Foosball or Table soccer: What’s The Difference?

Foosball or table soccer, both are very similar in their gaming principle and have very few techniques and gaming patterns different in them. The game of Table football or ‘table soccer’ is commonly known as foosball at places these days, ignoring the mild gaming differences in their terminologies.

This sport is a table-top activity roughly based in relation to Football. This game originated in the UK and it gradually gaining recognition in many other parts of the world to the inclusive nature of the sport. Today, foosball is known as a game which appeals to individuals across all ages and origins. 

Foosball or Table soccer: what’s the difference?

Quick answer. It is basically it is the same. It is just another wording for the same game. But the game has a few playstyle variations that some people also use as the reason for the different names.

The popularity of the game:

Foosball has become so famous these days because the game doesn’t require pro players to play it, any layman can become an expert in the game by following its simple rules and a good skill to practice it.

The game doesn’t require any kind of special athletic ability. Desire is the only pre-requisite for the game. The game has more or less become a party game to promote a healthy sporting environment. Once you become pro over it, you could even participate in league matches and various tournaments conducted in your region, as there have been many associations developing these days to promote the game.

Typical Layout:

There is a minor noticeable difference among these boards. Although the terminologies for both the boards are more or less the same, typical board has as much as 8 rows of rotatable rods, and each rod is having solid figurines mounted on them called foosmen. There are totally 11 foosmen for each team on either side. Based upon the size and the type of a foosball table, there can be 2, 4 players. The playing field is intended to look like a soccer field and players on the foosball table are distributed evenly.

The game involves either a single player on each side or two players, playing in doubles on each side. Most of the major competitions conduct the game as a singles match. In this singles match, a single player on one side controls all the rods present on their side. While in case of doubles, one player would have control over the first 2 offensive control rods, while the other player has control over the next 2 defensive rods. 

There are different kinds of foosball tables for different kind of games. One might be for hobby and friendly café purposes, while there might be one which is used for official tournaments. There are also different types of foosball tables depending on the origin location.

Styles of Gameplay

The European style and American style of foosball are the most popular ones. But, why is that important? Most players are accustomed to playing on any one table format of their interest. And when the foosball table arrangement changes, they have to make some modifications to their game plan. Since that is a change, most of them stick to the same Foosball table setup.

The major modification in the accurate foosball table arrangement is arrangements of the players on the foosball table. Commonly, there are 2 arrangements- one involves a single goalie (the European style of foosball) or the other one which involves three goalies (the American style of foosball) Read more on this in our article here. The foosball single goalie is still widely used in the European gaming tables which make us call it the European style. On the other hand, most American tables have about 3 goalie system.

European style more predominantly called it as table soccer. And this game is more or less based on accuracy and ability so they use only one player on the final rod, and thus one-man goalie foosball table. This arrangement is made for players who want to expand their gaming skill and tactic. Also, this is an arrangement ideal for people who prefer a slower foosball match.

American style appeals more to energetic or aggressive foosball players with a fast game. There is another factor which decides the quality of the game is the type of players used, the ones with the square foot are normally the ones with a better skill set to play the game. The square foot ones have better control over the ball. This arrangement means that the goalie isn’t the last one standing to protect the goal on the last rod. The goalie has a player on each side of it of the rod. So, there are 3 players in front of the goal. This match with the 3-man goalie arrangement and is considered to be faster and more intense. Players who play with the 3-man goalie arrangement are the ones who prefer a faster and more intense game with many goals.

Another modification in the table arrangement is the playing field. You must avoid surfaces that have scrapes or grazes on the field to help the ball glide easily. The main materials that can be used in the foosball table are wood, hardened glass, and plastic. The game shall be slower on the wooden surface as compared to plastic or hardened glass as it is not as smooth as the other materials. You can choose the gaming field in your preferred style. 

The outline of a foosball table depends on your likings. In case you would like to have good control over the ball despite the high speed, it is best to consider the single goalie foosball table

Official gaming:

The game can be played on tables of various types. The 5 major types of table that are permitted to be used in various international competitions are- Leonhart, Roberto Sport, Garlando, Bonzini, and Fireball.

The maximum level in a foosball gaming competition is the Single’s World Championship, which is conducted annually. The game is even conducted an annual single’s world championship for each of these five different boards. The International Table Soccer Federation, in the year 2017, was given ‘observer status’ by the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

In this international gaming, each of the player figures is weighted or added based on magnetic base in such a way that one can be flipped across the flat surface to strike the ball and drive it to the goal between the opposing team player’s figures. Each team’s goalie will be made to stand out on an independent stick which will be movable to prevent the opponent in scoring a shot. Subbuteo is the brand which uses human figurines as its players and is the best-known one for it, in the table making the industry.

This game has developed to a competitive one on its own, with the help of this sporting table. Minute variations in these gaming techniques and principles have made it be available in different gaming names, but all the equipment’s used for it are more or less similar ones. A difference in the adjustment piece games has figures whose heads can be pushed down to fire a spring burdened kick with a stirring leg. Button football uses colored discuses instead of figures, and the gameplay is similar to that of carrom.

Does Spinning Give You an Advantage in either foosball or Table soccer?

It is a common delusion that rotating the rods gives you a benefit in foosball, but the end results can make you believe otherwise. Indeed, it is a fact that the energy of the spin will contribute to a hard shot, it won’t be outstandingly different from an amazingly executed wrist shot.

Spinning is accidental and wild, which is a reason for it to be against the official rules of the game.

Believe it or not, official international leagues do exist for foosball, and they are ruled by official instructions. Just like ping pong goes by the more formal “table tennis” when played competitively, foosball is known as “table soccer.” Click here to

The International Table Soccer Federation has official guidelines, mostly taken from the United States Table Soccer Association’s rules. In both cases, the guidelines are quite obvious that you are not permitted to try to increase power by spinning your rods.

Different Styles of Soccer Tables:

American-Style Foosball (Texas Foosball)

The American style foosball is also known as the Texas Foosball. This version of the game requires more power throughout the game-play. So, for this reason, the board specifically designed a solid dense base of the board, which is made from mahogany or anything similar to that in its properties. The ball is usually a thick plastic and the players are made of an even harder plastic.

French Foosball: (Baby foot)

The French Foosball board mainly has a linoleum surface with a typical “gluey” finish and the ball of it is also a cork ball. There is no power involved in the game but rather they have good control.

German Foosball: (Füssball)

German foosball has a gameplay similar to the French style of gaming. But, the German-style tables are even softer and have good optimal control over the rods and the ball.

Italian Foosball:

Italians prefer a more happening medium to play the game when compared to the control-based styles of the Germans and French and the power-based style of the Americans. For this condition, Italian boards are made to use sandblasted glass for good power and a good plastic seal to slow the ball down.

Foosball or Table Soccer, Play on the Best Foosball Table Where Ever It Is:

Whatever be the style of your gaming, foosball is an all-inclusive game for individuals of every origin. The love that people all across the world have for this game is truly unconditional. The game is no longer a stranger sport. Foosball is loved and played all over the world under different names as per their origins.