How to Play Air Hockey: Rules, Tips and Scoring

How to Play Air Hockey: Rules, Tips and Scoring

Air hockey is one of those bar games that you can just pick up and play without having to know anything about the basic principles of the game. For those that play frequently and even somewhat competitively with their friends, it is recommended that they sharpen their mallet abilities and acquire a few tricks from the experts. As a resource, this page gives a refresher on how to play air hockey, including an explanation of the fundamental rules, scoring, penalties, and some recommendations to help you improve your abilities.

Start the Game!

Air hockey is one of those bar games that you can just pick up and play without having to know anything about the basic rules or even how to play it properly. You’ll want to improve your mallet abilities and learn a few tricks from the experts if you play frequently and even slightly competitively with your buddies. As a resource, this page gives a refresher on how to play air hockey, including an explanation of the fundamental rules, scoring, penalties, and some recommendations to help you improve your performance.

  • Who gets the puck first
  • Who gets the puck first
  • The first side of the table to be addressed

In any case, the player who has the puck also begins games 3, 5, and 7 with the puck, alternating with the opposing player who begins games 2, 4, and 6 with the puck.

Know the Basic Rules of Air Hockey

The playing surface is dominated by a single malleton for each player. (Despite the fact that double fists are really entertaining.) It is permissible to strike pucks with any portion of the mallet, but they must never be “topped.” Furthermore, only one puck is permitted on the playing surface. Serves are sent to the player who was scored upon, as well as to whoever is in control of the puck. You should never go farther than two feet behind the center line of the table on your side of the table.

Restriction Periods– Each team is permitted just one time-out each game, which may last no more than 10 seconds and may only be used if they have the puck in their hands or (obviously) while it is not in play.

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Know When You’ve Scored!

The winner is the player who scores seven goals in the shortest amount of time. However, if you’ve ever played air hockey, you’re probably aware that the results are frequently doubtful (and even controversial). So, how do you know when it’s time to abandon a goal? Here are some general recommendations.

The score doesn’t count when the puck…

  • It comes to a complete stop in the goal without a tilt. When this occurs, the player has two options: pass the puck to their opponent or shimmy the puck away from the goal using legal tactics. The ball bounces out of the goalkeeper’s mouth
  • Is hit when the opponent’s attention is diverted

The score counts when the puck…

  • Tilts inward when it reaches the goal line. rebounds out of the goal only to contact the defending player’s hand before rebounding into the goal
  • When the ball hits the player’s hand when he is aiming for the goal, it appears as though the goal would have been scored regardless of the interference
  • Is hit before the power of a table is lost

Some trickier score counts:

  • A puck strike causes the defenders to forfeit their mallet, and the puck can no longer be stopped by their hands or bodies. When this shot circumstance occurs before to or simultaneously with the loss of a mallet, the score is recorded
  • When a player takes a shot and then loses their mallet as the puck enters their own goal, the score is recorded. If this occurs without any interference or a defensive shot from the opponent, the point is awarded to the team. When this occurs, the player is entitled to use his or her hands to stop the puck
  • However, this is not always the case.

Know What Counts as “In-Play”

  • Everything on the table, including the rail guards, goals, and each player’s mallet, constitutes the playing field. If the puck comes into contact with anything else—your clothes, your hands, or anything else—this is deemed interference and the puck is out of bounds and out of play. The puck is then returned to whoever was in possession of it before to this intervention. When a puck grazes the top of the rail guards, even if it is just for a little second before returning to the table, it is considered out of bounds. A puck leaving the playing surface (for example, when you “charge the puck”) causes this play to be paused until the puck is returned to play.

Penalties and Fouls

To prevent losing the puck to your opponent’s free shot, you must adhere to the rules of air hockey, including penalties and fouls. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

Overreaching the Centerline

While it is permissible for mallets to extend beyond the centerline, this must never be done fully.

If even half of your mallet sneaks beyond the line, it is considered a foul. However, if the puck crosses the centerline, either player has the option to strike it.

Charging the Puck

When you say “charging the puck,” that is exactly what you mean. When you strike a puck back so forcefully that it flies off the table top, you’ve done something wrong. Yes, it does happen, especially during a hot, competitive situation. However, guess what? That’s what I’m talking about. When the puck is launched into the air, the guilty player forfeits possession of the puck. So please pass it over (and bring it down a notch). A defensive player who mistakenly throws the puck off the surface by blocking or striking it sideways or backward will not be penalized in this situation.

Topping the Puck

It is not permitted to lift your mallet and place it on top of the puck in any way. This action is referred as as “topping,” and it is always prohibited, whether it occurs before or after a serve!

Goal Tending

This technical violation happens when a player employs the “palming” approach to obstruct the opposing player’s straight path to the goal, which is clearly unfair to them.

Tips From the Pros

Image courtesy of Flickr. CCProfessional air hockey players (such as these gentlemen) have their own set of tips and tactics for improving their performance. Let us have a look at a few examples.

Beginner vs. Professional Mallet Grip

Those who are new at air hockey have a tendency to clutch the mallet’s knob with their full fist. However, there is a great deal more elegance to it than that. Watch how the experts do it and you’ll be able to maintain better control over your mallet. As an alternative to jamming your huge, sweaty claw into the knob, insert two to three fingers into the shallow ring that round the mallet’s base. The use of this method allows a player to have a greater range of motion, resulting in increased leverage and speed.

Drifting and Taking Control of the Puck

Good players maintain possession of the puck while deceiving the other team’s defense. As an alternative to striking the puck, a player should try to drift it one way and then hit it the other direction. This may be accomplished using a Straight Shot in a left-to-right motion and a Cut Shot in a slicing motion.

