Foosball Tips: How to play defense #1

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This post is meant for people trying to find more stability when playing defense in foosball. If this little tutorial helps anyone I’ll be unjustifiably proud.

I didn’t include snake shot defense for two reasons: it’s a relatively complicated area with lots of nuances and the fact that it’s very easy to recognize, when the opponent goes for the snake shot.

My goal is to try to explain which shots are executable from your opponents current position, so that you have better odds of successfully defending them.

I’d like to say something about my philosophy about normal gameflow, dynamics or meta. In my head foosball is represented as a spectrum between fencing/dance and chess. Fencing and dance in the sense that it’s never absolutely static and often you don’t control the situation, you have to ‘dance’.

‘Chess’ however means that if you’ve drilled down any type of shot or a defense, it becomes a consistent weapon in your arsenal. It’s like unlocking an ability in a videogame. So yeah, in a computer simulation the player who simply has more hours drilling shots wins every time. But in the real world when playing against a human being, dancing, faking, trying to bait any sort of predictable move from your opponent – is a viable strategy.

Rule of thumb is that more skilled player wins most of the matches and if the skill gap between two players is large enough, winning even one game can be a good sign for an underdog. For information below to be useful, you should have at least couple of common shots in your arsenal.

So to finish the intro I’d say that this is my guide for winning more games as a relatively skilled underdog in a foosball match.

Shout out to foosbalsoccer.com, since their website was the only place I could find any sort of basic info on this subject. I’ve also borrowed their template, hope no one gets mad (still had to Photoshop it myself).

We’ll go from top to bottom, so the first scenario is when your opponent has the ball on his far 3 bar man in a pull position. So what is he gonna shoot?

1. Diagonal shot, the yellow belt of foosball, the first trickshot everyone learns and the ultimate weapon against noobs. There is no nobility in shooting this shot, but there is in defending it!
In picture n1 I show how to position the 2 men bar to block this shot early. Because obviously, most of the shots are better blocked as early as possible, since the ball travel trajectory is the narrowest in it’s beginning (this whole tutorial idea was a mistake, I know).

far diagonal shot blocked

far diagonal shot blocked

far diagonal shot scored

far diagonal shot scored

People not respecting this shot tend to hold their closer 2 bar dude around the center which leads to a huge coridor open. The good news is that it’s easily preventable, the bad news is that after realizing this shot isn’t gonna fly, your opponent may try something else.

2) Any sort of a pass to the middle man and then kick. In proper terminology – push kicks or pull kick, depending on where does the opponent start the motion.
This is quite a rapid shot when executed properly, so don’t rely on the reflex (don’t ‘race), always be focused and expect it.
The easiest way to block this shot is using the other fella you have on the 2 bar. This is the shortest and the most efficient way, so you should always have it as your go to defense. Note!!! After the pass to middle, there are still 3 ways he can shoot – far corner, close one and center.

pull kick center

pull kick center

pull kick far

pull kick far

pull kick close

pull kick close

Far corner shot is the easiest to catch, since it gives you more time to react.

Close corner: it should be your default block as soon as you realize the pass to the middle man.

The center shot, logically, is somewhere between on the spectrum.

So the drill: yellow dude on your defense 2 bar holds the diagonal spray shot as first priority. Next, as soon as he makes the pass to offense middle dude, you switch your focus to your far 2 bar man and he takes care of the center. This approach isn’t perfect, but that’s what strategy dictates in this situation. In combination with the goalie, you’ll be able to block more shots.
3) In some rare cases your opponent will go for some sort of tic tac move, meaning he’ll basically try to put your mind asleep. That’s the element of ‘dance’ I mentioned above. It’s not a free kick from real soccer and you don’t have to shoot from static position. These shots are like jokers in your hand, the unorthodox move to fake and disguise the position you’re gonna shoot from. Yet, most people tend to end their tic tac shot either around the center, or they try to shoot diagonal spray.

I really hope it was somewhat useful, I already have plans to improve this guide in part 2 that I’ll try to post after seeing the feedback. Thanks for reading all this!

P.S. In no way do I suggest that this is the complete or even right way of playing, this is just a base for players who don’t have any. Foosball is an incredibly deep game with mindgames everywhere, so I tried to give you an idea of how complicated things may get!

Tornado Foosball Tables

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Well, if kept short, TORNADO is probably the most popular and well-designed foosball table out there. It can be found in bars all over the world and is the commonly agreed standart for tournaments.  It celebrates precise, drill-heavy/zero mistakes style of play, hence professionals love it.

It’s also one of the most expensive tables around, no surprises here. But since that’s not what  we’re going for (and it’s just a no-brainer when it comes to actual purchase) you won’t find big paragraphs or tips about TORNADO. Important thing to mention is that the non-tournament model costs only about 1,200$ (which is basically a half of the price of Tornado Tournament 3000 Foosball table) and still provides all the great features you would want, except the coin op feature that is used to monetize tables in bars/pubs.

So, tl;dr: