How Does An Air Hockey Table Work?

Air hockey tables are a great arcade game that many people have brought into their home. Air hockey is a fun game for kids and adults alike. They are a bit of a mystery for many people however. Air hockey tables seem to magically float their pucks across the table surface. So what is the magic that makes an air hockey table work? 

Unlike its companions the shuffleboard table and the pool table, the air hockey table is a new and modern invention. Air hockey was created by a group of fun-loving engineers in the 1970s. The game quickly became a popular addition to pubs, arcades and fun centers. The fun of air hockey is a marvel of engineering and physics.

Playing on table game air hockey at home

Parts of an Air Hockey Table

To understand how an air hockey table works, you need to first understand what they’re made of. Every air hockey table has the same basic parts whether it’s a full-size air hockey table or a smaller, table-top version.

The slick table surface is covered with tiny, symmetrically drilled holes. These holes are the key to how an air hockey table works.

Senior couple playing table hockey

How an Air Hockey Table Works?

Air hockey tables are a marvel of physics. The most general of physics principals, air hockey works by eliminating friction between the table and the puck.

When you first turn on your air hockey table, hold your hand over the field. You’ll notice that there is air coming from the holes on the table. The air is pushed evenly through the holes by the fan underneath the surface. The air is used to eliminate friction between the table and the puck.

Placing the puck on the table when the air is on, you’ll notice that it moves slowly on its own. This is the result of the air, and no friction. In essence, the puck “floats” over the table. Without friction, players are able to pass the puck across the table at a swift rate. The raised borders of the table keep the puck from flying off the table during play.

What if the Table Isn’t Working?

Like all mechanical things, your air hockey table can break. The most common problems with air hockey tables have to do with the fan. Over time, the fan of your air hockey table can wear out, and it will eventually stop working. 

If you notice your table doesn’t have air, this is likely the problem. If you have a full-size air hockey table, you may be able to replace or repair the fan. Smaller, table-top air hockey tables may not have this ability.

Air hockey tables are a fun addition to your home. Since the 1970s they have been one of the most popular games for kids and adults alike. If you’ve ever wondered how these fun games work, hopefully now, you understand the magic that makes air hockey tables so much fun.

Tom Erickson