Category Archives: Other Table Games

Not just pool and football. There are many other table based games that can be played at home as well as in bars, clubs and arcades. All of these can be part of a home recreation or games room. Video games and console games are becoming more popular but that doesn’t mean more traditional games like pool and table football are losing players. Just the opposite. We live in an age of increased recreation with leisure time forming an important part of our lives. Pool is more widespread and is as popular as ever.

 

Table Tennis

Table Tennis        

A 3d render of a closeup of a table tennis table net and two red paddles resting on it on a dark studio background

Table Tennis is possibly the most sociable and enjoyable table game of them all. This is because it is inclusive. Anyone can play it. Families can play it. Friends can play it. People of any age can play together. It’s energetic. It’s engaging. You can play it at any level. It improves hand – eye – ball co-ordination. It’s good for every aspect of your health, physical, mental, aerobic and anaerobic.

You can play table tennis for fun and entertainment or you can play it competitively at various levels. Table Tennis is an Olympic sport (pool, table football, and air hockey are not).

Table tennis brings people together like no other game that has been invented. Remember the “ping pong diplomacy” of the 1970s when relations between China and the US improved due to an invitation to play the game between Chinese and American teams paved the way for improved diplomatic relationships, friendliness, trust and eventually massive trade agreements. Yes, not very long ago, America did not buy stuff from China let alone have factories there.

But the main reason to buy a table tennis table is ………….it’s damned good fun.

Anyone and everyone can play this simple game.  Don’t believe me? Read this amazing story about a player with no arms who competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Rio Hero

Watch a short video of this amazing man in action No Arms – no problem

 

What Should I Consider Before Buying a Table Tennis Table?

There is just one piece of advice I would give you if you are thinking of buying a table tennis table.

Buy a proper table. By that, I mean a full-size table tennis table that has been designed and made for playing competitive table tennis.

Don’t be tempted to buy a table tennis surface that rests on top of a normal table (sometimes called a table top version). Don’t buy a multi-game table that includes table tennis as one of the games. Why? Because these table top or multi-game versions are not the correct size, they are flimsy,  and will move and slide around if they get knocked during play. They will spoil your enjoyment of what is a truly great game. Trust me, they will end up being a tremendous disappointment to you.

The only real downside to buying a table tennis table is the space required.

Space

A full-size table tennis table is 9 feet long by 5 feet wide.

Table tennis is an active game that requires players to move around one end of the table when playing. Most shots are played close to the table but it is possible to hit the ball hard and to play shots a long way back from the table (up to 10 feet sometimes). If you have ever watched two top quality players having a hard fought rally where one player is attacking, hitting the ball hard and the other is defending by hitting the ball back onto the table from ever increasing distances you’ll know what I mean. It’s fantastic stuff.

Never seen one? Watch this video:  epic table tennis rally

Or this one:  A relaxing, gentle game of ping pong? Watch this game.

And if you didn’t think it was fun, watch this: 10 table tennis funnies (number 1 is rated as the funniest game ever played)

So, you need some space to place that table in. You won’t need a sports hall but you will need some room to run around a bit. If indoors you will need at least 5 or 6 feet clearance at ends and sides, or you will risk banging your hands and elbows against walls or furniture. If that doesn’t bother you then go for it but look out for light fixings on the ceiling.

Alternatively, you will need an outdoor space with a similar amount of clear space around the table.

It is possible to get weatherproof outdoor tables  but one of the practical features of this great game is that you can have full-size tables that fold away for quick and easy storage. Use these indoors or outdoors. Here are a few good quality folding tables you might consider.

Amazon has several good tables at attractive prices. that we are happy to recommend.

Table tennis with tennis rackets and a ball on it isolated on white background. 3d illustration.

Here are a few good quality folding tables you might consider.

Here are some good outdoor tables.   

Kettler Outdoor Table Tennis Table – Axos 1 with Outdoor Accessory Bundle

Butterfly TW24B Outdoor Playback Rollaway Table Tennis Table

Kettler Top Star XL Outdoor Table Tennis Table

Here is another excellent quality table tennis table that will last for years.

Killerspin MyT10 BlackPocket Table Tennis Table

To buy any these through Amazon, simply click on the link shown. 

For indoor tables try one of these:

JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table with Net Set

This is an Amazon BEST SELLER and Is currently available at a good price. 

JOOLA Rally TL 300 Table Tennis Table with Corner Ball Holders and Magnetic Scorers

 

Table Tennis Official Dimensions

Table tennis table size

The table is 2.74 m (9.0 ft) long, 1.525 m (5.0 ft) wide, and 76 cm (2.5 ft) high with any continuous material so long as the table yields a uniform bounce of about 23 cm (9.1 in) when a standard ball is dropped onto it from a height of 30 cm (11.8 in), or about 77%.

Playing Area

Recommended playing areas vary according to the standard and level you are playing at but the following are good guidelines.

International Events (World Championships, Olympic Games):   46 feet by 23 feet  (14m by 7m)

Local Tournament Events:  30 feet by 16 feet 6 inches (9m by 5m)

Recreational Play:   28 feet by 13 feet (8.5m by 4m)

For indoor play, you need a room that is at least 18 feet  by 11 feet. Smaller is possible but be prepared for bumps and collisions.