Next Time, You’ll Play Air Hockey Like a Pro

In any case, whether you have an air hockey table in your home game room or opt to visit a local hotspot to drink and hit the puck around, the next time you play you’ll come across as knowledgeable and experienced. So prepare yourself by brushing up on your air hockey techniques and taking command of the puck!

Air Hockey Rules: How to Play and Tips to Win

When you see two experienced players go at it, the rapid tempo of play may make air hockey appear to be a game where anything can happen at any time. As entertaining as it may seem, it isn’t the best way to learn how to play air hockey properly. It is at this point that we come in. Throughout today’s tutorial, we’ll cover all you need to know about how to play this super-fast tabletop sport, including the fundamental rules of air hockey and everything else you need to know in order to play the game correctly without losing any of the thrill that has made it so popular.

What is Air Hockey?

When it comes to air hockey, there is just one obvious goal: to score more points than your opponent in a limited amount of time. Players use a mallet to drive a plastic puck over a frictionless surface in an attempt to get the puck into the goal of their opponent, earning a point for each successful attempt. The game is played in two phases. 2 – 4 players are required for this game. Although the game is best played one-on-one, playing ‘doubles’ in groups of two people may be a lot of fun as well.


The winner is determined by who is the first player (or team of players) to score 7 points.

What We Like About It: It’s one of those fantastic games that you can pick up and start playing right away, regardless of your previous gaming experience or ability. Furthermore, the game’s fast-paced, never-ending gameplay makes it one of the most entertaining games available.

Learning to Play Air Hockey: What you’ll need

The majority of the top air hockey table sets include everything you need to get started playing right out of the box, including the table itself. This includes the following:

Air Hockey Table

While a conventional regulation table size (90″ x 50″) exists, you may want to consider purchasing a smaller one, such as theTriumph Fire ‘n Ice 54″ Air Hockey Table, if you are introducing your children to the sport or if you just do not have the space for a full-sized table.


Yes, the sombrero-shaped instruments you use to bash your puck around the table are technically referred to as mallets, but you may also hear them referred to as ‘pushers’ or’strikers’ depending on who you ask.


In most cases, the puck that comes with your table is sufficient for playing air hockey, but it’s always a good idea to have a decent quality pair of air hockey pucks on hand in case your originals are damaged or disappear.

Air Hockey Rules and Gameplay

It is customary for air hockey games to begin with what is known as a ‘face-off.’ When the puck is placed right in the center of the half-way circle, this is referred to as a direct shot. Players move their mallets to within an inch of the puck during competitive games, which is controlled by a referee. When the players are ready, the referee cries out ‘players ready!’ and releases the puck. During this time, the players can attempt to acquire possession of the puck and/or score a goal by going for the puck themselves.

For smaller groups of people, you may still participate in a face-off by placing the puck in the halfway circle and committing to begin play at a specific time, such as after a count of three.

Every time they complete this successfully, they receive a point for their efforts.

Boundaries in Air Hockey

During the course of the game, the puck can only make contact with the items and surfaces listed below:

  • The table top
  • The walls of the table railings (the frame that surrounds the table)
  • And the legs of the table. The desired outcomes
  • The mallets used by the players

If the puck comes into contact with any other surface, it is ruled out of bounds, and custody of the puck is given to the opposing player by the officials. If, after striking the puck, it flies across the top of the rails or contacts any other surface, the game is halted and the puck is passed to Player B. In this case, the only exception is if the puck is knocked out of bounds while being defended against. Blocks are recorded whenever a player uses their mallet to stop a puck but does not attempt to return the puck with their own shot.

However, the power of the shot hitting with the puck forces it to fly off the table, and Player B must move the puck solely to stop the shot.

Goal Tending and Fouls

Goaltending is strictly prohibited. This refers to every time you utilize a method other than the traditional usage of the mallet to stop the puck from getting through. This includes the following: Using any part of your body, including your clothes, to touch the puck is known as palming. In the event that you palm the puck, you will receive a technical foul, and your opponent will be given a free shot at your open, unobstructed goal. The act of lifting the mallet (or one half of the mallet) off the table in order to trap or grab the puck below and stop it in its path is referred to as topping.

It is possible to be penalized for topping with a standard foul, which occurs when your opponent gains possession of the puck while you are still able to block your goal.

Scoring Goals in Air Hockey

Scoring a goal may appear to be straightforward: simply slam the puck into the net of your opponent’s goal and you’ve earned a point. You will win the game if you score 7 points. However, in order to prevent disagreements, you must be aware of two important facts: Even if you mistakenly put the puck into your own net, your opponent will get a point for it. If you shoot the puck into the net of your opponent’s goal and it bounces back out, you do not receive a point.

Top Tips for Winning at Air Hockey

In order to comfortably enjoy your game, most professionals recommend a location that is at least 10 feet by 7 feet. Despite the fact that most air hockey tables are just 7ft x 4ft in size, you’ll need a few feet of room around the outsides of the table in order to walk around it comfortably.

What’s the Best Way to Clean My Air Hockey Table?

Air hockey tables, like any other piece of furniture, can accumulate dust and filth. When this happens, the puck will go more slowly over the table, which reduces the amount of enjoyment you may have while playing. Maintaining your table with a soft, dry cloth on a regular basis can help to avoid this from happening. You may even want to run over it with the flat-head nozzle of your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust out of the air holes.

How Can I find a Competitive Air Hockey League Near Me?

Air hockey tables, like any other piece of furniture, can accumulate dust and filth over the years. When this happens, the puck will go more slowly over the table, which reduces the amount of pleasure you may have while playing hockey. Regularly wipe down your table with a soft, dry cloth to avoid this from happening. You may even want to run over it with the flat-head nozzle of your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust that has accumulated in the air holes.

