The trap is a simple skill in pinball, yet vital to achieving higher scores and playing a strategy.

To trap, just get the pinball to come to a stop at the bottom of the V-shape formed when the flipper is held in the up position. Then the flipper can be released, and the ball is moving much more slowly, making it easier to aim at a specific target on the playfield. It may also allow the player to catch their breath, take a pause, examine the playfield, and in newer machines, get the status of the goals completed and pending.

The most common way to trap is to just hold the flipper up as the ball comes down the inlane. However, this can be dangerous if the player does not judge the speed properly. It is quite possible for the ball to be going fast enough that just holding up the flipper will merely cause the ball to roll up and over the end of the flipper, with little enough momentum that it will simply drain down the middle.

The trap can also be done by keeping the flipper up as the ball comes down the playfield, where it will bounce off the flipper and up through the inlane. If the ball is going fast enough, it can exit through the top of the inlane. Older machines allowed the ball to come back down through, setting off the trigger again. Newer machines are busy enough that either the ball will deflect into the playfield, or it will come back down through the outlane. This method is thus not recommended on newer machines

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