Different Types of Table Tennis Grips (& How to Master Them)/ Table Tennis Grip Types: Pros and Cons

Different Types of Table Tennis Grips (& How to Master Them)

Different Types of Table Tennis Grips (& How to Master Them)


Do you know there are various table tennis paddle grips that you can use while playing?

Do you want to master table tennis grips?

Here we go…

In table tennis, the success of any player depends on how well a player executes the various stokes. And to have a better hold of the various shots one requires many years of practice.

However, before you can actually start working on perfecting the strokes, it is always wise to experiment with the various types of table tennis grips and finding your favorite grip.

You can choose the grip that allows you more freedom and dexterity in perfectly executing the various types of strokes.

Different Type of Table Tennis Grips

Table of Contents (Types of TT Grips) :

    1. The Shakehand Grip Technique
    2. The Table Tennis Penhold Grip
    3. The Table Tennis V-Grip
    4. The Table Tennis Seemiller Grip

1) The Shakehand Grip Technique

The Shakehand Grip has actually evolved out of Western players and gradually got popular among the European and Asian players too.

The technique got its name for the way one would normally do a handshake with another as this grip-technique comprises holding the racket pretty much similar to a handshake.

This grip technique can be further divided into two sub-categories:

  • The Shakehand deep grip
  • The Shakehand shallow grip

The two TT grip techniques differ a little from one another and will certainly need you to observe the differences closely to fully comprehend the differences.

The two styles basically differ in terms of thumb placement:

In the case of the deep grip, a player would relax one’s thumb over the rubber,

and in the case of shallow grip, a player would relax one’s thumb over the blade.

Hence, in both styles, thumb placement plays a very important role.

a) Table Tennis Deep Shakehand Grip

deep shake hand grip

In this style, a player usually positions one’s thumb on the racket’s rubber. The technique is mostly used by players who don’t need much of wrist flexibility and who are only looking for a tight hold of the racket.

The grip style is best for players who prefer more of an accurate attack than an attack with plenty of force. Also, there are times when a player if not actually in a position to attack and the most one can do in such a situation is accurately get the ball to the table edges.

However, the grip style is ideal for both forehand and backhand. Also, one can easily switch from side to side using this technique.

Also, a lot of aggressive players find this technique a lot effective in hitting the ball really hard as this style hardly has to do anything with the wrist flexibility.


  • Offers a tight hold of the racket
  • Helps with an accurate attack
  • Helps in accurately getting the ball to the table edges
  • Ideal for both forehand and backhand
  • Helps in hitting the ball really hard


  • Crossover point

b) Table Tennis Shallow Shakehand Grip

shallow table tennis grip

The Shallow Shakehand grip is a common grip style among the beginners for the reason that it offers amazing flexibility of wrist which eventually improves your ability to spin the ball while executing the serves or loops.

Also, it helps you return the ball to your opponent more conveniently and efficiently.

Most importantly, the grip allows you exert more force on the ball and this is the reason that it can be perfectly used for both forehand and backhand strokes. This, in turn, makes a lot of room for a player to attack the ball with the same strength from any position.


  • Offers flexibility of wrist
  • Improves your ability to spin the ball
  • Helps you return the ball efficiently
  • Helps you exert more force on the ball
  • Perfect for both forehand and backhand strokes
  • Helps in attacking the ball with the same strength from any position


  • Crossover point

Important: Make sure to avoid these embarrassing table tennis mistakes

2) The Table Tennis Penhold Grip

Another hugely popular way of holding the racket is the Penhold Grip and it has 3 variations such as the Japanese/Korean grip, the reverse backhand grip, and the Chinese grip.

The reason the grip technique is called the Penhold Grip is that it is similar to the way one would actually hold a pen while writing with the index finger and the thumb at the front of the handle and the rest folded behind the head of the racket.

a) Chinese Penhold Grip

chinese penhold grip

Asian table tennis players use the Chinese Penhold grip a lot wherein one would hold one’s racket in a way so as to get the blade faced towards the ground. Also, it is pretty suitable for players who like to stay really close to the table.

The Chinese Penhold grip offers more flexibility than the Shakehand grips do and this will eventually allow you to spin the ball brilliantly in the attacking strokes. Also, it is largely effective in the serves.

Also, it helps a player easily block and push the ball on the backhand side as it offers brilliant freedom of bending one’s wrist for forehand strokes as well as backhand strokes. Also, it largely helps a player from ever being locked away by crossover point.