Alternatives to Air Hockey

You can’t argue with the fact that air hockey is one of the most relentless of all the tabletop games available. However, if you find that it isn’t tough enough, you may always look for a boomerang air hockey table to play on instead. Rather of having the goals at opposite ends of the table, this is a one-of-a-kind game in which the goals are directly across the table from each other! In this game, players stand side by side and aim to knock the puck off a back wall and into the other team’s goal as quickly as possible.

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There’s also the unusual game of Klask, which is based on the same premise as air hockey but is played on a smaller, magnetic surface, which you might check out.

Air Hockey 101 [The Rules Made Simple to Understand]

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates, we receive a commission on qualifying orders made via our links. When you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may get a commission at no additional cost to you. Your search for further information about the regulations of air hockey has led you to the correct site! This Air Hockey 101 Guide will teach you all you need to know about the game. Air hockey appears to be a straightforward game, and in many respects, it is.

While everyone understands that you must smash the puck into the opposing team’s goal, there are certain regulations in place to ensure that the game is played fairly. Let’s get started with the guide. To go through this guide, click on the links below.

Who’s This Guide For?

This tutorial was written for persons who want to play competitive air hockey at home or in an arcade, and it is intended for them. We’ve taken these regulations from the official USAA Rules and simplified them so that they’re easy to grasp even for folks who aren’t participating in an organized competition. That being stated, if you plan on participating in an air hockey event, we recommend that you consult the regulations of the organization that is in charge of that particular sport. However, they will have certain additional complexities on things like referee regulations and player behaviour that would not apply in a non-tournament environment, such as a tournament scenario.

Starting the Game

Before taking any action, a coin is flipped to determine the outcome. It is the person who has won the coin toss who gets to choose which side of the table they will be sitting on. All matches begin with a coin flip to establish which team will be on each side. Following the conclusion of the game, these sides are shifted till the contest is completed. Tournament matches are typically seven games long; but, if you’re playing a best of three or best of five format, players can transfer sides between games in the same way.

The Face Off

It is the referee who administers the face-off, which is conducted at the commencement of the first game of a match and is performed before each game in tournament play. The referee will position the puck in the middle of the ice and keep it there. Players are allowed to move their strikers/mallets within one inch of the puck while it is being kept in place. The referee will check to see that both players are prepared before doing a 4-count. Following the release of the puck, players can begin chasing after the puck.

  1. This video, which begins at the one-minute mark, is an excellent demonstration of how the face-off works.
  2. During the odd-numbered games (3, 5, and 7) the person who wins the face-off begins with the puck, whereas the person who loses the face-off begins with the puck during the even-numbered games (4,5, and 7).
  3. If you are not playing seven games, you may simply alter who starts with the puck between matches if you are not playing seven games.
  4. When one player gains unambiguous possession of the puck or when a goal is scored, that person is declared the winner of the face off.
  5. False starts should be avoided at all costs.
  6. On the first incorrect start, both players are permitted to keep the puck; however, on the second, the opposing player wins possession of the puck.

It is acceptable to use the coin toss to determine which player gains possession in casual play if there is no third party or referee present to initiate a face off. It will be difficult to conduct a good face off with only two persons.

ScoringGoal Tending

When the puck makes its way into the goal, as you might expect, a goal is scored. When a puck bounces out of the goal mouth, there is some debate about whether or not it counts as a goal. This does not count as a goal in any way. One additional situation that occurs rather regularly is when a player accidentally shoots the puck into his or her own net. Remember that this counts as a goal for the other team, so don’t make the mistake of doing so by accident. Goal tending is defined as any method of blocking the puck other than the traditional mallet method.

  1. This includes any of their limbs as well as any of their apparel.
  2. When a technical foul is called, the unintentional offender receives a free shot at their opponent’s goal, so avoid using your hands or limbs when the call is made.
  3. If the puck leaves the table and impacts someone, it does not count as palming in this situation.
  4. This does not result in a technical foul, but rather a conventional foul, which merely means that the player who committed the infraction must relinquish possession of the puck.
  5. If that 7-second time limit is reached, the player is called for a foul and must surrender the puck.
  6. Visit our Air Hockey Strategies & Tips Guide to discover how to grip a mallet properly and perform trick shots.


In air hockey, the borders are defined by anything that is flat on the table. Table surfaces, rails, goals, and mallets are all included in this category as are their sides and ends. If a player makes contact with anything else (even the top of the rails), the puck is deemed out of play and the game is suspended until the player returns. It is still possible for the puck to collide with something outside of the table and then fall back onto it, and the game will be halted. For better or worse, once the puck has left the ice, it’s game over.

There is, however, one exception to this rule: However, in the case of a rebound from a shot blocked by an opponent, the defensive player is not guilty.

If a defensive player smashes the puck to return a shot and the puck bounces off the table, it is not considered blocking.

If you’re just playing for fun or practice, try to get around these restrictions as much as you can, but be sure to familiarize yourself with any competition-specific regulations before joining.

Time OutInterference

When you’re playing with a friend, time outs are something that may be decided on the go. However, if you’re trying to stick to official tournament-play standards, players who aren’t in control of the puck aren’t allowed to call a timeout on their teammates. This keeps things fair and prohibits players from interfering with the flow of their opponents’ offense when they are on the attack. If a referee is present, the referee has the authority to declare an interference violation. This would occur if there were any obvious diversions from the surrounding surroundings (noise, foreign objects, etc).

When a game is restarted following a referee-induced interference call, the puck is returned to the player who had control of the puck at the time of the restart.

Sanctioned Equipment

In order for the game to be played properly, USAA standards have sanctioned specific types and brands of equipment for use in the sport. Numerous options are incapable of supporting a competitive air hockey game at full pace.


