How To Play Against Choppers: Advanced Tips And Tricks


Chopping isn’t as popular as it once was — the aggressive approach is becoming more popular – but don’t forget to practice against it. If you don’t usually prepare to deal with choppers, you might find yourself in many difficulties when you do.

Whatever strategy you use, you must be comfortable attacking backspin balls. It’s more difficult to beat a chopper if you don’t have decent looping abilities. So now we’ll look at some useful techniques and approaches on how to play against choppers.

Read more: How To Play Ping Pong (Table Tennis) For Beginners & Professional

What Is A Chopper?

The chopper is a style of play in which the player chops with a very strong underspin and the rival loops frequently, but the loops are less hazardous since looping actively against a powerful underspin is harder. 

While other styles try to attack and take charge, the chopper gives up the initiative by performing the chop to counter an attack with topspin, forcing the opponent to restart the attack.

Choppers may be classified into two types: those that exclusively defend and those who have fire attacks. The chopper who constantly defends aims to prolong rallies and gain from your faults. 

How To Play Against Choppers

He’ll frequently serve long (hoping you’ll attack) and push short and deep. If you loop, he’ll move away from the table and offer spinny chops. He has good side-to-side movement and can quickly reach the wide balls.

On the other hand, the chopper uses his defense with powerful attacks to build up his offensive. He’ll try to strike first, but he’ll stay constant while waiting for his chance if you attack first. He loops effectively with his forehand on the deep ball, and on the short ball, he attacks strongly with his backhand. 

After serving deep, he’s aiming for a nice ball to attack with his big forehand. For your first strike, he’ll need to chop while waiting for you to retaliate. Once you force him to move forward, he will attack with his rapid backhand or forehand.

Read more: Ping Pong Serving Rules Detailed Guide: Things to Know

How To Play Against Choppers

Now let’s take a look at some handy tips and strategies on how to play against choppers!

Step 1: Analyze Your Competitor

Before we get into the details, you must figure out the type of chopper you’re playing against. And there are plenty of them. You will have a better grasp of your opponent’s skills and limits if you get the chance to see them before your actual match starts.

Analyze Your Competitor - How to play against choppers

For instance, when it comes to chopping, you could see that your opponent’s forehand is substantially stronger than their backhand. Remember that those are principles that any chopper may use; in the end, you’ll be able to come up with your ways to leverage the flaws you find in each rival you meet. 

Expect to play against short pimples, lengthy pimples, and even anti-spin. Even normal reverse pimple rubbers may be used to cut. Competing against a chopper will be much more difficult with these peculiar rubbers. Some choppers can create insane backspin, while others rely on chopping spin variety to fool you. 

As soon as you start squaring up with your competitors, you must analyze their rubbers and style. When the game begins, the last thing you want to be is nervous.

Step 2: Ask To Look At Your Opponent’s Paddle

When warming up, ask to look at your opponent’s paddle. Choppers commonly use brief or medium on their paddle; therefore, it’s vital to know what kind of rubbers your competitor is playing with.

More experienced choppers may try to mislead you by not using the paddle with pimples during the warm-up. It will make you unaware of when the match starts.

Ask To Look At Your Opponent's Paddle - How to play against choppers


Knowing what tools your rival uses when the game starts and adjusting your strategy accordingly might change your chance of winning and losing, so check your opponent’s paddle before you start. 

Step 3: Change Up Your Positioning

It’s important to consider ball placement after determining the type of chopper you’ll be playing. If you always use the same technique, they will develop a pattern and will most likely end the match. You’ll be devoured for breakfast by a swarm of choppers.

Rather, shift your competitor around a bit. Make a beeline towards the edges and get them moving. Most choppers prefer to cut on their backhand since it is a simpler stroke to execute. Send shots to that side if their forehand is weaker.

Change Up Your Positioning

Additionally, try hitting your rival’s crossover with fastballs. After you’ve played your offensive shots, don’t feel obligated to keep doing so; it’s just as beneficial to mix things up by throwing in a quick push. The ensuing chop is frequently ineffectual, but it may provide you with the opportunity to strike. 

Another key consideration is the ball’s placement depth. When you start attacking aggressively, choppers are prone to wander too far, sometimes away from the counter. As often as possible, look to push them in and out. Play deep, hard loops, then add a rapid push or a short, slow flip loop to amp things up.

Step 4: Make Optimal Use Of Spin

Getting the most out of spin is equally as important as getting a solid shot placement. Simply changing the spin on your loops is a tactic that any looper may use. This is something that not quite enough players do.  A chopper’s work is made more difficult by regularly using heavy and light spin loops. It throws off their rhythm and makes it tough to read.

Overpowering choppers with big topspin is an equally excellent tactic. Most choppers are comfortable with “normal” loops, those with a moderate amount of topspin. However, most choppers struggle with really high amounts of topspin.

Heavy looping might compel choppers to release blocks, making it simpler to follow up. Alternatively, it typically provides large returns, allowing you to loop or smash.

Read more: Ping Pong Paddles for Control and Spin Buying Guide

Step 5: Don’t Become Irritated When You Play

The more irritated you become, the more likely you will commit mistakes by taking reckless or needless shots. This really is valid while playing against any opponent, but that is doubly useful when competing against a chopper.

As already stated, a chopper’s principal goal is to push you to make mistakes. When competing against a chopper, it’s unavoidable that you’ll miss a few shots, but it’s vital to keep your calm and stick to your game strategy.

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We hope that this article on how to play against choppers might come in handy for you. However, practice makes perfect, so keep that in mind. 

Focus on the matchups rather than the matches themselves. Choppers do exist, and they are available in various forms and sizes. Be aware that they will almost certainly require some working out that day, even with a lot of rehearsal.

Further reading:

How to Play Ping Pong (Table Tennis) (with Pictures) – wikiHow

Table tennis – Wikipedia