1955 United Derby Roll

Description: Derby Roll, United, 5/55, a "roll-down" game where a ball is rolled down the playfield and into the desired hole advancing a mechanical horse in the backbox.

On United Derby Roll player one controls horses 1-2-3, and player two controls horses 4-5-6. This is a game of both timing and accuracy. When player one is up, a motorized stepper flashes the horse that will move, when the ball hits a scoring hole. All the holes score as indicated, but the Lit hole gives the player an additional 100 points and some added lengths. Each point level gives a horse length (that is, 60 points gives 6 lengths.) So it's not always best to hit the lit hole!

There are a total of 10 ball rolls per game. One ball per roll. So each player gets 10 rolls. If a player gets one of their three horses to the finish line first, they get 1000 additional points. Second place gets 800, third place gets 600, and fourth place gets 400 additional points. Ultimately you are playing for score (not horse finish.) But getting your horse(s) to the finish line will definitely increase your score.

The ball uses *one* 2" ball. There is a ball gate inside the game that holds the ball when the game is not being played. Using more than one ball means the game can't keep up, and that there will always be a ball ready to roll (or steal after the game is over.) That's why the game only uses *one* ball. Note in the home environment the ball gate probably isn't needed, hence many people disconnect it.

There is a 21" x 21" piece of 3/16" thick glass that goes over the top lane section. This prevents cheating. It also allows the ball gates to work. The gates are there to prevent the ball from hitting a metal post and bouncing back to the player. They are a one way gate, but they can't work if the piece of top glass is missing.

The United Derby Roll horse units are done with a resetable stepper unit and a long length of string (which connects to the horse carriage.) The rails the horse carriages travel upon are problematic. They should be clean, never lubed. If lube gets on them, for certain the game will have problems resetting the horses (because the lube attracts dirt). For certain the horse mechanisms are the most problematic part of the game. But they are actually less of a problem then say the units used by Williams in their horsey games.

The author's 1955 United Derby Roll game:

Picture by Phill:

Pictures by allParts4u:

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