EastPoint Sports Preston Foosball Table ($199)

EastPoint Preston Best Foosball table
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I’ve decided to include two products from EastPoint: Durango and Preston. Both models impressed me with the build quality (relative to the price it’s simply unmatched). Both tables are build to last, but this product in particular provides very smooth and enjoyable gameplay.

EastPoint Sports Preston is lightweight and mobile, but its dimensions are exactly the same as most tournament-size tables, which is bad for bars and great for home/recreational use. Some nice features for foosball enthusiasts include:

*Quality of the rods

*Leg levelers

*Robot style players

*Single goalie setup (you can read more about why I prefer this setup in the blog)

I honestly can’t say if you’ll be able to perform all the pro techniques, maybe  with a proper ball, not the one that comes with the table by default, because those are kinda crappy, but bearable.

EastPoint in general is quite a big company with rich past and nice customer service. Foosball tables are not their main point of focus, but that is actually why I am so impressed with their tables – because they hit a very nice spot between quality and price seemingly effortless.

So tl;dr; for this one would be: not for professional players, but great for home/office because of being a quality tournament seize table for a laughable price 🙂

 

Need to see more opinions and reviews? Then click here.

Also a small video to help with assembly, kudos to EastPoint for creating videos like this for their products

Foosball Tips #3: How to block a pull shot

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Hello, foosers, hope you’re doing well. My procrastination took a few steps back, so I decided to continue this big guide, hopefully it’ll be more useful and informative than previous ones.

Just a little reminder, original plan was to go over every position in offense from top to bottom and now it would make sense to discuss how to block the classic pull shot. I have to admit I postponed this one for a long time because it’s still somewhat of a gray are to me (meaning I don’t know an adamant way to block it 100% of the time).

So lets get started.

Pull shot in general is quite straightforward , compared to other shots. The variance of where your opponent can shoot is lower (obviously), so, just in theory, this gives us a better chance for a block. Personally, when my opponents go to option is a pull shot instead of a snake (or a pin shot) I tend to feel about 20% more confident. Not saying that’s the factual truth, just the way I chose to perceive it .

Bad news is that a proper pull shot is ‘unraceable’. Doesn’t mean you can’t block it, just that in a computer simulation a perfect shooter would score 100% of the time. Unless…

…we could predict this shot coming. Which is kinda easy, if you think about it. This shot is so iconic and popular, that literally any idiot would understand what is coming at him. This fact makes our job just a tiny bit easier. So (and this is not 100% adamant rule) in theory, this knowledge gives us an extra millisecond and a better chance for a block.

Lets try and analyze the situation in vacuum. This is a standard setup for a pull shot (hopefully you were able to recognize it )

straight pull shot

straight pull shot

middle pull shot

middle pull shot

Long pull shot

long pull shot

Now, what options does your opponent have (thankfully, pull shot is much less about mind games/ fakes and more about execution and experience)?

Well, in general, he can go for a straight, middle or long, long being the easiest option for the offense.

Why? There are several reasons, but the main ones (and we’ll get the boring part of playing against bad players out of the way):

  1. An amateur doesn’t have the level of control over his shot, to consciously shoot early, or in the middle of his motion, so he’s naturally dragged towards far post. It takes a lot of practice to take your shot from “almost missing the long, but sometimes hit exactly the far post” to “Not only my take off speed is insane, but I can also release the shot at whatever point I want”.

2. Out of main 3 options long is the hardest to race (assuming your opponent has decent speed). But, If he’s not that fast with his shot, long actually becomes the easiest to race, since you’ll have extra time to move your defense. No, I’m not high, it’s just how it works

There are also a few trick shots your opponent can go for – bring down the far 3 rod dude and shoot that way, instead of the center guy for example. Or do this fake shown by Zeke Cervantes.

 

But the chance of this happening is very, very low. What most people go for is the following: they just continuously set up the ball a few times. I’ll attach the video, but here’s the short text version: I set up the ball for a pull shot. Then I pass it down and set it up again. And again. And again. Then I finally shoot after the next setup. The idea being that the goalie has to follow the ball and respect every possible shot along the way. And you expect the goalie to misstep during these moves.

Loffredo pull shot

Loffredo pull shot

You don’t have to do it many times, but just the fact that you have the option to do so gives enough of an advantage. You can shoot early, you can shoot on the second setup, or on the third, it doesn’t matter. There isn’t really a counter to that except from not weakening your defense and staying focused on the main shot that is coming.

