How do air hockey tables work

Air hockey is a pair game. Each opponent tries as quickly as possible to get the puck into the goal of the other and prevent it from getting into his own.

This entertainment was invented by American engineers from Muskegon in the late 1960s. Already in 1972, the US started mass production of tables, bits, and washers for a new exciting game, and soon they organized the AirHockey Association and began to conduct large-scale tournaments.

Since then, almost nothing has changed in the device and the appearance of the original equipment. The table resembles the usual but with a smooth surface, protective edges and slots on opposite sides, which serve as a gate. Under them is a special hole, through which the puck is again returned to the player’s disposal. Before the game starts, each participant receives a bat with a handle, its shape may differ but usually, this accessory (like a washer) is made of plastic.

As for the unique sliding of the puck on the playing field, the developers managed to achieve this effect thanks to the original mechanism. The whole surface is covered with miniature holes, air circulates in this system, friction decreases, and the speed of the game increases. It seems that the washer hovers above the surface – this is an air cushion action.

Best Air Hockey tables

Air hockey works on the basis of electronics. It controls the compressor, which is responsible for the air injection. The control over the number of clogged washers is provided by an electronic counting device, the result is demonstrated by optical sensors. On commercial-type tables, reliable electric locks are installed to lock the puck inside the table after the game is completed. The excitement of the participants is supported by soundtracking.

However, manufacturers of some models decide to save money. They abandon the traditional air pressure system and are limited to just a perfectly smooth surface, usually plastic. Buy an air hockey of this type can be at times cheaper and then spend less money to repair it. In fact, this is no longer a classic example, acting on the basis of air circulation but the gameplay is similar.


The game is easy and dynamic, attractive for players of any age. Success requires high reaction speed and concentration. Air hockey is an excellent developing game, generating a lot of positive emotions, if, of course, avoiding excitement and dishonesty.