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Adults playing air hockey

5 Tips On How To Play Air Hockey Like The Pros

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Have you recently bought an air hockey table for your home or are looking to buy one? Air hockey is a fun and exciting table game. However, knowing how to play can take your fun to a whole new level. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the top tips on how to play air hockey.

Top Tips On How To Play Air Hockey

Air hockey table with window lighting and red toy hockey stickHold The Mallet Loosely

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of beginners make has to do with the way they hold the mallet. Instead of grabbing the mallet tight and holding the knob in the center, you should look to spread your fingers out to account for more surface area. This is going to make it much more natural to glide your hand/arm around and it can give you a lot more control over the mallet itself. By grabbing the knob, you will be positioning your wrist in a specific way that can limit your wrist mobility.

Don’t Work Against The Puck

Another basic mistake a lot of beginners make when they are getting started with learning how to play is not allowing the puck to work for them. Many people try to attack the puck even while playing defense. This is not going to give you the opportunity to fire accurate shots on target. Instead, you should be looking to leverage the movement of the puck to your advantage.

For instance, when the puck is coming straight towards you, by gliding your mallet in the direction of your goal, you should be able to effectively stop the puck while retaining possession. Best of all, you will be properly positioned to make an accurate strike and shot on goal. After all, you will have stopped the puck’s movement and it will be ready to strike with precision. If you attempted to do the same thing while the puck was sliding towards your goal, you wouldn’t have any clue where the puck would go as it would be very difficult to strike the puck with precision while it’s moving.

Don’t Wait At Your Goal

A lot of people make the mistake of playing defense by centering their mallet right in front of their goal. This is only going to make you more susceptible to shots on goal. Rather than doing this, you want to give yourself some room to maneuver your mallet.

Try to push your mallet forward enough so you can have enough room to slow down incoming pucks to prep for an accurate shot as mentioned above. By having your puck too close to your goal, you will be in constant defensive positioning. You won’t be able to leverage the movement of the puck and you will always be working against it. By giving yourself a little bit more room, you can become a much more offensive player.

Air hockey puck and malletWatch Out For Rebounds

Nothing is worse than scoring on your own goal. As a new player, this is likely to happen often. However, you can limit the number of times it happens to you by paying close attention to rebounds. By watching the puck as it rebounds, you should be able to avoid hitting the rebound the wrong way on your way back to playing defense.

Don’t Over Complicate Things

While it might be tempting to try to begin making trick shots and doing a lot of advanced techniques, it’s best to keep things simple. The more simple you are able to keep things, the better the chances you will experience quicker success. Don’t try overly complicated strategies or trick shots. Strike the puck straight and look to capitalize on errors that your opponent makes.

Don’t try to curve pucks or anything that is going to limit your puck velocity. The faster you hit your puck, the better the chances your opponent will miss. By maximizing puck speed, you can get the puck into your opponent’s goal before they even have a chance to react. Once you get better at air hockey and once you have the fundamentals down, you should be able to begin practicing trick shots and more advanced mechanics which can help you take your air hockey game to the next level.


As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you are looking to get into air hockey. Beginners are often making a lot of mistakes that could be easily avoided. By using the tips above, you should be able to become a better player without much effort. However, as with anything, practice makes perfect. You need to be consistent with your playing sessions if you want to get better at air hockey. You should be looking to play with more advanced players to learn from them and to see what strategies work best.