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How To Play Table Football

How To Play Table Football

Foosball, also known as table football, seems like such an easy game. You score more goals than your opponent and you end up winning. However, in reality, playing foosball entails a lot more than this. Are you looking to improve your playing skills or learn how to play table football as a beginner? Then read this article to learn more.

Table football is pretty simple. However, the game has several rules that you need to follow. You can learn all you need to know about the game by playing regularly or by watching a tutorial. This article aims to serve as your guide that will teach you how to excel in the game.

Learn How To Play Table Football

Like in any other sport, you have to learn foosball’s rules and gameplay to become a proper player.

Understanding The Rules And Gameplay

We’ll start with foosball’s basic rules and gameplay.

1. Review The Different Parts Of The Table

Take some time to review the game table and study the different parts, including the flat surface, rods and players.

Note: Each team has four rods to control players.

2. Score 5 Goals Before Your Opponent Does

To win a foosball match, you have to outscore your opponent. The winner of a foosball match is anyone who scores 5 goals first.

3. Playing Solo Or With A Team

You can choose to play foosball solo against your opponent or in a team. You take charge of four rods when playing solo and two when playing with a teammate.

4. Start A Match

Start A Match

A player needs to serve to kickstart a foosball match. In most cases, players flip a coin to decide who starts.

5. Make Your Plays Within 10 – 15 Seconds Of Getting The Ball

You have 10 seconds to pass or shoot when you receive the ball on 5-rod. However, 3-rod, 2-rod or the goalie get 15 seconds.

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6. Ball Off The Table

You have to call a timeout every time the ball leaves the table and you should introduce it back into play from the side of the table where it went off.

7. Dead Ball

You must serve the ball again from the middle if there is a dead ball situation between the midfield rods.

8. Switching Positions

You have to switch sides with the opposing team if you’re playing multiple games.

9. Les Pissettes
A pissette shot is when you shoot with the attackers at the bar’s end on the handle side when your opponent’s goalkeeper and defenders are shifted to the same side.

Note: Les Pissettes is illegal in arcades but authorized in competitions.

10. Spinning

Table Football - Spinning

Spinning is a 360-degree rotation of players just before or after they kick the ball.

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11. The Midfield Shot

Shooting and scoring with the midfield players is only considered a goal in the following situations:

  • Opposing team deflects the ball with the midfield rod.
  • The midfield rod scores an own goal.
  • The ball moves toward the goal post and hits the opposing defender before entering the goal.

12. Le Contre Des Demis

A contre des demis can’t lead to a goal unless the player is holding the bar at a key moment.

13. The Dish

The dish is a situation where the ball enters the goal and comes out again.

14. Going Fishing

“Going fishing” is when you pick up the ball in the goal before it falls onto the table. It is illegal and you’ll be penalized.

15. Lobs

The ball hanging above players and the goal bar before scoring is a lob. It counts as two points.

16. Forbidden Baby Foot Behavior

The rules of baby foot forbid the following actions:

  • Distracting or annoying your opponent.
  • Blowing on the ball.
  • Violently moving the ball.
  • Scoring the last goal with the midfield rod.

Go here for more details about foosball rules.

Playing Offense

Table Football - Playing Offense

Here are things to note when playing offense in foosball.

1. Wrap Your Hand Around The Handle Without Your Thumb And Fingers Touching

Holding the rod too tight prevents you from making stable plays and results in less control over your swings. Place your index finger and thumb in the indents of the handle for more control.

2. Space Out Your Playing Bars So You Can Make Clearer Shots

Ensure that your two offensive rods are spaced out so you can pass easily and take effective shots.

3. Pass The Ball To Your 3-Rod Row Of Players

Pass The Ball To Your 3-Rod Row Of Players

Keep the ball moving by passing it from the back to your 3-rod players. You can receive passes by holding your 3-rod players at a 45-degree angle.

4. Try An Open-Handed Grip When Making Offensive Shots

Loosen your grip when making an offensive shot. Instead of relying on force, rotate your wrist upward to kick the ball with power.

Tip: Avoid making a 360 spin with the rod, as this is illegal.

Playing Defense

Table Football - Playing Defense

Follow these tips to defend better in foosball:

1. Combine Your Defensive Rods To Make More Effective Plays

Keep the defenders and goalie close so your opponent doesn’t have a clear sight on goal.

2. Block Your Opponent’s Plays With Your 2 Defensive Rods

The two rods closest to the goal posts are meant for defending. Move them to prevent the ball from entering the goal.

3. Clear The Ball From Your Goal With 1 Of Your Defensive Bars

Clear the ball from defensive areas with a lot of power to keep your opponent from recovering the ball close to your goal.

Tip: You can fire long range shots with your defensive players to catch the opponent unprepared.

4. Deflect Bad Shots From Your Opponent Into Their Goal

 Watch for weak shots from your opponents and aim to turn them into goals.

Foosball Tips

How To Play Table Football - Foosball Tips

Follow these foosball tips for better performance:

  • Keep your players close to the ball rather than making sudden movements with the rods.
  • Make your playing pattern unpredictable so your opponent can’t guess your move.
  • Maintain focus throughout the game.

See here for more foosball tips.


Here is a list of things you should avoid doing while playing foosball:

  • Don’t be rude to your opponent and avoid unsportsmanlike behavior.
  • Avoid constantly spinning the rod or jostling the table.
  • Don’t touch the ball unless it’s a serve reset.

Frequently Asked Questions

You get good at table football by practicing regularly. Playing in friendly matches allows you to practice various tricks and strategies and improve your gaming ability. You also have to take time to learn the basics of the sport. Read about the game’s rules and watch pro players and tutorial videos to hone your skills.

You start a football table game by serving the ball into action. Block off the serving hole with one hand and put the ball into the hole. Move your hand away from the covering and move it to the handle of the 5-rod offensive pole. Finally, spin the player holding the ball, so the ball lands on the table.

You flick a table football by rotating the rods. The players are attached to the rods, so when they are rotated, they allow you to move the ball back and forth. The power of your flick depends on how quickly you rotate the game rods. Note that you can’t rotate foosball players over 360 degrees in the same play cycle.


Foosball is much easier than it seems. In fact, if you used to play paper football, you’ll know a lot about what this game entails. Whether you’re looking to go pro or play for fun, you’ll know how to play table football a lot better by practicing regularly and following the tips we provided in this article.

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