Basic Table Tennis Rules
If you would like to learn how to efficiently play ping pong or table tennis, you need to know the basic table tennis rules. The rules listed here the main rules you need to learn long before you start playing for the simple fact that if you don’t know these basic table tennis rules, you’re going to be an easily distinguishable rookie.
- Keep the ball on the table. This is easily common sense, but just in case you don’t know, you always want to keep the ball off the floor and off other objects. If there is interference from an outside object, there will be a redo and the same person will serve again. Of course, if the ball bounces off your side before it hits the floor, the table tennis rules state that it is the other players point, even if the person being scored on served. It's confused for people who are used to playing volleyball style where you can only score if you have served.
- Eleven is the magic number for an official game of table tennis. The first player to score eleven points in any official game wins that specific set. Whole games are usually done in best three out of five set matches. Some other variations can be put on the sets, such as four out of seven or five out of nine or so desired by the players.
- The table tennis tables edges are fair, but the sides are not. If, for example, your ball hits the white line on the borders of the table on the other player's side, it is your point. If the ball hits on the side of the table, it is the opposite players point!
- The ball must bounce on the server's side once when served. If this isn’t done when serving, the official table tennis rules say the ball goes to the other player, but no points are scored. Also, if the ball hits the net on the serve, no point is scored and the serve goes back to the server.