Travel league , monthly tournaments or just good old fashioned fun, there are lots of great tips in this article … enjoy



“This article was originally published on Pavlov Pinball

Play better! Pinball tips from the world’s top competitors

Don’t let your knees go all trembly for starters

Being a good pinball player is the obvious answer, but that begs one crucial question: what’s the secret to becoming a good pinball player?

There’s no one here at Pavlov Towers remotely qualified to answer that question, so rather than make something up Pavlov Pinball decided to ask some of the very best competition players in the world: PAPA World Pinball Champion Cayle George, IFPA world #1 ranked player Jorian Engelbrektsson, UK #1 and Pinball News editor Martin Ayub, Australia #1Steve Edwards, the world’s top ranked female player Helena Walter, former World Pinball Champion and PAPA tutorial player Bowen Kerins, IFPA President Josh Sharpe, and IFPA founder and legendary industry figure Roger Sharpe.

It’s an epic understatement to say that this collection of gents and lady know how to knock the silver ball around a bit. And what’s undeniably true is that if you’re interested in competitive pinball they’ve got plenty of valuable advice to share.

So, let’s have at it.


Match practice

To do well competitively you certainly need a range of skills, but Cayle George points out that there’s one skill in particular you need to learn to be World Pinball Champion, or just win your local club event. “It is an actual skill to be able to compete,” he says.

“There is no way to get over the adrenaline, heart pounding, shaking hands and loss of critical thinking from the competitive environment other than doing it again and again. It does get better, you will get over it, but it will take experience like everything else.”

Jorian Engelbrektsson backs this up. “For myself, I was a good pinball player before I started competing and it took me three years of competing before I could handle it properly. In the beginning I choked and just felt uncomfortable.”

Getting experience in competitions is also a valuable experience for another reason, saysBowen Kerins. “The best way someone can improve their competitive play is to watch others’ play and discuss their decisions,” he says.

“You’ll end up learning a lot about your own play style – you won’t agree with another player’s decisions 100% of the time – but you’ll also realise there is more than one way to play the game. I learned far more from others, especially about skilful nudging, than I could have learned with an unlimited amount of playtime by myself.

(Bowen Kerins shares his tips for winning competitions in this Pavlov Pinball article.)

Cayle George agrees. “The best way to improve is to play with people who are better than you. You’ll learn more in a few games with a stronger player than you will with weeks by yourself. Playing with others will show you new things, or creative takes on the things that you thought were only performed one way. Use the information you learn and roll it into your own skill set.”

Even if you can’t make a competition, these days you can learn by watching video feeds of top players in action, Jorian Engelbrektsson points out. ” I watch all PAPAtv tournaments that I don’t attend for talk on the latest ROMs (software) and strategies,” he says.



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