You’ve seen groups of people around these tables, maybe in a sports bar, an arcade, or a rec room. Team members line both sides of the table, intently flicking their wrists to control the rods, determined they will score a goal by sending the small ball straight into their opponent’s net. Laughter spills from the competitors, and friendly jargon is exchanged as they play. Indeed, foosball tables provide hours of entertainment for just about anyone with a competitive streak.
Originating in 1921 with Harold Searles Thornton from the UK, foosball, also known as table soccer, is a game that is based on both football and soccer. It is played on a foosball table by two to four players typically, but the larger tables can accommodate two teams of four.
Each player tries to score a goal by maneuvering miniature players that are attached to eight rods, which span the table’s length. Each player will control four out of eight rods using wooden handles, which they flick using quick wrist action.
The ball is then pushed toward the opponent’s goal. The first to five is the victor! This game is not only a great recreational activity that can be enjoyed by both adults and children, but it’s also a competitive sport. There are professional foosball players, player’s associations, and a growing number of foosball competitions. The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) holds a World Championship every year.
A good foosball table can make a great addition to any sports bar, arcade, youth club, or home. When you’re shopping for foosball tables, you should understand the different types of tables available and the different factors to consider and what type of table you should buy based on skill level.
In A Rush? Here’s The Best Choice
The best foosball table should be high-quality and built with durable materials for a longer lifespan. Higher-end models can last twenty years and beyond, depending on the quality of the wood and other components. Most tables will come with a warranty–on average, manufacturers will cover a foosball table for a period of one to two years.
The only exception is the type of foosball table that’s referred to as furniture style. These foosball tables models are more decorative and usually carry a much shorter warranty, but they can still be built just as solid.
There’s a lot of factors to take into consideration when researching foosball tables. We are here to simplify the process and help you make that decision. Keep in mind the key parts to look for when shopping around: playing surface, men, legs, and rods. We will discuss these in detail in a bit.
Here are our top choices for foosball tables, and you will shortly see why they are the best!
Best Foosball Table Reviews Of 2020
|Foosball Table||Performance Ratings||Where To Buy|
|1). Kick Triumph Table||9.8|
|2). Hathaway Primo||9.6|
|3). Tornado T-3000||9.6|
|4). Carrom Signature Table||9.5|
1) Kick Triumph Foosball Table:
Offering class and simplicity, Triumph by Kick foosball table is a popular model, featuring a modern black finish that gives it a high-end, elegant look. The Kick Triumph features weighted players, leg levelers, an optional cup holder, and chrome-plated rods. Located on each end of the table, you’ll also find a ball return and ball tracker for extra convenience.
The Kick Triumph has it all: it’s stable, made with quality, durable materials, and it provides endless hours of foosball fun, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or an advanced player. Topping off the deal is an unlimited lifetime warranty, which is a great plus!
2) Hathaway Primo Soccer Table:
The Primo foosball table by Hathaway features a Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) play surface that’s one inch thick, while other models in this price range typically offer a surface area that’s only 5/8” thick. With solid steel rods, players at the professional level may find these rods to be too heavy, but they are a good option for casual players.
This model also comes with leg levelers, which work to ensure you’re playing on a solid surface even when the table is placed on uneven ground. This model only comes with a one goalie setup, opposed to three, which could be an issue for beginners or intermediate players. The durable exterior melamine gives the table a luxury feel with its expresso finish.
3) Tornado Foosball Tables:
The Tornado foosball tables are the best in their class. Tornado is a world-renowned brand and has been in business since 1982. A mesmerizing piece of American originality and craftsmanship, the Tournament 3000 is used in competitions all over the world and serves as the industry standard.
Tornado offers both professional/commercial tables as well as recreational tables for home use. They come in a variety of colors and finishes and offer different quality features. All Tornado foosball tables are proudly made in the USA, and these tables boast the best quality in the industry.
4) Carrom Signature Foosball Table:
The Signature foosball table by Carrom is our top-rated product and for good reasons. Equipped with professional-grade bearings for an improved playing experience, you’ll enjoy a smooth, accurate game that allows you to play like a pro. The table legs are reinforced with double bolting and include chrome support bars and levelers.
