The Internet Pinball Serial Number Database or IPSND collects serial numbers of pinball machines and publishes a database of these on the Internet. Our goal is to make available a registration of all pinball machines in existence and allow tools for slicing, dicing and visualization of the data.

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Locating Serial Numbers on a Pinball Machine:

Finding serial numbers on a game can sometimes be quite challenging. They are commonly hidden, painted over, destroyed or just in non-obvious places. The main difficulty is that manufacturers put their serial numbers in a variety of places in and out of the game and then they often changed the location of the serial number as time went on. Several manufacturers used a consistent numbering system for many years and others changed their formats often. In addition, there are frequently numbers on a game that might not be the serial number at all, it could be a part number, an inspector number or something that has no connection to the actual serial number at all.

This page is a reference on how to locate serial numbers for all manufacturers in the database. The nice part is that you can add your own tips and suggestions for other people to read as well. I have added initial comments on the information that I have from Bill Ung out of the original Internet Pinball Project (now defunct). Feel free to submit new information on serial number locations specific to each manufacturer and appropriate time period.

(Please do not post serial numbers here, please use the Search Page, to find your specific game)
Posted 1/11/2007 11:42:34 PM by Bill Ung

60's games most often had the serial number stamped into the wood cabinet directly below the right flipper button. The serial number was a 4-digit number.

For games manufactured from the mid 70's onwards, the serial number is located on the left- hand side of the headpiece (while facing the game), up near the top. The serial number I got off of Centaur was: ECE4682. From more recent data, it seems that Bally serial numbers of that era start with an E (perhaps for "Electronic") followed by two letters that identify the machine and then a serial number of three or four digits.

On Bally games from around 1986 to 1988 there are two numbers on the game. One is a six digit number sticker near the FBI warning on the back, and this is not the serial number. The real serial number is a three or four digit number printed at the top of the right-hand side of the head (while facing the game) and on a bar code sticker mid-left in the cabinet (although this sticker sometimes falls off.)

Posted 6/27/2007 12:09:07 PM by Jess Askey
I just noticed on my Centaur (1981), that my displays have serial number stickers on them. I didn't know that Bally games had serial numbers on the PCB's that matched the cabinet serial number. The stickers don't seem to be of the best quality though, I only had two stickers with serial numbers out of the 5 displays.
Posted 11/11/2007 11:15:26 PM by Jess Askey
On Pre-Flipper woodrails like 1946's Surf Queens, the serial number is stamped into the wood where the right flipper button would soon be.
Posted 10/7/2008 9:09:14 AM by Arm Binger
All Bally E/M-Machines have their serial-numbers stamped below or beneath the right flipper-button and also on the right side of the litebox. Serial always started with 1000. Solid-State Machines from Bally have the numbers on the left side.
Posted 11/17/2008 3:12:37 AM by Matt Rusk
Also on most 70's bally machines there is a manufacture's certificate stapled somewhere inside the cabinet, usually somewhere near the coin box.
Posted 4/23/2009 11:19:49 PM by King of Pinball
On a 1975 Air Aces, the serial number may appear in at least 4 places. As is typical of Bally machines, it is stamped into the wood under the right flipper button. Second, it is printed on a bar-code sticker on the inside of the coin door in the format "Air Aces xxxx." The 5 digit number just above that is not the serial number. In addition, the last 3 digits of the 4 digit number may be stamped twice in ink on the wood just behind the coinbox. You will need to remove the coinbox and these 2 numbers will be clearly visable on the wood facing you as you look into the coin door opening.
Posted 6/28/2009 8:28:14 PM by Paul Dadd
Found 'Hay Ride' serial on "manufacturers certificate" in far upper right of playfield under glass.
Posted 8/21/2009 12:05:35 PM by William Smith
I just had a bally CYPRESS GARDENS machine given to me. The serial number that I have found is located on the right side of the head piece near the top and forward of center. My serial number is C3471. I have no idea what it means or why it is what it is.
Posted 10/12/2009 11:36:38 PM by Jay Stafford
Bally EM numbers started with 1001, not 1000. The first game would be 1001.
Posted 7/30/2010 3:48:07 PM by Roger Fredrich
Space Invaders 1980 Number is on the left side at the cabinet near the left flipper button. Not easy to read it correctly :-(
Posted 10/23/2010 1:46:49 PM by King of Pinball
For early 30's games, the serial number can be in varying places. On a 1935 Jumbo, for example, it can be under the glass stamped into the metal frame holding the instruction card. Or, it can be stamped into the wood on the outside, on the back of the cabinet. However, it will not normally be in both locations.
Posted 8/17/2011 6:55:14 AM by Steve Fulton
My Ballys Space Invaders 1980 game has the serial in these places: stamped in the outside left side of main cabinet, stamped in the outside left side of backglass cabinet, stapled paper behind coin box, matching stickers on each electronic board behind the backglass, and also a matching sticker on the back of every LCD score screen.
Posted 11/15/2014 1:05:21 PM by DAVID KELLY
My 1976 Bally Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy has serial # carved in the outside left side of main cabinet and carved in the outside left side of backglass cabinet.
Posted 11/16/2014 10:21:40 AM by Charles Ritter
Found SN on power supply, and processor boards
Posted 3/7/2015 1:35:54 PM by Pistol Pete
On Bally Bingo games the serial numbers are found on the right side of the head/backbox, the top arch of the playfield and by one of the right light shields on the playfield.