How to Play Foosball?

How to Play Foosball?

Foosball is a fantastic tabletop game inspired by football or soccer. It is one of the best ways to get entertained by staying at home. If you are new to the world of foosball, here is an article on how to play foosball to help you.

This game is also known as table soccer and was invented in 1921 by Harold Thorton. Foosball is popularly played all over the world and is known by different names like futbolito in Mexico, baby foot in France, and kicker in Germany. 

No matter what you call this game, it is always fun to play. It is a simple game that is based on a famous sport of football/soccer. There are professional foosball players, various foosball competitions, and player’s associations. No matter what is your skill level, this game is amazing. 

You can easily find foosball tables these days, but having a table does not necessarily mean you know how to play this game. Here is a quick review of the table setup, terminologies, and rules to help you understand the game better. 

Foosball Objectives

The main intent of this game is to drop the ball in the goal of your opponent. At the same time, you also have to try to keep your opponent from putting the ball in your goal. In the foosball, each side contains four rods, and they are responsible for controlling 13 player figures by turning, pulling, and pushing the rods. 

Now you must be thinking, it is so easy, but trust me, it is not. You require a lot of practice to manage all the players and rods. The intent is to score 5 goals or 5 points before the opponent. 

In case of a match, you can play it 3 out of 5 games, or 2 out of 3 games. The team who is able to with most games, finally wins the match. 

Foosball Rules

In order to learn how to play foosball, it is essential to understand the basic rules of the foosball game. Learning the rules will help you in getting a better understanding of the game.


Before starting the game, you should count the balls. Always ensure that there are 9 balls on the table. Foosball table has a total nine balls, and the winner is the one who makes the best out of the total nine goals. You would require five goals to win the game. 

You can lose some of the balls, so it is a good idea to keep some replacement foosball balls with you. It could be an issue with kids, so always inform everyone to take care of the balls while playing the game. 

Beginning the Game

People generally begin this game with a toss. So, you decide who will serve first by tossing a coin. In case, this is not the first game, and in the last game the ball was either stopped or it was a dead ball, then the player who made the last score would get the opportunity to serve first. 

Now, you must be thinking about what is a dead ball? If the ball stops out of reach of the players, or it leaves the table, then it is referred to as a dead ball. In order to give a fresh serve to the ball, you can either ask the player who scored last or move it to the nearest player. 

Watch appropriately what the ball hits as it should hit the playing field before any player does the same. You get the time limit of around ten seconds to shoot or pass the ball. 

Playing the Game

  • You can serve the ball through any of the holes on the table. As there are 9 balls, you should opt for playing the best of nine games. It means the person who scores 5 goals first is the winner.
  • After making a goal, the team which was scored upon should serve the ball. In case, the ball leaves the table, the team that scored last gets the opportunity to serve.
  • In case the ball stops moving, and both of the team can not get the ball, then you can declare dead ball. In this case, the team that was last scored upon serves. 
  • While the ball is in the game, you should not reach the table using hands. You are allowed to do this only when the ball is dead.
  • You can keep the ball in one place for 15 seconds only and not more than it. Therefore, keep in mind not to hog the ball. 
  • All the legit shots that fall into the goal are legit. If the ball comes out after scoring, then also it is counted as a goal. 
  • The spinning of the rods is not allowed in foosball.
  • You can move the table or bang it against the sidewalls. Keep in mind not to bump the table during the game as it is cheating. 
  • You are not allowed to distract your opponent. 
  • Unsportsmanlike language and conduct are not allowed. 


Before scoring, the ball should be touched by a man. Every time the ball falls into the goals, it is considered as a legal point. If you want to win the game, then you have to be the first player to score five goals. 

The rules mentioned above are not rules of the official tournament; however, they are basics, and you need to keep them in mind before you play the game with your family or friends. In the buzz of winning the game, do not forget to enjoy it. 

How to Play Foosball

Whether you are playing the game for competition or fun, it is essential to learn a few tips. Most importantly, you need to learn how to grip or hold the foosball handle. Here are some tips that you can keep in mind when you plan to play the game next time. 

Foosball Serve

If you want to be a good player, then it is essential for you to know that official rules of foosball games do not permit you to serve yourself the ball when it is on the drop. So, avoid doing this while playing the game. A serving provides you the opportunity to get possession of the ball immediately. 

In order to decide who gets to serve first, you should toss a coin with your opponent. The person who wins the toss gets the opportunity to serve first. 

