Everyone starts the foosball adventure at the same level: beginner. To progress, you must, of course, play regularly, face new players, be well equipped and have the winning theory at your fingertips.
Unless you are a table football virtuoso like Terry Rue, you will have to put your nose in the manual.
You will have to assimilate the basics, rules and several tips for table football. What is the best way to grip the handle of the table football for effective gameplay? What does the rule say on spinning? Is it advisable to apply the famed roulette-style or learn to play according to the rules of the book? What are the best defensive and shooting strategies to adopt? What are the most effective passing styles, and how do you serve the ball without losing it almost immediately? We’ll in this article, see some of the basic rules, tips, and winning tactics in foosball.
In the end, we’ll wrap things up with a short summary about foosball tips; we will provide. For some players, these foosball tips will be simple booster shots. For others, it will be a guiding step to learning the ropes and evolving their game! Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Some Foosball Tricks and Tips for Beginners
If you hold the handle of the table football in a relaxed, flexible, Zen way, the movement of your shot will be more fluid and faster without effort. It is not a question of sending a leather ball at the end of a 115 m long field.
Do not fully tighten your grip on the handles. It’s like darts or billiards. When you contract your hand too much, you lose touch and speed. The greater the rotation of the bar, the stronger the ball will start. This is why the wrist must remain mobile and not fully contracted on the handle. So force yourself to relax your hands to be more flexible and faster. It increases the speed of your gestures and limits effort.
You will know if you are holding your grip correctly if you have a slight space between the skin of your fingers and the grip. If, however, your skin is stuck to the handle, it means that you are holding it too tight.
Remember that the foosball handle is not a tennis racket or a baseball bat that you are going to hold firmly before taking each hit! In general, for maximum firing power, you must quickly turn your handle to make a 180-degree rotation of the bar. Rotating only 90 degrees (1/4 of a circle) will not give you enough power and speed.
The rule in the game about spinning states that a man must touch the foosball before it can go in a goal, legally. We are talking about the high-speed rotation of the bars which makes any control impossible and which could luckily send the ball into the goal! We have all been confronted with this, and we have all used it. But is it effective?
Is spinning effective for winning?
Likened to roulette, spinning is a thorny subject in table football. First of all, it is prohibited in the official rules. The technique also has a negative connotation.
If you want to learn to play really, you will have to stop this bad habit! It’s simply impossible to progress in table football by frantically rotating the bar on itself!
Does spinning give you an advantage?
The biggest misconception about roulette is that it brings great advantages. This could explain why its use is prohibited in competition. But when you stop doing it, you will quickly understand why it is more of a disadvantage than the reverse.
Think about it for a few moments: half the time you spin your players, they are not facing your opponents and therefore cannot block the ball. Not to mention the fact that by doing this, you ignore the passing and receiving principle that maximizes your chances of scoring. An attacking player who has the ball has a much greater chance of scoring a goal than any other player on the field.
Obviously, luck can happen, and you can hit a stray ball with the angle it takes to get into the goal. But that’s not how you can win regularly! You will be much more effective at learning how to pass your ball and shoot with your attackers than relying on luck.
The advantages of spinning in table football
Let’s try to be objective and list the reasons that make some people think that spinning is a good idea:
- You can hit the ball hard with very little effort
- You hit the ball more often
- Given the first 2 points, you probably score more often
- It’s a fun and energetic technique
- If you don’t roulette, you miss the ball, hit it softly, score less and look bad at table football
Why it’s best not to spin?
- You can hit as hard as with roulette by practicing a little bit
- You can easily learn to hit the ball more often and when you want
- You can aim the ball, pretend and score! Meanwhile, spinning involves hitting by chance
- You can recover stray balls and therefore pass them to your attackers to score
- Spinning can damage your foosball (by breaking the players, screws or even directly the bars)
To play table football, it is essential to adopt a good posture. There are many positions. However, here are the 3 main ones:
- The standard position: It is a natural and relaxed position and also the best way to pass a ball at halves. While the left hand is used to pass the ball, the right hand is used to intercept and shoot at the goal.
- The improved position at the front: It is a compromise between attack and defense. The left wrist is broken while the right arm is a little stretched. This posture allows you to move very quickly from an attack position to a defensive position.
- The improved position at the back: This position consists in using the left hand on the bar of 2 and the right hand on the bar of the backs or forwards. In the event of a counter, it is a good position to defend.
There are quite a lot of foosball defense tips you can adopt. First, there is no point in trying to block all of the goals with your goalkeeper and defenders. The goals represent a total of 5 times the width of a ball.
To prevent the ball from entering, it is useless to block all of these 5 widths! If you have a single defender that covers 50% of hole #1 and 50% of hole # 2, then a direct hit into hole 1 or hole 2 will be rejected.
There is no point in trying to defend the entire hole 1 or hole 2! Using this tip, you will be able to cover 80% of your goal.
On the other hand, if your opponent shoots with different angles, it will become more difficult. But think of that when you defend. It will allow you to better position your players!
Don’t wait until the ball is in front of you to react! Your opponent will shoot at the slightest flaw in your defense. Remember that a shot can be fired at any time.
In singles, you will have to learn to manage the defense bars simultaneously. You can use your thumb and little finger to move the 2 defense bars at the same time.