  • Ideal for players who stay really close to the table
  • Helps to spin the ball brilliantly in the attacking strokes
  • Largely effective in the serves
  • Helps in easily blocking and pushing the ball on the backhand side
  • Offers brilliant freedom of bending one’s wrist
  • Reduces the possibility of a Crossover point


  • Not ideal for backhand topspin on a constant basis

b) Japanese/Korean Penhold Grip

table tennis grips

Unlike the Chinese grip, the fingers on the back of the racket are instead placed straight in the Korean grip. This technique of holding the racket allows you to execute the forehand strokes with more power and also, it helps a player to conveniently attack a ball even from a spot far from the table.

However, the fact that one has to keep the fingers on the back of the racket straight tends to limit the blade movement and it gets a bit challenging to position the racket in various angles in order to reach the ball.

The technique can be a little difficult for beginners to master.


  • Helps to execute the forehand strokes with more power
  • Helps to conveniently attack a ball even from a spot far from the table


  • Limited blade movement
  • Positioning the racket in various angles is challenging

c) Reverse Backhand Grip

Unlike the normal Penhold grip which uses the same paddle side for both forehand and backhand strokes, the Reverse Backhand Grip even uses the paddle’s backside.

This helps a player break out of the difficulty in using the backhand topspin on a constant basis as in the Chinese grip. This makes it pretty ideal for attacking short balls.

A lot of players prefer using a blend of the Chinese Penhold grip and the Reverse Backhand grip for better flexibility.


  • Ideal for attacking short balls
  • Offers better flexibility


  • Crossover point

3) The Table Tennis V-Grip

table tennis v grip

In the V-grip technique, a player would hold the blade between one’s index finger and middle finger almost making a V shape.

The two fingers are curled down the blade to grip it properly and the thumb can be placed anywhere where one feels comfortable.

It offers more power and spin in attacking. Also, it is pretty much ideal for wide-angle shots with excellent control.


  • Offers more power and spin in attacking
  • Excellent control


  • Balls shot towards the player’s elbow are difficult to return
  • Hard to find a coach for this grip

4) The Table Tennis Seemiller Grip

different table tennis grips

The Seemiller Grip is actually a variation of the Shakehand grip. However, in this grip technique, the forefinger-tip is positioned close to the edge of the paddle or sometimes even around the edge of the paddle. Both the thumb and index fingers hold either side at a 90-degree turn.

Most players that use this technique usually use a dotted rubber on the back for twiddling the blade with combination rubbers to confuse the opponents. Players using this technique have the advantages of moving their wrist freely.

Also, they can use strong snaps for forehand topspins using this technique. In addition to this, it helps players block efficiently on forehand or backhand sides.

Most importantly, one hardly has even the slightest possibility of ever experiencing any crossover point with this technique.


  • Allows strong snaps for forehand topspins
  • Effective for good blocking


  • Poor backhand wrist movement
  • Average spins and returns

FAQs Related to Different Types of Table Tennis Grips

What is the best grip for beginners?

Shakehand is certainly the most suitable grip for beginners for the simple reason that it is less complex and easy to learn.

Can a beginner start with V-Grip?

It is never wise to start with V-Grip since the technique is more of an experimental technique and also, it would be pretty difficult to master this table tennis grip as a beginner.

What are some best ping pong grips for attacking players?

Although there is no denying the fact that one can attack using the other techniques too, the Japanese/Korean Penhold Grip, and the Deep Shakehand Grip are most preferred grips among aggressive players.

How long does it take to master a grip technique?

This totally depends on the complexity involved in a certain TT grip technique. Techniques that are less complex can be certainly learned in comparatively lesser time that those that are more complex. Most importantly, a lot depends upon the practice.

How long will it take to master all the TT grip techniques?

Although there is no need to master all the grip techniques as they are based on the playing styles, you can gradually experiment with the various grips and see which ones work the best for you are.

However, switching between grips during a play can often get you in a crossover point. This is the reason that it is not advisable to do it until one is 100% confident about it.

Which is the best Table Tennis Grip to go with?

For beginners, it is always wise to start with the Shakehand table tennis grip as it can be easily learned. However, gradually, it is equally important for one to give all the various grips a try as this will eventually help one find the most suitable grip for oneself in term of accuracy and dexterity.


Table Tennis Grip Types: Pros and Cons

table tennis shakehand grip

Knowing the pros and cons of the various table tennis grips will help you make a better decision when choosing a grip type to play with. The grip is the foundation on which rests the successful execution of all of the different types of strokes.

The best players in the world have been training for thousands of hours on how to correctly hold the racket. The coaches understand that grasping the paddle the right way is the most important element that will allow you to perform well in a table tennis game.

