Table Football Tips

Updated February 21, 2017

Although there is no certain origin for table football, also referred to as foosball among other names, it likely came from western Europe along with soccer in the late 19th century and has remained a commonly played table sport over time. Many nuances and strategies exist that a new player might overlook when learning to play table football, and taking the time to study a few of these tips can show up immediately in competition, whether casual or otherwise.

Don't Spin The Rods

Although it may seem tempting, particularly for inexperienced players, spinning the rods is not a good idea for several reasons. It can damage the table, leave a goal undefended, and will result in a predictable straight shot, however hard it may be. It is much more efficient to aim carefully and use a forceful wrist flick, which can be just as powerful of a shot with practice.

Master The Drop Pass

When the ball is first entered into the hole that takes it onto the playing surface, that pass is called 'The Drop.' This is a critical moment, because experienced players perfect the pass in such a way that the ball goes directly to their offensive players. If done incorrectly, a drop pass can immediately turn the ball over to the opponent before an opportunity to score even arises for the person performing the pass. Practicing an effective drop pass alone will yield immediately helpful results.

Learn Basic Defense Positions

It is difficult to win at table football if the opponent is able to score at will. The player must become familiar with the various rods and stay in control of them at all times. The back goalie, for instance, must be angled with his feet upwards so that the ball does not have a chance to go in the goal after being blocked. Angle the men on the front rod the opposite direction, and try to ensure the players are not lined up directly; this creates a wider path for the opponent's ball to travel into the goal.

Choose A Shot

For offensive purposes, a player must have a trusted shot he can rely on to score with often. While many types of shots are available to learn, one of the more natural ones to start with is the pull shot. With this shot, players position the ball next to the middle man on the rod on the far side of the table. Then the ball is pulled down toward the player and hit toward the opponent's goal. The lateral movement of the ball makes it difficult for the opposing defence to block the shot, which allows for great precision and is used with great frequency by players of all skill levels.

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About the Author

Spencer Hendricks has written for various well-regarded blogs. His work has appeared in the "Kickapoo Prairie News" and online at and Spencer Vs. The Food Industry. He is currently in the process of obtaining a degree in Web development.