Let’s imagine your opponent knows what he’s doing.

The thing to understand here is that you, as a defender, are probably going to fight an uphill battle when defending a pull shot (or any shot in general). I mentioned this before, but still: accept and embrace the fact that you are probably gonna get scored on a few times (that’s a good scenario). It also helps a lot when you know how to execute the pull shot yourself. I’d even go a step further and state that it’s the most basic and crucial knowledge you will need. Or, at the very least, you should be aware of the danger of properly executed pull shot, even if you are not a great shooter yourself.

Another very, very important thing is knowing your opponent. What does he have in his arsenal? How fast is he, how reckless, or how disciplined. Metaphorically – is he trying to play foosball on hard mode? Or did he just learn to shoot a pull shot some time ago and never polished it. Any info like that will help you tremendously when you’ll have to face him 1×1. No need to say, people on tour usually don’t make silly mistakes, but even they have certain tendencies.

In general, you should keep your defense moving fast and unpredictable. Don’t fall into same patterns and try to brake your opponent’s rhythm. There will always be at least one hole open, so baiting is always a viable strategy. You never want to overdo it and give up an easy point. But some amount of baiting is crucial for your defense. Imo, baiting your opponent for a pull shot towards center is the best way to play most of the situations. I try to spread my spacing something like 50-30-20. This means that I try to give the impression that the straight is blocked most of the time, then middle, then long. Getting scored on with a straight is the worst feeling ever, you basically waste all your energy and efforts for nothing, plus it’s the easiest thing ever for the offense player. Long is the easy and most popular option, but I’ll go over it a bit later. Shot on the center, or just a relatively early release of the shot is hard to execute and very volatile. That’s the perfect battlefield to fight your opponent. So your movement should naturally push the opponent to shoot middle.

Now let’s discuss longs. Personally, when I’m against a guy with a good pull shot long, I race it 90% of the time. If the offense player is confident, then he’ll just shoot it long, this makes total sense. So I just blindly race for long, leaving other holes open. Technically this is the wrong approach and can be punished in different ways. For example what my friends call the Soft Palm style during our games in bars. In a nutshell they mean going counterintuitively slowly with your pull. You can see, why that would work versus someone who just blindly races your shots.

But again, they’re just casual bar players, they don’t spend hours perfecting their pull shot. Going back to our imaginary opponent with a good pull shot long, you can now see, why it’s often worth the risk to race long, especially if the opponent showed it already. I guess, my main point is this: if your opponent has a good long, then you can rely on him shooting long. This predictability is exactly what gives you a chance for a block. These guys don’t tend to fake, or make you split your attention between every possible shot. They believe that long is unraceable and will happily take the chance you give them. Your job is just to shift chances to favor you a bit more.

Don’t be afraid to race, seriously. Yes, a proper shot may be “unraceable” (in reality a normal person is usually just late to react, this is just a stupid word), but simply failing to race a pull shot is an incredibly valuable experience in itself you shouldn’t avoid. As I’ve already mentioned, anticipation is you best friend. Yes, your opponent might be fast, but it’s unlikely he’s a genius and a virtuoso of foosball. Mother nature took care of your reflexes, now use your experience and knowledge to make us all proud.
I wrote this in previous guide, but you should always stay calm and focused. Or at least don’t panic (42). There’s nothing wrong with getting a bit pumped up or exited during a match.

Staying calm will allow you to read the game better. There’s ALWAYS some useful information in every move your opponent makes, especially when he’s setting up for a pull shot. Just the way he does that can allow you to predict his intentions with surprisingly high accuracy. If you’re a pull shooter yourself, you already know that if he stopped the ball a bit behind the rod (deep), then his cutback will probably be good. And if he sets up the ball a bit outside, then you should watch out for sprays and cover a tighter area in the middle, dismissing longs. Again, you already know this, do not doubt yourself.

Even if you’re playing 2v2, essentially goalie vs offense is a 1v1 duel and your enemy is under pressure too. So the best thing you can do is to not choke yourself with responsibility and guilt for missing that one stupid shot in the beginning, but rather say to yourself: ”Yes, he’s most likely gonna score, but I’m not afraid and ready to take risks.” Don’t be the guy who loses the battle before it even starts and don’t put your expectations unreasonably high (in a pro match just getting a few blocks in crucial moments will often lead to your partner in offense winning the game => you did your job). And again, don’t be afraid to take risks, if you think you got the read on your opponent. Decide on what is his most probable shot, then decide what is his second most likely move and use 2 dudes that the table manufacturer so kindly provided.

