What is the basic rules of table tennis?

Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a small, light ball back and forth across a table using paddles. The game can be played indoors or outdoors, and it is a popular recreation for all ages. There are many different rulesets for table tennis, but the basic rules are as follows:

Each player starts with 11 points. A point is scored when the opponent fails to return the ball, when the ball goes out of bounds. The first player to reach 11 points wins the game. However, if the score reaches 10-10, then each player must win two consecutive points in order to win the game.

Scoring and Games

  • Games are played until one team reaches 11 points.
  • Each player serves two times, taking turns. A player doesn’t have to win on their own serve for a point to count.
  • In the event that a game is tied at 10-10, a player must win by a margin of at least two points. In this scenario, participants take turns serving one game apiece, alternating between games.
  • Games in a competition are played to the best of either five (first to win three games) or seven (best of) (first to win 4 games). Best of three rounds can also be played in social games (first to win 2 games)

Legal Serving

You must throw the ball straight up, from a flat palm, at least 16 centimeters away. Your toss and service contact must be behind the table surface (not over). You cannot hide the ball from the toss to the contact with any part of your body. If the ball hits the net during service, it is a let, and the point is replayed. For let serves, there is no limit and no points are taken away.


Table tennis can be played as singles or doubles. In singles play, only two players are allowed at the table; in doubles play, four players are divided into two teams of two. In both cases, players take turns serving the ball and returning it to the opponent’s side of the table. The server must bounce the ball once on his or her own half of the table before hitting it over the net into the opponent’s half. The ball can bounce once on the opponent’s half of the table before being returned. Players continue hitting the ball back and forth until one side makes a mistake and loses a point.

Table tennis is a fun and easy sport to learn, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. So get out there and have some fun!

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