Ping Pong Grips: How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

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Any game is very important to know about rules and playing techniques because your playing tactics show your game’s quality. How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle is the first step of mastering a tennis table sport. Better ping pong grips help improve accuracy, control over the ball and generate a lot of spin in table tennis.

Today we will discuss How many types of grips are used in table tennis and why we need to choose the right grip.

So, without wasting your time, let’s dig in!

Why it’s important to choose the correct way to hold ping pong paddle?

First, you need to know why it’s very important for every player. Tennis table game always depends on your speed and making quick decisions while playing the game.

If you are well trained and have a right ping pong paddle grip, you can stroke without thinking and considering your grip. Your body will automatically start responding in different game situations. 

Another reason is to choose the correct grip as a beginner. Because once you train your body with a wrong grip or bad habits, then it’s challenging to re-train your body for another grip.

Might make your game worse at the beginning but once you learn how to hold a ping pong paddle in the right way you can be a perfect player.

A right ping pong grips not only helps to speed, control and generate spin in-game but it also helps to change your game loss to win.

What are the different types of ping pong grips?

The different Ping Pong Grips in table tennis are:

  • The Shakehand Grip
  • The Shallow Shakehand
  • The Deep Shakehand
  • The Penhold grip
  • The Chinese Penhold
  • The Japanese or Korean Penhold
  • Reverse Backhand Penhold

 Other Ping Pong Grips

  • V-Grip
  • Seemiller Grip
  • Pistol grip

The Shakehand Grip

The Shakehand Grip name comes from the handshake position. It’s also known as universal grip because this is a very popular ping pong paddle grip in western countries and asian players. 

This grip is used by three out of four players, as it offers a right amount of control over the ball.

To hold the racket with a shakehand grip, tennis players need to fold three fingers around the blade and the index finger placed on the bottom of the paddle edge of the rubber. The other side, you need to put your thumb down the bottom side. 

One thing you should keep in your mind is to put your index finger and thumb both side parallel to each other of the ping pong paddle. It will help you to have more control over the storks and control over the ball.

There are two types of shakehand grips in a tennis table game.

The Shallow Shakehand ping pong grip

Shallow Shakehand is the best table tennis grip. As you can see above-mentioned photos, the index finger is stretch along the racket’s bottom, and the thumb resting on the ping pong paddle handle, instead of the rubber. The bottom three fingers are used to wrapping around the handle. The original grip is achieved by ‘joining hands’ with the racket, hence the name.


  • Comfortable in hand, natural feeling
  • Great wrist flexibility
  • Forehand or backhand can be used


  • Low power on attacks

The Deep Shakehand

As you can see photos as mentioned above, this grip is similar to a shakehand shallow grip, but the hand is placed in front of the handle towards the racket’s head. The index finger is extended to the underside of the racket, and the thumb is now hinged on the rubber. The bottom three fingers are used to hold the handle. This is other best way to hold a ping pong paddle


  • Comfortable in hand, natural feeling
  • Forehand or backhand can be used.
  • Adds power and accuracy to attacks


  • The deep shakehand refers to the shallow shakehand wrist’s flexibility for increased power coming from a stationary wrist.
  • Weak crossover point

The penhold grip

The penold grip is so named because the paddle is held with a blade pointing upward and the paddle surface pointing downward, as you hold a pen. It is the most famous catch among Asian ping pong grip of Asian players and has good popularity in the West.

In a basic penold grip, the blade’s edge is tucked between the thumb and fingers, the V of the hand, and the index fingers and thumb are rotated around the blade, resting on the rubber. Penhold grip is of three types.

The Chinese penhold ping pong grip

In the Chinese penhold ping pong grip types, the blade is held downward, with the index finger and thumb described above. The three fingers of the hand are gently put in the opposite direction with paddle rubber.

Look at Chinese player Ma Lin to see that he can see the grip of Penpaul in action.


  • This grip uses the same paddle side for forehand and backhand strokes, relying on lateral side rotation rather than side to side flipping. This eliminates the cross-hand point weakness of the shakehand grip.
  • Great wrist flexibility to apply spin
  • Versatile for both attack and defense


  • Difficult to apply backhand topspin
  • Playing with the elbow and rotating the wrist repeatedly and again exhausting body and reducing our stamina during the tennis game.

Japanese or Korean Penhold

In Japanese or Korean penholds ping pong grip, our thumb and index finger are held in the penhold style. The remaining three fingers extend along the paddle’s back, the second finger rests on the rubber corresponding to the blade, and the remaining two fingers stick against the second finger.


  • This variation adds more power to the forehand stroke, as the fingers provide more strength and stability.
  • Increased power means you can stand ahead of the table.


  • This type of grip reduces blade movement that can be more difficult to return the ball. 
  • Hard to master

Reverse backhand penhold

In this form, the player uses a Chinese penhold ping pong grip, but instead of using the nudle surface, where the cape and index finger are left, they use the back paddle surface where some faults occur.

One player who has mastered this grip is that Hao. 


  • Suitable for games played close to the tennis table 
  • Strengthens backhand
  • Better range of hand movement


  • This table tennis racket handle grip is used less and closer to the table, which make it more challenging to get the ball to the net. 
  • Hard to master

There are other ping pong grip styles, including a pistol grip, wee grip, seamler grip, and others, but shakehand and penhold are the dominant styles yet in use.

Tips for choosing right grip or mastering your grip

So we have mentioned all the ping pong grips and styles that players used in a tennis table game. But the most important tip we can give is to try them all and see which is work for you.

You will probably find that the grip of the pen is more uncomfortable in the beginning. Depending on your skill level, you may want to master the firsthand hand grip and then try the Penall. Allow yourself a fair amount of practice before making your decision.

When practicing different grip styles, this is useful but not necessary for the correct paddle. Paddles suited for penold grips have a shorter handle, while devices made for shakehand grip are longer. Don’t forget to check our top ping pong paddles for beginners with good shakehand grip.

Another important tip is to keep your grip loose. Tightening the pedals too much will limit your flexibility and limit speed. When you maneuver the paddle, your grip should not impede your movement.

One thing keeps in mind you need to avoid having loose wrists during your swing. This leads to low accuracy, and your returns will fly everywhere! Keep them stable, and consider the paddle as an extension of your arm.

In the end, practice is the only way perfect. There will be ups and downs on the way, but if you stick to it, then you will develop your technique and become an anti-fear!

  1. How does Ma Lin hold his paddle?

    Ma Lin uses the Penhold grip. As an aggressive player, he is known for his unpredicted, unpredictable actions, heavy short push receiving, fast footwork and powerful third ball attacks.

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