How To Serve In Table Tennis – The Best Guide For You

A person who is just starting to play table tennis will definitely need to learn how to play. Because it requires technique and knowing how to play to participate.

In table tennis when serving the ball, there are techniques that players need to understand. But information on the way to serve table tennis will definitely be essential for you. The information shared below will help you gain more knowledge.

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How do you serve in table tennis?

In table tennis, the most important step is still serving. This is the start of an ongoing match. If the serve fails, you also lose. There are 4 ways to serve. But you can choose the simplest way according to tradition.

How to serve the forehand

This method of serving can be called the traditional method. This is also a simple way that new players can access table tennis.

First, open your palm flat and place the ball up. While placing it on the lever, keep your hands flat.

Not in a hurry to release the ball, you need to wait about 2 seconds to keep the balance. Create a line to serve, keeping it in your hand. Your right hand will hold the racket and your left hand will hold it.

In this step, the racquet handle should not be visible to the opponent. 16 cm is the distance for you to lift the ball and serve.

Note that if this distance is not reached, it will be called a violation. At this point, the opponent will receive points.

The final step when serving is to toss the ball up. And then, you use the racket to hit it over the net.

At this time, the ball when serving must hit the table and bounce over the net. And if it only hits the net without touching the opponent’s table, the opponent will score.

Serving skills in table tennisThe traditional method of serving

How to serve backhand

This is a method that has increased the difficulty for the opponent.

First, you need to adjust the right foot to take 1 step back from the left foot. To keep balance, you need to spread your feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward slightly.

The racquet handle is placed parallel to the table surface. You start tossing the ball up and turn the racket handle back. And then, you hit it down the table.

Just like other methods, it needs to hit it on the table then it bounces over the net. The backhand will create a spin and the opponent is a bit harder to block.

How to serve spins

Spins offer a variety of serves and are relatively difficult. These are serves where you will have to keep the racket facing the ground.

The requirement of this method is to be fast and extremely accurate. That makes it difficult for the opponent.

In this step, the player needs to drop the ball from the top. Then, you need to use the racket to bounce from the bottom.

You can totally play with different styles. As long as, the player can create a level quickly so that the opponent can’t catch up.

You can use the ultimate move to the right but hit left. Or direct the ball to the left but hit to the right. The basic technique will be the same as the other steps.

Spin ball spin with high difficulty

Spin ball spin with high difficulty

How to serve to increase the difficulty

This is the way that table tennis players often apply in competitions. Only skilled people can take the swing of this method. You will hold the ball in your hand, release it lightly and perform rotations.

When tossing the ball up, you need to rotate it. The higher the throw, the more spin. When spinning it in the air, you can use your hand to support it left or right. Support flexibly so that the opponent can’t catch up.

Is there ping pong serve rules?

The rule is what is in place if a player commits a point forfeit. While playing table tennis, there are many rules that you need to know.

Rule 1: Flat hand, ball in the palm

This is a rule that the first step when serving you need to follow. The examiner will look closely for mistakes if you don’t do it. Open hand flat, place the ball in the center of the palm. Note that it must never be served with the fingertips.

Rule 2: Do not touch the line on the table

On the table, there will be a white line near the player. Your task is to serve the ball without touching the line.

When serving the ball, the person must not lean towards the opponent. Thus, you will have to give up the opportunity to get points for others.

Rule 3: Toss ball

Tossing is the decisive step to serve. If it is thrown incorrectly, the opponent will score. So this is also a rule that should not be ignored.

Tossing the ball properly is that it must be 16 cm when thrown in the air. It is necessary to throw it straight in front of your eyes, not too far back.

Rule 4: Do not obscure ball

To limit fraud, the jury has introduced this rule. That means when you serve the ball everyone can see.

Especially with the opponent, if you can’t see it, it will be difficult to play. You can only cover your hands under the table and make serves. But you must not cover it.

Rule 5: Pay attention to position when serving

In the table, there will be white lines to make the gap between winning and losing. You can serve the ball on the right or the left edge of the table. Or serve in the middle, but be careful to only serve outside the white line.

How to serve in Table Tennis

There are a lot of rules when it comes to serving,

What experience is needed when serving?

  • Firstly, when tossing, you need to pay attention to the stable and rhythmic tossing.
  • Pay attention to the height for the racket to contact the ball must have an appropriate distance.
  • For long serves, note that the contact point between the racket and the ball must below.
  • When the serve is short, the point of contact needs to be higher.
  • Determine if the impact force is large enough to serve, catch and serve it correctly.
  • Pay attention to the contact between the table surface and the ball.
  • Align the contact point between the racket and ball.

Frequently asked questions

1. What are the benefits of having a great serve?

When you make a great serve, your opponent will be difficult to catch the ball. Thus, the chances of winning are higher.

2. Should only one serve to be used?

The main answer is not because it is very easy for the opponent. You need to be flexible in your serve so that people don’t guess where the ball is going.

3. Is it necessary to follow the rules when playing?

There are two cases that are playing for entertainment purposes and playing competitively. When playing for entertainment purposes, you can negotiate with your opponent about how to play.

No matter how you play, you will not be banned. However, with competitions or competition, it is necessary to have rules.

Further Reading:

How do you serve in table tennis? – ActiveSG

4 Ways to Serve in Table Tennis – wikiHow


In the process of playing table tennis, serving the ball is very important. Serving will also affect player psychology.

If you have great serves, your chances of winning will be higher. In any case, you need to have the calmness to play confidently.

Be flexible with ways to increase the ball, so that the opponent doesn’t guess the path. Besides, to avoid losing points unfairly, you should pay attention to the rules when serving.

Above is shared information about the ways you serve in table tennis. Hopefully, through that, you will have more confidence when playing table tennis.