Foosball is a vastly popular table game and a firm favorite around the world. In fact, it’s often considered to be a sport because it attracts millions of spectators and players every year.  Okay, so foosball isn’t a traditional sport, it’s a table-top game, but foosball is still an attractive game. Foosball is over one hundred years old and remains as popular today as it was in the early 1900s. Foosball is incredibly unique and very easy to play.

Vintage foosball tables were often made of solid wood and look gorgeous. Foosball tables aren’t as difficult to find as you might think but they do come in all shapes and sizes. Vintage foosball tables are considerably sought after by serious collectors and foosball enthusiasts. Good antique foosball tables can add so much to any games or family room and can be enjoyed by all the family.

So, what do you know about foosball and what should you look for when buying an antique foosball table?

The Rules of Foosball

Before you buy a foosball table, it’s essential to know the basic rules of foosball. There are official foosball rules and here’s a simplified list of those rules.

  • The Coin Toss

Foosball starts with the toss of a coin. The player who wins the toss chooses which side of the table they start with.

  • The Kick-Off

Foosball starts at the 5-bar on the table or from midfield. The opposing team restarts the foosball game when they concede a goal.

  • Serving On The Foosball Table

When the two foosball players are ready, it’s time to start foosball. However, two foosball players must touch the ball before any pass can begin.

  • Dead Or Ball-Off Table

When the foosball comes off the foosball table or isn’t reachable by the stick players, a restart must occur.

  • Scoring Goals And Time Out

Foosball teams can have a brief time out. This is only possible when the foosball table has stopped play or when the team calling it remains in possession. Scoring with foosball is easy and any figure can score during the foosball game. If the ball bounces back out of the foosball goal mouth, it still counts as a goal.

  • Passing, Fouls, And Time

Foosball players move the ball forward in attack or backward in a defensive move. If one foosball team fouls the other or breaks a rule, the opposite foosball team can choose between continue play or a foosball kick-off. Foosball figures can’t hold the ball for over fifteen seconds and with the midfield, no more than ten seconds.

How it’s manufactured

Foosball is a popular game and has been around for a very long time. Foosball is fun, exciting, and extremely versatile for all ages. However, there are differences when it comes to a retro foosball table and an antique foosball. One of the most important things to look for when buying an antique foosball is how it’s manufactured. 

Is it machine-made or handcrafted? Modern foosball tables are often made from plastic and are a giveaway; however, some modern ones can also be made from wood and are harder to spot. Antiques were mostly made from one large piece of solid wood and were handmade; all carved from hand so they’re a little more unique in a sense. Machine markings usually indicate its more recently made and not an antique. There will be signs, in particular, how the table has been constructed, and so you want to look at the foosball in greater detail. 

It’s Age

While foosball is a popular table game, it’s easy to forget just how old the game is. Foosball is over a century old and remains extremely popular. Foosball tables remain vastly popular but it’s hard to define an antique table. Every collector and dealer has an opinion over this, however, the general rule is that anything made before the 1950s is considered vintage (or retro), and anything over 100 years old is considered an antique! Okay, so a foosball table doesn’t have to be 100 years old to be an antique, but the older the piece is, the more potential it has.

That doesn’t mean to say you can’t still find a good vintage foosball table from around the mid-1930s or 40s. However, if you want to buy a true antique, you’re going to have to do your homework on antique foosball tables. If you have a specific foosball manufacturer in mind, that’s where you have to start. If you want a Queen Anne foosball, you’re going to have to research that period; and it’s the same with Victorian foosball and other tables. 

Sometimes, determining the age comes down to the design of the table and whether it uses solid wood or not. Just remember, while age is an important factor when buying a foosball table, it’s not the only factor to consider. 

The Condition of the Vintage Foosball Table

In all honesty, you’re going to have to think about what sort of condition you want to buy. Remember, you won’t find a brand new antique table and if you do, it might just be a reproduction designed to look like an antique. Secondly, the condition of the table may determine the cost. For example, you see a vintage foosball from the early 1920s. It’s in excellent condition and still has most of its original parts. The seller wants $3,000; is it worth it? That’s for you to decide and it’s not going to be an easy decision. The value is different in every buyer or seller’s eye but condition plays a huge part.

What’s more, antiques come in all sorts of conditions, from excellent to very poor. You’ll find ones lost in garages for decades and are in need of some love and care. Then again, you might also run into tables that are, unfortunately, impossible to salvage. You need to look at the condition of the table (as a whole) so you buy one that lasts a lifetime. While you want to buy an antique foosball table, there are limits to what you should buy. 

For example, foosball tables on the brink of collapse may be too much work for you to handle personally. This will, of course, depend on whether you want a restoration project or not. Whether you do or otherwise, the condition of the table will be crucial. Do you feel the condition reflects the value and are you happy to pay such costs?

The Size of the Foosball Table

While you want an antique foosball table, you have to consider the practical side of it. For instance, you want to buy a six-foot foosball table for your games room. Unfortunately, there’s no room for you to stand at either end of the table and play a game of foosball. That’s a waste and that’s why you have to seriously consider the overall size of the foosball table. Also, think about where it’ll go in your home. A vintage foosball table can come in all shapes and sizes and you have to find the one that’ll fit comfortably in your home. 

To find the right fit, know where it’ll sit in your home. Once you’ve decided on that, you can measure up the available space and know what size of table you’re able to buy. Remember, most antiques are made from solid wood and are pretty heavy. They aren’t likely to be portable and it means the table needs to be able to remain in that particular space long-term. So, think about which room the table will go in and the amount of space available. This will ensure you buy the most appropriate antique foosball table. 

