Are There Second Serves In Ping Pong

Are There Second Serves In Ping Pong

Last modified: September 29, 2023

Yes, there are second serves in ping pong. In fact, the rules of ping pong allow each player two chances, or serves, to get the ball over the net and into play. The second serve comes into play when the first serve is not successful, such as hitting the net or missing the opponent’s side of the table.

When serving, the ball must be tossed at least six inches into the air and struck with the racket so that it first bounces on the server’s side of the table, then clears the net, and finally touches the receiver’s side of the table. If the serve is not successful, the server gets a second chance to make a proper serve.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the different types of serves in ping pong and how they can impact the game.

Serve Tactics in Ping Pong:

1. Spin Serve:
A spin serve is a common tactic used by many players to add complexity and unpredictability to their serves. By imparting spin on the ball, players can manipulate its trajectory, making it difficult for the opponent to return the serve accurately. Different types of spin serves include topspin, backspin, and sidespin. Each spin type creates a unique bounce and trajectory, adding variety to the game.

2. Short Serve:
A short serve is a serve that intentionally lands closer to the net and bounces as close to the net as possible on the receiver’s side. This type of serve aims to limit the receiver’s options and restrict their ability to attack aggressively. A well-executed short serve can force the receiver to make a weak return, setting up the server for an advantageous position in the rally.

3. Fast Serve:
A fast serve, as the name suggests, is a serve that is delivered with high speed. This type of serve aims to catch the receiver off guard and put them under pressure to react quickly. Fast serves require good technique and timing to generate power and speed. They can be especially effective when combined with spin to create a challenging combination for the opponent.

4. Placement Serve:
A placement serve focuses on accuracy rather than speed or spin. The server aims to place the ball strategically on the receiver’s side of the table, targeting their weaknesses or exploiting gaps in their positioning. By serving to specific areas of the table, the server can limit the receiver’s options and force them into a difficult return.

5. Deceptive Serve:
A deceptive serve involves disguising the spin, speed, or placement of the serve to deceive the opponent. By using subtle variations in technique and body positioning, the server can confuse the receiver and make it harder for them to anticipate the serve’s characteristics. Deceptive serves can disrupt the opponent’s rhythm and give the server an advantage in the rally.


In ping pong, second serves offer players a chance to correct and improve their initial serve. By using different serve tactics such as spin, short serves, fast serves, placement serves, and deceptive serves, players can gain an edge in the game, confuse their opponents, and set themselves up for success in the rally. Mastering various serve techniques is an essential skill for any ping pong player looking to elevate their game and compete at a higher level. So, practice your serves and discover the tactics that work best for you!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
Table Tennis Girl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that helps website admins earn advertising fees by linking to We only earn a commission if you purchase an item from The prices on Amazon do not change (either way) if you reach them via our links.