What is Subbuteo table soccer?

Subbuteo table soccer is a very competitive sport that emulates the real game of soccer. This sport requires high levels of skill in flicking small plastic players at a ball and then scoring goals in the opponent’s net while the defender is flicking his/her players trying to prevent the scoring. Subbuteo table soccer provides never ending action and requires speed, accuracy, a high level of concentration, quick decision-making and a strategic mind.

All the aspects of real soccer can be simulated with flicking or snipping the figurine and play the round ball. Fast or slow, defensive or offensive play can be used for tactic. A throw-in, a free kick, a penalty and a corner can be played. Shots on goal can be done low or high under the crossbar. A foul may be done from the offensive player as well as from the defensive player. The goalkeeper can save shots and deflect the ball into corner or back into the playing area.

Players and equipment


The game is played between two individuals on a table measuring 40 inches x 60 inches (about 1.0 meters x 1.5 meters). The playing surface is made of a material that resembles felt and each player has one goalkeeper on a rod and 10 figures of about 2.5 cm high over a circular flat base.

Rules of the game

sub_refsAll soccer playing rules have been transferred into Subbuteo table soccer. Referees take decisions according to the playing rules, such as the offside rule, confirming a goal, foul play, corner-kick, free-kick or a throw-in. The rules of table football are similar to the rules of real football but certain modifications have been made to accommodate the table game.

Below are a few examples of these modifications:

  • The Subbuteo table soccer pitch includes the “shooting line”, a line parallel to and equidistant between the goal line and the half-way line. The “shooting line” will not be found in the real soccer pitch.
  • Each figure cannot be flicked to kick the ball for more than three consecutive times without another figure of the same team touching the ball.
  • In order for a goal to be scored, the ball needs to be inside the shooting line.
  • The offside rule is in effect but only pertaining to figures that are forward of the opposing team’s shooting line (as opposed to the half-way line in actual football)
  • Each half lasts 15 minutes. Click here to read all the rules of the game.

What makes Subbuteo table soccer special?

Contrary to other table top games where the playing figures are in fixed positions, Subbuteo table soccer gives the players the freedom to move their figures without any restrictions. Additionally, each player can have his/her team painted in such fine detail so it resembles an actual soccer team.

Players who participate in Subbuteo table soccer tournaments experience the same feelings (anticipation, excitement, etc.) that real soccer players experience in all major football tournaments like the World Cup or the Champions League.

Watch highlights from a Subbuteo table soccer match!