How to Play Table Tennis

It's cold, and it's snowing, and you can not get outside to do any of the things you enjoy. What's a sport that you can play all year round, regardless of rain, shine, or snow? Table tennis! It's easy to learn and incredibly fun. Here are the basic facts about this exciting and engaging game.

First off, you should know the point scale. To win a game, you have to score eleven points before your opponent does. If the game is tied at 10 points each, that's called a deuce and the first person who snags the lead by two points wins.

Now that you know what to do, you can get started! Although in a big-time table tennis match, players often toss a coin to decide who will serve first. If you're just hitting around in the den, it can be less formal.

When you're just learning how to play table tennis, serving can be difficult. Do not worry, it gets easier with practice. Simply remain standing behind your side of the table, hold the ball in the hand without the racquet, and toss it in the air. When it falls, tap it with the paddle, just enough so that it gets over net. If it bounces more than once before the other player hits it, you'll get a point. Do not let it touch the net and then hit your opponent's side because then you'll have to serve it again. If it hits the net and then bounces back to your side, the other player gets the point. While you're playing, remember not to let the ball hit your side more than once because that's a point in favor of your opponent.

Serving duties will alternate back and between players. Once someone scores a point, the person who did not serve last time will serve. You'll keep getting points as long as you hit the ball longer than the other player does. They'll score if they hit it longer than you do, if you make a poor serve, or if you let it bounce more than once on your side of the net.

A game ends when someone's point total reaches eleven. After each game, players switch sides and the person who did not serve first at the beginning of the last game will serve. To turn these little games into a match, simply play three to seven games. Ready, play!