Shuffle Defense (Louis Shuffle)

The last thing I wanted to add here is something rather unorthodox. I wrote a few paragraphs, but wasn’t sure if I should add them here, or save for the snake shot tutorial. But this topic was brought up on reddit recently, so why not. I’m not claiming any expertise on this, but I have some thoughts on shuffle defense, had relative success using it and it was often used against me with even more success.
This approach is very different to mine, where I try to predict exactly what is the opponent going for and executing the direct counter to his plan.

Instead, we’ll give all the initiative to our opponent. All we have to do is simultaneously and rapidly move both the goalie and the 2 rod defender along the expected path of his pull shot, which is usually 3/5 the length of the goal-line. Back and forward, as fast as possible.

 

Here is the best analogy I could come up with.

There is a famous trope in many Hollywood heist or escape-from-prison type movies. One that comes to mind first is a scene from 1996 The Rock movie. Basically, Sean Connery’s character perfectly times his way through a deadly multistep flame-spitting fan-like mechanism to escape from Alcatraz. I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about. And perhaps some of you know where I’m going with this one.

In a nutshell, our goal is to emulate that deadly fan or whatever with our defense and force our opponent to try and find the tiny opportunity to score in between our moves.

Many people do this intuitively with the 5 rod. When you’re in the offense and you miss the block on enemy goalkeepers shot with your 3 rod, you can still make up for it by rapidly moving your 5 rod. I’ll probably never be able to explain the physics behind this, but it still works. When timed well, for a brief second this move transforms your normal rod with foosball players into a solid wall.
I understand that to some people this will seem incredibly wacky and stupid.

In many ways this approach aligns with traditional “school” of foosball very well, it is a usual practice to always keep your defense moving randomly and fast (especially on tour), breaking opponents rhythm and not falling into any rhythm yourself. But on the other hand it leaves many holes, it’s unreliable and, ehm, kinda braindead

For the sake of intellectual honesty, I have to go over the cons first.
If done wrong this will lead to many, many open straights. Basically, a straight shot is the deadliest thing against this type of defense, because it cuts half the job the attacker has to do. Now he doesn’t have to move the ball to bypass your defense (straight is normally blocked by default in a traditional static defense) and only has to nail the timing.

If you are slow, it will make his job significantly easier.

If you’re predictable and fall into the same patterns this approach also won’t work.

Basically, if you don’t do everything right, you’ll probably end up looking like an idiot.

And many more reasons not to do it, but lets get to the positives.

Often times this type of defense will put your opponents hand-eye coordination to the test. If he can’t see the gap in your defense, but he kinda knows it’s there – now the guy is forced to gamble with his shot and timing. Suddenly, if you’re an underdog, your chances to block the shot go from about 20% up to 40%-50%. There are many, many examples of pros using this approach and when it succeeds, everything looks pretty boring – the offense player just pulled and shot the ball right into goalkeepers defense. But that is exactly what we’re going for, stable boring blocks.

Sure, this doesn’t work other way around (I mean, if you are a better player), since, if you’re in a position of power and your opponent can’t bypass the defense you’ve put up, there’s no reason to give him a better chance to score.

Another good reason to me is the relatively low skill ceiling for this technique. You still have to practice A LOT, but it’s much less demanding of you. No ball control, much less mind games and the fact that all you have to do is moving the rods back and forward.

That’s basically it for today, guys, I can hardly fit in more tips in a structured way, so I will probably have to write version 2.0 for this guide based on the feedback I’ll hopefully get. I know that not every concept in this post would make it to the imaginary “textbook” of foosball, but hopefully, I was able to at least give you some inspiration to think about some problems in a different way. Cheers!

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Foosball Tips: How to play defense #2

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First I’d like to thank everyone for providing much needed feedback!

There were some things missing and I’ll try to go over them in this post.

I know it turned out to be flawed, but, please, bare with me. I’m figuring out this thing in the process and in the end I’ll cover 90% of the defensive concepts.

Even though I only discussed one (!) position in previous guide, it still turned out to be very incomplete.

