Every Japanese city has amusement parlors featuring the vertical pinball machines called pachinko. These parlors also feature distinctive slot machines called pachislo. They differ form Vegas-style machines in that the player is able to stop each reel by pushing a button, creating the illusion of being able to win jackpots by skill alone. In reality, the odds of hitting the jackpot are pre-programmed, and in a Japanese parlor attendants adjust them daily, both to attract customers and to cash in when there is a full house. In some parlors, attendants reset the machines after every payout.
Insert the key into the keyhole in the front of the machine. Turn it counterclockwise to disable the machine and pull the front of the machine towards you. It is hinged and will swing out. If it is an older machine, you may have to jiggle the front to get the catch to release.
Look for the odds meter on the inside of the door. It will display a number from 1 to 6. The loosest odds are denoted by 6. Press the button next to the meter repeatedly to reset this number to the one you want. When you have chosen the number, press the play lever on the front of the machine to set it.
Use a second key to reset the machine after a malfunction, usually denoted by the E1 code showing in the "credits" display on the front of the machine.
Turn off the main power button, usually located on the door or above the hopper, or unplug the machine. Insert the key into the reset keyhole located just under the hopper and turn it to the right. Leaving the key in this position, turn the power back on.
Close the door and note that the credits display shows the number 1. Push the lever once, and it will read 0.
Open the door again, turn the reset key back to its original position, and remove it.
Push the door closed, and turn the door key clockwise to return the machine to operating mode. If the key doesn't turn, wiggle the door so that the latch lines up. Verify that the machine is working by inserting tokens and pushing the play lever.
- Pachislo machine
It is common for a coin to jam the machine. When this happens, open the door and work the jammed coin out with a screwdriver before reseting the machine and closing the door.
Pachislo machines are designed to accept special tokens that players exchange for "prizes" (that are usually cash) because it is technically illegal to gamble in Japan. It is possible to retrofit a pachislo machine to accept quarters.
Pachinko parlors represent a multi-billion dollar industry in Japan, and older machines are constantly being replaced by newer ones. Out-of-date pachislo machines are readily available for export as curios.