When you have gotten comfortable playing against an opponent over the table tennis table, it is generally a good idea to explore the dynamics of a doubles game, as it helps you learn some new strategies. Adapting to a new dynamic of table tennis will also help you improve your competency over the table tennis table. The following guide will help you understand the basic difference in rules between a singles and a doubles game.

The Table tennis table:
The first thing you need to consider before playing doubles is if you have the right table tennis table. According to the rules, you can play doubles only on tables that have a center line marked on the play surface, as this plays a major role in the service.

The Service:
Unlike the service for a singles game, the ball cannot bounce anywhere on the table, but should be confined to the right side of both the server and the receiver. The service alternates between teams after every two points and also alternates between teammates of the same team. The rules say that when there is a change of service, the previous receiver becomes a server, while the partner of the server becomes the receiver, and the cycle is continued throughout the game.

The sequence of play:
The sequence of play is the main difference between singles and doubles play. According to the rules, if you make a service, the receiver in the opposing team shall return shot, and then your partner shall return the shot, after which the receiver’s partner returns the shot, and the cycle continues. This sequence is repeated until one of the teams wins a point.

There are many other nuances of a doubles game that give a proper structure for both teams to compete against each other. For instance, each player in a team is made to player each member of the opposing team and everyone gets a chance to serve and receive. This means that even though you are playing with a team-mate, you cannot afford to not improve on your weaknesses, as your teammate cannot compensate.

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