Rule and Technique

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 1 week ago

Rajat Mallick

Rajat Mallick Asked 1 week ago

Hi Coach,

When I am receiving the serve from opponent, am I allowed to hide my bat below the table as a receiver so that the server cannot see which rubber I have kept in my BH or FH for receiving?

I have OX LP rubber in my BH, as a result one of the most common serve that I face is short no spin serve at my BH. What are the best ways to receive it?

As the serve is short I cannot wait for the ball to come to me so that I can use a short fast action with my LP at BH. So most of the time when I reach out to the ball is slightly high and hence easy for the opponent to attack. Even if I am keeping my touch very soft so that the return is shallow towards opponent, even then, as the ball has no spin, it is very easy for the opponent to come over the table and roll/brush over the ball towards difficult placement for me very easily.

Therefore sometimes as a variation I keep inverted rubber at my BH keeping the bat under the table (is it allowed?) and I receive with the inverted rubber according to the spin/no/spin of the serve. But this pre-determine-ness sometimes creates problems.

Kindly advise on

How to receive short no-spin ball with LP rubber?

How to receive long no-spin ball with LP rubber?

I am usually able to fiddle effectively in-between rally as once I hit my short and observing opponent's stance and his preparation for his short I am able to decide to fiddle or not to fiddle in a timely manner as the ball has to travel two table length (to and fro). This time is reduced in half during receiving the serve. Therefore kindly advice me on what to do to receive with inverted rubber in BH without fixing it before serve. Once the serve starts there is very little time to decide to fiddle and have a stable position to receive after fiddling. 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 week ago

Hi Rajat,

Thank you for reaching out with your detailed queries. Let’s dive into the aspects you brought up:

Hiding Your Paddle Under the Table While Receiving: You ae allowed to hide your racket when receiving.  It is a good idea to keep your racket below the table so that your opponent can't tell which side your re going to use.  This will give you the option to receive with the inverted rubber sometimes so that you can give them more options.

Receiving a Short No-Spin Serve with Long Pimpled (LP) Rubber:  Dealing with a short no-spin serve using LP rubber can be tricky since the lack of spin doesn't allow the pimple effects to come into play substantially. Here are a few techniques you might consider:
Continue using a soft touch to keep the return low and short, making it difficult for your opponent to attack powerfully. 
Use angles more effectively. By directing your return towards extreme angles of the table, you can force your opponent into a less advantageous position.
Occasionally push the ball slightly longer with a sudden change in pace to disrupt your opponent’s rhythm and expectation.

For long balls, using a block or chop can be effective. Aim to keep your returns low with these strokes. A chop will help add some backspin, forcing your opponent to lift the ball, which may result in errors or weaker returns.  If you're comfortable with attacking, use the opportunity to strike the ball with a more aggressive flat hit, utilising the LP to neutralise the no-spin and confuse your opponent with the rebound effect.

Switching between LP and inverted rubber on the fly requires quick decision-making and dexterity. It’s a good practice to develop a quick switch grip or a wrist flip technique where you can rotate your bat based on the type of serve you see coming. However, this needs a lot of practice to perfect as the timing is crucial. Practice drills where a training partner serves variably while you practice flipping your bat to use either the LP or the inverted rubber. This will help improve your reflexes and make your decision-making swift and more natural during matches. I hope these tips help you improve your reception game.

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Thoughts on this question


D K Posted 1 week ago

Regarding receiving short dead serves with longpips,it is especially important to take a step forward,and having the bat rather above the ball.
If you put it under,the ball will be probable to pop up.
If you will do it with extended arm,it is also probable,as your touch will be worse.
Consider trying a side swipe return.
Can be useful when you do it into a nasty angle.

As far as twiddling,I sometimes keep twiddling during the receiving phase.
I have no idea how much it can be physically useful,but it can potentially throw your opponent off-focus (he will be unsure on where to serve).

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