Playing Against Spin

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 5 years ago

Zach Unknown

Zach Unknown Asked 15 years ago

I have a friend that I play a lot and he uses a lot of spin, side and back.  Everytime one of his balls hit my paddle they either hit the net or go off to the side.  I play fine against people who hit flat. How do I fix this problem?

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 15 years ago

Hi Zach,

At the higher levels Table Tennis is a game of spin. In order to improve from someone who plays in the garage to being competitive with club level players, you need to learn how to spin the ball and how to deal with spin. Although that is easy to write, it is a hard skill to learn.

The simple answer is to practice a lot against people like your friend that can spin the ball. You will start to understand how the different spin affects your shots and learn to cater for the spin.

When your opponent hits the ball with backspin, it will hit your bat and the spin will drag the ball downwards towards the table. To fix this you need to angle your bat towards the ceiling and push the ball back. You should even try to generate a little backspin yourself off this shot to put the pressure back on your opponent. Take a look at the following online lessons to see what I am talking about.

With regards to sidespin, you need to learn to tell what sidespin has been put on the ball. Will it hit your bat and fly to the left or right? Once you can tell this, you can start to use your bat like a rudder to counter the spin. Rather than trying to aim wide of the table, simply angle your bat to counter the spin.

Let me know if these tips help you out. Good luck!

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Thoughts on this question

Fred Unknown

Fred Unknown Posted 15 years ago

Hey,  I find its easier to learn what to do when an oponent uses a stroke if you are familiar with the stroke yourself.  For example if you are a looper, you know how the ball reacts because you use that as your advantage so it will be no surprise.  I suggest you learn a lot of serves so to be ready for anything.  The pendulum seves are very popular they have about 8 variations, its hard to see the differences in spin if you do not know the serve.  So start using spin yourself as an offence and a preperation for your defence.  You will get a lot better. 


Or you can do the lazy sidedoor exit and buy anti-spin or long pimples, lol. 

Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 5 years ago

Even if you get the anti or long pips, it will only be 1 side, it is still important to be able to understand and read spin when you use your other side of rubber.


D K Posted 5 years ago

And even this is not 100% way even if you place antispin/pips on both sides.
I am longpips player and tested anti as well.
Even they are not fulyl imunne to spin.

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