Why You Have to Try Pachinko and Baccarat in Japan

The advancements in online and digital technology are constantly changing the world of gambling entertainment.

With every new development the traditional, land-based casino is being forced to adapt to offer something different to online betting. Nowhere can this be found better than in the country of Japan, where gambling in its most traditional sense, is banned.

Parlour and card games offer the most excitement to punters – namely, Pachinko and Baccarat.

When in Japan

The Japanese gambling market is undergoing a lot of change, with constant new regulation meaning that the face of the industry is always developing.

Despite ongoing regulation, Japan is planning to invest money into the construction of multiple casinos in the coming years, with some opening their doors as early as 2020. Although they may not offer the complete Western experience you’re more used to, Japan’s alternative take on gambling is what draws in so many crowds of people – so much so that the Japanese are planning to take measures to stop addictions.

It’s often the games that are generating the most income for Japan that are allowed to be practised. As of 2015, the revenue brought about from Pachinko, in particular, is said to have generated more than Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore’s gambling market combined.

How to play

Japan’s two most popular games are less about the skill of the player and more about the individual’s luck and patience.


Based on the Las Vegas slot machines and children’s games from the early 20th century, Pachinko can be played in specific Pachinko parlours that can be found all over major cities and towns in Japan.

Players exchange money for a tray of small ball bearings which are then inserted into the Pachinko machine and fired around the exterior with the aim of hitting the ‘Start Chucker’, usually in the lower centre of the machine. When this happens, the player is rewarded with more balls they can exchange for money at another outlet close by. The catch is, the more balls that are won, the more chuckers that are opened up for the possibility of a greater payout.

As you can imagine, the rattling of the ball bearings and the constant chimes of the machines means that Pachinko parlours are some of the nosiest places in Japan.


Far less crazy than Pachinko but arguably tenser, Baccarat is based upon the famous game of Blackjack, only the aim is to get as close to 9 as possible without going over it.

As opposed to Blackjack, players do not receive their own hand. Players, in fact, place chips to bet on either the ‘Player’ or the ‘Banker’, each of which receives two cards. Whoever bets on the pair that gets the closest to 9 wins the opposing players chips. On top of this, face cards like the king or queen represent a score of 0, and if both pairs go over 9 then the pair with the larger second digit of the score wins the hand.

Whenever you find yourself in Japan, be sure to look out for a Pachinko parlour or Baccarat room so as not to miss out on two of the most unique games the world has to offer.