Australia's pinball champion was just crowned in a Belconnen bar

It's not just flip, flip, flip when it comes to pinball, says the game's 2019 Australian championship winner.

Melbourne man Richard Rhodes competed against the country's top 48 pinball machine players at the Australian Championships held at the Basement in Belconnen on Sunday.

Richard Rhodes competes in the finals of the pinball championship at Belconnen. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Richard Rhodes competes in the finals of the pinball championship at Belconnen. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

In true Canberra fashion, tournament director James Todd said the 48 players had voted on how to distribute the $4000 in prize money donated by Amusement Machine Distributors.

They decidedĀ it would be split among the top 16, with $1400 to the winner.

On Sunday, after a weekend of competition, the top 16 competed on the 38 pinball machines set up in the Belconnen pub.

The tournament is a knockout system in which players compete head to head for the most amount of points in five rounds until the winner is crowned.

The playing group ranged in age from 13 to 60 plus and included a surgeon, a professional gambler and people who were unemployed, Mr Todd said.

Championship winner Mr Rhodes said the great thing about pinball was that it did not discriminate and that it did not matter how young or old or how smart or dumb you were.

"There's no reason why anyone can't be good at pinball," he said.

"You don't have to be physically fit and you don't have to be really intelligent."

But he said once a player reached higher and more serious levels then strategy came into play, because there were 100s of different pinball machines out there.

People were also learning flipper skills and techniques through the internet, he said.

Mr Rhodes, who works in IT, said buying a pinball machine was a bit like like buying a car in that it could cost anywhere between $10,000 and $18,000.

But that meant there were plenty of local leagues and tournaments playing across Australia.

The pinball champion, who has played since he was 10 years old and competitively since 2011, said Australia was placed third in the world in participation, behind the United States and Canada.

"It's a really good environment ... there's no real rivalries and there's no sort of red tape, it's just good to be able to enjoy each other's company," he said.

Mr Rhodes said for anyone interested was the Australian-based forum for the game, and was the international league.