House & Official Rules in Table Tennis

House & Official Rules in Table Tennis

If you are familiar with sports, you will understand that some house rules are not the official rules. In most cases, the house rules are formulated to suit the playing level of the ping pong players.

What’s more, some ping pong players confuse some house rules to be the official table tennis rules. However, after reading this, then you can make the difference.

Nonetheless, if you want to become a professional ping pong player, then you need to pay close attention to the official rules.

Let’s start with the table tennis house rules.

The Basic Table Tennis House Rules

As the name implies, these ping pong rules are mostly formulated to accommodate every member of the house. For instance, for most beginners, it may be difficult to throw the ping pong ball 15 mm into the air on a flat palm. Most often, this rule is not either not obeyed or overlooked.

Take a look at the most popular ping pong house rules below

  • Net: If you are familiar with ping pong, you may have noticed that sometimes the ball touches the net at first serve before falling into the opponent’s side of the table tennis table. Most house rules set a limit of 2 to 3 times before a point is lost. Meanwhile, at major tournaments, limits may not be set.
  • Touching the Table Tennis Table: Most house rules don’t find this as a penalty. However, this is not considered a penalty if most of the players are beginners or playing for recreation. It might be almost impossible for beginners not to touch the table at some point.
  • Holding the Ball 15 mm above the Table to Serve: This is the most neglected official rule. Most indoor recreational ping pong games don’t often regard this rule as an offense if it is not obeyed.
  • Points: Depending on the house, the ping pongs per game can be 21 points instead of 11.

The Official Ping Pong Rules

Whether you want to become a professional ping pong player or not, it will be nice to learn about the official ping pong rules too. There is so much importance in learning the rules of every game. This will also better your game and enhance your understanding of the ping pong game. Below are some of the basic ping pong official rules you need to know:

  • Points: The official points for a ping pong game are 11 points. Also, a player must win by at least two points margin. A match is won by the best three of five games.
  • Serving: The accepted way to serve ping pong games is to hold the ball on an open palm and toss the ball at least 15 mm into the air before hitting it. Also, the ball must hit your side of the table and then bounce on your opponent’s side of the table before it is regarded as a proper serve.
  • Ball Touch the Net: If a ball touches the net on your first serve, it is called a net. Depending on the tournament, there may not be a set-out limit to the number of times that the ball would touch the net before it becomes a point lost.
  • Volleys: Unlike some racket games, volleys are not allowed at a table tennis competition. The ball must hit your side of the table before it bounces on your opponent’s.
  • Touching the Ball with Your Paddle Hand: If the ping pong ball touches your paddle finger and lands on the side of the opponent’s table, it is not a violation. However, if it touches your body and lands on the opponent’s side of the table, it is a violation. It means your opponent will earn a point.
  • Edge of the Table: If the ping pong ball touches the edge of your opponent’s table, it is considered a legal serve.
  • Touching the Table: if your paddle touches the table, it is a violation and it becomes a point in favor of your opponent.

Mind you, doubles rules differ from the singles game. In most cases, double rules are stipulated before the match begins. To discover other rules check out

Are there different rules for Beginners and Professionals Ping Pong Players?

Amazingly, ping pong rules are the same for both amateur and professional ping pong players. So if you want to go professional don’t play with the house rules. It may affect you in the long run especially if you want to play at the Table Tennis Olympics.


Finally, get acquainted with the official rules of the table tennis game as it will help you perfect your game. Learn the right way if you want to become a pro.

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