How Many Points Do You Need To Win Ping Pong

How Many Points Do You Need To Win Ping Pong

Last modified: October 3, 2023


Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is a thrilling and fast-paced sport enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. One of the burning questions for any ping pong player is: How many points do you need to win a game of ping pong? In this article, we will explore the rules and scoring system of ping pong to give you a clear understanding of how to emerge victorious in this exciting game.

Understanding the Scoring System in Ping Pong:

In ping pong, each game is played until one player or team reaches a specific number of points. The standard scoring system used in most recreational and competitive matches is called the 11-point system. However, there are variations to this scoring system, such as the 21-point system used in some tournaments. Let’s delve into the details of the 11-point system.

1. Getting Started:

To begin a game of ping pong, a player or team must toss a coin or perform a similar action to decide who will serve first. The winner of the toss can choose to serve or receive the initial serve.

2. Scoring Points:

In ping pong, a point is scored every time the ball is legally hit over the net and the opponent fails to return it. For each game, the first player or team to reach 11 points is declared the winner.

3. Serving Rules:

Serving is an essential part of ping pong, and there are specific rules regarding how to serve. The server must stand behind the end of the table and toss the ball at least six inches into the air before striking it. The ball must then bounce on the server’s side of the table before crossing the net and landing in the opponent’s court.

4. Alternate Serve:

One of the unique aspects of ping pong is the alternating serve rule. After the first serve of the game, the serve switches back and forth between the players or teams after every two points. This ensures fairness and gives both players or teams an equal opportunity to score points.

5. Deuce Rule:

When the score reaches 10-10, it is known as “deuce.” From this point on, both players or teams need to win by a margin of two points. The game continues until one player or team achieves a lead of two points over the opponent.

6. Game Point:

The player or team who is one point away from winning the game is said to be at game point. For example, if the score is 10-9, the player or team with nine points is at game point. This is a crucial moment in the game, as the player or team at game point must win the very next point to secure victory.


So, how many points do you need to win a game of ping pong? The answer is 11 points in most cases, with the exception of the deuce rule, where a margin of two points is required. Remember, ping pong is not just about winning points but also about enjoying the game, improving your skills, and having fun with friends and family. So grab your paddles, hit the table, and let the thrilling world of ping pong unfold!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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