Ready to Become an Awesome Table Tennis Player?

If you read some of my previous posts, then by now, you have mastered the essential legal table tennis serve.

But that’s not where the table tennis serving lesson ends. Now you have to add some fancy moves.

Are you ready for more advanced table tennis serving techniques?

Ok, let’s go!


First, you need a good racket! This is an ultimatum. You can’t do any fancy serves if you have a low-quality racket with cheap rubbers that fall off after a few strikes.

Please don’t buy those cheap table tennis rackets in 99 cent shops. Ok, I understand – spending fifty dollars or more does not seem very alluring. But have you heard of that saying, “I’m not rich enough to buy cheap stuff.” Aside from reducing your playing ability, cheap rackets get destroyed very quickly, mostly if you play extensively.

So instead of buying five or six times a cheap racket, why don’t you spend a large portion of money at once and buy a racket that will not only last longer but will be much better to play with.

Don’t be hesitant. Treat yourself with the best equipment.

Reverse pendulum

Here is your advanced table tennis serving technique #1.

Reverse pendulum serve creates a great counter-clockwise spin (if you are right-handed). To create this type of spin, you have to strike the ball with the part of the racket’s surface that is close to the handle.

Here is an excellent video explaining the technique. The guy does not seem very enthusiastic, but if you ignore his monotonous voice and concentrate on the information he provides, you will learn how to utilize this technique.


There is only one area where you can stand when you serve – behind the end line of your side of the table. It means that your feet, hands, body, and everything need to be behind that line.

When you prepare to serve, both the hand holding the racket and the hand holding the ball need to be behind that end-line.

It is your choice where you are going to position yourself when you serve. Any place is OK, as long as you are behind the end-line. Usually, if you are using a forehand serve, you should serve it from the backhand corner. However, this is not a rule, so it is up to you.

Tossing the ball

This is the part that many beginners mess up. Keep in mind two things: 1) the opponent needs to see the ball at all times, and 2) the ball needs to be tossed upwards before being struck.

OK, so what does that mean?

In your primary hand (right if you are right-handed, left if you are a lefty), hold the racket. On the other hand, hold the ball.

Place the ball in the middle of your palm. The palm needs to be held flat. Hold your palm parallel to the table.

Now toss the ball. The official table tennis rule is that the ball needs to be tossed at least 6.3 in (or 16 cm) up before striking it. So toss the ball to at least this height, and then when it starts descending, strike it. The higher you toss the ball, the more power you will get when striking it.


And now the final part – where is the ball supposed to bounce?

Well, repeat in your head this: “bounce-bounce”? Got any idea? Yes, it has to hit the table twice.

First, the ball has to hit your side of the table and then the opponents. If you play singles, you do not need to care which side of the table to send the ball. You have probably noticed a white line on the table that divides the left and the right side, but it is there only for those who play in doubles.

If you play two vs. 2, you serve from the left side, and you have to serve it to your right (the ball first hits your left side of the table and then the opponent’s left side) and vice versa.

So those are the basics of how to serve in table tennis. But learning to play it the right way is just the beginning. Now you need to start practicing your serve and make it your most powerful weapon.

Get excellent table tennis guide books. 

There are spectacular and concise table tennis guidebooks that you can get online.

The book is called ” Table Tennis Tales and Techniques,” written by Larry Hodges. It features tips from this world-famous table tennis player and USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame player.

The book teaches you everything you need to know to become a professional table tennis player: deadly strokes, corkscrew spin, footwork, returning backspin serves, as well as many funny stories.

Compared to other Table Tennis books, the advantage of this book is that it takes out all the unnecessary things. Instead of reading hundreds of pages about a serve or footwork, it gets straight to the point and tells everything in as few pages as possible.

I recommend that you check Megaspin’s website (by CLICKING HERE) to get more info about the book’s content and how to order it.

Table Tennis Instructional DVDs

Another great way to learn how to serve in table tennis and other tricks is by watching instructional videos. It is probably even more useful than reading instructional books. Unfortunately, table tennis is not the world’s most popular sport, so there are not many of those videos available, but you can still get some on Megaspin.

Learn how to win at ping pong by watching relevant DVDs will help improve your overall skill. Killerspin Success in Table Tennis DVD – 2nd Edition, also available for order, is the digital version of a classic table tennis guide by Killerspin.

killerspin success dvd 2
killerspin success dvd 2

Ghost serve

This serve creates such a powerful backspin that it sends the ball flying back towards the net. The serve is also known as Ma Lin’s ghost serve.

Ma Lin is a Chinese table tennis player who is a world champion.

Watch the video below to learn how to do this serve.

Top Thirteen Playing Tips

  1. Physical training, not at the table, is essential. It must not be neglected. It can prevent injuries and increase performance.
  2. Table tennis is a fast sport. It is dangerous to get ankle injuries by moving quickly. That’s the reason why the appropriate equipment and good shoes are vital pieces of equipment. Low shoes help prevent ankle sprains.
  3. It is essential to have two rackets with you all the time. The second racket needs to be ready to use. If you break your racket during a match, you will have the second to use and won’t have a problem trying to find another one to finish your match.
  4. An excellent physical warm-up is necessary before playing table tennis. It will wake your muscles up and prevent injuries.
  5. It is essential to do a good stretch at the end of a day of training or competition. By doing this, you will be able to play more often and longer because your muscles will stay more relaxed day after day. The opposite will happen if you don’t stretch.
  6. The day before a competition, it is crucial to eat well and to sleep well.
  7. During the day of competition, it is better to eat small snacks than a big meal.
  8. It can be useful to record your matches to analyze your technical shots and adjust what is not working well when you return to training.
  9. Energy drinks such as Gatorade are an excellent option for a long day of competition. You can drink one of these to revive some tired muscles.
  10. As you probably know, you are allowed to use a towel every six points during a match. You can use this moment to think about the tactical aspects you should use against your opponent in the points that will follow the pause.
  11. In table tennis, practice at the table is inevitable, but physical training is also crucial. It raises the level of your game. Running is a perfect way to improve your cardio. Running works directly on your physical endurance, and you can see the results at the end of the day of the competition.
  12. If you always play against the same players, you tend to be mentally lazy. That’s the reason why it is important to play against a large variety of players.

Addition Tips – Equipment Tips

To get the best results when gluing: Try to pre-glue your rubbers:

  • before starting your practice or
  • before the first match of the competition or
  • Perhaps your rubbers have not been used for few hours.

For instance, take your rubbers and put one layer of glue on them, and put them back on the blade right away without letting them dry. After 5 minutes, take off your rubbers and do your regular gluing.

table tennis tips
table tennis tips

If you are using a new set of rubbers for competition, try to put a few glue layers the day before the competition. Otherwise, only one glue layer before a match will not give you the best result in terms of speed.
Before a match, make sure to select a proper ball. Quite frankly, the percentage of table tennis balls around is relatively low. Choose the best one in terms of roundness and the one that is equally hard over the entire surface.
Bring always a towel, even if you do not need one in a match. It’s always good to break the rhythm if you lose points in a row. After 6 points, take your towel and regroup or refocus.

table tennis DVDs

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Warren Davies

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