Just as in previous guide, I’d like to give names to some concepts.

For (my) better understanding of the game, I’ve divided all the shots (in offense and defense) into two categories: shots from still position (best analogy would be free kick from soccer). Almost all the shots we’ll discuss belong here, since most of them are learned as drills and as a goalkeeper  you can instantly recognize the shot coming at you. Short way of what I’m trying to explain would be “unlike some sort of weird rapid shot from tic tac drible, as a goalie you can tell pretty easily, when the opponent is setting for a pullshot”.

Opposite to these shots are the ones I call dribble shots or from motion shots. Tic tac, pull/push kicks etc. belong to this category.

Basically, if the ball is still and the opponent is about to execute a pull shot, that’s what I call a shot from still position (no dancing, no bluffs, no fakes).

If your opponent is doing tic tac, dribbling the ball all the time and trying to hide his intentions that way – motion shot.

Sure, it’s not an official terminology, but it suits me and sometimes allows to go more in-depth.

Also, ‘him’ will usually mean your opponent and ‘me’ – the defender/goalkeeper.

So let’s jump right into it.

In the first picture the ball is yet again possessed by far 3 bar dude. Previously I mentioned 3 things your opponent can do:

  1. Diagonal shot to near/far post. Everything here holds true, but with some additional details (I’m sorry for the terminology in advance):

a) “Straight” diagonal from standing position without any pull/dribble (quick angle shot) – another perfect example of a ‘free kick’ shot. It uses the same technique as in infamous ‘bank shot’, you basically slap the ball towards the edge and not the center. Positioning your 2 bar  the same way as shown on the picture will easily block this shot.

foosball tips quick angle shot blocked

quick angle shot blocked

b) Trying to execute a mini pull shot with a follow up spray to far/near corner. Also called ‘dink shot’ (hope I got it right from kind people on reddit).  If you’re blocking the diagonal I described before, this is a logical next step for your opponent. The idea here is to fake a pass to the center man on his 3 bar, forcing you (as a goalie) to shift your defense towards center, leaving huge holes in the corners.

foosball tips dink shot

pardon the crossing lines, hope you get the idea, don’t move your defense too fast

Defending this shot is almost as straightforward, as previous one, you just have to follow his far 3 bar dude with your close 2 bar defender during his mini pull, but!!! THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH  THIS SHOT is not the shot itself, but the chance that he may actually pass the ball to center and then shoot (pull kick). I don’t know a reliable way to block this consistently, but I’ll go over this one later.

If kept very short, the best way imo is knowing your opponent. Where is he on this spectrum?

Poser trying to show off<—————>Pro who knows no mercy.

If it’s early in the match and he doesn’t show much respect – you block the dink shot. If dude’s trying to win or maybe you’ve already blocked a few of his dinks – expect the pull kick, since it’s more dangerous.

c) There’s also an extremely rare variation of this shot from back pin position – shuriken shot 🙂 Here’s a great intro quote for this passage:

“The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.”  Mark Twain

Unfortunately, I can’t demonstrate this via my usual playfield scheme, since it’s 2d, but I’ll probably attach an image or a gif. This is the most dangerous way of shooting this diagonal, but also very rare one (and obviously you will never see something as cheesy as this even at semi-pro level). It’s not a really a proper shot, since no one I know uses it, but it’s replicable, and that is enough for me. Plus, things like this keep the tone of the game (and this guide) a little bit less serious.

Basically, you push the ball tight into the table in backpin position, pull the rod and release the shot. If executed properly, the shot gets additional spin and the trajectory curves. I hope I can get the footage, perhaps film a match in a bar or something. Personally, my best result is shooting this shot 4 out of 10 times. That’s not great, but I’m sure you get the idea, when timed well this shot can give you an advantage (after all this guide is for “underdogs”). On one side it’s very easy to read when this shot is coming at you, but you could pretend to be just dribbling the ball.

foosball tips curved shot

“Shuriken shot”

It’s also very dangerous because from back pin position the attacker has more room to play with, the shot is more powerful and the distance between the ball and your defender is greater, which is bad, since, almost every shot is better blocked as early as possible.

As smart people on Reddit have pointed out, I didn’t mention the goalie positioning for these 3 shots. They’re absolutely right, but I also believe that 2 bar should be enough to block the diagonals. You still shouldn’t forget about the goalie and use him as your last frontier, but, as I said, all the diagonals can be blocked (and should be) by 2 bar defenders. Goalie positioning will be much more crucial when defending the pull kick and other shots.

