Although there is really no one way to smoke a hookah, there are many variations when it comes to styles of pipe. If you suddenly find yourself in an Egyptian restaurant with a hookah in front of you, here are some tips to help you smoke it!
Add water to the vase. Add enough water (room temperature) so that it rises about two inches above the tip of the shaft that enters into the vase.
Pack the bowl. Take a clump of shisha, a form of flavor-infused tobacco (fruits and spices are common flavors), and pack the bowl of the hookah. Be careful not to overpack the pipe--it should seem spongy to the touch.
Light the coal. Use quick-light materials, which you'll commonly find at restaurants and bars that offer hookah pipes. If you use wood coals, be aware that they need time to heat.
Wrap the bowl. Take a piece of foil and wrap it over the top of the bowl (shiny side is down to avoid inhaling toxins).
Using a fork or toothpick, place about 15 holes in the foil covering the bowl.
Put charcoal on bowl. Once the charcoal is properly heated, use a pair of tongs and place it on the foil-covered bowl.
Press down on the charcoal. Using the top of the hookah apparatus, gently press down on charcoal and slowly suck through the stem. Smoke will begin to fill the base eventually be drawn through the hookah and to your mouth.