A full-size table tennis table is 9ft long and you will need at the very least 5ft at each end of the table 9 + 5 + 5 = 18ft

The width of a table is 5ft and you will need a bare minimum of 3ft on either side meaning 5 + 3 + 3 = 11ft

If you are going to play doubles you will need even more room, say another 6 or 7  feet at the ends and 3 or 4 feet at the sides. This allows more space for people to move around easily without bumping into each other constantly or hitting each other with the bats which will get very frustrating and annoying if it happens a lot.

Folding Tables 

Folding Tables are a  tremendous space saver because they can be folded up for easy storage after play. This gives you much more flexibility you don’t have to leave them in the playing area all the time.

Folding tables also have another big advantage. They can be used for practice by one player.

folding TT table             Table Game World ‘A’ Rated table Good quality outdoor Table tennis table

Mobility

Table tennis is an active game so it helps to be reasonably mobile and agile. However, anyone can play. Table tennis has been included in the Paralympic Games since 1960 and if you think that people with a disability can’t play or don’t enjoy it then watch this video of a match from the 2012 Paralympics in London. (tip: advance the video to 5 mins as there is a lot of waffle and talk from officials  in the introduction) anyone can play

 

 

The health benefits of table tennis cannot be overstressed. It is beneficial for your physical well-being and your mental state of mind.

You can play table tennis at any level, at any speed you wish. It can be an active physical game that gets your body moving and your heart rate up which is a good thing. Played at the top level it is an aerobic and anaerobic activity which has tremendously positive effect on the body’s state. Even played at a more sedate pace it still gets the heart rate up and will be a great benefit to all who play the game.

However, one of the biggest benefits of table tennis is the effect it has upon your state of mind. It’s active, it’s fun. It gets you interacting and socialising with others and will bring a smile to your face. The feelgood factor of this simple game is often overlooked. So positive is the overall effect of playing table tennis that many therapists recommend taking it up as a form of exercise for people suffering from depression because of the positive social benefits that occur when playing and mixing with other people.

Here is a fantastic article about the effect that table tennis can have on your brain

Ping Pong Brain

Having doubts about table tennis? Don’t. You will never regret buying a table tennis table.

Do it.

 

Buying a Hockey Table

Air Hockey Tables

Air hockey is back. Your Mom can play it, Your Gran can play it, your sister, brother and all your mates. You don’t need the skill level like in Pool or Table Football. It’s just a great game that anyone can play and it’s now made a comeback after a few years out of the headlines. Yep. We’re talking about a modern Air Hockey Table. It’s fast and furious and it can get nasty but as more and more people are re-discovering – it’s great fun.

Hotels have started putting air hockey tables back in the reception and bar areas and most modern arcades now squeeze an air hockey table in these days between the slot machines and video game booths because it keeps people in the arcade longer. It’s a great group game and a fun alternative to non-stop video games that the whole group can get involved in.

Before you rush out to buy an air hockey table read our hints and tips on tables plus our what to buy and what to avoid.

So, here are some things to think about. Air hockey is a fast game and can get aggressive. Even Gran can fire off a puck blasting shot that will sting your fingers if you get them in the way. The puck needs to be strong and solid; it’s gonna get slammed around for hours. If the puck is too light it will fly off the table every other shot.  If it’s too heavy it will stick in the corners where the air pressure is poorest from the blower. The sides of the play area need to be made from tough, durable material or the table won’t see the end of the first month without damage.

Make sure you buy a well-manufactured model, not some cheapo table made in an Asian sweatshop. We’re talking solid high-grade plastic for the puck and tough reinforced nylon (or similar man-made material) for the sides of the pitch. The puck is going to blast against the sides over 400 times an hour so it needs to be tough enough to take this treatment. A $100 table just ain’t gonna take this sort of treatment.

Can you remember that last arcade hockey table you played on? Visit an arcade and look at the construction of the tables in there. Do they look cheap? Do they feel weak? Do they shake and wobble when someone shoots the puck? No of course not. These tables get hammered every day and need to last. OK, you may not need an industrial strength hockey table at home but you need something that is fairly strong and will last more than a few weeks.

There is often a vast difference between an Air Hockey Table you see in an arcade and those sold for home use. Arcade models are bigger, stronger, better made and will survive hours of rough treatment which is what they get in arcades. people pay their money, play the game and move on. They don’t care about the table. It’s not theirs.

The upshot of this is ……if you are going to buy a table for home use buy a good quality one. Look after it. Clean and maintain it. It will last longer and if you want to sell it many years later, it will still be in good condition and you will get a better price for it.

Tip: Make sure you buy the largest, strongest looking air hockey table you can afford

What to Buy

Air Hockey is a tough game. If you are a serious player – go for the biggest and strongest model you can afford. With some table games you can get away with spending a little less. Not Air Hockey or Table Hockey. It’s fast and aggressive. Poor quality materials will split, tear or come away from fixings.