2) Pull kick with the center dude on his 3 bar. Now, this is kinda the start of chapter 2 of this guide and a new discussion with new scenarios. Everything above can be considered an edit of the previous guide.

Imo, just as with snakeshot, there’s no adamant way to block pull/push kick. There are always holes in any defense and a good shooter should be able to exploit them. This doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail against a guy better than you. But you should understand that in theory, on the highest level of play foosball becomes almost completely a stats based game: you block a shot – you give your team a temporary advantage that your teammate in offense should capitalize on. Essentially, it’s like shooting penalties in real life soccer. And the offense scores most of the time.

This is also a reason good players say that the game is won from the 5 bar – all I’ve written above doesn’t work if you can’t get the ball to the 3 bar. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

So how do you defend the pull kick?

First, you should know and accept that your opponent will probably score his first pull kick. It’s not really raceable and you should focus on defending what will come after.

The main weakness (and a strength at the same time) of this shot is the moment your opponent passes the ball to his center dude. If executed properly, the pass and the shot become a single motion that is close to impossible to block.

When the ball is possessed by opponents far dude on the 3 bar (in a pull position), that exact dude, his center, and your close defender from the 2 bar create deadly Bermuda triangle with no escape for you.

You should accept the fact that you’re pretty much screwed. Imo only this mindset will allow you to succeed.

You already know the fact that he can shoot a dink to your far post, so your close 2 bar defender is locked at that position, blocking the most obvious shot. After you show the dink won’t fly against you, expect the pull kick. Anticipation is THE ONLY consistent way to block unraceable shots.

There’s good news too. First is the fact that not many players have deep understanding of pull kick. Most of the time, even when they shoot fast, they shoot early, from the same position and to the same corners. You’re experience may be different from mine, but that’s what I’ve observed for years. You rarely meet a person able to shoot pull kicks of different variations (I have prepared some demonstrational gifs and pictures from a game by Tony Spredeman as an example of excellent shooter, but even he misplays it a few times). More so, the second you block a well executed pull kick it gives you  nice little mental edge and momentum.

Secondly, the fact that he will most probably shoot the pull kick. This may sound stupid in some way, but KNOWING what he will shot even approximately is already half of the job. You will see that anticipation will be the main theme of this little article (and for a good reason).

People rarely set up the ball at the spot we’re discussing. Now, from these rare occasions, 80% of the time they shoot the pull kick.

Of course, that’s not all, there are many, many possible shots and scenarios you may find yourself in. And I’d love to give you all textbook blocks for all the shots, but I don’t know them myself. I wanted to make this guide as complete as possible, but I also realize it’s impossible. There’s always a trick shot, fancy dribble or some stupid shot like 3 bar to 5 bar pass and then shoot that may come your way.

BUT! You now have a base from which you can move on and develop your own system/style. This is very important and I probably should’ve put this passage to the top as a disclaimer, but it’s a good habit to keep the narrative sequential.

Now the drill: he has the ball on the far 3 bar dude in a pull position. We know he’s not gonna shoot the dink shot, but you’re still blocking the angle with your close 2 bar dude.

For beginners I would recommend using your another dude on the 2 bar, it’s a simple and easy to learn way to block this shot. But since I’ve already mentioned this technique and I wanted to make next  guide more advanced, we’ll try to execute something better this time.

Now, as soon as he starts the motion (pass to the center), you simply follow the ball with the very same dude that was blocking the dink (close 2 bar defender). From here there is a good chance he’ll shoot somewhere around the middle and that you’ll get the block. Even if you don’t, keep trying and you will get there.  Anticipation is very, very important here, be ready for rapid and unexpected executions. You have a tiny window during his pass, but even that is not warranted.

There’s also a good chance he will not shoot until the very last moment. Why? Because of a dead zone built in the most foosball tables (picture). Only the very best shooters shoot the pull kick from the max pull distance.

Pardon my poor vocabulary, but hopefully you see what’s the problem from the picture. You simply can’t follow the ball until the end with your 2 bar defender (logically, this works for both pull and push positions) aka dead man/dead zone. And here our goalie comes to play.

