bally grandstand.jpg - 57101 BytesBefore the Bingos were the REAL gambling pinballs, the One-Ball machines. These machines have a horserace theme for the most part even among various manufacturers. Bally, Universal, United, Gottlieb, Keeney, Evans, Stoner and others manufactured one-ball games. The horserace theme generally included four sections on the playfield--Purse, Show, Place and Win--from top to bottom. The odds for these sections are indicated by lit numbers on the backglass. Selections, representing entrys, light on a mystery basis. When a ball is pocketed in the hole of a lit selection, the odds indicated are paid.

Grandstand Machine Cycle
Real Player Video File

Grandstand is a payout version of Turf King. A side-by-side comparison of the backglasses may be seen on the PHOTO ALBUMS page of this site. Both games were available in 1- or 5-ball play. This does not mean that some games played 5 balls to determine the outcome of the game. skill lane.jpg - 8199 Bytes One-ball tables were prohibited in some areas, so Bally incorporated a "skill lane" which was positioned just to the left of the left rebound spring. The first four balls would be shot in this lane (the only skill required was being able to pull the ball shooter plunger back), the rebound spring was then properly positioned so that the 5th ball rebounded onto the playfield to determine the outcome of the game. In other areas, only one ball was used obviating the first four balls. The skill lane is illustrated at the upper left of the playfield photo. You can see the 4-ball slot cut in the playfield surface beneath a red cover. It is somewhat dim in the photo.

When set up for 5-ball play, if more than one ball gets onto the playfield and one drops into a selected number, the payout is disabled.

The jackpot on Grandstand is the "Feature" when it is lit--a flag, probably referring to a Feature Race. The Feature lights on a mystery basis. Right beneath the Feature flag is a small window in which a number is displayed. It looks like a free game meter on a amusement pin. The value displayed can be from 1 to 45, and it is a multiplier of 20 to indicate the jackpot award. On 5c play, this is $1 to $45.00. When the Feature was lit players and lurkers would call out that fact, much as the bingo players would call out "2-in-the-blue."

The Feature meter may be restricted to a lower number, 30, 20 or 10 by using a pin. Grandstand can also pay a flat 160 or 320 as a Feature award via a plug adjustment.

After a Feature payoff, the meter would be reset to zero by the business attendant pressing a button beneath the cabinet. To stimulate play after the Feature is paid, the number increments from zero to three the next three coins played. Beyond the initial three advances it increments on a mystery basis. The rate at which the Feature advances is plug adjustable by the Operator.

The Feature winning hole is at the bottom center of the playfield, elevated and between the Left Cap and Right Cap holes. It is the hardest hole to hit on the playfield.

Accounting for the Feature was accomplished by the Feature Meter. The Feature Meter is directly inside front door on the mechanism shelf. Meter registers once for each step of Feature Dial. Meter is checked to determine amount to which location is entitled as reimbursement for Feature Awards when operated on a build-up basis.

Bally's instructions were: Subtract meter reading at previous collections from meter reading at present collection to find number of points Feature Dial has stepped up since previous collection. Then subtract the number of points showing on Feature Dial to find number of points actually reimbursed since last collection.

The A-B-C-D futurity feature doubles the next winner. The Feature payout is not doubled by the A-B-C-D feature. The Turf King awarded 160 or 320 as a bonus for the Feature, plug selectable by the operator. This is considerably less than the Grandstand capability, however Turf King has the restriction of a 3-digit replay register.

The features of Grandstand could light all seven selections, the Feature and Left or Right Cap. The Left Cap or Right Cap lights all seven selections for the next game. The player can still lose by putting the ball in the unlit Cap--only one could light at a time. When the ball dropped into a lit Cap, the Wild Section began to pulse advancing the arrows across the bottom of the backglass. Game proportioning would make attaining higher odds more difficult when all sections were lit. Players commonly would drop a coin when the arrows over the A or C in PLACE lit so as to restart the machine before the WIN section was made wild. Higher odds seemed to be easier to get by giving up the Win section.

Grandstand maintained the "guaranteed advancing odds" introduced on Citation. Prior to that model, odds could be reduced while playing for higher odds or more or better selections. This was an innovation of Donald E. Hooker, Bally electrical design genius. (Later Hooker designed most of Bally's bingo machines.) The kick scars on the front of these machines are common. Players thought they could help get better odds and selections nudging the machines this way. Note the inertia tilt switch between the 2nd payout tube and the short token vending tube. Kicking a little too hard could tilt the machine and forfeit all the coins invested in the game. Note also the armor on the door. The interior of the cabinet was armored with heavy sheet metal also to prevent drilling. The pictures at the bottom of the mechanism shows armor below and in front of the single motor in the game.

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Bally utilized two payout tubes because of the large payouts possible. The sound of the payout is very distinctive, and loud, with the solenoids alternating. It is very different from the one-coin-at-a-time payout of earlier machines such as Trophy and Gold Cup. The payout tubes mounted on the front door made it and the machine cavity a resonator. When the machine paid off, everyone knew! There is a short payout tube which dispenses a token, scalloped around the edge, worth 160 redeemable by the business. This reduced the drain on the payout tubes when making largest pay, 160 doubled. One token plus 160 coins were dispensed into the payout cup.

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Depositing the first and successive coins plays for all features of the game. Coin flash can be concentrated in certain areas by pressing the desired button before depositing coin. This feature was incorporated in some later bingo pinballs. Playing the Star Button could accelerate increasing the odds to the exclusion of all other features. The same may be said for Selections, Double and Feature.

Players tended to play for the Feature Pennant last. Once the Feature was lit, no one would risk losing it by playing additional coins in some other area. In fact, the Feature is one of the trip bank relays and is latched. The instruction card states that Double is held only when playing Feature. The only other time Double is held is when the A-B-C-D feature is lit.

In play, the selections most frequently offered are No. 1 or No. 7, sometimes Nos. 1 and 7 together. These are the more difficult pockets to hit being on the outside. The springs and pins on the table tend to move the ball to the center, therefore No. 4 is the most valueable with Nos. 3 and 5 next.

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The single motor which drives the countrol unit and mixer and spotting unit does not run continuously until timed out as in a bingo machine. The motor runs only for one cycle when a coin is deposited or when it is held on for making a payout.

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