Ways to Hold a Table Tennis Paddle

  • Date: January 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Are you unsure of the proper way to hold a table tennis paddle? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the various ways to hold a table tennis paddle including the shakehand, penhold, and more.

We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each grip and help you determine which one will work best for your playing style.

Different ways to hold the table tennis paddle

When you start playing table tennis, holding the paddle is one of the table tennis basics. There are many different ways to hold a table tennis paddle, and the way you hold it will depend on your individual play style. Let’s take a look at some of the most known ones.

The Penhold grip

The Penhold grip is a traditional Asian grip, but has also gained popularity in the West. In this grip, the index and middle fingers are curled around the blade, while the thumb rests on a rubber ring. While the Penhold grip is the most popular among players from Asia, there are variations that are equally effective.


  • Greater precision: with the Penhold grip, players can generate more precision in their shots, especially when hitting with the forehand.
  • More control: allows players to have more control over their shots, making it easier to place the ball in specific areas of the table.
  • Faster reaction times: because the Penhold grip is closer to the handle of the paddle, it allows players to react faster to incoming shots.
  • Greater variety of shots: allows players to generate a greater variety of shots, including backhand loops, backhand flicks and backhand blocks.


  • Less power: players typically generate less power on their shots, which can make it more difficult to hit through opponents’ defenses.
  • Less reach: players typically have less reach when playing backhand shots, which can make it more difficult to cover the entire table.
  • Less versatility: the Penhold grip is typically only used for forehand shots and backhand blocks, which can limit a player’s versatility on the table.
  • Less stability: the Penhold grip is less stable than other grips, which can make it more difficult to handle high-speed shots.

The Shakehand Grip

The Shakehand Grip, is a popular style used by Western players, but is also widely used by players in Asia and Europe. This type of grip is similar to a handshake and makes it easier for players to bend the racket, which is very helpful for players who attack from both sides of the table. This grip is easy to learn, and the beginner should start with a shakehand grip. Professional players often hold their paddles differently depending on their style.


  • Versatility: allows for a wide range of strokes and shots, making it suitable for all playing styles.
  • Control: offers good control over the paddle, making it easy to execute precise shots and blocks.
  • Comfort: comfortable for most players and does not put as much strain on the wrist as other grips.
  • Easier to learn: The shakehand grip is considered one of the easiest grips to learn, making it a great choice for beginners.


  • Not as powerful: The shakehand grip may not generate as much power as other grips.
  • Less spin: Some players may find it harder to generate spin with the shakehand grip.
  • Takes time to master: While it’s easy to learn, it takes time to master the shakehand grip.
  • Not suitable for all playing styles: Some players may find it less suited to their playing style, particularly those who prefer a more aggressive or spin-heavy play.

The Seemiller grip

The Seemiller grip is another common grip type. Named after a table tennis coach, this style of grip allows players to generate powerful topspin on their forehand strokes. This type of grip also allows players to move their wrists smoothly on their forehand strokes.


  • good for both attack and defense
  • allows perfect forehand strokes


  • poor backhand wrist movement
  • in general, spins are less effective

The V-Grip

The V-Grip is a unique hand grip for paddle sports that helps reducing fatigue in the fingers and wrist. The V-Grip enables players to cover the paddle’s handle with their ring and pinky fingers, which puts the thumb in the most comfortable position. This grip reduces stress on the fingers and wrists, which can help prevent injury.


  • Allows for greater control over the ball, allowing for more precise shots
  • Gives the player more flexibility in adjusting the angle of the racket for different types of shots
  • Can be used for both offensive and defensive play
  • Can generate more power on shots
  • More comfortable for players with smaller hands


  • Can be difficult to master and may take longer to develop consistency
  • Not as comfortable for players with larger hands
  • May not generate as much spin as other grips
  • Can be less stable during high-intensity play
  • Not as versatile as other grips (for example, not recommended for serves)

Why it’s important to choose the right grip

Choosing the correct grip is essential when you’re aiming for a successful performance in the game. While many players opt for the standard ‘penhold’ grip, this style of holding the paddle isn’t right for everyone. In fact, it can increase your chances of getting injured or reducing your stamina over time. To choose the best grip for your paddle, here are some things to consider.

When choosing a grip for your table tennis paddle, it is important to remember the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Shakehand grip is one of the easiest and most comfortable to learn, while the V-grip provides a powerful backhand attack. Shakehand grip provides a balance between forehand and backhand strokes, and the penhold grip gives players good control over the angle of their paddle.

The deep shakehand grip is great for backspin players, as it allows for precise control and wrist movement. Conversely, the loose shakehand grip does not require as much wrist flexibility, but it provides strong power and spin. This grip works well against short balls and is best for players who are trying to make precise shots. This grip also offers good control, and is good for players who aren’t concerned with wrist flexibility.

What Is The Best Grip For Beginners?

Those who play with a shakehand grip hold their paddles in a shallow or deep manner. A shakehand grip is more flexible and allows for more powerful spins. Shakehand grips are the most common style of grip for players of all skill levels.

A shallow shakehand grip is a good choice for a beginner because it allows for quick angle readjustments and wrist movements. Plus, a shallow shakehand grip will result in more power and spin when hitting a short ball. If you are a beginner and want to develop your backhand game, this grip will give you the most control over your paddle. But if you want to play against opponents with high-power shots, a tight shakehand grip is the way to go.

How do pros hold table tennis paddles?

The typical technique among western players like Dan Seemiller is to use the shakehand grip, but it has recently been embraced by Asian players too. The shakehand grip got its popular name from the corresponding hand position throughout the grip, which consequently resembles the position one assumes while shaking hands.


In conclusion, there are many different ways to hold the table tennis paddle. It is important to choose the right grip for your playing style. For beginners, the shakehand grip is the best grip to learn.

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