Bingo Pinballs

This page was created on 8-16-2011 – Last updated 4-17-2014


Well when I first got into the bingos I got very curious about the Reflex Units and how they worked _ This was a little bit before Phil published his blow-by-blow breakdown of their operation _ laugh _ But I have remained curious at to how (if) they might be adjusted and circumvented as need to “loosen up” your home game.


Back then, there were a few rumors out there about being able to change-up the gear-ratio on the Reflex to change the bingo machine odds and earnings _ So I wondered if this was documented anywhere.


Well this came across my mind again yesterday when I started looking through my old files and found this Peach State documented ordering parts for a 1950’s Bally bingo repair:


The document is a 1959 parts order for a 1953 Beach Club _ In looking at this, I can easily see a 6yr old machine being worn out

and needing refurbished to keep it on-line a few more years and I can easily believe that a slick-operator (one connected-up)

would know about any Reflex Options that existed!!


Check Line #12 ordering “Reflex Gear #2” _ Huh? _ An “A-463-23” part number.


Well back-in-the-day I had written everyone I knew about the Reflex and always got the same basic response: “No where in the Bingo

Documentation were there any details on the Reflex Unit” _ Neither drawings or instructions.




Mr. Jensen was one of the 1st to respond:


Hi Danny – I just talked to my old friend Marc Fellman in NB and he gave me some more info on the Reflex unit.

First he said in all his years working with coin machines and bingos he has never seen anything printed on how to change the Reflex Unit. It was apparently some "secret" knowledge passed on only to people with the "need to know".

Anyway, I was wrong. What you have to do is change the gears on the unit to change the odds. So you must have all the proper gears to do it.

All for now.





Well at the time and I never published any of this for some reason, and also Mr. Raymond Watts and Mr. Jeffery Lawton sent me a

few things I overlooked that really answers the question and more importantly, ties a few other things together!!


A “jackpot” if you please on another bit of the History behind the times and these games!!


Now prior to the bingos, the main games coming out of Bally were the One Balls and they were definitely gambling nickel games.


As far as I known, the last One Ball to be released was Bally’s Grandstand _ A magnificent pinball machine!!


Well almost to the day it was released the U.S. Congress signed and passed the Johnson Act, which was the first death-knell

for the bingos “making it illegal to transport gambling machines across state-lines” _ Directly following this Bally shifts-gears

and release the 1st bingo pinball Spot Lite in 1951.


Hmmm _ Is the timing then right to start playing politics and start being a bit conservative _ laugh _ In everything we have

seen, they should have invented the phrase “Politically Correct”……


OK, I rattle on a bit here but there is a very good reason, which is to help “future history hounds” to track down some of these things!!


It has been said and repeated “that if you want to know about the present, just read about the past” and it is very apropos!!


So let’s image that Bally puts the word out to it’s design teams to “limit all references that could be tied to gambling” and they

do. The bingo’s meters are never documented or discussed and neither is the Reflex – etc. They only sell (and limit) games

through “distribution” outlets – etc. They hold training classes for the new games (bingos) through “invitation only”


OK, the “Hush” is on and starting to be enforced!!




When was the Reflex designed-and-deployed and can we use this to our advantage _ In retrospect, the answer is Yes!!


~ Raymond sent me the documents years ago and I missed it _ Sorry Raymond!! ~


Here is the link to his Bally Grandstand: _ Look at the last pics (internals)


Yes!!!!!!!!!!! _ That is the same Reflex designed into the Bingos!!!!!!!!!


He sent me excerpts of the Manual:






Now check out those “A-463” part numbers up top _ Dah! _ Of course you can change-up the Reflex by affecting the gear-ratios!


Now, was the Peach State order for a “–23” the “default gear Bally configured the bingos with??””


Good Question and that is why I reference Mr. Lawton.


As you can see on my “Reflex Plug” page, Jeff told me all about the late-model games……. But back-in-the-day, Jeff also

sent me a clue I missed, when he responded to my question “as to if the Reflex was shown in any Bally docs”


………Well it is and he sent me the previously unpublished Green Book………


Now the Green Book is the most detailed document of any of the Bally’s and I have always been curious as to why!!!


Any Ideas???


Anyway, the 20-hole bingos emerged in 1962 and Safari (which documents the bingos in the most detail) was released in 1969 _ Hmmm!!




Now, check out that right column above where they specify a “-20A” gear for the “step-down” gear “Item 20” _ (64 Steps)


OK, the Peach State order is for a “-23” gear which based upon the “Grandstand” info, would mean “greater than conservative”


~ laugh ~


No where is the “-23” listed _ Cool _ But, as we know, these were “gambling machines design and deployed to earn money”


What? _ Years later did Bally get directed the design-teams to “tighten up the machines even further” ????




Regardless _ The answer is “Yes, the Reflex Unit can be adjusted through gear-ratio of course!!”


And of course, “Bally designed in this provision”




And as I have stated before, I am sure that Bally also learned from United _ Yes!!


I’d bet that Bally’s later use of “plugs” (as pointed out by Jeff) was a direct result of United’s use of “Switches and Plugs”







Associated Links



So _ Dah!! _ Now is anyone out there clever enough to make us some gears???



I’ll buy some _ C.O.D Baby!!








~ The Hunt Goes On ~


May 19th, 1960 Billboard


Image 66


Now I think it is a pretty good bet that this cat holds a few Bingo Goodies _ Got a copy anyone??