Below we will discuss the most popular ping pong grip techniques and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Shakehand Grip

This type of grip is common among the Western players but it has also spread throughout the Asian and European countries. The name is derived from the normal handshake because the player will grip the racket similar to someone who is about to give a handshake.

The main types of the shakehand grip are the shakehand deep grip and the shakehand shallow grip. These two are slightly different from each other and need a keen eye to notice the difference.

The main difference between the shallow and deep style is where the thumb is placed. For the deep grip, your thumb will relax on the rubber, while for the shallow grip, your thumb will relax on the blade. Thumb placement on the racket determines how accurate and fast you will be able to return the ball.

Shallow Shakehand Grip

table tennis shakehand shallow grip

A positive thing about the shallow grip is that it encourages wrist flexibility while playing which will increase your spin ability while performing serves or loops. It is a very natural grip for beginners to start with and it gives a very balanced overall feeling. This gives you a better chance of returning the ball on the table while attacking your opponent. Since this grip increases the amount of power given to the ball, it can be used with both the backhand and forehand strokes. This is an advantage because you will be able to attack the ball from either side of the table.

The disadvantage of the shallow grip is mainly called the crossover point. This means that you are likely to get in an area of indecision, whether to use backhand or forehand side. You have to be a sharp player to quickly decide which stroke to use and attack the ball.

We have a great guide to the best rackets out there. Most of them are shakehand style paddles.

Deep Shakehand Grip

table tennis shakehand deep grip

For this grip, the thumb relaxes on the racket’s rubber. This grip’s advantage is that it reduces wrist flexibility, hence providing a firm hold of the racket. This grip is best used for attacks that need to be precise and don’t need a lot of power. Sometimes it is important to be able to accurately place the ball close to the table’s edges if you are not in a position to attack.

This grip is suitable for both backhand and forehand attacks and it is easy to switch from side to side. Players who are very aggressive use the deep shakehand grip for smashing the ball as this type of stroke does not need wrist flexibility.

The disadvantage of the deep grip is the same one that shallow grip has – the crossover point. This indecision point can be a source of weakness where your opponent can decide to attack.

The Penhold Grip

table tennis penhold grip

The penhold grip is the second most popular grip used by table tennis players. Unlike the shakehand grip which has two types, the penhold has three different versions. It includes the Japanese or Korean grip, Chinese grip, and reverse backhand grip. The index finger and the thumb are usually at the front of the handle, and the other three fingers are folded behind the racket’s head. The penhold grip is derived from the way one holds a pen to write.

Chinese Penhold Grip

table tennis chinese penhold grip

This version is common among Asian players. Holding a racket with the blade facing the ground is the defining characteristic of the Chinese penhold grip. It is best used by players who prefer staying close to the table.

The positive aspect of this grip is that your wrist will be more flexible than with the shakehand grips. A flexible wrist will allow you to put massive spin in your attacking strokes as well as in your serves.

Another advantage is that it is easy to block and push the ball on the backhand side because you can freely bend your wrist for both forehand and backhand strokes. This also takes care of the shakehand’s grip main disadvantage, the crossover point.

The main weakness of using this grip is that backhand topspin will be pretty difficult to perform on a regular basis. You will have to twist your arm into different positions which will drain your stamina fast, decreasing the quality of your strokes throughout the game.

Japanese or Korean Grip

table tennis japanese/korean penhold grip

The difference between the Korean grip and Chinese grip is that the fingers on the back of the bat are straightened rather than curled. The advantages of this grip are that the straightening of the fingers behind the bat will add more power for forehand strokes. Unlike the Chinese grip, a player can easily attack a ball while standing far from the table.

The disadvantage is that the straight fingers restrict blade movement, therefore it becomes challenging to adjust the racket in different angles to reach the ball. It is difficult for beginners to master this technique.

Reverse Backhand Grip

The normal penhold grip uses the same racket side for both backhand and forehand strokes. For this style, you can also use the backside of the paddle. The advantage of this grip is that it eliminates the Chinese grip weakness by strengthening the backhand stroke. This is because of the free movement of the arm and the bat which makes it suitable for attacking short balls. You can interchangeably switch the Chinese grip with the reverse backhand grip for increased versatility.

The disadvantage of this technique is that it can be difficult to hit the ball across the net line. It also shares the same con as the shakehand style because of the point of indecision.

Which Grip is the Best?

It is worthwhile for beginners to use the shakehand grip because it is easy to learn. You should play for a while using all of the different grips to see what suits you best. However, it is important to choose a grip that boosts your stamina and makes you feel comfortable while playing.

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