Type of Table Tennis Grips – Pros and Cons with Professional Guide

type of Table Tennis Grips

Table tennis is a famous racquet sport that can be played by two or four opposing players. This popular game started many centuries ago when mainly the upper classes used to play it. However, it is a sport popular among people from every society around the world. Table Tennis is also one of the most extensively played paddle games globally. You need to be conscious of numerous factors if you want to master this sport. Every aspect can make or break your game, from choosing the right paddle to gripping techniques.

In this article, we are going to talk about different types of Table Tennis grips to help you understand the paddle sport better.

Comparison Chart:

 comparison chart

Different Types of Table Tennis Grips

In table tennis, grip refers to how a player grips the racquet. Various different paddle-holding techniques exist, and it is on the players they want to use a single technique or want to switch between games.

point scored
Most players use the shakehand grip (on Reddit)
  • The Shakehand Grip

    The Shakehand Grip

The Shakehand Grip is actually a group of grips relating to each other with only very subtle disparities from one another. As the name signifies, shakehand grip corresponds to shaking hands with someone. Nearly all Western professional players use this grip technique. It is also starting to achieve more popularity among Asian players as well. Players found this versatile grip style rather easy to adopt.  The shakehand grip is one of table tennis’s most famous and oldest gripping methods.

There are two variations of the famous Shakehand Grip; shallow shakehand grip and deep shakehand grip.

  • Shallow Shakehand Grip

In the shallow shakehand grip style, the grip is slightly loose, which allows players to switch and adjust angles quickly. This group also provides freedom of wrist movements which helps in the generation of power and spin when striking the ball.

In the shallow shakehand grip, the thumb fixes lightly curled on the table tennis blade. Beginners especially can quickly master this technique due to its comfortable and natural method of holding a ping pong paddle.


  • Gives extra power
  • Provides easy adjustment of racket angle
  • Increases power and spin
  • Forehand and backhand strokes are easier to perform
  • Effective against short balls


  • In the ‘crossover point,’ players using this grip style often struggle to use the backhand or forehand side.
  • A bit harder to use.
  • Deep Shakehand Grip

Players using the deep shakehand grip can hold the paddle securely and firmly, which prevents the paddle from sliding around too much in the player’s hand. This grip’s limitation on wrist flexibility is a benefit for precisely timed, less-powerful strokes. This gripping technique provides easier, more comfortable, and more manageable movement on either forehand or backhand strokes, given how easy it is to swap sides with a shakehand grip.

In the deep shakehand grip, the hand grasps the racket’s handle as high as it can. As a result, rather than resting on the blade, the forefinger now rests on the rubber.


  • Prevents the ping-pong racket from moving too much in hand.
  • Provides precisely controlled shots.
  • Removes wrist flexibility.
  • Forehand and backhand shots are easily performed.


  • Restricted wrist movements can cause difficulty in attacking the ball over the table.
  • Weak crossover point.
  • The Penhold Grip

The Penhold Grip

The penhold grip is called so because it involves holding the paddle with the surface facing down and the handle pointing up. Similar to how you handle a pen. This gripping style is typically common among Asian table tennis players.

The blade handle tucks into the V of the hand when using the standard penhold grip. The remaining fingers are positioned on the back rubber of the paddle, whilst the thumb and index finger are wrapped around the top of the handle and rest there.

There are three different variations of penhold grip used by different players, The Chinese penhold grip, the Japanese/ Korean penhold grip, and the reverse penhold backhand grip.

  • The Chinese Penhold Grip

The Chinese Penhold Grip, as the name suggests, resembles holding a pen while writing. When playing table tennis with a Chinese penhold grip, players hold the blade with their index finger, and the thumb curled around it, as previously mentioned. The rest of the three fingers delicately curl along the rubber on the other side.

Players only use their forehand rubber in this kind of forehand hold. To employ it on their backhand side, they twist their forehand to 180 degrees. However, compared to the shakehand grip, backhand choices in Chinese penhold are much worse.

This grip is preferred by players wanting to stay close to the ping pong table and those who like to play forehand strokes.


  • Wrist movements are free and comfortable.
  • Support forehand stroke.
  • Players can push and block on the backside as well.
  • Players do not have to go through an area of indecision or crossover point to decide on the side of the bat.


  • Not good for backhand topspin.
  • Requires a lot of stamina and footwork to play the shots.

The Japanese/Korean Penhold Grip  

In the Japanese/Korean penhold grip, players employ the common penhold strategy and rest their three remaining fingers in a straight line instead of twisting them on the back of the paddle.

Like the traditional Chinese Grip, this grip also is preferred by players who want to attack the ball using their forehand. Speedy footwork is required for players to generate powerful topspin forehand shots.


  • Great grip for forehand strokes, which adds power to the shots.
  • The wrist can move freely.
  • Adds great spin when serving.


  • Extended fingers can restrict movement.
  • The backhand angle is difficult and inconsistent.
  • Requires more footwork and stamina.
  • Reverse Penhold Backhand (RPB) Grip

In this variation of penhold grip, the backhand is played with a traditional and standard backhand rather than an inverted forehand. The handle-holding technique is similar to that of traditional Chinese penhold grip, and a backhand is used to generate topspin. This grip style is preferred by players who like to play more on the attacking side.


  • Produce powerful topspin.
  • Provides good power as well as wide reach.
  • Good at attacking short balls.
  • Flexible wrist movements.


  • Excessive use on the backhand side.
  • Has a crossover point.
  • Players have to decide quickly on which stroke to play.
  • Adjustments should be made quickly.
  • Difficult to produce topspin from the backhand. 

Minor Grips

Besides these two popular grips, there are other different types of table tennis grips as well that are not very commonly used by professional players.

  • Seemiller Grip

A very similar grip to the shakehand grip, the seemiller grip was given to them after the player Dan Seemiller made it popular during the US championship. In this grip, the position of your index finger and thumb is set on the edges of the ping pong paddle. This particular position of fingers improves the flexibility on the forehand side of the racket. This grip offers no crossover drawback and lets you rotate your hand 180 degrees to the backhand side. This grip is preferred by the attacking player.


  • You can efficiently swap from forehand to backhand.
  • No crossover point weakness.


  • Less control on the backhand side.
  • Limits the ability to produce topspin.
  • Pistol Grip

This grip type also resembles the shakehand grip technique. As the name suggests, the pistol grip technique is something that corresponds to holding a pistol. This grip also requires an unusual custom blade to hit the shots.


Now that you know everything about the different types of table tennis grips, you can easily choose the one that is best suitable for your style of play or whichever method or technique you prefer. The most common and popular grip style is the shakehand grip which is rightly so, and we also recommend you opt for the very style if you’re just starting your game.

table tennis grip examples


  • Is the penhold grip style better than the shakehand grip style?

The penhold grip style is less popular and less employed than the shakehand grip style. In the shakehand grip technique, you have room for performing better backhand shots with wrist flexibility, and it also does not require much of your stamina as well as footwork like in the penhold grip.

  • Which is the most successful and popular table tennis grip among the player?

The shakehand grip is the most popular and successful table tennis grip, as it is used and employed by many players playing ping pong sport around the world.

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