This table also comes with an extra-thick playing surface made from wood that is warp-resistant and hollow steel rods that allow for faster play. With their motto, “Spend more time playing, less time building!” Carrom’s new assembly instructions make it easier than ever to attach the legs, rods, players, and drink holders.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Foosball Table
The first questions you should ask yourself before shopping for a foosball table are: who is going to use it? What are their ages? Their skill level? The answers to these questions set the tone for everything else that needs to be taken into account.
Then, of course, you should look at your space and your budget to decide which route you want to take when purchasing a foosball table.
Let’s start with space. How much space do you have to work with? Where will your foosball table be housed? Depending on this factor, you can choose between the standalone model and the tabletop model.
The Standalone Model
The standalone model is more expensive and larger than a tabletop model. This model is an all-in-one table where the tabletop is attached to a set of sturdy legs.
A standard full-size table is approximately 56 inches long and 30 inches wide. Keep in mind that the 30 inches in width are not counting the fully extending rods and the space players need to move around. Standalone tables are typically made from solid wood and can end up weighing a couple hundred pounds. We recommend having at least a 7 x 8-foot space available.
A good standalone model should last for a long time and offer players many years of fun and enjoyment. Standalone models are more expensive than tabletop versions because they’re much larger and usually consist of high-quality components. Unlike tabletop versions, a standalone foosball table is designed to stay in one place. In other words, you won’t want to be moving a standalone table! Once it’s there, it’s there to stay.
The Tabletop Model
For consumers who lack the necessary space for a standalone table, or want an easily transportable table, the tabletop model is the most suitable. These tabletop foosball tables are designed to rest on a sturdy table during play. Because these tables are smaller and lighter than the standalone models, they’re easier to store and transport and are often less expensive.
Some tabletop foosball tables consist of inexpensive materials like plastic. These tables are perfect for young children or beginners who are just learning how to play. Tabletop models can be placed on a low table, like a coffee table or a dining room table, which allows younger children to control the rods easily. These types of tables can even easily rest on hard floors or carpeted surfaces.
Most parents prefer buying tabletop foosball models for their children because they take up less space, and they are cheaper than standalone foosball tables. Plus, children can learn the game and then later decide if they like the game enough to invest in a standalone table. Tabletop models are not just for kids, though; anyone can enjoy them. They are usually a staple in college dorms, too!
Both standalone and tabletop foosball tables can vary dramatically in price ranging for a couple hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. Once you have determined how much you want to spend on a new table, it’s time to consider the other options available in order to pick the most suitable model that’s within your budget.
If you’re looking for a lower-priced model for young children to play on, consider purchasing a tabletop model, which will take up much less space. For consumers who are determined to improve their skills or have a goal of playing competitively, a full-sized model will be the best option.
Most foosball tables come with a standard one-year warranty. Some offer more, like the Kick Triumph, that offers a lifetime warranty.
Beginners, typically young adults or children, don’t necessarily need a top of the line model. Tabletop foosball tables are perfect for small children because most standard models are thirty-six inches in height, which is way too tall for most children. Particleboard models are good options for beginners because they are lightweight and cost-effective.
The height for these foosball tables is not highly adjustable. Most consumers prefer to purchase less expensive models for beginners who are still trying to determine whether or not they enjoy the sport. This style of foosball table features decent rods, an acceptable playing surface, and enough stability to handle moderate play.
Intermediate players should ensure that the model they choose has a flat playing surface, smooth moving rods, and a durable structure. Foosball tables designed for this skill level are made from stronger materials and features sturdier legs. These foosball tables are often available at mid-range prices and are ideal for people who want to improve their foosball skills in order to advance to a higher skill level eventually.
A table designed for advanced players and professionals needs to be very sturdy so it can accommodate high skill levels. It should also include strong legs and a large, sturdy surface with solid rods that move smoothly. Customers may want to look into a table that fits ITSF standards, so that it will withstand constant use.
