Foosball Tips for Beginners

This page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we'll earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.

Foosball Tips for Beginners

So you may have played this iconic table game, popular with those on the bar circuit, and a staple of fraternities and competitions for generations. The name of the game is foosball, and with our tips and tricks, we will have you become a true athlete in record time! Let’s get you from draft pick to superstar!

Remember, that like all sports, there are tricks and skills that can help you step up to legendary status. These tips will help you step up to the table and dominate the field.

1. Loosen Your Grip

It’s easy to think that you need to have a firm grip on the bar, but the opposite is actually true. Maintain a loose grip, and you will have better control of the kickers. Make sure you have a little space between the handle and your fingers. Think about being a little more fluid and free, not stiff, to ensure you have full control and a larger range of movement.

2. Be Defensive

Defensiveness is just as important in this game as being on the offensive. Ensure victory by calculated blocks. Remember, you have to block the goal! It is yours after all, and you have plenty men who can do the task.

To ensure a great defense, always remember to angle your first row (the one with three kickers) at about a 7 o’clock position, your second row (with two kickers) must be at 5 o’clock. The two rows should look close to a ”V” shape. This will help prevent the ball from rolling through your defenses.

3. Stagger Them

Remember, the bars slide side to side, use this mechanic to keep the bottom covered, leaving next to nothing open for attack. You wouldn’t want to have a player on the two-line row cross the central goal line.

4. Pass with Care

There are a variety of relatively easy passing maneuvers that you can use to add a “leg up” to your game!

  1. Tic-Tac Passing: Pass the ball directly to the side, on the same rod. This should help you find a clearing to attempt a forward advance.
  2. The Brush Pass: Pass the ball diagonally by clipping the ball with it positioned just behind a player. Moving the rod to kick will move the ball in a different direction than straight.

There are also, of course, clever shots that can be executed. Below, we will cover some easy starters.

5. The Pull Shot

This shot is a powerful tool to use in your arsenal. To set it up, hold the rod with a loose and comfortable grip, with your hand flat on the rod handle. Simply put, pull the ball towards you and kick with a quick flick of your wrist, while simultaneously lifting the men so it’s on the upper wall. Imagine the feeling as if you’re “charging” a shot. Experiment with varying speeds to try and outsmart your opponent, who may be familiar with the maneuver.

6. The Push Shot

Opposite in style to the Pull Shot, this one has you pushing the ball and then kicking with the same wrist flick. There is a caveat however, the shot can be easily blocked, so use sparingly.

7. Self Serve

One clever trick is to serve the ball to yourself after a goal is scored. This would work with tables that have a serving cup. If this doesn’t apply, you can use a “backspin” method. To do so, place your thumb on the left side of the ball. Pushing down on the ball as you push it to the right side and through the hole. Ideally, the ball should stop and roll backwards towards the five-rod men. This should create quite the shock in your opponent, who may likely expect a simple and typical serve.

8. Pin

To “pin” the ball, angle your player as the ball comes towards you. You should be able to hold the ball with the “leg” of a player. Again, you can hold the ball forwards or backward, depending on its traveling direction. You will now literally control the ball, and can pass, or if you’re feeling brave, execute a full kick attempt, known as a “pin shot”.

9. Remember Your Angles

Always remember to have a slight angle when not in full action. As mentioned earlier, this will prevent any openings for an opponent to push the ball past you.

10. Get Everyone Involved

Obviously playing offense will score points, but don’t forget to watch your opponent’s maneuvers. They could have a trick up their sleeve, especially if they read this tutorial!

Joking aside, keep an eye on their openings while sealing yours. You may find a golden opportunity to hit a winning shot or at least turn the tide in your favor. Remember to keep a slight angle, to ensure they can’t wiggle past you. Should they attempt a pass, and your angle blocks them, you can control the momentum and the ball at this point of “catching”.

11. Constant Movement

Remember to always keep the ball passing and in constant motion to trick and confuse your opponent. You want them to stay guessing as to what stunt you have up your sleeve. The faster you can move the ball around, the harder it will be for them to keep up with your advanced strategic play style.

Try playing off the wall as well (as in bouncing the ball from a wall side to advance it forward). Once you have control of the ball, use the inside edge of the second 5-man, then position a three-man forward against the sidewall. Now, slide the ball to the wall with the 5-man and push it through to your forward as fast as you can.

12. Leave Your Lane

Try passing the ball with a “lane pass”, where you slide the ball from the inside edge of the rod, and can stop your opponent from using a stationary 5-man rod to block using the wall. When using this maneuver, you are going to find a slot before the wall. Get your forward rod in a position to catch the pass. You’ll need them roughly two ball widths from the wall to execute this.

13. Change in Course

Try to switch direction often, as this will confuse your opponent. Remember, the mental game is just as important as the physical one!

Use the above pointers, and you will be on your way to advancing from beginner to true athlete!

About the Author Alberto Restrepo

I live in Pennsylvania with my wife and four children. Time with family is very important to me, so I started Gameroom Vault to help others find fun ways to spend time with their families at home.

follow me on: