Pinball Spotlight Series:
Another Wedgehead here: Big Casino. Released in 1961, it is the oldest game we have out in the game room right now. It is also Rhodes’ favorite machine of all time. Designed again by the pinball design legend Wayne Neyens, and with art from the inimitable Roy Parker, this game features one of the classic pinball themes: poker.
The object of the game is to get the ball to rollover each lane on the playfield. Each lane corresponds to a different card in your hand, and pops up on the back glass to check your progress. Completing poker hands completes letters in “Casino” and spelling it completely awards a replay. And like Tropic Isle, progress in Big Casino carries over game to game. Like those token pushers in the kiddy arcade. “But you’re so close you say, surely you’ll get it next time you play!“
This game is another that is all about the nudge, but you get 5 balls so remember not to overdo it because a tilt ends game. It features a really interesting flipper placement with no outlanes, but with three middle lanes in the center instead to drain with a post above the lanes and flippers in the center of the playfield. This is from the era where the lower flipper layout changed a lot from game to game.
It wasn’t for another 15 years or so before his successor and protege, the equally brilliant Ed Krynski basically standardized the modern flipper, inlanes, and slingshot layout that has been remained untouched significantly since. It’s a cool vestigial tail of pinball’s past. And it plays with much more control than you would think would be possible for a layout like this. So come on down and put a few games on this cool old hillbilly casino themed classic pin!