How to Play Air Hockey: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are a sports lover who loves to play different kinds of sports and if this time you want to learn how to play air hockey, then you are in the correct place. The following article is a complete guide that will allow you to understand some basic air hockey rules and tips that will help you in playing the game like a pro.

What You Need To Play Air Hockey

The most important thing that you will be needing to play air hockey is an air hockey table itself. Most of these tables come with a digital scoreboard but if your table does not provide this option, then you will have to track the score manually. To play this game you will also be needing a puck. A puck is a disk that is passed back and forth between the players. Lastly, you will be needing two strikers also known as mallets. You have to use the mallets to striker the puck so that it keeps moving between players.

How Much Does An Air Hockey Table Cost?

If you haven been thinking about how much an air hockey table costs then you should know that there are various kinds of air hockey tables available and all of them fall in different price ranges. If you are looking for a lightweight and simple table for kids then you can easily find multiple options between $200 to $350. If you want a serious air hockey table then the price range will increase to $400 to $600. Tables that fall in this price range are well made and durable. They are large enough for adult use. However, if you are considering buying a professional grade table you will have to spend $700 or more.
You can read best air hockey table reviews to find more about the different types of tables and their prices.

Air Hockey Rules

Air hockey is a game that has simple rules- the first player to score seven points wins the round. The best round out of these wins the game. Following are some of the official air hockey rules that will help you in playing it:
  • Flip a coin to figure out who gets the possession of the puck.
  • If you have to score a point, the puck should enter the goal completely. Any rebounds or pucks that stop in the middle are not counted as a point.
  • When one player scores a goal, the opponent gets the next chance to serve the puck.
  • A player is only allowed to strike a puck when it is in their area of the centerline.
  • Mallets should not cross the centerline while the players strike the puck.
  • Players are allowed to stand alongside or behind the table but they are supposed to stand on their side of the centerline.
  • A puck that touches any bit of the centerline is considered to be fair for both the players.
  • Players are not allowed to lift the mallet and keep it on top of the puck to keep it in place.
  • Players are not allowed to touch the mallet with their arms, hands or any other part of their body.
  • Every player gets a 10-second timeout in each round.
  • A player can only ask for a time out when the puck is not in play or is in their possession.
  • After every round, you can decide who gets to serve first.

Tips To Play Air Hockey

When you start playing this game you will feel tempted to hit the puck whenever it enters your side of the centerline. However, this will make you look unprofessional. If you do not want to look like an amateur, follow the following tips:

1. Level Up Your Grip:

Most of the beginners will grab the knob present in the center of the mallet; however, professional players rest three of their fingers on the ridge which means that they do not grab the knob. Resting your fingers on the ridge will help you gain dexterity as you defend and strike.

2. Try To Keep The Puck On Your Side:

Whenever you are playing air hockey and you see the puck approaching your side with full speed, the first thing that will come to your mind is to hit it with full speed. However, this is a mistake that will lead to wild shots. You should instead try to gain control by working with the momentum of the puck so that it slows down. Once you feel like you are ready to aim, then strike. If the puck rebounds, keep the same technique in your mind and use it to maintain the possession of the puck every time it enters your side of the table.

3. Use An Out Defense Technique:

When you do not have control over the puck then you are required to be in the defense mode. Instead of keeping your mallet ready in front of the goal waiting for the other player to strike, keep your hand slightly forward by the first screw. You can use the triangle method to block shots from any angle you want. This trick helps you gain flexibility which makes it convenient for you to gain the possession of the puck once again.