The air hockey table itself is one of the most crucial pieces of sanctioned equipment, if not the most important. The qualities of competitive-grade tables, such as airflow, size, goal-ends, and surface, cannot be replicated by less expensive equivalents at a lower cost. It is recommended that you purchase a commercial-grade table from one of the three authorized manufacturers if you intend to practice at home. There are only three companies who manufacture air hockey tables that are suitable for competitive play at this time: Brunswick, Dynamo, and Gold Standard Games.

Shields are essentially covers for the outer rails of the table, allowing the puck to bounce back if it occurs to stray off the table.

  • Dynamo Brown Top
  • Dynamo Blue Top
  • Dynamo Purple Top
  • Dynamo Pro-Style
  • Dynamo Best Shot
  • Dynamo Photon (thin center-line and ice blue top)
  • Dynamo Photon (thin center-line and ice

Table Approved by Gold Standard Games:Please keep in mind that official play is only sanctioned under white light, not under any black illumination or “cosmic” mode that may be available on some of these tables.

  • Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro
  • Gold Standard Games Professional
  • Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro Elite
  • Gold Standard Games Elite
  • Gold Standard Games Premium
  • Gold Standard Games Gold Flare
  • Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro
  • Gold Standard

Strikers or Mallets

For competitive play, air hockey strikers must meet certain weight and size restrictions, which must be adhered to at all times. It is intended that players do not obtain any unique defensive or offensive advantages as a result of these rules. The diameter of a mallet cannot exceed 4 1/16″ in diameter. The weight of a mallet cannot exceed 6 oz. Mallets must be symmetrical in their design. However, players are not permitted to use any color of mallet other than the color of their choice, with one exception.

The referee would actually permit the use of the mallet in a competitive atmosphere, but if you’re simply practicing, try your hardest to adhere to all of the rules!

Gloves and Tape

Gloves and tape are frequently used in conjunction with the mallets as accessories. We address appropriate gripping technique in our air hockey strategy guide, which entails inserting your fingers into the puck rather than grabbing it from the top of the puck. This enables players to smash the puck with a whipping motion in order to get the most speed possible while playing. A glove, tapes, bands, or other devices are used by certain players to retain the mallet securely in their hand or just to provide extra comfort throughout the game.

According to general consensus, such gadgets are permitted so long as they do not come into touch with the puck during the course of a game.


There are just three pucks that are officially sanctioned for use in official games: According to the tournament regulations, a single piece of white plastic tape must be put to the top layer of the puck before it may be used. Several layers can be added, but only if both players agree on their placement. If you’re playing more casually, simply be sure to use one of the official pucks while you’re out on the ice. Compared to the majority of other pucks, which are not made for high-speed play, they are more likely to not glide properly or, even worse, fly off the table.


These regulations have been changed from the official USAA rules in an effort to make them more understandable for players who are just getting started and wish to put in the necessary time to practice. The official rule-set contains a slew of additional information on referee expectations and player behaviour. Make care you read it thoroughly before participating in any official or unauthorized competitions. If you have any queries or believe that something should be clarified, please let us know in the comments box below.

You may also let us know if you need to make minor changes to the regulations in order to make training and practice more effective.

Air Hockey Rules For Amateurs: Simplified Guidelines

Oh, that’s understandable. I understand that you’re probably going to start a game of air hockey right now, so I’ll keep this brief. All you have to worry about is adhering to the air hockey regulations listed below. Simply understanding the following regulations is sufficient to allow you to begin playing air hockey games as soon as possible.

Air Hockey Rules Simplified

These are the fundamental regulations that must be followed in order to participate in an organized air hockey game. However, there are several formal rules that I haven’t included because they are mostly irrelevant for the purposes of an amateur player, which is the majority of the time. Those were some of the fundamental air hockey rules that can help you play more competitively and seriously in your matches. Keep in mind, though, that you have the ability to amend any rule you wish or even create new ones.

However, take care not to sabotage the entire game.

You can choose a lower number such as 5 or 3 if time is of the essence, or a greater number such as 11 or even 21 if you want to stretch out the game’s duration.

Air Hockey Is On Its Way To Become A Sport

Nowadays, air hockey is more than simply a recreational activity played indoors. It’s almost like a sport, to be honest. Or, at the very least, there are several organizations working to establish it as a popular sport. There’s the United States Table Hockey Association, for example. These organizations have put up a great deal of work to ensure that air hockey is regulated around the world. They arrange competitions and write rules for the game of air hockey, which are published in books. However, there is a minor issue that you and I as air hockey novices must deal with.

Nobody has the luxury of reading dozens of tedious pages, do they?

These regulations were designed with the goal of being used by experts. If you’re searching for a great air hockey table, look no further. Take a look at the most comprehensive guide of air hockey tables available on the internet.

Keep In Mind…

If you want to compete in international tournaments like the pros, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all of the official regulations, which you can find on the USHTA’s official website. Finally, keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of this game is for you to have a good time. As a result, make certain that everyone leaves your gaming room with a smile on their face. In a gaming room, you may spend quality time with friends and family while having a good time. Have a good time, friend.

How To Play Air Hockey: Rules, Tips & Tricks

Home Recreation World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon Services LLC Associates Program is a program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to While there is an organization called the United States Table Hockey Association that oversees professional play, the chances are that you are not a member if you find yourself in this situation.

Instead, while playing with your pals in your rec room or at a bar, you want to avoid getting into fights regarding the rules.

While I will go through the regulations, I will start with the fundamentals of the game and then present you with some tips and tactics that you may use to improve your chances of success.