To do this, place your fingers on the bar just in front of the handle. This lets you move both at the same time. It takes a little training, but you can avoid shots from the defenders and maximize your defense while attacking!
Again, to succeed in certain table football shots (snake shots, for example), you will need to have your hand relaxed and open. Holding the bars with your open hand is sometimes necessary to perform certain types of shots such as the snake shot.
Making a snake shot
Preparing for this shot requires the player to control the ball with the back of their feet (heels). You must then place your wrist at the level of the handle (and not your hand) and roll up your hand so that you can control the bar.
Then, all you have to do is roll your wrist and hand to make a swift and powerful snake shot. This will allow you to rotate 360° before impact, which gives a lightning strike!
You will obviously have to practice mastering the ball with your wrist to use it regularly.
Many beginners think that it is roulette the first time they see a snake shot. But with a little practice, you will be able to strike before the 360-degree rotation. This makes it a legal shot and perfectly valid in any competition!
To succeed at table football, you have to dare to take risks and have an unpredictable game. So why not try an aerial shot? It does take a bit of training, but once you master it, you can screw up everyone. Basically, to take the ball off the ground, you have to work your way up to place it at the feet of your players. Then find the right inclination so that it goes into the air.
Remember that it is necessary to regularly change your movements and modes of play, especially against more experienced players. Alternate your movements and your playing techniques to make these impossible to predict.
If you only repeat one move, your opponent will quickly understand how to defend or attack without you being able to do anything. The mental and psychological part in the game of foosball is important as in any sport.
Using the Goalie
The goalkeeper is a fixed piece and can only be moved when defending goal kicks from your opponent.
Every time the ball stops within the small area, the goalkeeper will have possession. Only the goalkeeper can move it. There’s only an exception if your team is no longer entitled to touches within the collective limit. It will then be an indirect free kick against your team.
In the penalty area, the ball will only belong to the goalkeeper when the goalkeeper touches it last. The goalkeeper may touch the ball with any of its faces as long as it is within the large area and with one of its 15 x 80 mm bases facing downwards. It is forbidden to roll the ball under the goalkeeper, with an indirect free kick awarded.
There are some foosball tips tricks for using the goalie. One of them is to keep it in sync with the defense. Play the 2-man rod and the goalie as one single unit. Using these in tandem, you can easily close the gaps while also cutting off some angles.
There are many debates among foosball fans whether a goal scored by the goalie can count as two. This, however, isn’t an official rule. A goal by any player, including the goalie, counts as one. But some still play this way (that the goalie’s goal counts as two). Others also provide the unofficial rule known as “Goalie’s Delight”. This term means when you score with the goalie, instead of the opponent making the usual serve, the ball is dropped in your defense. Whichever way, it is important to be conversant with the written and unwritten rules at each board. This lets you take advantage of them.
Serving and Passing
To begin with, you have to toss a coin to determine who gets the first serve. Your servings can bring you victory. When the ball is put back into play after a goal, it is allowed to return the ball directly.
If you throw the ball randomly, it is as if you were giving the ball away. Therefore, there is a possibility of your opponent scoring you easily. Instead, learn to make correct serves which will allow you to have the ball directly. Also, always send the ball to the 5-Bar.
It is also crucial to know how to pass the ball from your midfielders to your attackers and maximize opportunities in attack. You may be the best striker in the world and score with your bar of 3 every time. However, if the ball cannot reach them, you will be helpless!
There are many styles and techniques that foosball players use to pass a ball from the 5 to the 3 bar. Below we explain the 2 of the most used passing techniques in competitions. These are considered to be the most effective:
- The brush pass: The brush pass is made by a middle player who is leaning back. It touches the ball to pass it on the side to another player in the middle bar. This can be repeated several times one way and then the other. The pass to the attackers is done only when one of the players in the middle to whom the ball is passed is demarcated. He then passes the ball to the attackers.
- The Tic-Tac pass: The Tic-Tac pass differs from the brushed pass because the players stay straight (they are not leaning) and by the speed of execution. With this technique, the ball must be passed very quickly from one player to the middle bar to the other. This helps the opponent lose sight of the ball. That’s when you pass to the attackers!
Lastly, it is essential to know how to pass the ball sideways. This implies passing on the same bar between your 3 attacking players without losing the ball. This mastery of passing will allow you to prepare your shots without giving the ball to your opponent. It will also allow you to feint passes and shoot, surprising your opponent at the last moment!
To progress in foosball, you have to evolve your game. A foosball player who always faces the same opponents will tend to use the same movements, playing techniques and tactics. Look for new players to fight! Even if experienced players depress you, they are the ones who will allow you to learn new moves. They’ll force you to alternate your movements; in a word, to become “unpredictable”.
As emphasized in our foosball tips for beginners, learn to make a good serving. This will give your game a considerable advantage. Besides, in foosball, the defense is the watchword of the game. A good defense is, therefore, the basis of all winning strategies.
On whether to spin or not, it is better to stop this gesture. Start learning to play without counting on luck if one day you want to be taken seriously and win.
Don’t forget to master the snake shot and put other foosball shot tips and tricks into consideration. Find the right posture, hold the handles correctly and adapt according to the shot you plan to make.
Finally, when you score, don’t forget to celebrate. It boosts your morale and can work psychologically against your opponent.