Learning How to Play Table Tennis and Improving

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Before you learn how to play, you have to know the basics of the game. The game involves hitting a small, lightweight ball across a large table with a table tennis racket. Two players are positioned across each other at opposite ends of the table. A small net divides the table into two halves.

Usually the players will toss a coin, and the winner will serve the first game. Each serve lasts for two consecutive points, after which the players switch serves.

To serve, the player stands at their end of the table, holding the ball in the palm of their hand. The ball is then thrown upwards and hit as it falls. On the service shot, the ball must bounce once in the server’s half of the table before bouncing on their opponent’s side. If the ball hits the net and falls onto the opponent’s side, the service is taken again. If the ball hits the net and does not cross, then the point goes to the player receiving serve.

Assuming a good serve, the player receiving then hits the ball back over the net with the intention of bouncing on the server’s side. Play continues until the ball bounces 3xon a side, a player misses the ball, a player hits their side with the ball or racket, the ball does not land in the opponent’s side, or it is caught in the net. The opponent of the player at fault wins a point.

The first person to reach 11 points in wins the set, and win by 2. Each game consists of 5 sets.

Table tennis is very flexible regarding its equipment requirements, though it is recommended that you practice on the best quality table you can afford. The better your equipment, the better you can play, although table tennis is a sport that does not require an enormous financial outlay, as all manufacturers produce ranges of affordable tables.

Serve by tossing the ball a little and hitting it. The ball must bounce once on your side and then go over and hit the opponent’s side at least once for it to be considered a legal serve. If it hits the net but still makes it across, that service is considered a “let,” and you will have to redo the serve. You can have as many lets as you want in the game.

After the server hits the ball, the opponent will return it. For it to be considered a legal return, you will have to hit the ball over the net without it touching your side of the court. This continues to go on until one person can’t get the ball over the net or hits it off the court. The point is then awarded to the opposing player.

Usually, games are held until someone reaches 11 points. If both players reach 10 points, then you can only win by a “win-by-2” rule. For example, if both of you had 10 points, then you would need to score two more points before your opponent scores one, making it 12 to 10.

There are many ways to get points. From a hitting standpoint, after the serve, as long as the ball ends up on the other side’s court without touching your side of the court, it is considered a point. As for serves, you can either hit the ball with topspin or a slice to make the ball go in different directions with different bounces after the ball hits the court.

If you’d like to get a bit better at ping pong, though, you may want to get a bit more serious about the sport. Are you seeking to train for a tournament, or you want to feel a bit more confident at your friend’s table. Regardless, you must do a great deal of practice, and concentration considerably more on the individual portions of the overall game.

Watch and learn

If you ever watch pro’s play ping pong, the initial thing that you typically notice is always that they do not so much hit the ball as they do kiss it using their paddle. You can learn a lot and get ideas from watching them on youtube and TV. Determined by where they want to hit the ball, they either go up into the ball or down onto the ball to give it some spin, that is the key. This way, the bounce that their competition would play the ball on is different then it was before.

Ping pong is a lot like tennis in that there are different ways to hit the ball. It isn’t just about hitting the ball fast but also angling it on the table in a certain way. Learning how to do this takes time, but when you do, it becomes muscle memory whenever you play.

Table tennis is one of those rare sports where the tools that you use don’t how you play. With that in mind, several paddles are better than others, so you always want to make certain you will have a good grip, but for the most part, you can play good ball with any paddle that you choose.

That being said, you also need to find out the best way to hold the said paddle. There is a particular way to hold the grip that provides you the very best opportunity to make the shot that you want. This is something that you have to do if you are planning to get seriously interested in playing.

As with most skills, training makes perfect in terms of ping pong. Take every possibility to play and even minus a ball practice your grips on your paddle. For anyone who is minus one person to play with, however, you have a table, place the other half of the table up to enable you to practice your shots against the board.

It might appear somewhat severe for something as fun as ping pong, but like anything else, if you are going to get good at it, you need to ensure that you know what you are doing.

Became Popular

Table tennis originated in England and was a form of entertainment for the upper class during the late 1800s. The game pretty much has obvious beginnings.

It was derived from the lawn tennis sport and was really meant to imitate outdoor tennis in an indoor setting. Early players used piled up books as nets and cigar boxes as paddles. Nowadays, people who want to engage in the sport have an array of equipment at their disposal.


To play table tennis, you first need a table, rectangular with the surface being green most of the times.