Air Hockey Equipment You Will Need

Air hockey, in contrast to ice hockey and field hockey, may be played with very little equipment. At fact, if you plan on playing it in an arcade, you won’t need to carry anything with you. If, on the other hand, you intend to play at home, you will require a few additional items. You will need to purchase an air hockey table, such as the Triumph Lumen-X Lazer, in order to play. Whether you choose a 6-footer or a bigger one is entirely up to you, and is mostly determined by the quantity of available space.

Some tables are equipped with a scoreboard, while others do not.

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You may use a simple pen and paper, an abacus, or a proper scoreboard, such as this one, to keep track of your progress.

This one from Qtimal might be a good option if your table did not come with it already.

How to Play Air Hockey: The Rules

If you’re just having a good time with your pals while playing air hockey, you may make the rules as basic as possible. In order to win, you might simply settle on a number of points, say seven or ten, that one must achieve first in order to win. Alternatively, you may just keep track of your score for as long as you like to play. If you want to take your air hockey more seriously, you may follow some of the regulations that the International Table Hockey Federation (yep, there is such a thing.) and its counterpart in the United States, the United States Air Hockey Association (USAA), have established for themselves.

Some of the rules are pointless in a home environment, while others might be useful in keeping your home game orderly. The following is a summary of the fundamental rules that serious air hockey players in the United States adhere to:

  • When the puck is dropped within the other team’s goal, a point is awarded. It is the responsibility of the player who has been scored upon to serve in the following play. A player may stand wherever around the table on his or her side of the centerline. A player is not permitted to stand on the opposing team’s side of the table
  • The winner of the game is the first player to earn seven points
  • And after each game, the participants rotate whose side of the table they are standing on. A player can only have one mallet on the table at any given moment, and the puck can be struck by any section of the mallet at any point in time. There can only be one puck in play at any one time
  • The mallet cannot be lifted and placed on top of the puck, which is known as “topping.” There can only be one puck in play at any given moment. However, any portion of a mallet, including the bottom, can be utilized to bring an airborne puck down to the table
  • This includes the handle. No portion of a player’s body (including hands and arms) or clothing may come into contact with the puck, a practice known as “palming.” To make a shot, a player has seven seconds to do it. This is because a player can only strike the puck while it is on his side of the table, and the count begins as soon as the puck enters his side, which is when it crosses the centerline. The puck can be struck by any player if any portion of it is on the centerline at any time.

It is true that there are other restrictions, like those governing how to take time-outs and which air hockey table types are “authorized,” but you do not need to be concerned about them. A home air hockey game, after all, is primarily intended to be a time of enjoyment for everyone involved. In contrast, if you are interested in learning more about how the pros play air hockey, you may review the whole USAA regulations here.

Air Hockey TipsTricks

Now that you are familiar with the rules – which is plenty to get you started – let’s go over some fundamental tips and tactics that will help you take your game to the next level. Reading and putting into practice the suggestions below will not only help you win, but they will also wow your friends.

Tip1: Utilize the Triangle Defense Position

While scoring goals is what will propel you to victory, defending is what will save you from falling short. And, as previously stated, the first step toward victory is to remain as far away from defeat as possible. To do this, you can master the triangle defense posture, which will assist you in intercepting shots that are heading in an oblique direction. To put this approach into action, defend with your mallet a little further out on the field (i.e. not right at the level of your goal). You will be able to slide the mallet backward to either corner of your goal in this manner.

Tip2: Hold the Mallet Like a Pro

When individuals play air hockey, they often grip their mallet in the center of the handle with their thumb and index finger. While it may appear to be the most natural way to hold a mallet at first, it is far from the most effective method to hold a mallet. Instead, you should hold it with three fingers on the top of the handle, and the other two fingers on the bottom. As a result, you have better control over your movements.

Tip3: Use Bank Shots

Straight shots might be effective every now and again. However, you should be attempting to score with bank shots the majority of the time. Those are simple shots that, rather than directly reaching the other team’s goal, do so after first striking one of the opposing team’s side walls. For this reason, bank shots are more difficult to defend against than straight shots since they reach the goal at an angle.

How to Play Air Hockey: Summary

Air hockey can be a lot of fun, whether you play it at an arcade or at home with family and friends. In the event that you made it all the way down here, you should have gained some new knowledge on how to play air hockey. Hopefully, you have a good understanding of the equipment you will need to get started, the regulations you need follow to get a game started, and the fundamental methods you may use to win. If you feel like you missed something, just keep these three things in mind:

  • The following items are required to play air hockey: a table, a scoreboard, a pair of mallets, and a puck. Creating your own rules is permitted
  • But, in formal play, games are normally considered to be over when either player achieves seven points. In order to increase your chances of winning, you should employ the triangle defense plan and make use of bank shots.

How To Play Air Hockey: The Basic Rules

When it comes to arcade-style games, Air Hockey is often regarded as the finest ever created. This is a competitive game in which players must demonstrate speed, skill, and patience. You must be extremely quick, and you may be required to take offensive shots at times. You must also have a good defensive plan. You might be interested in learning how to play air hockey. Yes? You have arrived at the correct location. We’ve spoken about several valuable and crucial suggestions, as well as some tried-and-true methods, that can assist you in scoring points and dominating your opponent’s match in this post.

  • The air hockey table itself is the most critical item to have before you can start playing.
  • In addition, you will require a puck, which is the term for the disk that is passed back and forth between players.
  • For example, a puck and striker combination.
  • However, if you find yourself in a competitive situation with friends and play frequently, you may find that you need to learn a few tricks from the experts to improve your mallet abilities.
  • Before we get into the specifics, here are some crucial points for you to consider.
  • It is recommended that you practice difficult shots more frequently before attempting them in a live match, especially if you are playing against a skilled opponent.

