Abdominal paracentesis is frequently performed in the clinical setting. Every newly developed ascites need to be investigated by abdominal paracentesis. Any clinical or biological deterioration in patients with chronic ascites also requires a new paracentesis. Therapeutically abdominal paracentesis is performed for refractory or symptomatic ascites. As other invasive procedures, it is critical to master its indications, contra-indications and complications. The aim of this article is to review the basics of abdominal paracentesis in order to help physicians to carry out this technical skill.