The following are the basic rules of service:
- The ball must be held above the table level in order for the opponent and umpire to see it.
- The ball must be held in the palm of the hand with fingers stretched, and tossed vertically at least six inches.
- The ball must be struck only on the way down.
- The ball must be struck behind the end line.
Serves are entirely up to the player; there are no specific serves that must be used by everybody. But to begin with, there are some basic serves that should be experimented with. Imparting spin on these serves should be concentrated mostly on the wrist.
Backspin- just like pushing or chopping, a backspin serve is executed with an open racket slicing the bottom of the ball.
Topspin- like driving, topspin serves can be done hitting with a flat racket, or like looping, where the player grazes the top of the ball with a closed racket for more spin.
Sidespin- simply hit the back of the ball in a left-to-right or right-to-left motion, as desired. To make the stroke easier, try holding the racket in front of you and brushing the bottom of the ball in a pendulum motion.
Notes on serves: Be sure to assume the ready position as soon as you finish your service motion. Keep the ball as low as possible to prevent an early attack by the opponent. Experiment with all the spins; mix up your serves during games. The spins are not the only thing that should be varied. Practice placing the ball in different depths and in different directions. Unlike doubles, a singles serve can go anywhere on the opponent's court. The advantage to service is the uncertainty faced by the returner. Be as inconspicuous as possible.