Payout Pins

“Payout” Pinballs (gambling pins)

In 1933, Bally came out with ROCKET. It used electricity from "dry cell" batteries to power a mechanism which paid out coins directly to the player if he shot a ball into the proper holes on the playfield.

The Jennings SLICKER is a similar payout game, developed after regular electricity was applied to pinball.
Pin game design began to split in two directions; "payouts", and "novelty" games. Manufacturers began to put out “payout” pinballs, in addition to their "novelty" games. Payout pinballs were indeed big business in those years.

Many of the payout games only offered the player one ball per game and became known as "one- balls".Pamco BALLOT is an example.

The payout pinball gave the slot machine operator another type of game to operate, probably bringing in some new players who wanted to gamble but felt that the slots were too 'fixed' in the operator's favor. These people probably thought, "at least with these pin games I have a chance to use my skill to increase my chances of winning”. Fat chance.

The prevalence of the "one-ball games" at that time, which were used almost exclusively for gambling, led to increased pressure by anti-gambling forces against pinball games in general. The increase in the "skill factor" in pinball play resulting from the introduction of the flipper gave the pro-pinball forces a new "weapon" to use to defend "amusement pinball" in the courts. It could now be argued that "flipper pinball" was more of a game of "skill" than of "chance", an argument that was much more difficult to support before the flipper came along.

Some games were even timed, as can be seen in the instructions above.