Did you know that there are different types of foosball tables?
Here in our retail showroom, when we have people dropping by to look for a foosball table, we tend to have a conversation along this line:
Customer: Hello, I’m here to look for foosball tables.
TMC: Right. Do you know what sort of table you’re looking for?
Customer: *Blank look followed by a moment’s silence*
Customer: THERE’S MORE THAN ONE TYPE???
Well, there sure is! Foosball is played in many countries each with their preferred type of table. With varying ‘foosball nationalism’, you can imagine that there are more than just a handful of different types. Therefore, it’s time for The Foosball Aficionados to set the record straight with 5 of the most prominent types of tables available in the world.
In this article, we’ll also highlight each of their unique features and benefits to help you make an informed choice when selecting the perfect table for your gaming pleasure.
Foosball Tables List: The Types and Styles to Look Out for
1. Italian (Garlando, Roberto Sport, FAS)
Unlike the actual Italian Men’s team, Italian foosball, also known as Calcio Balilla in Italy, is played at a really quick pace and some local rules even consider it a foul if the ball stops in the table for a split second. More emphasis is placed on reflex & speed of thought as opposed to calculated control, which means that proper Italian tables are often found to be equipped with a glass playfield, tinier figurines, and lighter rods.
Moreover, Italian foosball tables are typically constructed using high-quality materials such as solid hardwood, stainless steel, and tempered glass. These materials ensure the tables’ sturdiness and longevity, making them suitable for both home and commercial use.
As a result, the Italian sort of gameplay is an exciting, varied, and suitable for players of all skill levels.
These are also why many Italian foosball tables are built to meet international tournament standards, making them a popular choice for professional players and foosball enthusiasts who participate in competitive events.
For a more in-depth understanding of what Italian foosball tables offer, you can check out our review on the Garlando Pro Champion, one of the best models in this category.
2. French Tables (Bonzini, Sulpie)
Ask any Frenchmen what a good football table is, and the unequivocal response is the ‘ Babyfoot’. That refers to the french style of table—heavy aluminium figurines, rubbery playfield, and light cork balls. And of course, in French colours!
Another characteristic to note about these foosball tables is that are generally smaller and more compact compared to other foosball tables. Thus, they are designed to fit in smaller spaces, making them ideal for homes, bars, cafes, and other social environments.
All these factors contribute to gameplay that is unmatched in ball control and is extremely skill-driven. As a side, authentic French tables are always built by master craftsmen and are known to be the most durable tables in the world.
On another note, French foosball tables typically feature a single-goalie setup, meaning there is only one goalie player on each goal line. This differs from American-style foosball tables that often have a three-goalie configuration.
3. American Tables (Tornado, Shelti)
The only kind of tables to offer 13 figurines a-side on a playfield as opposed to 11 a-side, American tables are most favored by you guessed it – Americans. Typically played on a plastic laminated playfield with wide-foot figurines, the emphasis is on passing the ball and in this regard, American tables are amongst the best.
Many American foosball tables also have ramped corners, which prevent the ball from getting stuck in the corners and ensure a continuous flow of the game. At the same time, the playing surface is usually covered with rubber bumpers, providing a better grip on the ball and reducing dead spots.
Gameplay, as a result of the larger feet and playing surface bumpers, becomes a slower-paced affair and, in our opinion, is more catered to enthusiasts with a specific liking for slower, controlled gameplay.
4. German Tables (Leonhart, Carromco, Tecball)
Another major style of play, German foosball is a blend of American’s sports pragmatism coupled with European finesse. Designed very similarly to Americans, German figurines feel lighter than its American inspiration, which lends to better pinning as a result.
German foosball tables, with their solid construction, precision engineering, and smooth gameplay, have undeniably earned a reputation for excellence in the world of foosball. The use of telescopic rods, counterbalanced players, and optional goalie configurations as key characteristics make these tables suitable for players of all skill levels.
Additionally, many German foosball tables come with counterbalanced players, where the players’ figures are weighted to stay horizontal when released. This feature allows for improved ball control and passing.
The way to sum of this style of game-play is moderately fast, with good control and a more consistent/ predictable game-play. So, if you value precision and durability in your foosball table, a German foosball table may be the ideal choice to elevate your gaming experience.
5. Spanish Tables (RS Barcelona)
Spanish football tables’ characteristic dimensions are wholly unique and heavily inspired by Spanish men’s football which considers the midfield to be the domineering aspect. As a result, its foosball tables slopes towards the middle in a “U” shape. This ensures that the midfield gets most of the balls, while the back pins are utilised as the primary way of controlling the ball. Interesting, but it can be tough to get used to!
Mirroring soccer, Spanish tables have metal players separated by two feet instead of a single toe. Its playing surfaces may come in glass and acrylic, too. So, if you’re looking for a more challenging way to play your foosball, these tables are the way to go.
Foosball Tables: In Conclusion
Now that you know the different styles, so what? It’s important to consider what style suits your preference as this is the best way to get long-term value out of your purchase. Tables with faster, exhilarating gameplay are generally better choices for homes and offices, while people looking for a unique experience should go for the Spanish style.
Here, we sum up our general rule of thumb for the foosball tables and their unique feature characteristic:
Most Exhilarating Gameplay: Italian
Most Durable Table: French
Best Ball Control: French
Most Versatile Style: German/ Italian
Most Suitable for Specific Training: American
Most Unique Table: Spanish
We hope this guide has given you a good base of knowledge about the types of foosball table there are in the market. If you’d like to explore some of the brands that we’ve gone through, check out our range of foosball tables here which features practically all the styles of tables covered. We also have a list of standard foosball rules.
In any case, nothing beats experiencing all these different tables in person. And the best way to do so? Visit our showroom and feel inspired by the number of choices available on-hand for you to get your hands on!