To avoid scoring on oneself, be cautious while attempting a rebound. These are some of the most typical mistakes that a beginner player makes; with a little bit of experience and the application of the proper offensive methods, it will become second nature for you to dominate any battle.

Start the Game!

With a simple toss, the Player will select which of the following options will be used:

  • The player who will be in possession of the puck at the start of the game
  • Making a decision on which side of the table to start on

In any case, the player who will be in possession of the puck will also begin games 3, 5, and 7 with the puck, rotating with the opponent, who will begin games 2, 4, and 6 with the puck.

Start by sinking the puck

One of the first things you should learn is how to strike the puck in order to get a faster top speed. It is preferable to be more forceful while making contact with the puck, pressing your strike right into the puck in the direction that you want it to travel. Few newcomers, on the other hand, believe that striking the puck with a sideways swiping action is the proper bank shot. Nonetheless, a great player understands that you should hit the puck from behind and then smash it forward in the exact direction you desire.

Always Be Careful with the Rebounds

One of the first things you must learn is how to strike the puck in order to get a faster top speed. When it comes to making contact with the puck, you want to be a more aggressive player, pushing your strike right into the puck in the direction that you want it. Few beginners, on the other hand, believe that striking the puck with a sideways swiping motion is the proper bank shot. Nonetheless, a great player understands that you should hit the puck from behind and then strike it forward in the exact direction you want it to travel.

To Double Bank or Not to Double Bank?

In most cases, if you are shooting accurately, the puck will never need to be banked off more than one wall before it enters the net. In terms of attack, we don’t advocate using the double bank because the puck has a tendency to slow down every time it bangs against a brick wall. Because it takes a long time to reach your opponent’s goal, it allows them more time to build up a proper defensive posture and prepare for the attack. Keep in mind that the shot must be precise and quick, and it should only strike one wall.

Keep Focus on Defense

When we talk about taking a defensive position, we don’t mean bending over and covering your side of the table with your entire body. You are making a tremendous error by playing this position, and it will cost you later in the game, even though it is the position used by the majority of players, including skilled hockey players. If you lean over the table, this stance makes it difficult to go back since you won’t close down beneath the banks as you would otherwise. When you lean over the table, you will be more likely to have a snag attitude.

When you have the correct defensive methods, blocking a shot is a piece of cake.

A gentle touch on the table should be provided by your knee, and the majority of your weight should be supported by the balls of your feet.

Instead of leaning over your side of the table, your body should be situated at a ninety-degree angle on the floor. It is recommended that one of your hands rests on the edge of the railing.

Do Not Overcomplicate a Shot

A shot or drift that is overly complicated is a red flag that a player is unfamiliar with the offense and may even be cheating. When you are practicing cross-cut shots, unders and overs, and bank shots, try to concentrate on the crucial shots used by the air hockey pros. Furthermore, you’ll need to learn how to execute these important shots from the center’s right and left flanks, which will require numerous releases.

Learn How to Adjust Your Defense

In a fast-paced game, you have to learn how to quickly modify your defensive stance and position. Such as paying great attention to how your opponent sets up his or her shots, among other things. This will help you to anticipate where the puck will travel, allowing you to shift your striker to the most advantageous position to stop the approaching puck as fast as possible.

Practice Trick Shots Regularly

In a match, trick shots can be used as a trump card. In order to score on an opponent repeatedly, it is necessary to master the art of using trick shots appropriately. This is true even when playing against an experienced opponent. These shots, on the other hand, might be difficult to master. Creating the conditions for these difficult shots must be done in a manner that prevents you from tipping off your opponent, allowing them to block the puck before you have had enough time to shift your defensive posture.

Air Hockey Tables

Being able to practice on your own air hockey table is a huge advantage since it allows you to practice more frequently, in your own style, at your own speed, and spend more time improving your trick shot and defensive abilities. Furthermore, you may become proficient at knowing the ins and outs of this game, such as what to do and what not to do when competing against a professional player. The truth is that most of us do not have the ability or the luxury of having a full-sized air hockey table in our house.

Models such as the Tabletop Air Hockey Table by Rally and Roar will not provide you with the same level of enjoyment from air hockey that you are accustomed to.

A great feature of these tabletop models is that they are quite lightweight and portable, allowing you to take them with you on your travels and store them conveniently.

Puck Controlling Is Everything

Improving your puck control entails a progression from learning how to grab the puck to being an expert at guiding it through the ice. The most common error that beginners make is catching and striking the puck soon after collecting it, rather than taking the time to line themselves up correctly for a decent shot that might end up in the opposition’s goal.

Generally speaking, you should concentrate on correctly capturing the puck; after that, you should position it in a specified region and acquire control before attempting a shot. Additionally, you may be interested in:10 Best Air Hockey Pucks to Buy in 2020

Issues with Offense

The practice of more foul shots will assist the player in becoming more advanced in a short period of time. However, most professional players are acutely aware of this and place a strong emphasis on mastering each level of the game before moving on to the next. As a result, if you do not practice offensive shots, there is a greater likelihood that you will wind up making large blunders in your game, preventing you from capitalizing on any mistakes made by your opponent. But assume you put out substantial effort to perfect every single critical and challenging shot, or that you are familiar with each move and the general location of the puck when these shots are taken.

If you want to score often or keep them from scoring against you, you must have the ability to anticipate your opponent’s next move.

Tips from the Pros

Their game’s professional players employ their tips and tactics to tighten up their performance. Here are some very crucial and valuable pointers, including some of the finest trick shots and offensive game plans, as well as how to effectively keep possession of the puck and how to correctly grip the mallet. Let’s have a look at a few of them now.