The best players in the country will only play on extremely fast tables, so the best way to advance to the pro level is to play on this type of table. This will allow angled shots on goals, passing from line to line, and the ability to improve your skills over time.
Foosball Table Materials and Designs to Look For
Considering the materials is one of the most important parts of choosing a foosball table (such as MDF). You don’t want a cheap and flimsy table unless you want to be replacing it in a few months. Typically, foosball tables are made of solid wood, particle board, composite board, and plastic.
Wood is the most durable option, no question. It’s also the most attractive, which is a plus. The downside is solid wood is going to be the heaviest. Also, keep in mind that if you live in a humid climate, solid wood may become damaged.
Less expensive models contain particle board materials. Over time, portions of the table made from particle board tend to weaken. The wood can also warp, which in turn will cause the joints to loosen with the constant twisting and banging of the rods and the playing surface to become uneven. If you are buying the table for your kids and know that they’re going to be rough on the table, particle board may be what you are looking for.
Composite board (such as MDF) is somewhere in between solid wood and particle board. It holds up pretty well, and unlike wood, it is resistant to moisture and humidity. Composite board is a durable option, especially if you live in a climate with a lot of humid days. A good and popular choice of a composite wood is MDF or medium density fiberboard. MDF can be quite solid and of high quality while still being an affordable choice. It’s a common construction material for the playing field and cabinet of foosball tables. When shopping on Amazon or elsewhere, MDF construction should be on your list of a material to consider in reviewing foosball tables.
The best way to determine if a table is a good quality is to check the thickness of the table’s surface and find out how much it weighs. The thickness of the table’s surface shouldn’t be less than an inch and the table should not weigh less than seventy pounds. While these tables are available at a lower price, when you compare them to high-end models they offer very little quality play or durability.
High-end models are often made from either solid or composite wood. However, not all types of wood are created equal. As we mentioned, composite is more resistant to moisture compared to particle board, and it’s also less prone to damage.
However, not all tables with a solid wood surface share the same thickness level. Be sure you purchase a table that has a surface thickness of at least one inch for more durability. Some of the higher quality tables have a surface thickness of almost two inches. Thick sidewalls can help to prevent movement so the game won’t be affected.
If a table you’re interested in has a logo or a pattern, make sure you check to see if these graphics are embedded in the surface or not. Some of these decals are just stickers that will peel off over time, which of course, can affect the look of the table and how it plays.
The field markings on a table will help the user to line up the ball during a game and are actually an important part of the foosball table’s appearance. Like other patterns, some manufacturers will use a low-quality process to apply these field markings to the table’s surface.
These markings will wear off over time, which can make your table look beat up and old. A higher-quality model will have field markings that are permanently dyed into the laminate, so the design is built right in and can be replaced if it ever wears out.
Other Features to Look For in a Foosball Table
A standard foosball table will feature a height of around thirty-six inches. This is a suitable height for adults or older teens. If you’re purchasing a table that’s going to be used by both children and adults, you should purchase one that’s equipped with adjustable legs. High-quality models will feature levelers on the base of adjustable table legs. This means that you can adjust the table height in each corner by unscrewing or screwing the leg leveler at the bottom of the leg.
This means that you can enjoy playing on a level surface even if the table is placed on uneven flooring. Foosball is actually considered a game of precision, and having one that’s even just slightly uneven can alter the entire gameplay experience and may even give your opponent an advantage. So, make sure you note if the foosball tables you’re reviewing have leg levelers.
The number of men on the goalie rod is one of the biggest differences that you’ll notice between different models. In Europe, China, and some other countries, players generally prefer tables with a single goalie. In the United States, players usually prefer to have three goalies.
So, which is better? It’s all about what you prefer. Typically, for beginners, a 3-man goalie is recommended, but for more experienced players, a single goalie configuration is more standard.
The good news is that many tables can be converted to a one or three goalie system. This option adds a ton of versatility to a table.
The foosball men will either be one solid color, usually red and blue, or more detailed to resemble soccer players.
Higher quality models will also include counterweights, so the men will quickly return to an upright position. The men will be wide enough to strike the ball, but they should not interfere with each other. This feature is significant because the men stay in a horizontal position when they are released and won’t get in another player’s way.
Non-weighted men tend to dangle vertically, blocking your way, and making it more challenging to score a goal.
Playing rods should be sturdy, and most are made of steel, so not only are they durable, they are smooth too. They should be loose enough to allow maximum control when intercepting or striking the ball, but they should not be too loose where the player does not have control when playing.
Hollow rods are also an option since they aren’t as heavy. Professional tables typically feature a design of hollow rods because of the fast games that take place. Mid-level tables typically feature solid rods.
Telescoping rods are a safety design feature included on some foosball tables. Telescoping rods are designed to slide within the rod casing so they do not slide outside of the cabinet.
Most foosball tables come with a set of foosball balls,; however, you can also purchase foosball balls separately if you want.
While there are different types of foosballs, they should be light and durable. In American, textured foosballs are preferred. They are faster than cork foosballs, even though cork foosballs offer great control. The traditional type of foosball is made to resemble a soccer ball, including the pattern and material. Then, there are foosballs made from hard plastic with a smooth coat, which resemble a ping pong ball.
Foosballs are inexpensive, and the only part of the foosball table that can be easily changed or replaced, so you can experiment with various types and decide which ones you like best.
End Ball Return or Side Ball Return
You should consider whether the table you are looking at has an end ball return or a side bar return. Side bar returns are more favorable because you can easily push the table towards the wall. To retrieve the ball, the players won’t need to reach out towards the back ends of the foosball table.
Table Surface Speed
Foosball tables also have a variety of speeds depending on the type of surface of the table. The harder and smoother the surface of the table is, the faster the ball can move. Most foosballs sold in America have a hard finish that allows for faster play time.
Two common playing surfaces are melamine or laminate. Laminate is usually found on higher-end tables. A laminate finish over solid wood makes a fast playing surface and is very durable. Melamine is a more budget-friendly option that is made of a plastic material that is backed with a pressboard panel, resulting in a smooth, fast playing surface.
A surface that is too bumpy will interfere with the movement of the ball and could cause unneeded interference during the game. Table finishes are generally green, blue, or black, so the color you choose will depend on your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many foosball players are on each table?
The size of the table you buy will determine how many foosball men you get. Typically, you will get 13 men per team, totaling 26 altogether, just like on a football field.
On smaller tables, you may get 7 to 9 players, since there is less space. You can buy tables that provide an additional set of players, as well as some that have the option of three goalies.
Q: How many people play on a foosball table?
The standard foosball table accommodates two to four (human) players (not to be confused with foosball men/players). There are larger foosball tables made that can accommodate eight people.
Q: What are the rules of foosball?
There are six main rules for playing foosball:
- Flip a coin to decide who starts the game
Before the game begins, a player will flip a coin, which will determine who serves the foosball to begin the game. After the first goal is made, the team who scored gets to serve the next ball.
- No spinning
A spin is when the rod turns 360 degrees without making contact with the ball. This may be tempting to do (especially for kids and beginners!), but it is considered an illegal move.
- No jarring
Jarring is when a player slams their rod against the wall of a table to “jar” the foosball loose from the other team.
- Dead balls
A dead ball refers to when the ball stops between the two team’s rods. It should be picked up and go to the team who last scored.
- Out of play
If the ball goes off the table, it’s considered “out of play” and should go to the last team who scored.
- 5 Bar passing
You are required to pass the ball within 10 seconds from your 5-bar rod to the 3-bar rod directly after a serve.
Q: What is the main objective of a foosball game?
The goal of a foosball game is to race to 5 points/goals. The first team to 5 wins the game. However, matches can be played where the best two out of three or three out of five games win the match.
Tips for Playing Foosball
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, a tip refresher in playing foosball is always good. Here are some of our best tips for making sure you play your very best.
This is a foosball rule, but it is still tempting to do, especially for beginners. Don’t spin your rods while playing. It can also damage the table and warp the rods. It’s not an effective way to shoot, so work hard at abiding by this rule.