When you serve the ball, you should try to spin the ball to the rod with a 5-man midfielder. It will help you to attain control of the ball. This is totally legit, and all the pro players do it. 

You need to practice a lot for this type of serve to get the technique right. It is worth practicing as it will help you in enhancing your overall performance.

Foosball Shooting

One of the most common mistakes a lot of new players make is giving the handles a tight grip. Keep in mind not to do this. You should try to hold the handles with a loose grip. It will allow you to quickly and easily change the rods you are using. If you hold the handles with a tight grip, then you would require a longer time to change the handles. By holding the handles loose, you can have more speed, which will allow you to make quick changes. 

Wrist plays a major role in good shots. If you are able to turn the wrist quickly, you can easily hit a good shot in which the rod spins 180 degrees and provides you adequate speed. However, if your wrist can not turn more than a quarter, then it leads to a wake shot due to lesser speed. 

Basic Offense

In foosball, the main aim is to move the ball from the 5-Bar of your opponent to your offensive 3-Bar. Keep in mind to make sure that your 3-bar is in the correct position to catch the call. It means that you have to keep your players in a forward angle position towards the goal so that you can hit the ball with the player’s back, and it can stop beneath the 3-bar. After this, you can slow down the ball and hit it with the feet of your player, which will move it in front of the goal and then shoot to the goal. 

Basic Defense

During the defense, your aim is to keep the ball from the striker row of your opponent. Moreover, you need to try to block the ball so that your opponent can not shoot to score. After stopping the ball, you need to take control of the ball. When playing defense, try to keep one of the players of your team in front of the ball. Keep in mind not to randomly strike the back as it can backfire and will lead you to make a goal for your opponent. 

Gripping the Handle

A proper grip is one of the most important factors as it plays a major role in enhancing your overall performance. It also makes an impact on your accuracy and speed. 

Keep in mind to grip the foosball handle loosely in order to have enhanced speed and maximum range of movement. 

Many players who are new to this world grip the handle tightly, which often causes a decline in performance. The two types of grips that are usually used in football include open-handed grip and traditional shot grip. 

Open Handed Grip

If you are planning a snake shot or rollover, it is better to use an open-handed grip. The setup requires the foosball player to tilt forward and in the direction where the toe pins the ball. After achieving it, you should make a smooth transition between the open-handed grip and traditional grip. You can attain it by touching the handle using the bottom of the hand and wrist. 

In the foosball game, an upward sliding motion causes the player to make an almost full rotation before he or she hits the ball. 

Traditional Shot Grip

The traditional shot grip is relevant to all the standard shots in the foosball game. Standard shots include spray shot, pull shot, tic-tac shot, and pull shot. 

If you are getting white knuckles, then it shows that you are gripping the handle too tight. Many people who have experience in different sports like tennis, often hold a tight grip, but you should avoid doing the same in this game. 

Tips to Improve Your Foosball Grip 

After reading the above-mentioned information, you might have got an idea about the two types of grips. Now the question is how to enhance your foosball grip? In order to do so, make sure the foosball handles have a proper grip on the. It will allow you to have an appropriate hold of the handle. 

In order to make a firm grip, you can use tubes, wraps, and gloves. The grip that is needed by different people varies; therefore, you need to find out the products that are suitable for you to get a perfect grip. It will help you in enhancing your overall performance.

Practicing different shots and using a good product to make a firm grip is one of the best ways to get better in your foosball game.  

Tips to Improve Your Foosball Game

  • Try to serve the ball using your 5-Bar. However, there are different ways to serve the ball. You should practice different techniques in order to find out which one is suitable for you.
  • Do not swing the players high; instead, keep them close to the ball. It will allow you to have more control over the ball. 
  • Keep your eyes on the movement of the ball more than the action of the rod. It will help you in staying focused. It will also improve your ability to concentrate on the shots.
  • You should practice wrist flicking. It will help in making good shots. 
  • Stagger your players. It will help you to block more paths to the goal.
  • Do not stop while the opposite player is setting up the shot or serve. 
  • Do not create patterns of the way you play or move. 
  • Say no to spinning. 
  • In order to gain more control over the game, practice to move the ball from player to player.

Final Words

Now that you know how to play foosball, what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy the game with your friends and family. Keep in mind to hold the handle with a loose grip. It will allow you to make good shots. You can also learn foosball tips and tricks to become a pro in this game.

Spend time to learn foosball tricks to improve the game, and trust me; you will have fun. Do share your experience with us by dropping a comment. 

rashmi saini

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *