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Slot Black Hole — Game Review

Slot Black Hole — Game Review

Year: 1981
Type: Pinball
Subtype: Solid State

Photo contributed by: Ike Hall

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Black Hole Description

Black Hole was produced by Gottlieb, D. & Co. in 1981.

Gottlieb, D. & Co. released 633 different machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1929.

Other machines made by Gottlieb, D. & Co. during the time period Black Hole was produced include Pink Panther, Volcano, Mars, God Of War, Eclipse, Devil’s Dare, Buck Rogers, James Bond, Circus, Panthera, and Amazing Spider-man.

A 1-4 player pin. This game has two playfields. The lower playfield can be seen through a blue plastic window in the center of the main playfield, just above a 5th display that shows the bonus score. This game has 4 flippers on the upper playfield. A shot to the upper right will send the ball spiraling down into the lower field which is tilted backwards away from the player. The lower field lights up and the player has the option of 2 banks of drops, a 3 and a 4 as well as a loop that advances the bonus multiplier, and a trapped ball hole. A player can «accomplish re-entry» by completeing a drop targent bank, otherwise when the ball is lost on the lower playfield, the ball is finished. Triple ball mose can be attained by trapping a ball on the upper and lower playfields, and then hitting a ball down to the lower field again, releasing the lower ball, if re-entry is accoplished, both ball return to the upper playfield, and the upper ball is released. Both playfields are then active. The head of the machine holds 4 displays with a 10″ spinning graphic disk in the center, and «chasing» lights that circle the backglass. There are actually 2 backglasses, the formost being reflective. The game also has a sythesized voice that says the following: «Do you dare enter the black hole», «No one escapes the black hole», «shoot targents for re-entry», «re-entry failed», «re-entry accomplished» and I believe three others.

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Cabinet Style Weights and Measures


VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Black Hole Census

There are 12,234 members of the Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,599 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 160,736 machines (6,720 unique titles).

Very Common — There are approximately 88 known instances of this machine presumably owned by our current and past members. More are likely owned by non-members. 42 of these machines are owned by our active Black Hole collectors. And of these, 42 are original dedicated machines

For Sale — There is one active VAPS member with a Black Hole machine for sale.

Wanted — There are 2 active VAPS members currently looking for Black Hole.

At any given time, our active members are listing on VAPS on average of 4,400 games they are looking for, and 3,600 games for sale.

This game ranks a 11 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 15 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often wanted, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Foto-Finder® (books)

  1. Arcade Treasures, Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X): Page: 115; Color photo; Price guide: 1994
  2. Pinball Compendium : 1970-1981, Shalhoub (ISBN 0764320742): Page: 201; Color photo; Price guide:

Additional References
(logged in members often see more)

  1. The Arcade Flyer Archive (TAFA): Black Hole Flyer #718

eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Gottlieb, D. & Co. for machines and parts.

Check out the IAM/KLOV report of the hottest coin-op machine auctions, powered by Ace.com.

Black Hole slot

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Black Hole slot review

Review by Gamingslots

black hole slot game

Black Hole slot by Merkur has a mechanic you may not have seen before and yes, your money could well disappear into that astronomical place of no return too! You get a spectacular cosmic background although the sounds are the basic trademark Merkur taps and the reel set is offset on the left of the screen due to the meters we’ll hear about shortly. It features old style fruit symbols and suns like Netent’s Big Bang and Play’n Go’s Inferno Star with stacked symbols as you’d see in Nextgen’s Staramania, but none of those have a mechanic anywhere near to this Black Hole slot. So how do we avoid our bankroll disappearing past the cosmic Event Horizon?

On The Reels.

The reels part of the Black Hole slot have only 5 fixed paying lines with stacked and single symbols. You get paid for 2-of-a-kinds here but not in the conventional way as any wins are counted on meters which have a fixed jackpot for each icon. The symbols are paired on meters according to their values. You can get Wild Suns stacked on all reels and the pairings for each meter are highest for Sevens and Strawberries which pay 1000x bet for 50 steps. Stars and Plums 250x for 50 steps, Bells and Oranges 200x, Lemons and Grapes 90x and finally Melons or Cherries 75x.

Ladder Pays and Black Hole

You can collect any values accumulated on these 4 sets of steps at any time, or can risk the totals by continuing to spin. If you do, beware of the giant 5×3 Black Hole symbol spinning in on the reels, as this sinister scene will do what it says — swallow up all the accumulated totals in your 4 meters and reset them to zero. If you are brave and get any of the meters to the top, the game won’t auto-collect those fixed jackpots, but you’ll receive a fixed enhanced fee per step thereafter. To clarify, every winning symbol on the reels raises you one step on its respective ladder, so a 4-of-a-kind win gets you up 4 steps.

Our View.

Black Hole slot is quite volatile and it’s hard to know when to collect the ladder totals or play on, especially on the higher value symbol ladders as the Black Hole can take quite large amounts then. You can play for as little as 10 coins here and set up the autoplay to stop when any ladder does actually reach its jackpot amount for 50 steps. The best strategy can raise your RTP from a basic 95.25% to 96.55%, presumably these are the extremes for collecting every single win and not collecting until a jackpot is reached. Wins are frequent on the reels so there’s always something on the ladders to test your nerve. Just don’t push your luck as the slot name here could be very prophetic regarding your balance.

Black Hole Council Review: How to Play Your Friends

That’s right—we need you to settle green planets, tax yellow planets, mine black planets, conquer blue planets, and send red planets into the black hole. We’re putting you in there to negotiate and make all of this happen—but be careful. Don’t let the others on the council know your plans, or they will exploit you for profit.

Black Hole Council is a new 4–8 player negotiation/deduction hybrid game from designer Don Eskridge. His pedigree is clear: The Resistance, The Resistance: Avalon, and Abandon Planet. His games are highly interactive, player-driven, and deceptively straightforward.


Black Hole Council starts you off with hidden goals. This information is precious. Your job is to figure out how to enact your goals on the board, without being too obvious about what you’re up to.

The game consists of rounds and rounds of shouting. Ever thought you’d be yelling, “Swap settle for mine” or “We can’t put red planets in the black hole” over and over again for 2 minutes? After a round of swapping planets and lively negotiation, players will all vote Pass/Fail to determine if the proposed planets’ fates will be carried out. This is familiar fare for fans of The Resistance.

Every two rounds of negotiation, there is a deduction round where everyone guesses other players’ secret goals to score more points. What makes the deduction interesting is that you also score points if another player incorrectly guesses your goals. So not only are you trying to swap the red planet into the mine slot, but you are actively trying to convince other players that this is NOT what you want—and in fact, that you want to mine a completely different planet. This adds clever mind games and meta games to the system, which allows for interactions far beyond the rules of the game.


Black Hole Council is a fast-paced, frantic affair where the game is barreling toward its conclusion from the very first turn. There is almost no fat on this design. The players will drive the experience of each game—for good or bad. Have an analytical group of gamers? It may be a somewhat quieter affair where the deduction is being calculated every step of the way. Have a social group that loves to argue? You will literally be shouting at each other and frantically trying to get something done before the timer runs out.


  • The deduction can force a somewhat chilling effect on the negotiation. You can’t be too obvious or too specific. This will make the first rounds/games especially difficult as you warm up to how to properly play without giving too much away.
  • The Intrigue cards feel somewhat similar to the “Plot Thickens” expansion for Resistance, adding a bit of player powers and randomness to an otherwise tight design.


Black Hole Council bucks the current boardgaming trend of minimal player interaction. A small ruleset, combined with a game where all actions require approval of the majority, allow you to defeat your opponents rather than the game itself.

Black Hole Council is a unique hybrid that will force you to negotiate, mask your intentions, and “play” your friends in the way that the best boardgames do.

17/20 – Highly Recommended

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