The Rules of Table Tennis (Ping Pong) – EXPLAINED!

The Rules of Table Tennis (Ping Pong) – EXPLAINED!

Ninh explains the Rules of Table Tennis
Table Tennis, otherwise known as ‘Ping Pong’, is a game played as singles (where one person
plays against one person) or doubles (where two people play against two people).
The object of the game is for your team to win 3 sets faster than the opposing team.
To win a set, you must score 11 points and be at least two points ahead.
If the scores are 10-10 for example, the game carries on until one player or pair has a
two point lead. Okay then, so how do you score these points?
To score a point, you must aim to hit a small ball with your bat (otherwise known as a paddle)
over the net and onto your opponent’s side of the table without the opponent returning
the favour. The table is 274cm long x 152.5cm wide, and
the net is 15.25cm above the table surface. There is a centreline that divides the table,
but this is used in doubles only. To start the game, a player must serve with
the ball in his open palm behind the table. The ball must travel at least 6 inches in
the air and bounce once on each side of the table for a serve to be legal.
If the ball is hit onto the edge of the table – this counts.
The opponent will then try and return the ball and make you miss hitting the ball back.
This can go back and forth and is known as a ‘rally’.
Hitting the ball over a net onto the table so that your opponent can’t return it, sounds
simple enough, but in table tennis – it’s very easy to lose points. There’s a lot of things you can’t do in
table tennis You cannot hit the ball directly onto the
ground outside the area of play. You cannot hit the ball twice in succession.
You cannot allow the ball to bounce more than once.
You cannot hit the ball before it has bounced on your side of the table.
You cannot hit the ball into the net and for it to land on your half of the table.
You cannot touch the ball with any part of your body except with the bat.
You cannot put your non playing hand on the table.
In doubles, you cannot hit the ball out of turn.
and as earlier mentioned; you must serve the ball legally.
If you commit any of these errors, this results in your opponents being awarded a point.
Once a player or a pair has won 11 points and is at least 2 points ahead, they win a
set. First player or pair to win 3 sets faster
than their opponent … wins. Now that’s basically table tennis in a nutshell,
but there’s a few things you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a game. For example … Service
In singles only, the ball can be served anywhere on the table.
In doubles however, the ball must touch the opposite corners of the table and partners
must alternate serves. Each player (or pair) is given two serves
before your opponent is awarded next two serves. This goes back and forth until either a set
is won, or you reach Deuce. Deuce
This where a score is tied (typically 10-10) and each team now requires a two point lead
to win. The only difference now is that you only get one serve each as opposed to two.
The first player or pair to get a two point lead, wins the set. Out of turn (doubles) In doubles only, you and your partner must
hit the ball alternately. If a player hits the ball twice in succession
during a rally – they have played out of turn and the opponent is awarded the point. As you can tell, Table Tennis is an extremely
fast sport and you’ll need good reflexes to play it properly, but over time, the rules
will become easy and it’s a fun sport to play.
If you have found this video at all helpful, please like, share and subscribe.
It takes me ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated.
Be sure to follow me on twitter also, but in the meantime, enjoy Table Tennis! Ninh Ly,, @NinhLyUK


  1. Zoltán Kasza says:

    I thought if i hit the ball back with my finger( with the racket holding hand) accidently it still counts?

  2. Naphon Tonitiwong says:

    “Over the net…..” Not exactly. You could hit over the net or around the net or in some magical ways that the ball lands on the opponent’s side.

  3. WkuRhyno41 says:

    since im hosting a small work table tennis tourney, these rules help

  4. Tommy Reyes says:

    So far this is the best explanation of table tennis rules on YouTube thank you very much !!!! 🏓🥇

  5. cameron brochu says:

    Very helpful thanks

  6. Raghav Bawa says:

    very nice video sir . very much helpful

  7. Chandan S says:

    In less time explained rules nicely

  8. Swag eyy says:

    There’s so many rules imitated !

  9. Bjarni Már Stefánsson says:

    It once happend to me that the ball got from the opponent side and then back to me without him touching the ball becouse of the spin, who should get the point in that situation

  10. David Zeledon says:

    Perfect!! Thanks

  11. Julius Spin says:

    I accidentally hit the ball against the pole that holds the net up en the bal ricochet and went Flying through the air and landed on my opponents part of the table In a crucial part of the Game. Does that point count? I'm A beginner and couldn't find the answer anywhere so please let me know.

  12. MUSIC LIBRARY says:

    Thanks for such a nice vedio

  13. Zaffron says:

    that's what i need to know.thanks

  14. Jatin Kumar says:

    I want to know illegal shots in ping pong

  15. JTtopcat says:

    Yeah but how you determine who serves.

  16. Madeleine Ogg says:

    Thank you was very helpful ^_^

  17. Viking creed says:

    what if i return the ball around the net not over it like from the side and it hits the opponent's side ..does that count for me??
    and thanks for the video

  18. Tennis Conditioning says:

    Pretty nice!