Mallet Grip Beginner vs. Professional

Air hockey newcomers make the mistake of trying to hold the mallet’s knob with their entire fist. However, there is a more elegant way to accomplish this. Try to pay attention to how the experts use their mallet in order to have better control over yours. Always attempt to insert two or three fingers within the shallow ring rather than putting your huge and sweaty claw over the knob as is more common. In order to maximize speed and leverage, players should employ this technique in order to obtain a wider range of motion on the field of play.

See also:  9 Best Board Games for Couples: A Fun List for Date Night

Drifting and Taking Control of the Puck

A competent player will first attempt to maintain possession of the puck before attempting to deceive the defense. Rather of hitting the puck, a player should attempt to float it in one direction and hit it in another direction. A player can do this using a left to right motion, a slicing motion cut shot, or a straight shot, among other techniques.

Next Time, You’ll Play Air Hockey Like a Pro

Even if you only have an air hockey table in your house or game room, or you opt to go to a local hangout for some points and maybe a few strikes of a puck, you will come across as an expert and a professional the next time you play with someone else! Are you perplexed as to how you can do this? Simply relax, get ready, rub your hockey trucks together, and take command of the puck!

Few Tips on How to Play Air Hockey Like a Pro

When you first begin playing air hockey, it will be tempting for you to lash out at the puck anytime it crosses onto your side of the playing field. You may use these ideas to help you level up your game and avoid seeming like a complete beginner.

  • It would be better if you increased the strength of your grip. Attempts will be made by a large number of new players to keep the knob in the middle of their mallet. Yet the majority of experienced indoor-ice hockey players will handle the mallet with only their three index and middle fingers, which are resting on the ridge, implying that you will not be clutching the knob with your hand. Instead, you’ll be inserting your fingers into the striker’s rise as he strikes the ball. In order to protect and attack effectively, you will get a few more skills as a result.
  • Keep the puck in your possession at all times. Whenever a hockey puck is flying towards you at full speed, your initial inclination may be to strike it with forwards momentum in order to stop it. Which is a mistake in and of itself, and it opens the door to reckless shots. Instead, by attempting to manage the puck’s momentum, you may try to slow it down and acquire control of the puck’s motion. After that, strike when you are able to aim more deliberately. If the puck rebounds, repeat the process to ensure that you retain possession of the puck each time it reaches your side of the playing field.
  • Make use of the “out defense” strategy. When you don’t have any control over the puck, you need to be in a defensive mindset. Instead of holding your mallet directly in front of the goal, place your hand slightly forward. Do not sit back and wait for your opponent to attack. Always employ the triangle strategy while attempting to stop bullets from any direction. Here’s how to use the triangle approach in your situation: You must draw your hand back toward either end of your goal in order to capture approaching pucks. When you use this strategy, it is much simpler to retake possession of the puck, and it also allows you more freedom.

How to Play Air Hockey: The Rules

When it comes to air hockey, the rules are plain and obvious: the person who scores seven points first is regarded to have won. The victor of the game will be determined by the player who performs the best in each of the seven rounds.

However, in order to learn how to play air hockey properly, you must first understand the regulations. For your convenience, we’ve included the fundamental rules of air hockey below. Just stay with us for the time being.

  1. A match consists of a total of seven games. Before the match begins, a coin is tossed to determine which team would start on the offensive. In the event that a coin is tossed, the winner chooses which side he wishes to start with. It may be necessary to utilize a second coin flip to determine which player will begin the game if the pucks are numbered 3, 5, and 7. Game 2, game 4, and game 6 will be started by the opposing player with the puck, as was the case with Game 1. In the end, a puck is placed on the centerline, and when the first countdown has been completed, any player is permitted to push it. The person who scores the first seven goals or points is deemed the winner of the game
  2. Nevertheless, the player who scores the most goals or points is regarded the loser. If the puck drops inside the opposing player’s goal (unless a foul is committed), a score is recorded and one point is added to the score. Following the conclusion of a game, players are permitted to switch sides. The player who has conceded a goal will be the one to receive the puck in the following round. Only when a player has conceded a goal is he permitted to make physical contact with the puck with his hands. A player is only permitted to use one mallet or pusher on the playing field. To strike a puck with the mallet or pusher, you may use either side of the instrument. By elevating the mallet, you will not be able to top the puck. In the course of the game, just one puck is permitted at any given time. Once the puck has landed on a player’s side of the table, they will have just 7 seconds to push it
  3. Otherwise, they will be penalized. If the puck crosses any section of the centerline, each player has the option to strike it. A player can stand anywhere he likes, with the exception of invading the centerline to the opposing player’s side. Any portion of his body that comes into contact with the puck is deemed a foul. Each player is entitled to take a 10-minute timeout, but anything longer than that is not permitted
  4. If a player is able to retain possession of the puck only after a goal has been scored, he or she can only request a timeout. In order to request a timeout, the player must state his or her need explicitly. If the player concedes a goal, he or she will only have 10 seconds to resume the game. If the push rebounds out of the goalmouth, the point is not awarded
  5. If a foul is committed, the puck is awarded to the opposing player.


Hopefully, you now understand how to play air hockey like a pro! To get started, browse through our extensive selection of air hockey tables. And do let us know if you like this post, if you thought it was relevant after reading it, or even if you learnt anything new from it.

How To Win In Air Hockey – Tips And Explanations

Many people believe that air hockey is the finest arcade-style game that has ever been created. This is a highly competitive game in which talent, quickness, and patience are required. You must be quick, go on the offensive, and have a strong defensive plan in order to succeed. Our air hockey strategies will assist you in scoring goals against your opponent by employing approaches that have been shown to allow players to effortlessly dominate a match. Make use of these ideas and methods to demonstrate your best air hockey table abilities and to help you routinely win both friendly and competitive air hockey matches.