Relax your grip
Even though foosball is an intense game, and you may be tempted to grip the rods as tight as you can, you should focus on relaxing your grip as much as you can. This will keep your hands and wrist relaxed and will give you more power when you flick your wrist for a shot.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart will keep you at a 45-degree angle away from the table and give you more space and maneuverability in your arm. You will be able to move quicker and more efficiently.
Pin the ball
Pinning the ball is a way to gain ball control while planning your next move. As the ball approaches your player, angle him back slightly in order to “catch” the ball and trap it under your player. Once you pin the ball, you can pass it or, if you’re feeling risky, try a pin shot.
Pay more attention to your opponent’s man than your own
It’s natural to focus on your own players, but here’s an important tip: pay closer attention to your opponent’s men. Focusing on your opponent’s players will let you spot gaps in their formation, and when you see a gap, you will have the opportunity to move the ball towards their goal.
Keep your forward players angled and ready
Your 3-man rod is your offense, so you should try to advance the ball towards them as much as possible. If they are positioned too straight, a pass will bounce right off of them and land in your opponent’s reach. If they are angled forward, they are in a better position to receive and hold the ball.
Master one shot
If you watch professional foosball players, you will see that they use a lot of shooting techniques to score. Sometimes it’s tempting, as a beginner, to try to use the same techniques. However, it’s much more effective if you find a single shot technique that works for you and stick with that. After you master one shot, you can move to other techniques.
How to Assemble a Foosball Table
Assembling a foosball table can be a challenging task if you have never done it before. A full-size table generally weighs around 200 pounds and is delivered in several packages. Make sure to place the table where you are going to place it. For example, assembling it in the garage and then moving it to the dining room would be difficult, but it is unnecessary.
First, you will find the manufacturer’s manual. All foosball tables differ in the set up, so make sure you use your instructions to assemble the table. The instructions should have clear directions on how to put the table together. If you cannot find the manual, you can Google the model of your foosball table and see if you can find the directions online. YouTube videos can also prove helpful in times like this!
See how to assemble a foosball table below:
The tools needed are generally screwdrivers, an Allen Key (which comes with the table, a level, and maybe a hammer.
Step one is typically connecting the legs to the table. Flip the cabinet upside down and place the four legs in all four corners of the table. Each leg typically has four bolts to connect the table to the leg and a nut at the other end to secure them. When the legs are attached, flip the table on its legs.
There are a total of eight rods, four for each side in most foosball tables. Most American tables have three men on each rod, and the goalie rods are smaller than their offensive counterparts. Again, look at your manual for the placement of each man. Slide each rod through the end of the table, and then slide the black bumper followed by however many foosball men go on each rod. Finally, slide the last bumper on the rod through the other end of the table. Repeat this process for each of the rods and foosball men, and you will be finished in no time.
How to Maintain Your Foosball Table
A foosball table can be long-lasting and provide endless fun and entertainment if it is properly taken care of. The best place for your foosball table is in a room with a basic room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Whether you have a big budget or small budget when shopping for foosball tables, you should take good are of your purchase to maximize durability of the material and overall longevity.
Unless you have a tabletop foosball table, don’t move it unnecessarily. A standalone standard foosball table will be difficult to move anyways because of its weight.
To clean your foosball table, you will need silicone lubricant, 70 to 90% rubbing alcohol, and a cloth rag. Rubbing alcohol is a great cleaning agent because it is mild and won’t damage your foosball table.
Place small amounts of rubbing alcohol onto the cleaning cloth and wipe the entire table top to bottom. For extra black marks on your table, use a little more alcohol. After cleaning the field, use a separate cloth rag and apply small amounts of silicone lubricants onto it. Rub this cloth on the horizontal steel rods of your table, which will ensure your rods work well during a game.
If your table came with a cover, put the cover over it when you are not using it. This will help preserve its life. If it did not come with a cover, you could either buy one or use a sheet to cover it. Cleaning your foosball table once a week is a good rule of thumb, or more often if you play more often.