How to Play Pickleball? Know the Basics

All you need to know about how to play Pickleball

Want to know how to play Pickleball?

Pickleball is a racquet game that can be played as singles or doubles, by young and and all levels of skills.  It is designed to be a fun game all the family can play but can also be very competitive and physical.

It really is the game for everyone!

If you are into sports and games and the adventure it brings, chances are that you’d love indulging in Pickleball.

This is one of the most underrated sports around and it mimics a few of the rules of lawn tennis.

Pickleball is typically played on a badminton sized court where the ball is typically served diagonally and only the server gets to score a point. Yes, the rules are a lot different than what you’d know in a staple tennis match.

So, if you are wondering how to play Pickleball, this article should answer all your questions.

How to Play Pickleball

How do you serve in Pickleball?

Serving in Pickleball is different from most other racquet sports as firstly, you serve underhand.

Also, the most important rule to the Pickleball serve is that it’s done diagonally across the court.

The service starts in the right-hand service square.  It doesn’t matter whether the players are playing in singles or doubles, the serve is always made diagonally.

One crucial factor about the service is that it should land past the non-volley zone that is present right in front of the net on either side of the court.  This area is also known as the kitchen.

The players should always serve underhand, keeping the racquet under the waist when contact is made with the ball.

The serve should be done while the ball is in the air and without bouncing on the ground.  The first serving team to start the game is allowed only one fault before the ball is given to the opponent.

Also, only the serving team gets the point and not the opponent.

The serving team member, whether playing singles or doubles, swaps sides for each service.  The receiving team always stays on the same side of the court.

What is the Double Bounce Rule?

When familiarizing yourself with the rules of Pickleball, one that stands out time and time again is the “double bounce rule”.  It is known as the two-bounce rule as well.

For this, following the first serve, the opponent team has to let the ball bounce once in their court before they hit it back. The serving team must then allow the ball to bounce once in their court before they return the ball.

Once both the first bounces are done, the ball can then be volleyed.

What is the Scoring System?

Like the uniqueness of the rules in the game, there are differences to the game’s scoring system too.

Only the serving team is allowed to score a point.

So, if a team or player 1 is serving, they get to serve consistently, until a fault is made.

In that case, the serving is given to the opponent team, who continue the game and keep scoring the points according to their serves.

The game is played till one team scores 11 points. However, a team or player can only be announced a winner if their score is 2 more than their opponent.

Tips to Get Started with Pickleball

Unlike tennis and badminton which have easy and familiar rules, Pickleball is a bit different.  This is what makes it stand out from the rest.

The growing popularity of Pickleball means that more and more players are tapping into this game.  It doesn’t matter if you are looking at how to play pickleball for singles or even for doubles, the choices and rules are pretty distinct.

So, knowing a few tips can make it easier for you to get going with the game. Here’s what you should know…

  • The very first tip is the state of your health. Although it can be a comparatively less athletic sport, it can still involve a lot of physical movement.  So, if this is your first time getting into it, make sure if you have concerns for your health, you consult your doctor.
  • Avoid investing in expensive gear at the start. Pickleball doesn’t need a lot of equipment, so start small.   Make sure you look into the sporting complexes that offer open grounds for you to rent out and play a few times before making a large financial commitment.
  • Warming up before a Pickleball game is crucial. This readies the energy levels in your body and reduce the risks of injuries too. So, if you don’t want to sprain your ankle or tear a ligament, you need to focus on good stretching and warming techniques.
  • Playing with proper footwear is important.

What is a fault in Pickleball?

Only the serving team in Pickleball earns a point. Only when the team commits a fault do they lose the serve to the opponent.  But, what counts as a fault?

Here are a few you should know…

  • The ball or any part of you or your clothing touches a part of the non volley zone without the ball bouncing
  • If the ball doesn’t clear the net
  • The ball is volleyed from the non volley zone – also know as the kitchen
  • When the ball is hit out of bounds
  • Your foot on the line when you are serving


Pickleball is becoming an extremely popular game.  The rules are a little different from what we come to expect from racquet sports.  It is a fun game that can also be played very competitively.

For more detailed information on how to play Pickleball for Doubles or Singles, please click on the words to be taken to the rules pages.