How To Score Points In Ping Pong

How To Score Points In Ping Pong

Last modified: October 11, 2023

How to Score Points in Ping Pong

Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is a fast-paced and exciting sport that requires both skill and strategy. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, understanding how to score points is essential to winning a game. In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can score points in ping pong and strategies to improve your scoring ability.

1. Serving

The serve is the starting point of every ping pong rally. When it’s your turn to serve, you have the opportunity to gain an immediate advantage. To score points through serving:

Use Spin

By applying spin to your serve, you can make it more challenging for your opponent to return the ball effectively. Topspin serves create a forward rotation, causing the ball to dip and bounce lower on the opponent’s side of the table. Backspin serves, on the other hand, create a backward rotation and result in a higher bounce. Sidespin serves cause the ball to curve sideways, making it harder to predict its trajectory.

Target Weak Spots

Observe your opponent’s weaknesses and aim your serves accordingly. If they struggle with backhand shots, try serving to their backhand corner. If they have difficulty returning low balls, aim for the edges of the table. Targeting their weaknesses will increase the chances of scoring points.

Vary Your Speed and Placement

Surprise your opponent by mixing up your serve speed and placement. Alternate between slow and fast serves to keep them off balance. Aim for different areas of the table, such as the corners or the middle, to force your opponent to constantly adjust their positioning.

2. Offensive Shots

Once the rally is in progress, you can score points by executing aggressive shots. Offensive shots include:


The smash is a powerful shot played with a downward motion, often initiated when the ball is high or mid-air. Aim to hit the ball with speed and accuracy, making it difficult for your opponent to return. A well-executed smash can be a game-changer as it puts pressure on the opponent and forces them into a defensive position.


A loop is a topspin shot where you brush the ball upward with a semi-circular motion. This shot creates a significant amount of topspin, causing the ball to arc and curve. By applying topspin, you can make the ball dip quickly over the net and bounce awkwardly for your opponent, making it harder to control.


When your opponent plays an aggressive shot, you can counterattack by taking advantage of their pace and redirecting the ball with speed and precision. This requires quick reflexes and good anticipation of your opponent’s shot placement.

3. Defensive Strategy

Scoring points in ping pong isn’t just about attacking; it’s also about defending effectively. Implement these defensive strategies:


Blocking involves placing your paddle in the path of the incoming ball, redirecting it back with minimal effort. This technique is useful when you want to control the pace of the rally and minimize the risk of making mistakes. The key is to angle your racket correctly to direct the ball back to your opponent’s side of the table.


A chop is a defensive shot played with backspin. It involves brushing the bottom side of the ball, imparting enough backspin to make the ball bounce low and close to the net. A well-executed chop can force your opponent into making mistakes or provide you with an opportunity to counterattack.


When your opponent is playing aggressive shots close to the table, you can use the lob technique to keep them on their toes. A lob is a high, arcing shot that sends the ball deep into your opponent’s side of the table. This shot forces your opponent to move backward and gives you time to reposition yourself and regain control of the rally.


Scoring points in ping pong requires a combination of skill, strategy, and quick reflexes. By mastering various serving techniques, offensive shots, and defensive strategies, you can significantly improve your ability to score points and win games. Remember to practice regularly and analyze your opponent’s weaknesses to maximize your chances of success. With dedication and practice, you’ll become a formidable player on the ping pong table.

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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