt that interesting. I love the gambling aspect and the shots are fun.
8 years ago
I love the theme of this game, and i love the music. it is very western and bouncy. it is a real winner in my eyes. I like that it isnt a DMD game. and it really draws you into the shots more than the screen animations.
8 years ago
Riverboat Gambler is a good game by Ward Pemberton.

The Pros:
One of the toughest skill shots ever. The PF layout is creative and flows nicely. Shots require accuracy from hitting drops/standups to the upperlefthand lane blackjack shot. Multiball on this game is a blast. PF artwork is great! I like the buttons on the lockdown bar... what is that white button for?

The Cons:
This can turn into a 1 shot game on the left ramp/lock shot to spin the wheel and get multiball running. Not the biggest fan of the reb/black/green BG animation/awards. Eventually you get lucky. Then again... this is a gambling themed pinball table. Pat McMahon needs to stop drawing realistic looking people (on the BG) and stick with characature though... Scoring is unbalanced with

The Takeaway:
I like this game, it's fun. A solid game for the kids and people who want to just play pinball. Would it stay in my collection. I don't know. But considering it's rarity, it's nice to come across once in a while and have fun with it. ...Ridin' down that lucky Riverboat...
9 years ago
Like how the roulette, slots, and also the poker aspect of it. Board does feel that more shots are on the left side of the board.
11 years ago
bought this game with the plan to resell thats not going to happen plays well lots of extras other games dont offer compared to when this one was bulit
12 years ago
First pin I bought and it will be in my collection for ever also. Never get tired of playing it and guessing the roulette wheels color as it spins! Rare to find machine.
There are 25 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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