Pickleball Doubles Strategy – Top 9 Tips to Make the Next Win

Find out how our Pickleball doubles strategy may make you a winner on the court!

Do you want to know why some doubles teams seem to always win??  They probably have read our article on Pickleball doubles strategy!!

If you are embarking on your Pickleball journey and trying to learn new tricks and strategies, we have just the right options for you. Knowing different strategies makes it a lot easier for you to polish your existing skillset and ensure that you have a big win in your next game.

However, if you are a beginner, sometimes knowing about the different strategies can be quite hard. Don’t worry though because this article walks you through all the top pickleball double strategies that you can try when next on the court.

Pickleball Doubles Strategy


Stand at the non-volley line after the return of serve

If we had to suggest one strategy that will get you the best result, it is this one. Traveling to the non-volley zone after the return of serve in a doubles game is a must.

The ball is served across court to you on the receiving side.  Return the serve and then join your partner at the non-volley line and try to hold this position.  Your opponent now needs to be able to get the ball over your heads to get it to the base line.  If they try to get the ball past you, you both have arms length on either side to return the ball.

Standing around the non-volley line enhances your chances of winning and scoring a point because you have more control over where shots can be placed.  Having control means you run less and can strategize where to place the ball more.

Learn how to do a drop shot

Yes, you heard it right. Not just in single pickleball matches, drop shots are equally important in the doubles strategy.  This is quite a difficult shot to master.

A drop shot is a soft shot that places the ball just over the net.  This is particularly good if you can do this as the third shot.  You serve to your opponent on the baseline, they return service and then you place the shot just over the net.  This shot makes your opponent run for the ball.  A running shot generally has little control or strategy so mistakes can be made.

Being able to place the ball in your opponent’s non-volley zone limits their return shot choices.

Learning how to do an effective drop shot will ensure your winning streak continues!

Keep your opponent at the baseline

With doubles, you will often find your opponents planning and strategizing their placement. Your motive should be to keep your opponents around the baseline instead of letting them close to the kitchen line.

Keeping your shots long and strong prevents them from getting to the non-volley zone and taking control.   Mistakes come from continual long shots – incorrect placement or hitting the net.  As your opponents strength wanes, so will their ability to continually hit back.

Hit at the feet

This can be one of the most effective Pickleball double strategies that can score you a point effortlessly.  When you hit the pickleball at the feet of the player, it becomes very difficult for them to return it.

Assess the position of your opponent. If you find them standing in between the baseline and the non-volley zone, aim your shot at their feet. This is especially important to do if both of your opponents are standing towards the back of the court.

Mix up your serve

Mix up your serve by playing hard and softer shots.

Everyone is impressed by an ace.  A fast, hard shot that just fires past your opponent before they have time to return.  Try mixing up your service to confuse their strategy.

You can be light-handed and serve the pickleball just over the kitchen line.  If they are standing too far back, they may need to run to return service.  Can you follow this with a third shot drop?

Mixing up your style of service with hard and softer shots creates confusion and gives you more control over the game.

Avoid standing too close to the baseline

What you want for your opponent is not always something you want for yourself.  So, while it is true that you want your opponent to stay around or near the baseline, you need to strike a balance and stand in between.

Avoid being too close to the baseline or too close to the kitchen line. Maintain a 2-3 feet distance between these lines so you are ready to tackle any kind of shot that the opponent hits back at you. Having the flexibility of your stance also ensures that you won’t get jammed with the return of serve and have enough space to move around and hit back with the same fervor.

Return the serve with depth

Not just your serve but you also need to ensure that your return of serve is equally deep.  When you have a deep return of serve, it becomes easier to advance to the non-volley zone and make the third shot with more control.

Hitting your return serve deep keeps your opponents on the baseline.

Move together

Having proper communication with your partner during a doubles match is important.

Proper communication with your partner ensures that you know which moves to make and which ones to avoid in the next hit.  So, having a good rapport with your partner on the court is very important.

If you are moving up to the kitchen, your partner can cover the back.  If you are moving sideways, your partner can cover the middle.

Also, be loud with the communication as to who will take the hit.  Say Mine if you are taking the shot.  Say Yours if it’s for your partner.  Lack of communication has ruined many a good marriage…don’t let it affect your Pickleball game!!  🙂

Be patient

All good things come to those who wait.  You have to be patient throughout the game.  Sometimes this is easier said than done!

Frustration and rash decisions will end up doing nothing good for you. So, with being patient, you need to be selective about the individual shots that you are making. You can also avoid unnecessary mistakes on the court when you are patient.

Your opponent may have a routine.  Long shot, softer shot or whatever.  Mixing up your shots creates frustration for them.  Patience keeps you calm and in control.

Our final thoughts…

Pickleball doubles are not as easy as it seems from the outside.

There are a host of rules and regulations that you need to familiarize yourself with. Besides that, you also need to ensure that you focus on your individual shots while interacting with your partner. The best Pickleball doubles strategy is to keep practicing together. There’s nothing that beats consistent practice so you intuitively know each other’s play.