The New Pinball Dictionary


I feel like that’s so much more common that it’s a different category of failure. The “out” part of Tapout is the outlane which is much less common, and worthy of it’s own term!


I call either variant a “crap-pass” :slight_smile:


“TipTap” for a would-be Shatz or alley pass that changes to a tap pass at the last moment.

My “old sounds” memory circuit heard those and now suggests “El-Kabong” for a failed alley pass that hits the opposite flipper end hard and then center drains.

TapOut sounds great, but for just the side drain version. The too-weak version could be Tapathetic.


Came up with a new one this weekend at league…

“Runner runner” or “Back door”

From the corresponding poker terms, this phrase refers to the situation in which the only way someone can win the tournament is through a specific opponent getting 4th while they get 1st, (in 4-2-1-0 scoring this happens after one player has won the first two games and another has gotten second in the first two games), leading to the 8-8 tie breaker. They then win the tie breaker to win the tournament, thus catching the “back door flush draw” or “runner runner”.

Example: “They were basically locked out from winning but managed to runner runner his way to victory” or “They were basically locked out from winning but back door’ed to win the whole thing”


The most extreme case of this is the 6-5-2-1 situation where you’re the player with 2. To win, you must place 1st, the person with 1 must place 2nd, the person with 5 must place 3rd, and the person with 6 must place 4th. Then you must win the 3-way tiebreaker!


Generosity Credit: After playing a game for an ungodly amount of time, you achieve the Grand Champ score, enter your initials and are awarded a free credit. This becomes the Generosity Credit when you step away from the machine you’ve been hogging and leave the free game for someone who has had to sit there and wait for you to finish your darn game.

Not sure on the name, like the parallel with Grand Champ, but mainly like the concept. I know there are times when I’m NOT looking to get /just a bit farther/ or /finish that one last mode/ right after finishing some long drawn out game. At those times, I’ll, more often than not, tend to nod to someone nearby and invite them to the free game.


This is a more immediate version of “Play It Forward” (definition not yet written)

The concept of “Play It Forward” is where you play well enough to leave one or more credits on the game for someone else to find later. This, and the one you’ve suggested, definitely link together.


I’ve also found that the pinball gods tend to frown upon continuing to play on the same pin after putting up a GC, after having just received their blessing. If you press start again, you will be smitten. :slight_smile:


I always switch to another game [or leave] after a GC; give someone else the credits, go to a different challenge.

We need a term for when you find one or more credits on a game, play them and several more that you earn for a while, then leave the game with as many or more credits on it as when you found it. Freebie Upgrade? Any ideas?


Getting a GC score around me is getting tougher. That said, I leave a credit or more probably 50% of the time I play. There are a lot of kids at the location I play the most, so I know one of them will push that flashing start button. The settings there are somewhat generous, so extra credits happen often.

At another place by me (pool hall), I sometimes leave credits and come back the next day to find the credits still there. The credit layaway plan. Haven’t hit three layaway days in a row there yet, but it will happen.


Some people just scream “Malfunction” and then tilt.


I’ve had this banging around my head since the episode referenced in the definition…I think it’s high time I add my proposal to the dictionary. Currently, it is part of my own idiolect, as I haven’t heard anyone other than me use it, and I will admit that I use it for lights that are covered by plastics, BUT where that plastic is ineffectual. It turns out I’m the perfect height to see between the plastics and rubbers to the blinding LEDs someone put on the main level of a Haunted House playfield…I actually had to change where I was standing and almost had to abandon the game, it was so bad.

Anyway, my proposed term:

Beacon LED - an LED on a pinball playfield that is clearly visible to the player, especially when unobscured by plastic.

Such unabashed, unmuted brightness hearkens back to the beacon fires of Gondor, used to signal distress and request assistance, as seen in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (quoth Aragorn: “The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid!”).

An example of a beacon LED is near the Gem shot in Tron, as discussed on Episode 19 of the Head 2 Head Pinball Podcast.


I propose the term “four-wheeler” for a 4-game round where you score all zeros.

As in, “I got a four-wheeler my first round of Pinburgh, but I’m still having a great time!” #truestory

(Credit to Chris Yuill for his attempt to console me.)


Witch Trial

A TD test to see if a ball that skipped the trough and returned to the shooter lane is valid.

How did they test the witches in Salem? Throw them into the lake!

How do you test bypasses? Throw the ball in the drain! If it “sinks” and your ball ends, the next player is up. If the ball “floats” and your ball returns to the shooter lane, you continue playing!


I’ll tell you what also floats. A duck and little tiny rocks!


For PAPA-style finals, we already have the Bus Driver.

For Pinburgh-style finals I give you… The Tour Guide

Unlike the bus driver who gets to decide where the route goes and which stops are made throughout the round, the tour guide, with a single decision, presents you with your entire itinerary for the round up front.

Q: “Who was the bus driver in finals ?”
A: “Josh was. But he was clearly drunk, since he picked Gorgar as the final game instead of AC/DC!”

Q: “Who was the tour guide in finals ?”
A: “Elwin was. He picked the TnA bank last round, so I guess he wanted to visit the Guardians bank before finals.”


New term for a houseball: “Seinfeld Ball”. A ball all about nothing.


How about on Dialed In when you get zero hits on the QED and thus no progress towards activating the phone: “Neutron Ball” (no charge)


‘Dwight Light’

It is the term for Dwight Sullivan coded games that pulse the GI in such a way to cause temporarily blindness.
Dwight Light can also be used when every LED insert is used as a flasher to burn your retina and causes inflammation to the cornea .


Player: “What happened? I was playing Game of Thrones and couldn’t see the ball?!”
Friend: “You gotta watch out for that Dwight Light Y’all. Avoid the White shots!”


Brickochet (‘brick-oh-shay’) - when a ball on a bricked shot immediately drains.