The above are some of the most typical mistakes that rookie players make, but with a little experience and the appropriate offensive strategy, you’ll be able to effortlessly dominate any battle.

Sinking the Puck

In order to increase your top puck speed, you must first master the art of striking the puck with authority. When it comes to making contact with the puck, you want to be a more aggressive player, pushing the striker directly into the ball in the direction you want it going. One common misconception among beginners is that a proper bank shot is accomplished by hitting the puck with a sideways swiping motion. Those who are proficient at air hockey understand that they must hit the puck from behind before striking it forward in the direction they want it to move.

Careful with the Rebounds

If you’re hitting the puck poorly, the chances are good that you’ll wind up dealing with ricochets off the back wall that you’ve generated yourself. It is both humiliating and disheartening to receive a negative score on your own performance. Maintain a close eye on the puck so that you can anticipate any rebounds from your shot and shut them down as fast as possible. If possible, make it a habit of immediately returning to your defensive position after taking a shot to avoid placing your puck in the wrong goal.

To Double Bank or Not to Double Bank?

It is unlikely that the puck will need to be banked off more than one wall before it reaches the goal if you are shooting correctly. The double bank is not recommended for offensive purposes since every time the puck bangs against a wall, it slows down, forcing it to take longer to reach your opponent’s goal, allowing them more time to set up the proper defensive position.

Keep in mind that a bank shot must be quick and precise, and it should only strike one wall. Do you want to master the fundamentals of air hockey first? Take a look at our essay on the subject!

Focus on Defense

To be in a defensive stance does not necessarily imply that you are hunched over with most of your torso covering the table on your side of the table. A large majority of players, including excellent air hockey players, choose this position. This is a significant error that will cost you dearly later in the game. If you lean over the table, you will be unable to shut down beneath banks due to the fact that this stance makes it tough to shift back. As a result of leaning over the table, you are more likely to have a snag attitude.

As crucial as it is to pick up a loose ball and run with it, it is nowhere near as important as stopping a shot.

The appropriate defensive stance consists of holding the left leg back and placing the right leg in a forward posture with the knee slightly bent, as shown in the diagram.

Instead of bending most of your body over your side of the table, the table should be set at a ninety-degree angle to the floor to accommodate your posture.

Don’t Overcomplicate a Shot

When a player performs an extremely intricate drift or shot, it is a red flag indicating he or she does not understand the offensive. Practice the primary shots utilized by air hockey professionals, such as unders and overs, cross-cut shots, and bank shots, when you first begin. You may also need to learn how to perform these crucial shots from the right and left sides of the field, which may necessitate the use of several releases.

Learn How to Adjust Your Defense

In a fast-paced game, you must learn to modify your defensive posture quickly in order to stay in control. This entails paying great attention to how your opponent sets up his or her shot before taking your own. In this manner, you will be able to anticipate where the puck will travel and so move your striker to the appropriate position in order to block the approaching puck.

Practice Trick Shots

Trick shots may offer you a competitive advantage in any game. In spite of the fact that you are playing against an opponent who you know has more expertise than you, if you use a trick shot effectively, you will be able to effortlessly score on them time and time again. These shots, on the other hand, might be difficult to master. They must be set up in a way that avoids giving your opponent a heads-up, allowing them to modify their defensive posture in attempt to block the puck before it hits the net.

Air Hockey Tables

Having an air hockey table at home allows you to practice more frequently and at your own speed, work on improving your defensive and trick shot abilities, and generally understand the ins and outs of air hockey, including what not to do while playing against a competent opponent. A full-sized arcade type air hockey table in our home, however, is not something that everyone has the privilege of owning. If you live in an apartment or a house with limited room, it might be tough to accommodate a tiny model.

This series of tabletop models is small and lightweight, making them easy to transport and store. They are also exceedingly easy to store once they have been taken down. For additional information on the top-rated air hockey tables, please see our buyer’s guide, which can be found here.

Controlling the Puck Is Everything

It is possible to improve your puck control in a variety of ways, ranging from just learning how to grab the puck to learning how to skilfully manage it. Among the most common mistakes beginners make is catching the puck and then wildly returning it based on where the puck was when caught, or hitting the puck immediately when it crosses the centerline, rather than catching the puck and setting up a good shot that can actually land it in the opposition’s goal instead of setting up a good shot that can actually land it in the opposition’s goal.

Issues With Offense

When it comes to offensive, it is common for a player to move forward too rapidly. Most expert players, on the other hand, warn against doing so and highlight the significance of mastering each level of the game before moving on to the next one. It is possible that if this is not done, you may wind up with significant holes in your game, which will prevent you from exploiting any defensive blunders that your opponent may make. Focusing on each of the basic shots and trick shots, as well as understanding the set up for each of these movements, as well as where the puck normally falls when these shots are employed, will allow you to quickly recognize what your opponent is up to.

Last Words

If you don’t have a lot of spare time to work on your air hockey abilities, it might be difficult to break your losing streak if you have high expectations of ultimately breaking out of your slump. If you’re only able to practice once a week, make the most of that time by putting out your best effort. Compete against opponents of varying skill levels in this game. If you see yourself getting easily scored on, inquire of your opponent as to how they set up their shot and the mechanics that go into it.

It may take some time until you’re considered competent enough to win a match, but you’ll almost certainly pick up some useful ideas along the road that will help you improve your game.

Summary Title of the Article What You Need to Know to Finally Win at Air Hockey – Tips and Instructions Description Learn how to assume the proper offensive posture, how to raise the level of your defense, and what adjustments you need make straight away in order to score.

Author Air Hockey is a website dedicated to the sport of air hockey.

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