Photo of four pinballs cradled on a flipper

Credit: Tony Evans

Skills, Rules, Tips, & Tricks

There are a bunch of ways to learn more about pinball. Each game has its own rules for getting a big score, but there are a lot of common conventions. There are fundamental filipper and nudging skills that you can learn and use on any machine to up your game.


You can watch people play pinball live online on YouTube and Twitch. It's a good way to learn about pinball and be entertained. Some streams are casual and entertaining (e.g. Dead Flip, Dalton Pinball, laser_los) and some are broadcasting live from tournaments (e.g. Fox Cities Pinball, Kennebunks, BangBackPinball).


Dead Flip Tutorials are little animations that will teach you some of the amazing things you can do to get control of the ball.

PinballVideos.com hosts a huge index of competition and tutorial videos.

The Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) has a great Learning Center with resources about picking up pinball as a hobby. They have tutorials for specific games and more on flipper skills. You'll be dead bouncing and live catching like a pro in no time!

If you just want a quick rundown of the basic rules of a specific game, chuckwurt Minitutorials has you covered. PinTips is usually also a great resource for a high-level introduction to basic strategy.

You can even learn about game maintenance and repair from Marco Specialties PinTech LIVE.

Game Rules

If you want to know more about how a particular game works, how to start different modes, how to score big points, then take a look at its rulesheet on Tilt Forums.

For older games, The Players Guide to Classic Pinball (aka The Bob MATH-use Guide) is invaluable!

Tournament Rules

Most tournaments follow the IFPA/PAPA Tournament Rules. Most people who participate in tournaments haven't read these because generally everything goes pretty smoothly. If a problem comes up the Tournament Director running the event will figure out how to move forward using these rules.