Skills for the Pinball Player
View From Behind the Flippers

During an interview with a morning talk show during the Sunday of the finals of PAPA 3, Rick Stetta said something to the effect of, 'I believe as well as many other players that pinball is 75% skill and 25% luck.' (Not a formal quote). What he said was more accurate then, than it is now. I believe that since the machines are becoming more difficult (STTNG, Demolition Man) and more ornate, that the luck factor is diminishing more and more as time goes on. The increasing importance of Multiball, the use of controls outside of the flippers (HSII, LW3, TFTC, STTNG), the use of video modes (although that seems to be dying out now), and the reduced amount of random mystery awards in tournament mode are all more skill factors which continue to force wizards to improve their abilities. You have to have skills to win in a tournament: this is evident by checking the records of former tournaments, the same names keep coming up year after year. (Sheats, Stetta, Hegge etc).

The following is a list of skills starting from the most basic to the most difficult. Mastering all of these will definitely improve your chances come tournament time! * \\ - Novice Skills :: novice.html :: This section describes the very basic skills of playing pinball. All players should know the skills in this section.

Double Flipper Hit
Single Flipper Hit
Aiming \\ - Intermediate Skills :: intermediate.html :: The second section covers skills for intermediate players. Most of the skills in this section are related in some way to ball control.

Slap Save
Up Push
Hold Trap
Backhands \\ - Advanced Skills :: advanced.html :: As your skill increases you can apply more advanced ball control skills. The skills in this section take you beyond simple ball control to more agressive moves that give even more control over the ball.

Bounce Pass
The Chill Manuever
Hold Pass
Repeating the Angle
Duration of Contact
Coming Off
Upper Flipper Set-Up \\ - Wizard Skills :: wizard.html :: Beyond the advanced skills lie the domain of the wizards. These skills are difficult, but have a high payoff.

Death Save
Drop Stop
Flip Trap
Falling Hold Pass
Inlane Friction \\ - Multiball Skills :: multiball.html :: Multiball skills are covered in a special section. Playing with more than one ball calls for skills that cannot be applied when playing with a single ball.

Deliberate Drain
Trap and Play
Escaping a Multitrap
\\ - Mental Skills :: mental.html :: The physical skills of pinball are not the entire game. You need some mental skills as well. This is especially important in competitive play.

Concentration/Calm \\ - General Considerations :: considerations.html :: This final section discusses some general considerations when playing pinball. These are not skills per se, but still important issues.

Ball Velocity
Slingshot Pass
Defensive Push \\ * ::
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