How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle? Guide for Choosing The Right Grip

How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

Here I have brought to you the answer to the most asked question ‘How to hold a ping pong paddle?’ that will help you select the best.

In any racket sport, the way the player holds the paddle matters a lot. When it comes to ping pong the newbie players first try to adept at the basic skills which include serving, aiming, footwork, and strokes. It is good to know the basics before advancing to higher levels, but the thing is that many players overlook the importance of the way they hold their ping pong paddle.

No matter how accurate the method of serving, vigilant footwork, and accurate aiming skills you have, it is obvious that you will not be able to execute it without having a suitable hold.

Pro ping pong players are known for their gameplay. The way they execute their skills, transition during the game, change the angles and move during the match help others determine players’ skillfulness and performance. All of these depend upon how well one has control over their paddle which is nonviable without a firm and accurate method to hold.

Want to know the exact method that pro-level ping pong players use? Here is how to hold a ping pong paddle accurately and precisely like a pro. The good news is that there is not just one. Scroll down for details.

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Guide for How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle?

Superficially it does not seem as important and many players even don’t pay much heed to the method or procedure that is followed by others to have a firm yet flexible hold. The way of holding includes not only the alignments of your fingers but also the positioning, force, and direction of the paddle too.

The different types of methods used to hold the paddle vary depending on what level of flexibility or freedom they provide to the player using them. Let’s discuss each so you can try them in order to find out which one suits you best. I think you should also read the Guide about choosing a ping-pong paddle.

How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

The Shakehand Grip

The shakehand grip, also known as the Western grip, is one of the earliest and easiest methods of holding a paddle because it is easy to learn and has a simple underlying mechanism. Many freshers start with this method and later integrate other holding techniques into their gameplay.

Its method is known as Shakehand grip because the position of the hand seems like the position when one is shaking hands with someone. The difference is that instead of a hand there is a paddle to hold. The paddle is also facing upward.

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Shakehand Grip Method to hold ping pong paddle

1. Place the paddle in between your thumb and index finger in such a way that the blade is facing upwards and the area in between the blade and the hand is resting on the bridge between the two fingers.

2. While the index and the thumb are occupied in holding the paddle’s blade the remaining three fingers will be used to hold the handle, so there is full control and grip of the player on the paddle.

3. The index finger will be required to stay in a straight position in such a way that it would be resting on the face of the paddle and the tip of the index finger will be on the coroner end.

4. Now the thumb and the index are laying flat on the face of the paddle which makes the three fingers the only ones that are contributing to the stability of this holding position but this one-sided hold will not be impactful.

5. You should fold your thumb so that the hold will become stronger and you can freely strike without worrying about losing your grip.

6. Move the paddle in such a way that the upper end of the blade is facing away from you while its edge is perpendicular to the ground.

The Penhold Grip

As the name clearly suggests, this grip is similar to holding a pen. The ping pong player can go for this holding style if they are not satisfied with the upwards facing of the blade. This style has a generally Asian origin and to be specific it is also known as Chinese ping pong pen hold. The blade of the paddle while using this holding style is facing downward which gives a nice upthrust and reduces the chances of impact with the ping pong table

Penhold Grip Method to hold ping pong paddle

1. Similar to the shakehand grip method, put the handle in the area between the thumb and the index finger.

2. Turn over the paddle in such a way that the upper end of the paddle is facing down towards the ground.

3. Now bring together both ends of your index and thumb finger in such a way that the tip touches each other whole forming a loop. This positioning of these two fingers is of course similar to an individual holding a pen but there is a handle in between them.

4. Now the three fingers will automatically come to the other side of the paddle’s face.

5. The best position is to keep these three fingers straight and expanded for a higher level of support.

The Reverse Penhold Grip

The reverse Penhold grip is similar to the classic Penhold grip. The main difference is that the Penhold allows you forehand strokes whereas the Reverse Penhold grip allows more of a backhand stroke. The position of the fingers and hand placement allows players to go with forehand and backhand strokes.

The movement of the hand and wrist is freer. The method of holding the paddles with this style is the same, just keep in mind to have a loose grip, and placement on the handle should be slightly away. You will just have to change the angle and position that is used for the Penhold ping pong grip.

How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle with pichold method

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The V Grip

This grip is one of the easiest methods as well as allows more liberty to the players in terms of angles and transitions in between the game. For this, the player will simply have to open the index and the thumb finger. Take your ping pong paddle and position the paddle between the thumb and the index finger. While your paddle is placed in this particular position there is nothing to be worried about as the three ginger other than the 2 will contribute to more grip.

The Seemiller Grip

The Seemiller grip is a combination of both the shakehand grip and the Penhold grip. Similar to the Shakehand group the three fingers are holding the handle of the ping pong paddle whereas the index finger is at the back of the paddle’s face. The thumb is laying on the front of the paddle right above the three folded fingers. The placing of the thumb is on the blade not on the handle.


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Ping pong is a widespread game that is played all over the world. There is no one particular gripping method either approved or restricted by the International Table Tennis Federation. Players should feel free to go with whatever holding position they like. You can go with the ancient shakehand grip or the classic Penhold grip.

Apart from these mainstream grip methods you can also explore Chinese, Korean, V, Seemiller, or reverse Penhold grip techniques. I hope that you have now come across a reasonable answer to your question, about how to hold a ping pong paddle.

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