After the table, you’ll need a table tennis net. You can get this in any sports shop. The net has a fixed size of 6 inches high. And just like lawn tennis, you’re not supposed to let the ball get caught by the net. The paddles are the ones you use to hit the balls back and forth between the players.

One of the most important mistakes that beginners in ping pong make is the reluctance to invest in good equipment from the start. This normally arises from the mindset to save money. If the intention to learn and enjoy the game is serious, then it will pay to spend some money on good quality table tennis equipment. Imagine buying a cheap paddle and then not learning a good grip. The result will be poor performances when playing ping pong and that could quickly dampen one’s enthusiasm and motivation to do better. It is therefore imperative to acquire decent quality equipment to facilitate enjoyment and improvement in the game.


Once you and your partner are all geared up, you’re ready to play table tennis. The start of the game commences after the first ball is served. A coin toss can be used to determine which one should serve first. The player who serves the ball needs to let it bounce once on his or her side of the table and then should bounce at least once on the opponent’s side.

When the opponent can receive the serve, he or she needs to return the ball to the other side before the ball bounces on his or her side a second time. When the player that serves the ball hit the net instead and falls back to his side, a point is awarded to the opponent. However, when the ball got caught on the net but went through the other side anyway, no points or penalties are awarded. The ball is served again. This is called a let.

There are a number of ways where players could gain some points. Opponents will get the point when the ball bounces on the player’s side twice. A point is also awarded to the opponent when the ball did not bounce on the opponent’s half of the table or otherwise called as not making a “good” return. Similarly, a point is awarded to the opponent if the other player made an illegal serve which generally means playing outside the rules.

Aside from racket movements and sharp reflexes, having good footwork is also an advantage. Even though the right footwork is gained through training and experience, novices need only to remember some of the basics and a good pair of shoes. When standing to keep your knees bend and stay on the balls of your feet to allow you to move quicker. You should also need to lean forward and keep your paddle ready at all times. Always use your empty hand as a counterweight to keep your balance.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you look silly, maintaining balance to hit the ball is more important. Keep your head up and try to watch the ball at all times. As you practice, you would learn to adapt the quickness of the serve and the movement of the ball.

In ever volley, make sure that you immediately go back to the center and in position. This will help you move quickly allowing you to hit and return the next shot to your opponent. Just like other sports, the key is to train properly and practice your skills.

What makes a match?

Like it’s cousin, tennis, a ping pong match consists of the best three out of five, four out of seven or the best five out of nine games played between two people. The winner is determined by the first player to reach eleven points with a two-point spread. Unlike tennis, however, points can be achieved at any time when the ball is in play (rather than on an individual’s serve). Each player serves two rallies (the period of time in which the ball is “in play”) in a row until the score reaches ten to ten. Once the game reaches a score of ten to ten, players take turns serving until someone wins. After the game ends in the match, players switch sides. In the last game, however, sides are switched after the first five points. This ensures a more evenly keeled game.


When playing with two players, the edges of the table and center lines aren’t relevant, and the ball is considered “in play” when anywhere on the table. A legal serve rises six inches into the air, after having been served palm up, and allowed to bounce on the table before being served to the receiver. When the ball hits the net on a serve, unlike in tennis, it is considered a let serve, which is a legal move and discarded from the point record. Above all, the ping-pong match should be fun and entertaining. Consider that one of the fundamental rules of the game.

The non-technical attributes are often the most important in any sport. Having natural talent is the ideal situation, but most people do not enjoy such the luxury. Instead, they must make it up with their determination and commitment to succeed.

This will have to be manifested in a person’s consistency in practice, and the discipline required to maintain a consistent level of training and learning. Again, unless one was born to play ping pong, it is rare that anyone can succeed in the sport without regular training to produce improvement in both skill and fitness levels.

Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. Two or four people can play the game. Learning how to play table tennis is incredibly easy as it is a simple sport to pick up without lots of complicated rules.

Another thing to avoid from the start is the eagerness to learn all the secret tricks of ping pong. These usually catch on due to their use by the top professional players. But the first steps should be to learn and perfect the fundamentals of the sport. Basic areas like learning the different ping pong strokes and knowing the right stance to take during a game are things that every beginner should embed in their memory and body mechanics before trying advanced techniques.

With all this in mind, a sound base with right fundamentals can be created over time. If you are looking to play with some of your friends, you don’t need to have a tremendous amount of skill to grab a paddle and play for fun. There will still be mistakes made as any beginner is likely to do so. However, that does not mean failure. They are necessary to become better at ping pong, and to appreciate the sport truly.

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