Remember Buyers Rule 1. You get what you pay for. A cheap hockey table game may only last a few weeks. Low-cost table games come with worthless guarantees. Wear and Tear means just that – wear and tear from regular play and with table hockey, there will be a lot of wear and possibly some tearing, splitting and cracking of side rails. Buy something made from good quality materials that will last.

If it’s a birthday gift for young children you may not need a stronger model. A smaller table top game may be perfectly adequate. Also, young children may appreciate the flexibility of a multi-game table so they can switch games when the get tired or bored.

What to Avoid

Don’t be tempted by a multi-game table with air hockey included as one of the games. You’ll be disappointed. The power of the air pump will be very low resulting in low-quality games that will soon have people complaining. The rink sides will not be built to withstand constant hard puck impacts. The rubber or nylon based compound will be too thin and splits will develop quicker than you thought possible. If it’s aluminium, then dents will appear all too quickly and there will be poor rebounds.

Switching from another game to air hockey will reveal another reason why a multi-game table with air hockey often proves a disappointment.

Despite what the sales blurb said in the manufacturer write-up, switching games is not easy. The weaknesses in design and manufacture will be shown up here as you switch the surface from pool or table football to hockey. The playing surface will usually be thin and will bend and buckle easily. Fixings and securing bolts are often poor quality because little thought has gone into the design. Multiple games were provided as a big feature attraction, especially to Mom & Dad who are paying for it. It’ll be popular. More people can play on the table. It will get more use. Everyone in the family (and the street) will love it.

Yeah. Probably. Which means more switching between games. More wear and tear on the fixings. Constant slamming of the puck against the ends and those rather flimsy looking goals. Oh …and the pump. It certainly won’t last very long if this game gets used every day. Many lower cost table game makers use 

a 110v / 60UL motor which will push air out through the holes, OK but after a few weeks constant use the power will fall and the evenness of air flow (or lack of it) will become apparent. Better = 110v / 80 cu ft per minute.

The overall build quality will be poor and it will become obvious in less than a week that this air hockey game isn’t going to last very long at all.

Here are some comments made in product reviews by typical customers of low priced hockey tables:

“less sturdy than I had hoped”

.”fan strong enough most of the time but not consistent”

“hand mallets and puck smaller than arcade game”

“not bad for younger kids”

“don’t see it lasting a long time”

“disappointingly flimsy”

“it’s a toy”

Use our Buyers Guide to help avoid the poor quality hockey tables that are being marketed.

Other Tips

  1. Don’t buy cheap. Why? Because it will cost more in the end due to repairs or buying a better replacement table. Or you simply won’t use it very much.
  2. Avoid a table top version if you can (unless buying for young, small children).
  3. Go for the largest table you can fit in your space.
  4. Is it made with good quality wood, metal, plastic / nylon?
  5. Are the legs thin? Yes? Choose a stronger table with sturdier construction.
  6. Are the fixings good quality and solid looking?
  7. Will it collapse the first time someone falls or leans on it?
  8. Air hockey: is the motor good quality? Is it powerful enough to blow air through all the holes in the playing surface evenly? Suggested minimum 120 cubic feet /minute.
  9. Air hockey: Can the motor for the blower be replaced easily.
  10. Air hockey: if replacing the motor, always fit a new gasket.
  11. Slip and slide models: Is the playing surface scratch resistant?
  12. Serious players – avoid the multi-game versions of hockey.

look at our Reviews & Recommendations section for some strong, well made hockey tables

Cleaning your Air Hockey Table

When not playing always cover the table. This stops small pieces of dirt, fluff, insects, liquid and other stuff falling into the holes. Anything that is in the holes affects the flow of air. Think about it – even tiny bugs poo and wee. Their mess sticks to the air tubes and affects airflow. Over time the tube may get completely blocked and the result is a dead spot on the table. Before you play – turn the fan on and keep it on while you wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth (not wet) and some detergent. Put a small squirt of detergent into clean warm water then use a microfiber cloth (or soft cotton) to wipe the playing surface. You don’t need to buy special cleaners with bleach, abrasives or other stuff in. Simple household detergent will be fine. Finish off by wiping over with a similar cloth that has had water only in it. This mops up any excess detergent. Leave the blowers on.

Once a week – turn the fan on and keep it on while you wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth (not wet) and some detergent. Put a small squirt of detergent into clean warm water then use a microfiber cloth (or soft cotton) to wipe the playing surface. You don’t need to buy special cleaners with bleach, abrasives or other stuff in. Simple household detergent will be fine. Finish off by wiping over with a similar cloth that has had water only in it. This mops up any excess detergent. Leave the blowers on.

Now polish the playing surface of the hockey table with a simple polish. Use a soft cloth, don’t put too much polish on it. Take care not to get blobs of wax in the air holes. Cover the whole playing surface. When it has dried, buff up so you see the shine on the surface.

Clean and polish the hand mallets and pucks the same way. If the bases of these items are scratched or dented – replace them.

You can even spray the surface with silicone lubricant if you wish. This gives extra protection and produces a faster game.