  19. Paras Bansal says:

    Nice Video! Keep up the great work.

  20. 5 CrookedFingers says:

    thank you

  21. Potato Dragon says:

    Can you do badminton

  22. Abdaal Jadoon says:

    Hey there, i want to know that suppose while doing serve the ball strikes on our side and then it strikes twice on other side then is it considered legal or not ?

  23. Jack says:

    Most of this video was just Zhang destroying lol

  24. Balaji Tamilvanan says:

    While in a rally,can we go close to the net and make our shot?





  27. Evil Sock Puppetz says:

    I literally knew nothing about the rules and now I’m schooling my dad
    Thank you so much

  28. Scott G says:

    Hi Reddit

  29. imran haider says:

    What if in doubles game we touch net during serve. Do we call it again or continue.

  30. Yogesh Suthar says:

    full content in very less time

  31. Peter Harrison says:

    Good post. Played ping pong a lot when I was young. We played to 21, you had to win by 2. You could only score on your serve. Putting spin on the serve was legal. Hitting the back edge or side edge of the opponent's side was legal. And we called it a paddle. (Not a bat.)

    Returning the ball on the fly was legal, and was considering a good, aggressive attack strategy. Returning the ball so that it hit the top edge of the net and having go over and hitting the opponent's side was legal. Topspin, backspin, sidespin (left or right), were all good tactics. And a really good backspin that, for lack of a better word, was a "dink." You pointed the top edge of the paddle straight at your opponent with a little downward angle, and jabbed it forward and underneath the ball to drastically slow its speed down and create a strong enough backspin so that it would almost stop dead on the other side when it hit the table.

    I started out using a traditional grip (like the fellas you have in the video) and then converted to the "Chinese" or "pen" grip after a few years. It allowed me to do a greater repertoire of spins. Also, in effect, there wasn't much of backhand that way. We had a lot of fun in those days playing the game.

  32. Dj Uy says:

    what the…your d best!😂😂😂

  33. im a motha fucking starfish says:


  34. Anya Dunderdale says:

    Thank you!

  35. FBI says:

    I know why you guys are here

    There is a kid at school who is cheating

  36. Sharath Chandra says:

    What if the ball touches the white edges during the rally is it a re serve??

  37. LukeZB2 says:

    Cheers for this Ninh. You've helped me understand many sports. You explain it very well. Thanks A lot.

  38. Lil ToothPaste says:

    Thank you so much! I have randomly sparked an interest in table tennis and this video was so helpful!

  39. Juicy says:

    shoutout to coach JR

  40. umladek ramarsh says:

    What is a kill zone?

  41. Triggered_Comrade _ says:

    When the game is getting intense, and each player hits the ball hard… could you “Baby” hit it? Like when your opponent is far back.. expecting a large hit, but you hit as gently as you can.
    Is that legal?

  42. Rbrjdbdb Ibsksns says:

    I play table tennis and helped me much more!

  43. saisriram28 says:

    This video was really helpful. But the concept of re-serve has not been touched in it. It would've been more helpful, had it been covered in the video.

  44. barangay cambinocot says:

    how about 11 and 11 what should be the next?

  45. Mike Anthony Karam says:

    I suscribed:)(:

  46. Daisy The Dunce says:

    I want to start a Table Tennis club someday

  47. FinnCuber says:

    Can you use curve always?

  48. uddingstonbluenose says:

    A minor thing is differentiating between an 'edge' and a 'side'.

    Many players try to claim any 'side' no matter how low it is…

  49. Alfie Tadeo says:

    Nice video with clear and fast explanation. Thumbs up!!

  50. Alpha Beta says:

    I once got a pretty "rare" incident. I served the ball and it was rotating… it hit my opponent's side and bounced back to mine. Does that count a point for me or my opponent?

  51. lone wolfie says:

    Great video. Short, informative and no fluff.

  52. Alexa Doodles says:

    At school we're playing table tennis and theres this bitch named Emily and she breaks literally all the rules and counts them as points for her and nobody points it out, but then when we make a mistake she points it out and then starts being all cocky and proud at the end of the game

  53. Charles787 says:

    Thank you ! What if my ball hits the net while serving? Server is allowed a new serve? If you miss a serve are you aloowed a second one like Tennis?

  54. Les Eklund says:

    What are the rules for dropping the bat and hitting the table with the bat?

  55. Coordinator says:

    Rats Rats we are the rats

  56. M7MD MOL7M says:

    thank you

  57. Concord510 says:

    Thank you. This was very knowledgeable information that helped me and my table tennis mates play according to the rules.
    Please continue to publish superb works in the future.

  58. Andrew Mao says:

    Great video, nice for communicating one's passion for table tennis to the less initiated 🙂

  59. Arthur De klerck says:

    Hey can anyone help me in service do you have to throw the ball 20 centimeters in the air or not???

  60. Alejandro Spears says:

    Thanks man! This helped with some confusion.

