How to Play Ping Pong – The Guide & Rules of Serving a Ball

Ping pong is also referred to as an exciting game of table tennis that can be played with two or four players. Even beginners and recreational players can become professional and highly skilled, and the ping pong on the professional level is a sight to behold. 

For playing ping pong, You should have to be a part of your one friend to know about the gaming rules.  You should also know how to grip the racket. Then plan who serves the ball first, and then the second partner must return the ball. Plus, the players must be noticing the score that the ping pong players have made. This is a short introduction to how to play ping pong. 

Well, for knowing the complete guide to playing ping pong, continue reading below. I have explained every point that the players must know.

Tips and Guide to Playing the Ping Pong Game

Before you go into the process, how to play ping pong? One must know the essential rules of the game and what equipment you will need for sure. 

Ping Pong Equipment Includes:

  • The International competition rules restrict that the game of Ping Pong should be played with the weight of a 2.7 gram, 40 mm diameter high bouncing, and hollow celluloid ball. 
  • The ping pong table should be 2.74m long, with a width of 1.525 m, and at a height of 76m. 
  • The measurement of the ping pong net is always 15.2 cm.
  • The ping pong bat is a racket or a paddle, as the racket has a rubber layer on one side or both sides.

How to Play Ping Pong – Step By Step Guide

To become a professional gamer of Ping pong from the beginner level, you have to follow the below-mentioned rules step by step.

How to Play Ping Pong

Step 1 – Search for Someone to play with

You will most probably want to start playing this game to see who should be at your beginner level, skill level, or trim level and most preferably who is not more aggressive. You can play either with one to one way or with two teams, also called doubles. It will help if you play with someone who has paddles, balls, and table tennis. 

Step 2 – You should be aware of how to grip the racket

Two well-known styles are commonly used to grip the rackets: the shake hand grip and the pen hold grip.  No matter the style of gripping the racket, it is essential to hold it loose to allow your wrist to move freely. With the pen hold grip, you have to hold the racket just like the pen. 

If you hold the racket with the shake hand grip, you will put your hand on the racket’s handle in a way that you are shaking hands with it. It would help if you adopted such a way to feel more natural.

Step 3 – Plan who will serve first

According to the rules prescribed by the official international Table tennis Federation, the right to opt for who will serve first is defined by the LOT or flipping the coin or drawing the straws with the winner selecting either whether to serve first and which side they want to play with. 

In most recreational games, that person will serve first, standing behind the table and holding the ball in the left or right hand. Then they will ask the opponent player about the ball in which he is holding. If he tells correctly, then they will serve first and vice versa.

Step 4 – Serve the ball

The ball should be in your free hand beside the end line at a minimum of 16 cm in the vertical direction. You then have to hit the racket to hit your side of the table at once across the net and hit your opponent’s side.

Step 5 – Return the ball

When the ball is served or returned, it can return over or around the net at any point on the opposite side of the table.  The ball should return after its bounces on your side before it bounces twice or will hit the floor or anything off the table. 

Step 6 – Score Points

For each rally, the point is rewarded that is not a let, and either the other player can score a point instead of who is served if your serve passes into the net and goes through the table without hitting the opponent’s side. If he hits the second player’s wrong half, the receiving opponent or team will score a point.

As described above, if you do not make a legal return, the ball will hit the net and will not go on the side of the opponent player, and then the point will be awarded to your opponent. 

If you hit the ball with your racket and touch it with your body more than once after receiving the legal serve or return, the point will go to your opponent. It is noticeable that if the serve or return of your opponent does not hit the side of the table tennis, you will be rewarded with the point even if you hit the ball and catch it when it passes the end of the table. 

However, if you touch the table or move the table with your hand, the point will go to your opponent.

Step 7 – Win the game

Most people like to play to 21 or 15 points for the recreational game. According to the official rules, the player should be ahead by two points compared to the opponent player to win the ping pong game. 

Win the Ping Pong Game

Step 8 – Play Again

According to the rules, the player wins three out of five games. The players have to change sides after each game. They will also change the sides after every five games when the team or player wins five points.  The player or team serving first can also change each game, as no player has the advantage. 

What are the rules for ping pong serve?

For serving ping pong, you are free. Yes, you can serve it straight or diagonally in any location. However, whenever you serve the ball, it won’t fall off the table. You have to bounce the ball twice, or it must fall off the end, but not the side. 


To know how to play ping pong is not a difficult game play when the player is aware of the rules and regulations of the game. Therefore, if someone is ambitious and passionate about the game, they can become a professional player from the beginner level if they keep practising.

An alternative to becoming a professional player of ping pong is to join the club and know the game’s basic rules in a good manner.

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