How to Play Chop in Table Tennis

Learning to make a table tennis chop can help you raise your game in a lot of ways. It can make it difficult for your opponent to know the angle, speed, or spin of your shot. It’s one of the gameplay strategies used by defensive players to force the opponent into an untimely error.

Chopping has a lot to do with varying the direction of the shot, the amount of backspin, and more. In this article, we’ll be talking about the basic steps of making a ping pong chop.

Tips: As a professional table tennis coach, I recommend you to use Dawei 388D-Grass20 Long Pips rubber, which is known for its cheapness and weirdness. Many of my friends use this rubber.

We’ll see how it compares with the push technique. We’ll also give you each definition of the subtypes of ball chopping and tell you to carry out each technique.

What is Table Tennis Chop?

Table tennis chop, also known as a cut, is a defensive shot. It’s part of the 10 types of table tennis shots, including the drive, loop, smash, chop, block, push, flick, and lob. The chop shot is a bigger and heavier slice that you take from the back of the table.

Table Tennis Push vs Chop?

The differences between the push and chop have a lot to do with the distance you are from the table. A push is a stroke or shot taken while you’re close to the table. This can come with little to a lot of backspin. A chop, meanwhile, usually comes away from the table – typically about 15-foot away. The chop can also come with little to a lot of backspin. Also, you can only take a chop while you’re dropping the ball.

How to do a chop serve training in table tennis?

A chop serve can be done in all stages or rounds. Doing a chop serve comes in two ways, as always with table tennis. These include the forehand and backhand chop serves. How are both done?

Forehand chop serve

A chop serve helps you put more spin on the ball. It keeps your opponent guessing as to where you are going to hit the ball and how you’re going to hit it. A chop serve can determine the type of spin you’ll have on the ball and the amount of speed.


  • To do a forward chop service, be in the ready position.
  • Then you need to throw your ball a bit up. It should be totally visible off your hand.
  • Next, carve around the ball. As you make contact or right after making contact, drop your wrist down over and around like you’re carving a little semi-circle around the ball.

Backhand chop serve


  • As a right-hander, raise your bat close to your left ear. Follow-through down to your right knee, hitting the ball with the swerve.
  • The process is similar to the forward serve. Before doing the service, take the right posture.
  • Next, throw your ball a bit up and then hit it enough to go over the net.


  • Depending on what type of paddle you’re using, you can increase or decrease the amount of spin.
  • If you’re using a professional-type paddle, you’re going to be able to put a lot of spin on the ball. If you’re just using a sandpaper paddle, then you’re not going to be able to do much with it.

What is Chop Block in table tennis?

The chop block is a stroke in which the player “uses” the energy contained in the opponent’s ball to return it. You can do this by placing the paddle very close to the rebound point of the ball on the table. The point of impact is at the start of the upward phase.

How to Play a Chop Block?

The chop block is a difficult shot to execute. But like anything, if you spend a bit of time trying to develop it, then it’s a shot you can add to your game. The main thing about making a chop block is timing the speed and spin of the ball. You should take the shot close to the tennis table with a short arm.


  • To play a chop block, angle your table tennis paddle like you’re grabbing an ax.
  • As the ball comes bouncing to your side, brush the underpart of the ball with your short arm action.
  • Ensure you brush it enough for it to reach the net height to have good sidespin or backspin chop. Your paddle angle will determine the topspin chop you get.

Note: You can only execute chop blocks on offensive hits (attacks or top-spins), and they are not possible on cut balls.


  • The technical element of the chop block is to try and take it as early as possible. It doesn’t need to be a really big stroke. If you take the ball nicely and early off the bounce, then you can use the pace on the ball to help create the spin and the pace back over the net.
  • The common errors with the chop block is trying to chop down the back of the ball. There’s a lot of top-spin coming at you. If you’re trying to chop down the back, there’s a good chance of the balls popping up. So you have to turn the racket a little bit to the side.
  • Ensure you’re hitting more of the side of the ball with a short sharp action down the side of the ball. If it’s a little bit slower, you might need a bit more of a bigger paddle action that is a little bit quicker.
  • When you’re trying to create heavy top-spin, you need to make a nice brush. The same applies to the chop block. A nice brush around the side will help you create an extra bit of spin.

How to do a forehand chop in table tennis?

To make a forehand chop, follow the steps below.


  • Position yourself at the back of the court.
  • Raise your paddle and release the ball so as to come to you.
  • Next, strike the ball down in a forward position like you were slicing a piece of ball.
  • Ensure the ball is low enough, then recover and resume your position at the center of the court. This ensures you can cover the shots in case the opponent survives the chop.

How to do a backhand chop in table tennis?

The backhand chop is a stroke used by defensive players when they’re further away from the table. Because you have a bit more time, you could turn more sides onto the table.


  • Your start position with your bat should be up around your left ear. Also, your finish position should be down near your right knee.
  • So, start with your bat at your left ear and come straight through down towards your right knee. At the end of your stroke, you could put your hand on your right knee to know that the bat is finishing in the correct position.
  • If the ball is coming fast at you, your stroke can be more vertical. You don’t need much forward momentum to get the ball back over the net. But if the stroke is slower, then you can start a little bit further behind and finish further forward.
How to play backhand chop in table tennis
Suh Hyo-won

How to beat a chopper in table tennis?

Chopping is great when you’re the one practicing it. However, when you put yourself in the paddle of your opponent, here’s how to respond to a chopper’s threats:

  • When playing against a chopper in table tennis, be patient. Do not attack with the first ball.
  • Also, you can handle his serves and chips with a slow top-spin. Ensure your loop is consistent.
  • Then use your loop kill to strike the ball fast and hard enough to finish off the point.

Who is the best table tennis chopper?

Many consider South Korea’s Joo Se Hyuk as the best table tennis chopper in the world. He was ranked #5 in 2009 globally in the male category.  Chen Weixing and Panagiotis Gionis are also good choppers in the sport.

What’s the best rubber for backhand chops?

Long pimple rubbers can help you to be able to absorb the spin of the top-spin player and also slow down the ball. If you’re using inverted rubber and you put your bat to the ball, the ball can end up flying off the end of the table.

However, when using the long pimple rubber, the speed allows you to control the topspin back onto the table easily. If there’s a lot of spin or speed on the ball and you’re using the inverted rubber, the ball tends to fly off the end of the table.

However, it’s much easier to control the topspin back onto the table with the long pimple rubber.

When is a chop block best performed?

A chop block is a great way to change the pace in a rally. It’s a good chop technique for when you’re playing an opponent that is struggling against a slower pace.

In addition, it might be something you actively try to use against them.

You can also use it when someone plays a deeper ball to you, and you have not been quick enough to get out from the table.

How do you cheat at table tennis?

A lot of people ask this question but the fact is, drills are only involved in table tennis, not cheating. Some of these winning drills are counter-driving with heavy spins, chopping, blocking, and looping, to mention a few. Of all these, the chopper training drills will add a lot of effects to your gameplay with each serve and shot.

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