  61. Rathnasiva 9865055075 says:

    From which age to which age we can play Olympic games

  62. Ethan Low says:

    Fyi guys, ping pong is actually a different sport from table tennis, if i rmb correctly, 1 set is 15 points and the bats are sandpapered bats, without any rubber on its surface

  63. gamerCOD says:

    If the ball come to me lets say lob shot and my bat hit the table when i catch the ball is that a point for the opposite or when i smash with forehand or backhand ? Thnx in advance for anyone that can answer me cause i have a disquss with my friend

  64. ali akeel says:

    I wish i can play this game, but the table is expensive

  65. R4G3xIrnBruZ YT says:

    Thanks that really helpful

  66. Ibrahim Youssef says:

    Thank you

  67. Ruger Ellis says:

    thank you so helpful

  68. Danny Hipolitø says:

    0:44 I had that table once, but years later I sold it to a friend who's a landscaper. Anyone know any places that sell cheap Ping Pong tables?

  69. Kestronomy says:

    There is also another rule about yellow cards

  70. Duong Hoang Minh says:

    What it's that ball to play table tennis?

  71. Foxi0000 says:

    I really need to know if the ball hits the white corner on the table is that considered out of the game because my friend says it dose so I want to prove him wrong

  72. SÁlv16 G. says:

    I thought that you should serve to the opposite corner also in singles, I had been playing like that all the time haha


    Can we serve to opponent's side end? in doubles?

  74. WiTTeNx says:

    one slight rule adjustment: if the ball hits your playing hand/fingers, its still in play.

  75. Chun Chung LAW says:

    Just want to know the rules of deuce. In badminton, typically 20-20, the player who gets 2 more points will win the game but in 29-29, the player who achieves 30 points first will win the game. For example, A 30-29 B, player A wins the games. So is there any similar situation in table tennis?

  76. Anthony Lewin says:

    How does the cards work

  77. John Smith says:

    In the service if the ball hits the white line of the opponents side will it be a foul???

  78. Helmut Friedl says:

    At the World Championships, you have to win 4 sets

  79. jala Jala says:

    this is really help me…
    thank u so much for your information…
    "so in double player must hit the ball alternately" its because my friend told me you can hit free the ball without alternate,even your partner doing nothing like badminton rules…

  80. ttegg says:

    That was great! Just one thing to correct, there are 7 games match as well as 5 games match. Could have been even better if you’ve explained service lets as it could confuse some people.

  81. Mr. Doobz says:

    I thought it is only 16cm for service toss… a lot of people said that

  82. Achilles the Gamer says:

    Did you explain net in?

  83. Cyril Estorba says:

    if score 10-10, first two points win?

  84. Daniel Zaslav says:

    Table tenis and ping pong are two slightly different sports, just saying

  85. Shimon Tahan says:

    Thanks for the tutorial ,the hitting the edge on serve surprised me.few questions:1.hitting the net on serve and the ball lands on opponent side?(in my book its a restart but if it happens 2 in row you lose point).2a bit silly one but happens a lot,what if a player blocks the way for the opponent to reach the ball (even in passive way)he get penalty for lack of sportsmanship or what?or not? 3.(that's just for debate i have with friend)if on serve the ball hit opponent side and bouncing off the side of the table ,is legal?
    Hoping for answers.

  86. Ni Zeng says:

    In 90 minutes I'll go to my first ping-pong training in 15 years and next week I'll join my colleagues for a local tournament. I believe I'll have great fun. As a native Chinese, sometimes I do feel like it being a default setting that Chinese knows how to play ping-pong naturally like black people knows how to play bass (joke from South Park).

  87. Kartheek Vajrala says:

    Is touching the bat to to the table legal?

  88. Forget It says:

    then what if you make a "net serve"?

  89. Leon says:

    The bat isn't a part of your body.

  90. TotallyNotPeace says:

    this song is also used to make the song "rats birthday" please search it up i recommend it 🙂

  91. Emma Creation says:

    God I am going to a table tennis tournament from school this coming Monday and I am terrified

  92. lena samsudin says:

    hi can u explain how the rules for serve in doubles…in every set who shoul serve who?

  93. Alon Malka says:

    nice vid. lets you understand everything in a moment. Btw im glad you talked about the 2 v 2. didn't know about that 😀

  94. paul neon A says:

    yo thank you Ninh Ly i have a big game today and well i dont know the rules thanks man

  95. Gabe Prem says:

    There are kids in my school who say that if on a serve the ball hits the opponents side twice, the server is out, is that true?

  96. Abdulaziz Alzahrani says:

    I know I am late but if my paddle hits the table is ok

  97. pRaze says:

    I’m in my school ping pong team so thanks!

  98. areeb gamer says:

    Thank you so much ❤️ for this now I can play doubles 😊

  99. Harsh Solanki says:

    Nicely explained… Thank you !!

  100. Flaky says:

    So when do I serve,for example:When my opponent scores do I serve?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *