Serving The Foosball
Serving, much like a kick-off in football or soccer, starts every game. The serve is also known sometimes as the "drop" for obvious reasons as the ball is dropped in from the side of the table. In tournament play, the team that serves the first ball is decided upon by a coin toss. There are no foosball rules against serving the ball to your own men, which is why the serve is such an important step to learn when trying to master the game. Having the first possession to attempt to pass to your offensive bar will allow you to have an upper hand. This is also why the team that is scored throughout the game on gets to serve the next ball to allow for a fair game.
How to Serve the Foosball to Yourself
There are a few different techniques that players use to consistently spin the ball to their own men. They all result in the same action on the ball by putting a slight spin to the left as the ball drops into play in order to roll into their own possession on your midfield 5 bar. It will take practice to dial in the proper amount of force and spin to put on the ball so it is easy to catch and gain control of. Before you start any serve, remember to start by using your left hand to go on the other side of the table and block the hole until your ball is inside the hole and ready to be served. This will prevent an accidental drop that would put the ball in play when you are not ready.
Index Finger Serve - Most people choose this method for their drop because they have most control of their index finger than any other. It consists of placing the ball inside the hole and pinning it against the side wall with your index finger. Your finger should be on the upper right corner of the ball so you can apply a counterclockwise spin to the ball and make it turn left. Next, simply roll your right index finger to the left over the top of the ball and let it drop on the table and roll into your 5 bar.
Thumb Serve - Some people prefer to follow a similar technique, only with their thumb as the finger that pins the ball inside the hole. Once pinned, simply roll the ball in the same counterclockwise direction with your right thumb. Your left hand should be already on the handle of the 5 bar to get ready to receive the possession.