Inspect and Try Before You Buy

If you can, buy a foosball table in person. Antique foosball is a niche market so it won’t be something you’ll easily find in all stores, but, that doesn’t mean to say you still shouldn’t be vigilant. For instance, if there is a local seller, ask to view the table before you buy it. You want to ensure the vintage foosball is really an antique! Also, you want to be sure the foosball table is worth what you’re being asked to pay. Most sellers will be accommodating and will want to show their foosball table off to serious and interested buyers. Ideally, you want to view the foosball table up close. 

Remember, this is the chance to examine the foosball table and ensure it’s in good running order and has no serious flaws. While you can see a dozen photos online, it doesn’t compare to the real thing, so where it’s possible, inspect the foosball table in person and at great length. You’ll be able to see whether it’s made from solid wood and if it works without any issues to the foosball table. Don’t be afraid to ask a seller to view it first. 

What’s The Playing Surface Like?

You’re buying a foosball table vintage to play on and that means the condition of the playing field must be up to par. You don’t want anything that could spoil the game or damage the table. So, ideally, you want to examine the top part of the table as closely as possible. That’s not to say, the entire table shouldn’t also be examined, but for the moment, let’s concentrate on the playing surface. 

Are there any serious dings or dents that could disrupt play? What about the foosball player? Are they in good condition to play with or do they need to be replaced? It’s expected some replacement parts are found with vintage foosball tables because of their age; however, you want to see original parts too, if possible. So, you have to inspect the table at great lengths. You want a smooth playing surface so you can enjoy a few games without any trouble. 

Restoration: Good or Bad?

Another important aspect to look for when buying an antique foosball table would be whether or not restoration has taken place. Now, restoration isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s often seen in antique tables too. However, the amount of restoration can impact the value of the table. For instance, a fully restored table with all of its original moving parts and that has kept to the same vintage style and remains in decent condition, will be valuable to some collectors.

On the other hand, if a restored table had a modern twist and was far from the original style of the table, it may be worth a lot less in the eye of the same collector. The reason why is because some collectors (if you plan to sell on sometime in the future) may want a classic or true vintage foosball table rather than a modern one. Remember, modern foosball tables can be purchased easily today whereas a true antique foosball table cannot. That will make the difference. 

So, restoration: good or bad? Restored foosball tables can look very much like their old self again, however, you may want to look at how exactly it was restored and which parts were replaced. Removing some of the damaged mechanisms is to be expected (depending on their condition) but you want a table that’s as close to the original as possible. Is it still an antique if only the shell remains? 

Also, you have to think about whether or not you personally want to take on a restoration project. Some buyers are happy to take on such projects as the initial purchase costs are lower since they’re in need of work. It can be a wonderful project to watch a vintage foosball transform to its former glory, but, you have to think of costs and again, have to be careful how it’s restored. 

Are restored foosball tables worth buying just because they’re deemed an ‘antique’? In all honesty, it’ll come down to the type of table you want and the extent of the restoration. As said above, restoring a foosball table can be fun but a challenge. It’s also possible to find an antique table for a lot less than what you would with a fully restored vintage foosball table. Unfortunately, restoration costs vary, depending on the amount of restoration required. This is something you have to consider when buying an antique foosball table. 

How Much Is a Used Foosball Table Worth?

You love a game of foosball. Foosball is fun, exciting, and is suitable for most children and adults alike. So, how much is a vintage foosball table worth? Well, foosball has been around for many years and an antique table isn’t exactly easy to come by. A table (antique) can be priceless to some foosball collectors – if – the condition is good. Remember, an antique table is worth as much as what a foosball collector or enthusiast is willing to pay for it. That doesn’t mean they’ll always attract the big bucks; it’ll depend on the exact condition of the table and what a buyer is ready to part with. 

What about used foosball tables? Foosball games can come in all forms and costs can range significantly too. Foosball games can be valued at anything between $20 and $10,000! Okay, so it’s not all good news. Tournament foosball tables tend to be on the high side, even used, and may be at the higher end of the scale. However, a vintage foosball game might also reach the higher prices if they’re in mint condition. Ultimately, a used table can be worth a lot of money, if it’s an antique and in fantastic condition. 

Restoration foosball table values vary. Their actual worth will depend on how vintage the foosball table is and the extent of the restoration. For instance, a foosball enthusiast might want a vintage foosball game and if the table doesn’t have the vintage foosball look it may not be worth half as much as you’d hoped for. A foosball table should have a vintage foosball design. 

What Should You Pay For An Antique Foosball Table?

Antique foosball tables are incredibly useful and worth a lot of money on occasion. A foosball table can be enjoyable because anyone can play, as long as they can reach the foosball table. Choosing antique foosball tables can be a smart option and certainly one that has investment potential. While some antique foosball tables will cost considerably more than a modern one (depending on which foosball table you actually purchase), it can be a great investment.

For instance, buying a foosball table in need of repair and restoration can be worth twice as much once restored. Then again, foosball tables do vary in value. Remember, it’s all about worth or value to a seller and, ultimately, a buyer. You have to understand that some buyers will want more from their foosball tables and have a price in mind. You could negotiate for a better price or walk away if you’re not too happy with it. 

The Joy of Foosball

Foosball is a unique table game that appeals to all ages. Foosball tables can be vintage but stylish or modern and retro. Styles and designs vary considerably. However, a foosball table is a lot easier to buy than you might think. Of course, it helps to know more about foosball tables in general and what antique foosball tables are really worth. When you want to buy a foosball table, it’s essential to know what to look for. Find the best antique foosball table for your home and enjoy it.