Different Types of Strokes: What are the Basic Strokes in Table Tennis?

Last update:
This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.
Types of strokes for Table Tennis

Do not miss this guide if you want to nail your ping pong game. You can find the best types of strokes for table tennis right here. Let’s check it out! 

Types Of Strokes For Table Tennis

The two main types of shots in table tennis are offensive and defensive. We can divide each category into different shots.  


What is an offensive shot in table tennis? This shot aims to attack and use offensively to keep their upper hand during the game set. 

Here are 5 offensive strokes in table tennis that benefit your match: 

Speed drive

In a speed drive shot, the paddle and the stroke are perpendicular to one other.

The amount of pressure that the player applies to the ball turns into the ball’s speed, and there is no twirling impact.

This shot is rapid, finding it challenging for the opposing player to manage. Meanwhile, you have more time to prepare for a more powerful attack. 


The loop drive stroke is the opposite of the speed drive.

The player’s goal in this situation is to contact the ball. He accomplishes this task by keeping his racket and shooting directions parallel to each other.

This stroke is nearly identical to the kick serve stroke used in tennis.

When opposed to a loop drive shot, the speed drive stroke has a substantially higher difficulty level.

Counter drive

There are some cases when a player has to choose a complex shot.

Most of the time, he’s likely to go for this shot, whose goal is to keep the paddle closed and near the ball. 

The player aims to strike the ball in such a way that it moves quickly to the opposite side of the fence. He has to deal with the stroke’s timing carefully.

Despite the complexity, many players practice this skill. When performed properly, it can be incredibly successful. 

PIUkZRMIuRramsK KuGMEJw3CLexdEx5dPE8S9qt KcgM 0HX Ddcl4I0PcMFXvnLaHWhucUBy4c J3bTVCys8liM4tcku vwBtj42JFZjIW uJ9OO0BM2IVYcwLMwKOLB9866b5lRk08W mIQ
1. You have to control the timing


It’s a hard shot that necessitates rapid wrist movement. If you take a ball with a backspin near the net, the ideal offensive solution is flick it.

You can smash your racket in a broader arc when you receive the ball at the other end of the table.

If the ball with backspin comes close to the net, you can’t generate high speed with a backswing. You can still control the ball by bending over the table and striking it with your wrist.


When your opponent returns a ball that rebounds too far or too low to the net, you can smash it. This skill involves a big backswing and quick acceleration to give the ball as much velocity as possible. 

The purpose of a smash is to hit the ball at such a fast rate that the opponent is unable to receive it. Because its major goal is to increase ball speed, the ball’s rotation is usually not topspin.

Mxh SIGUOm373Yic14VFQoFtB 0KJxFHQDfpQk0mePOYRjXOvypfvjUOx yFFF00nUbW2zRPqjU2JQ5IA6ga0Li1im8qI6kh9JMmLKtW3oWyMU dNKMqW73iKw5jL1QMiwefmV9cNLsaaYt6sA
2. The speed is essential


What are defensive strokes in table tennis? This skill helps players defend their opponent’s attacks and creates chances for their attacking strokes. 

There are 4 basic table tennis strokes you can use to defend:


This shot aims to maintain the point and provide offensive chances. 

The racket will slice underneath the ball by sending a backspin, causing it to glide softly to the other side. 

The backspin causes the ball to descend toward the court as it reaches the opposing racket, making a push tougher to handle.  

If you’re a beginner, you’ll have to drive the ball back and forth, which will lead to pushing smashes.

If you compete with a professional player, this shot is not ideal because he can loop the ball, and you have to flip it when it approaches the net. 


The chop in defense is a counterpart of the loop drive in the offense. It’s heavier than a push, brought back from the table. 

The racket’s surface is primarily horizontal, with a little upward inclination, and the swing is straight back down.

The goal of a chop is to control the opponent’s topspin. A good chop should glide horizontally back to the surface, with enough backspin to cause the ball to bounce in some situations. 

Due to its massive degree of backspin, the chop can be tough to return. A few defensive players may also apply no-spin and sidespin chop types.

Mdys8bUx3ZyTIcYKnGPmaXFo Rib1y50nh rCl1iIRDFaUys4s9hvwSUMsxqX2ej6MFOin1fSeUOMETk1Xhtlxj3QwMC t4xp6SE pppigxLmUeqo0C3ZhI
3. This shot is hard to return


You can perform a block by merely positioning the paddle at the front of the ball once it has bounced.

The ball then returns toward the opposing player with nearly the same strength as it had when it first entered. 

This skill is more complicated than it sounds because several factors (like the ball’s speed and spin) affect the block’s angle. 

Your opponent may perform a superb loop, smash, or drive, only to handle the block. However, due to offensive shots’ force, he will find it hard to turn your blocked stroke. 


The lob is perhaps the striking shot, as it pushes the ball roughly five meters into the air before landing with a lot of spin on the other side of the table. 

To perform, you must first move back 4 to 6 meters away from the table. Then, lift the ball as high as possible.

A lob is an essential creative shot that may take on almost any bounce. To handle the spin, good players use this method to their advantage.

LqT0YZSe8qq 6hDQSQrBlkkybXFA8TBfmu2Opik52dfy2xTG0Ac90DY99ZEE5V3xuuVPpGJ4xNXy7Po5h0d7Divy2TLt8 41cbygw3oH GC6pXSUJvwAVKRIpQUQ3X2za0c3UQJOyI04Fgs0lg
4. This striking skill is worth trying

Table Tennis Strokes – FAQs

The following questions can help you understand more about the strokes used in ping pong. Scroll down for details!

What do you call the defensive move in table tennis?

There are several ways to defend in ping pong, giving them different names depending on the technique used, such as lob, chop, push, and block.

What is the main goal of a smash stroke in table tennis?

This stroke aims to push your opponent away from the table. 
Yet, it is not always about force and demands your use of good timing, skill, and accuracy at the same time. 

What is the most basic and fundamental ping pong stroke?

How do you counter smash in table tennis?

The chop and push strokes are the best techniques to defend a smash shot.

This video will share with you more counter smash tips:


There are different offensive and defensive strokes to use in your game. You should practice them and apply the best technique flexibly in the right situation. 

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t forget to leave them in the comments section below. Also, share your table tennis experiences with us.

Thank you for reading!

Read More:

5/5 - (1 vote)