If you’re like me who doesn’t know a whole lot about how to play foosball you probably lose a lot. Most of my friends are experienced foosballers who refuse to go easy on anyone. I decided to do some research on what I can do to improve my foosball skills.
Serving To Yourself
In the game of foosball the player that loses the point is the one to serve and you alternate serves for every game. A server is at a greater advantage then the person getting ready to hit the ball once it’s served.
It’s possible to add spin on the ball when you serve it just as long as no fingers go through the serving hole and into the playing area. This can make it easy for a player to serve the ball to their own 5-man rod.
Adding just enough spin can be difficult so practicing between games can help you improve. Once you have the hang of serving yourself the ball what do you do once you have it? You’ll need to know how to pass the ball to your other players.
Passing To Yourself
In America, the game of foosball is notorious for being a fast-paced competitive game. In Europe, foosball is meant to be taken slow and thought out before you make a move. Every professional foosball player uses some level of strategy but every decent player knows how to pass the ball to their own players.
Say that you’ve mastered serving the ball to yourself. Are you going to attempt to score a goal from the middle of the table? Making your way from one rod to the next is a very important skill. Passing the ball from players on the same rod is just as important and maybe more difficult.
There’s one offense rod between your 5-man rod and your 3-man rod. Your first step is to get the ball to your 3-man rod. This will most likely require you to pass the ball to the players on the same rod until you find an opening between your opponents rod.
You can pass to players by what is called tic-tacking. This is hitting the ball with the side of a players toe so that it goes towards the next player and hits the side of their toe. If you want it to go to a farther player hit the ball with the original player, tilt the next player out of the way, then put them back in an upright position once the ball is in the correct area.
Once you’ve found an opening you’re going to have to move quickly and without spraying the ball. If your opponent closes that opening you’ll have to wait for another one and shoot the ball towards a player in your 3-man rod.
Doing all of this is very intimidating but there are practice drills you can use to get better in between games.
This is a controversial topic in the world of foosball players. Some players think it’s better to stick to one scoring shot so that you become an expert in making that move. Some players think it’s good to mix your shots up so that you don’t become predictable.
If you’re playing at home or at an arcade where you’re less likely to encounter professional foosball players it’s safe to use the same shot for every goal you make. It’s hard for non-professional players to process your next move when the game is so fast paced.
If your opponent is a bit more skilled than the average player you might want to mix it up every once in a while. Your shots will become easy to block if you use the same one each time and it will be hard to fake out your opponent.
Whichever strategy you decide to use you should at least know how to do multiple shots to keep your options open. Some shots need to be quicker to execute effectively while others require a better aim. The most popular shots are the push/pull shot, push/pull kick shot, the rollover snake, and the bank shot.
Following The Ball
This is a very simple strategy that doesn’t require a whole lot of practice. Amatuer players don’t realize that by simply moving the rods with the ball you can easily block a lot of the hits that come your way.
Keep in mind that you have two hands. When professional players are defending their goals they usually use one hand to control the two rods in front of their goals while the other hand tries to get the ball back. Your pinky should be on the 3-man rod while your thumb is on the 2-man rod.
Best People to Play Against
If you’re new to the game of foosball the best kind of people to play against are people at the same level as you. This gives both you and the other person an opportunity to learn different moves you can try out or what strategies work best for you.
If you play with a person that is way above your level you won’t have the opportunity to try out anything new. You’ll most likely be spending most of your time on defense which is important but you need to know how to make goals as well.
Is It Illegal to Spin The Rods?
In the official USTSA rules it is illegal to spin the rods. Spinning the rods gives the ball extra power when making your shot but it’s almost impossible to control the ball when you do this. You’re relying on it to go into your opponent’s goal but it could just as easily go into your own.
Spinning your rods in a professional tournament can constitute as a distraction and get you a technical foul. It also causes you to take your hands off the rods which if done for a long enough period can also get you a technical foul.
How Fast Does A Foosball Travel?
In a competitive setting like in professional tournaments a foosball can go up to 35 mph.