Basic Table Tennis Rules

Here are the basic table tennis rules, if you want a full run down of the official table tennis rules then skip down to the bottom where I’ve put a link for you. If you’ve played table tennis before and know the basic rules then you might want to get a bit more technical and read the official rules. But for most people that want to get started right away, here are the rules for table tennis in an easy to understand way.

Table Tennis Scoring
Each game goes to 11, and players have 2 serves each. If the score gets to 10 all then that’s called deuce, then the first person to get 2 points ahead wins the game (a bit like tennis) so the first point you get after deuce is called advantage to the player that gets it. If you get to deuce you only have one serve each. Another way of doing the table tennis scoring, (which is my favourite way) is to play the game to 21 and have 5 serves each.

It all starts with a serve, a fun way to decide who serves is to have a rally, (a rally is when you hit the ball back and forth to each other) you start the rally off really slowly and then after 3 times over the net you start to get a bit more competitive. The person to win the rally gets to serve first

I’ll give you the basic table tennis rules for two players first then later on for four players, so back to the serve, throw the ball up and then hit it on to your side of the table first so that it bounces over the net onto the opponent’s side. Then your opponent makes a return by hitting the ball back over the net after it bounces, you never hit the ball on the full before it’s bounced on your side.

On a serve if the ball touches the net but apart from that is a good serve then that’s called let and you take the serve again. If the ball misses the table then you loose the point. OK I think we’re just about to the end of the basic table tennis rules now, remember if the ball hits any part of the table top it’s good, even if it hits the edge and bounces off on an angle.

Here are some changes for playing with four players, you only ever serve from the right side of the table so that it goes on an angle in to the opposite corner, if the ball doesn’t hit to the right of the line then bounce over the net and hit to the other side of the line then it’s out and the serve is no good.

You still have two serves each, but after serving you then change sides with your partner and then your opponents serve. Make sure when you change sides with your partner that your opponents don’t change sides as they’ll get to change sides after they’ve done there serves.

Click here for the official table tennis rules

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