Table Tennis/Basic Serving

In table tennis, the ball does not hit the servers side before play. You must strike the ball onto your side and cross the net to the opponents side of the table.

There are many different types of serves, some have spin and some don't, two notable serves without spin are the backhand and the forehand serve. The forehand serve has your palm facing away from you, and you should be facing sideways, when you hit the ball.

The Service

Service at the 2017 world tour. Note the form of the palm.

Most social players won't call any rules on you for serving, but there are some widely accepted guidelines. First, you can't serve the ball off the bounce; you must have it in your hand and hit it before it touches anything else. It then hits your side once and then your opponent's side, clearing the net. If the ball hits the net but goes over (colloquially referred to as a netball), a let is called and the server is allowed another try. If the ball hits the net and doesn't go over, a net is called and the receiver gets the point.

Basic strategy for beginning servers is all about control. Try to serve low over the net, but not at the expense of hitting the net more than necessary. Don't serve a high and short ball that bounces vertically, because you give the other player a chance to slam it right back at you, with minimal chance of a return.