How to Play Table Tennis

So you want to know how to play table tennis? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Hi, I’m Ben and this is my site. On this page I’ll be taking you through the technical process of learning how to play table tennis. This is the same development process I use with my own players and is split into levels based on your ability. Go through each step and you’ll be a proficient table tennis player in no time.

You can also find this page by visiting!

Level 1 – The Basics

The emphasis in Level 1 is developing solid foundations that can be built upon later. It is important that you have a correct grip and ready position as these will be assumed in all later stages. The drive and push shots are also very important to learn first as they will form the basis for future shots such as the topspin, open-up, touch, dig etc. You should be able to play 100, in a row, without a mistake.

Before diving into any of the four shots in this stage you might like to read my post The Four Basic Table Tennis Strokes. It will give you a good introduction and understanding of the principles behind each shot. So good luck and I look forward to seeing you in Level 2.

1.1 Grip

1.2 Stance & Ready Position

1.3 Forehand Drive

1.4 Backhand Drive

1.5 Forehand Push

1.6 Backhand Push

Level 2 – Regular Movement 1

Level 2 gives you plenty of opportunities to practice your basic strokes, while working on your basic footwork, with the introduction of some regular movement drills. Most drills (except X’s & H’s) will have one player moving and one player controlling, although at this stage both players will be playing a drive. It’s important that you have developed accuracy and consistency in Level 1 before beginning these drills.

Before you begin Level 2 I recommend you read my post all about movement and footwork in table tennis. It contains some advice that’s applicable to all table tennis footwork drills. Keep doing these six drills until you can regularly make 50 strokes without a mistake, then head on to Level 3!

2.1 Two Backhands, Two Forehands

2.2 One Backhand, One Forehand

2.3 Backhand, Middle, Backhand, Wide

2.4 X’s & H’s

2.5 FH Wide, FH Middle

2.6 4-Point FH

Level 3 – Intermediate Strokes 1

3.1 Forehand Topspin

3.2 Backhand Topspin

3.3 Forehand Block

3.4 Backhand Topspin

3.5 Forehand Open-Up

3.6 Backhand Open-Up

Like what you read?

If so, please join over 1,000 readers and subscribe to my email newsletter. You’ll receive exclusive weekly training tips to put you on the path to becoming an expert table tennis player.

No spam, ever. Just great stuff.