How To Hold A Ping Pong Paddle Like A Pro | Table Tennis Grip

Every Beginner who is about to start a ping pong game should first learn how to hold a paddle correctly. It’s a very basic thing and if you learn it in the beginning you will have a strong grip on the ball and will be able to control it easily.

On the other hand, if you are into this game for some time and feel that your grip is not strong you should start practicing to correct it as soon as possible. It may damage your game for some time but it will help in the long run for sure.


In this post, I will try to explain what is the best way to hold a ping pong paddle correctly, what are the different ways to hold a paddle, and some tips and tricks to learn it fast.

Ways To Hold a Ping Pong Paddle Correctly

There are two most common ways of holding a ping pong paddle. We will explain each of these in detail below.

Shakehand Grip.

Penhold Grip.

Holding paddles with these techniques will help you in becoming a winner in a very short time. It doesn’t mean that by only adjusting your paddle position you can be a winner but the power and control you will get through it will surely help in winning more games.

Shakehand Grip

This is one of the most common ways players hold a ping pong paddle around 80% of players use Shakehand Grip to hold the paddle and is quite a popular style as it helps in getting maximum power and control.

This is quite popular in western players as well as some Asian players and is used mostly on paddles with long handles as it helps in holding the paddle correctly.

It’s named as shakehand because the way you hold a paddle is quite similar to shaking a hand. What you will do is hold the paddle with three fingers loosely while placing your thumb and index fingers on the bottom edges of the paddle.

shakehand grip

Here the position of your thumb is very critical and it will decide whether you are using a deep shakehand or a shallow shakehand


 Deep Shakehand: 

This kind of grip is used to play Powerful shots here the position of your paddle is relaxed on the rubber of paddle and it may decrease your accuracy as well but it will help in playing a killing shot which will not be easy for the opponent to return. this kind of grip is more focused on backhand strokes.

deep shakehand grip

 Shallow Shakehand: 

This kind of grip is widely used and is more appropriate for new players who are still in the learning phase. Here the thumb is placed on the opposite side of the index finger underneath the rubber part of the paddle which helps in providing a balanced position means it is equally helpful for both backhand and forehand shots but the decision to use which side is quite crucial and should be decided quickly. This type of grip is used by many famous players including Vladimir and Timmo Boll.

shallow shakehand grip


Ability to play both forehand and backhand shots

Eiser to learn

More support available as it is widely used

Easier to predict
Need a sharp player to decide timely weather to use forehand or backhand.

Penhold Grip

Penhold grip is another most popular grip used by ping pong players around the world. This type of grip is most popular among Asian players and is named as penhold because it’s quite similar to how you hold the pen when writing. The exact way to hold a paddle will vary from player to player but all ends as holding it as a writing tool and for that grip mostly paddle with short handles are preferred.

The penhold grip lies between your thumb and index finger; you just have to place the handle between your index finger and thumb. The thumb should be placed loosely on the rubber while the index finger is placed opposite to the thumb along with where the rubber portion starts without touching the thumb.penhold grip

While the other three fingers rest on the other side of the paddle these three fingers play an important role in defining the type of penhold grip which are referred to as Chinese penhold grip and Japanese / Korean penhold grip.

 Chinese Penhold Grip


The most distinguishing aspect of the Chinese penhold grip is its blade aligned toward the ground and is most feasible for players who prefer to play standing close to the table. In this grip, the three fingers on the backhand of the paddle are placed at a slight distance from each other which helps in hitting a ball with a powerful shot.

This type of grip helps in making the wrist flexible which is quite fixed in shakehand grip this will not only improve the spin but it also helps in pushing the ball toward the backhand side as you are free to move your wrist in between forehand and backhand.

chinese penhold grip

The only issue you will face with this kind of grip is when you try to encounter the topspin. These kinds of shots will drain your energy instantly and you won’t be able to return shots with accuracy.


 Japanese / Korean Penhold Grip: 

This kind of grip is more feasible for players who prefer to play standing far from the table. In this kind of grip, you will need to keep your three fingers close to each other, or in some cases, it is more preferred to be placed stacked on top of each other. This will help in playing powerful shots and serves only as an issue with this you will observe is moving your hand freely which makes it a quite difficult technique for beginners.

japanese penhold grip


Easier to spin the ball

Helps in playing powerful shots

Preferred for short handle paddles.

Not a beginner-friendly
Hand movement restricted
Difficult to learn

Shakehand and penhold grip are two most popular ways to hold a ping pong paddle along with these two popular types there are some other techniques which are the modified version of these techniques and are used to hold the ping pong paddle.

 Seemiller Grip:  

This is the modified version of the shakehand grip which is invented by the ping pong legend Dan Seemiller.

 V’ Grip

This is the modified version of the penhold grip where the index finger and thumb are placed on the blade in the shape of V to provide an extra strong grip.

Which Grip Is Best?

There is no such thing as the best grip to be used. It depends on the player and his playing style but for beginners, it is always recommended to learn the shakehand grip as it’s easy to learn. Apart from that, you can try different styles and experiment which suits you best and choose the one whichever make you feel comfortable.


Leave a Comment