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[How to Play Pinball]

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Below is a list of resources on the internet that will help you learn how to play Pinball in ways you never knew possible.  Learn control techniques, scoring strategies, how to nudge and lots of other useful stuff that will impress your friends and make you more attractive to the opposite sex (hopefully).


Control – The pinball technique videos in the next section are about ways to get the ball under control or make it do what you want.  When the ball is flying around randomly you’re in trouble!

Aimed ShotsNow that the ball is under control you can make more aimed shots and safe shots, not wild “on the fly” shots.

Strategy – Once you learn to control the ball and aim for stuff,  you need to know what to shoot and when.  Check out the great series of videos below featuring champion player Bowen Kerins to learn some rules and strategy.

Individual Strengths and Weaknesses – Figure out through playing what techniques and strategies work for you and which don’t.  Some people have a lot of trouble with certain techniques or just don’t find them fun to use.  Many players use a minimum of control techniques and are still very good players.

Consistency – Most people will improve dramatically with regular play.  If you really want to get good you have to play at least a couple times a week or your timing, aim and ability to predict the ball’s behavior deteriorate.

This is only part of NES’ trophy collection…

Pinball Skills and Techniques VIDEOS:

(Note: the videos and web pages will often use different names for the same technique but you’ll learn what’s what pretty quick. For example, some people call it a “bounce pass” while others call it a “dead flipper pass”. Same technique.)

  • Bowen and Andrei Seminar at Replay FX

    2011 World Champion Andrei Massenkoff and multi-World Champion Bowen Kerins do an excellent job covering both the basics and lots of advanced technique. To deliver all this flippery goodness they use Paragon, which is an older solid-state game, and Full Throttle, which is  a brand new game from boutique manufacturer Heighway Pinball of England.

  • Neil Shatz – Pinball Skills

A video I made featuring champion player Neil Shatz (NES) on basic flipper techniques like bounce pass and post pass.

All the best players push the game around some. Learn when and how, and don’t tilt! Features 2011 PAPA World Champion Andrei Massenkoff.

  • Pinpin 7 – “Seven Flipper Skills You Need to Know”.

This is the second chapter in the film, about five minutes in. You can fast forward or sit through the opening pinball fishing video.


(note: the “slingshot pass” technique shown (aka “post pass” or “post transfer”) is not typically how this is done. The method shown in Pinpin 7 is how it is done on most games)

A promo for a film that was never released.  Fun fact: Neil suggested the music to the producers!

Live Speaker Presentation on the very basics.

Pinball Strategy VIDEOS:

  • Bowen Kerin’s strategy series.

These videos are excellent! Bowen walks you through the features of several popular games.  This is just a sample – see more at

Avatar and Family Guy:

No Good Gofers:


Medieval Madness:

Twilight Zone:

Monster Bash:

Flash Gordon:

The Simpsons Pinball Party:




In-depth rule sheets for many popular games – because that little Rules card on the game just doesn’t cut it.  Studying these extensive rules sheets can be a lot of work and I usually go through them gradually or print them off to refer to while playing.

These are great articles with pictures from Martin Ayub, the editor of pinball news and one of the top players in the world.

Great info, but no pictures.

This is an oldie but a goodie. It has some advice about how to handle the ball when it starts getting knocked around in the slingshots, as well as some tournament advice. Save a copy while you can as the hoster may take it down at any time.

Champion pinball player, Bowen Kerins explains how to play games with a repeatable (some say ‘abusable’) shot for maximum scoring in tournament situations.

A really excellent guide to feeling out and playing AFM in a tournament situation, by champion player Bowen Kerins.

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