Traditionally, players divide the gates into 5 imaginary sections, approximately 5 times the width of the ball. Position 1 is where your goalie is sitting in every example that I’ve described. For beginners I would stick to Positions 1 and 5, it’s easier to learn and move the goalie only between these 2 spots.

What we’re interested in for our discussion of a max range pull kick is Position 5 of the goalie. I’m sure you get the idea. The goalie is your last frontier and in this case it’s on him to finish the job for our close 2 bar defender.

I hope all the above is somewhat understandable. I’m not a writer and my englihs is far from perfect, but luckily I’ve found a perfect video to demonstrate the dilemma every goalie faces in this scenario, I’ll embed the video with the whole match at the end.

Basically, Tony Spredeman is indisputable best player this match and his opponent goalkeeper has very rough time. He does well in the beginning, but then Spredeman just takes over, imo abusing the Bermuda triangle/dilemma that I described above.

foosball tips

By blocking the quick angle you open up your defense for a pull kick

Yes, he tries different stuff, even goes for a push shot, but in general he scored with far 3 bar dude – quick angle if it’s open, or crazy fast pull kick to the far corner. This is just a perfect demonstration of “unraceable” quality of a pull kick and how you can’t really set up something in advance to reliably block both possible shots, you have to make reads and risk everytime.

Quick angle shot demonstration

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Quick angle shot a moment before the execution

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Quick angle shot “in action”

Proper pull kick

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Usual pull kick, before the pass

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Far post pull kick a moment before the goal, after the pass ( yes that yellow blur).

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Max range pull kick

Pull kick successfully blocked

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Nice goalie positioning a moment before the pull kick and block

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Nice goalie positioning and successul block

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!

Kettler Weatherproof Indoor/Outdoor foosball table (900$)

outdoor foosball table Kettler Weatherproof
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After some digging I was only able to find one worthy model – Kettler Weatherproof. In all honesty, I don’t see why would you ever need any other model specialized in outdoor usage like Garlando 500 or Open Air, they get absolutely outshined by Kettler.

This Italian made table is the cheapest option (you can just search for ‘outdoor foosball’ and see for yourself) and it is also one of the highest quality available.

The only downside I could see is the fact that it lacks counterbalanced men. But this is exactly the type of marketing feature that doesn’t affect the gameplay ever.

It still features important stuff like leg levelers, ‘unbreakable’ (whatever that means) players and telescopic steel rods, which is just awesome.

So don’t overthink this matter and go with the most proven product currently available. $1,000 is a starting price for the absolute majority of outdoor foosball tables and there’s no need to go further than any Kettler model for about $1100, they are the safest bet.

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Carrom 750.33 Burr Oak foosball table ($640/$714)

Carrom 750.33 foosball table
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First things first: its so stupid if you ask me, but it’s actually MDF and not burr oak. That’s a serious marketing issue, guys!

It’s a great table, but I’ll describe the cons first.

Carrom 750.33 Burr Oak is basically a cheaper version of the premium table made by Carrom, the Signature. It’s a good thing for a tight budget, but here are a few drawbacks: no counterbalanced men, no leg levelers and rubber handles. That’s pretty much it!

Honestly, I love this model. Yes, some important features are missing, but when I played on Carrom 750.33 it still felt great, much better than other tables in this category, perhaps second best to Warrior. Leg levelers and rubber handles are missing, but that’s all outside of the playfield.

The cabinet itself, hovewer, is top notch! Foosball men, rods, playing surface didn’t disappoint. To me most of the Carrom tables are Tornado clones and I’m perfectly fine with that. The feel of the game is what’s important and this table totally delivers. The shape of the foosball men is borrowed from Tornado, but are custom painter, which is awesome.

Yes, it’s not the top of the line table (for *cough* only $640 *cough*), but it’s not what we’re going for in this category!

*the price for this one has changed several times. Seems like Carrom just juggle tables on sale. You can also check Carrom Aegean model.

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Hathaway Primo foosball table ($440)

Hathaway Primo foosball table
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This table wins you over with visual appeal, rather than great gameplay. Let’s discuss negatives first.

It’s not the end of the world, but there are a few things I have to touch on.

The main biggest problem with Hathaway Primo is the shape of foosball men. Unlike their counterparts in KICK Legend, they kinda suck. People in Hathaway didn’t try to emulate the design of Tornado men and went for more common robot-style with blocky legs. It may not seem like a big deal, but the pin controll will be almost impossible, unless you have a special ‘yellow’ ball from Warrior or Bonzini.

