Quickly adjusting when flippers behave differently than you're used to...

As a player aspiring to get better, I’d love to see more skill-related threads on here! There’s a ton of game strategy threads and tutorial videos – which are all very helpful! – but not as much commentary about improving specific skills.

Anyhow, I was playing a modern era machine recently whose left flipper was extremely insensitive for fluttering. In other words, in order to flutter the (left) flipper, you had to release the button nearly all the way before re-engaging it. This also impacted post passing from that side. The right flipper was closer to what I’d considered average.

How do you all adjust on the fly to things like this? Are good players adjusting in these situations by actually being able to adapt and flutter on a machine like this on the fly? That seems so hard to do, when your muscle memory is that “this much” force is the right amount for a given flipper action?

Or, do you just abandon that approach, and instead try for pass-overs more, shooting on the fly more?

I had a very hard time breaking my “flutter the flipper in these situations” habit loop, and it cost me a number of drains from failed flutters or emergency bail-out flails. Clearly, I need to improve at adapting more quickly, but I’m not sure how to learn or practice that.

1 Like

Play as much on location pinball as you can! There will always be nuances from machine to machine, so what to do when you can’t post pass is a variable. You’re on the right track- adapt as you see issues and try to devise the best course of action based off the knowledge at your disposal.


Ha! Tell my newborn I should play more location pinball. :stuck_out_tongue: Point well taken, though.

I’m not so much talking about post passes, though. Usually, failed post passes occur from a trap, and when they fail, you’re often still trapped, so you can think about what to do next.

I’m thinking of what happened to me last night, which happened very quickly. Tried to live catch and ball trickled towards flipper tip. Habit / reaction said “flutter the flipper!” Did it, and the flipper didn’t do anything. Tried again, letting the button out further, still nothing. I should have flipped away at that point, but tried again, and lost the ball.

One thought I had was that I can test the machine’s reaction to those flipper button actions before even plunging.

Other ideas?

1 Like




1 Like

I stop watching shots and start watching my flippers when all else fails. If I can pinpoint the flipper position of a shot I can start making it again. But I don’t want to resort to that unless things are really going badly.


This type of flipper action drives me nuts sometimes, mainly because it is so easily adjustable. On games with flipper optos all you need to do is put a washer or two between the cabinet and the opto interupter, moving the opto sensor closer to the interupter. In effect, the flipper “un-flips” sooner rather than later.

1 Like

Not so easy when when you’re managing a couple hundred games on route. Does the flipper flip when when you press the button? It works enough.

I prefer the method of quietly cursing the person who feels like properly adjusted opto interrupters aren’t a necessity of game setup. XD

As mentioned earlier, please please please replace the plastic interrupter if they are worn out, and please adjust interrupters so that the flip engages in a nice spot.


F that, “play it as it lies.”

Ah right, I forgot the motto of pinball is “it’s good enough, stop bitching, care less”. So many shitty interrupter games in town and it’s not even from operators who have hundreds of machines. We’re talking about like 10-20 here.

1 Like

I was referring to games in a tournament, or even games in a small private collection. Those should be dialed in and working correctly, IMHO.