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Learn How to Play Ping Pong

Not sure how to play ping pong? No problem. The following information will provide you with all of the basic instructions you need in order to learn how to play ping pong and enjoy a good game of table tennis.

The object of the game:

Before you learn how to play ping pong you should first know the object of the game. A player (or players in double team table tennis) tries to be the first to accumulate a score of 11 or 21 points depending on the length of game you want to play. Players who know how to play ping pong know that points are won or lost based on the scoring rules of the game. Matches are usually played in a best of 2 out of 3, or 3 of 5.


After you decide if you will be playing doubles or a regular two player game, and have decided who will begin the game, the next step is for the starting player to serve. The following are a few how to play ping pong tips for you to keep in mind when serving

The server is the player who puts the ball into play.

How to play ping pong in regards to serving is to stand at the end of your court and hold the ball in the palm of your free hand.

Throw the ball straight into the air and hit it as it falls with your paddle so that it bounces once on your side of the court, clears the net, and bounces on your opponent's side.

A player remains the server until 5 points are scored (the points of both sides are combined). Then the other player becomes the server.

Ball Rules:

The ball can not bounce more than once on the receiver's side

On a return the ball can only be hit once

If the ball touches the net on the return but goes over to the other player's side and touches the table, the rally continues

A ball can be hit around the side of the net and still count


Understanding how to play ping pong is knowing that the outcome of the ball is what determines whether or not a player scores a point or loses one.

Player scores one point when -

Their opponent does not return an in-bound shot. In-bound shots are those that land within and touch the white line.

They hit the ball off the table and it lands on the opponent's racket before hitting the floor, wall, etc.

Player loses one point when

They miss the ball

They hit the ball into the net and it lands on their side of the court

They hit the net when serving

The ball hits the floor or wall before the table

They hit the ball before it bounces first on their side of the court

The ball bounces twice on their side of the court before hitting it

They move the table or touch the net during a rally

Once you know how to play ping pong, you'll discover it is simple to engage in and is a lot of fun.

Copyright 2006 Ngullen Rivera

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