Also, Hathaway claim to have counterbalanced men. It is true, but the way the’ve implemented this feature is the weirdest I’ve ever encountered. Honestly, you have to play on it to get what I mean and I’m sorry I can’t describe it better. Long story short, dont put too much hope into great 1 v 1 experience.

If all said above didn’t scare you off – awesome. Aside from gameplay cons, this is actually a very solid product.

The table cabinet has a thick and durable melamine and looks so good! I personally love metallic colors and non-traditional silver and brown men. Damn, it just pushes all the right buttons and makes you want to wear a tailcoat while playing.

In conclusion: being a hardcore fooser I honestly can’t recommend this table over Warrior. But objectively, this table wasn’t designed for professionals and there’s obviously high demand for it on the market. People love it for relavitvely good gameplay, very solid build and expensive look for a very affordable price.

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KICK Triumph foosball table ($399)

Kick Venture Best foosball table
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KICK is a relatively new brand on the market, but their founder is a 25-year veteran of the game. I like their tables because they fill the very important nieche of good quality middle-priced foosball tables, previously occupied solely buy Warrior.

In general, KICK Venture is an ‘elegant’ model and has a lot going for it. While Warrior is still better for professional foosers, KICK Venture suits casual and intermediate players more.

It does’nt have your typical blocky desing which makes it a nice-looking piece of furniture. Let’s not forget that for many people foosball is a game, rather than a sport.

The main positive in terms of gameplay must be the foosball men that Kick use for this table. Their shape is more in line with Tornado men, which provides really, really great ball control and smooth gameplay. Not surprising, if you remember the background of the founder of the company. KICK Venture also comes with numerous features like leg levelers and optional 1 or 3 goalies setup and etc. Not crucial factors, but rather a nice bonus from the manufacturer.

KICK company is also famous for providing easy to assemble products and great customer support. They offer a lifetime manufacturer warranty and a satisfaction policy

Overall, KICK Venture is a solid purchase and I’m sure you’re going to be delighted to have it in your room.

 

Need to see more more opinions and reviews? Then click here.

 

 

Warrior foosball table review ($590)

Warrior foosball table review
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Warrior foosball table review

Can’t say enough good things about Warrior! If I’m not mistaken, it’s the cheapest table recognized by ITSF. Honestly, that’s the best recommendation. Yes, it costs more than $500, but if there is a table worth spending extra $90 on it’s this one.

Honestly, this table is the only offer where you don’t have to make compromises. I still can’t understand how did they manage to put such a low price on to such an awesome and (screw it) FLAWLESS table. I’m not joking, this table even manages to combine american and european playing styles. If you’re a fan of european pin ball control (which is incredibly hard to do on Tornado), you need a worthy hobby and you’re looking for a way to spend your time with some benefit to your mind and body, then Warrior is the way to go. This is not your usual low quality, rotten piece of wood.

Despite such a low price, it’s sturdy, relatively lightweight and provides smooth gameplay. The company ships only one model of foosball tables and they’ve put all their time into it. They’ve also done a lot to bring foosball to the mainstream audience. It’s a tough task ahead of them and they deserve respect for fighting this uphill battle.

Honestly, this is a dream option for small budget. Just get a proper ball and you’ll enjoy this table for years, no jokes.

*Edit: since I first wrote this post the Warrior company has noticeably raised the price (a few times), making this table even less fitting to the category ‘under $500’. I still recommend this model and manufacturer, despite the changes. It’s still the only option where you don’t have to compromise, still great price and great quality. Also, and it’s not like I recommend doing this, but you can literally bargain with the manufacturer. I’ve seen them give seroious discounts/pr campaigns numerous times and you can contact people from the company directly or via foosball reddit (or just leave a comment and I’ll respond). It’s not difficult to get a brand new table under $600.

 

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Evelove Table 3-In-1 Multi Combo (★★★★☆)

Giantex 48" 3-In-1 Multi Combo
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I don’t give a damn, this thing… it’s awesome. I know this site is about foosball, but guess what: foosball part of this one could easily hold a candle to any other model I’ve listed in this category. They use freakin robot-style players!

Now add pool and air hockey to that!

WHAT?!

Screw the Xbox, Ipad and PC, time to play some tabletop games! 🙂

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