How To Play Doubles Pickleball – Strategies & Tips

Hey there! Are you ready to learn how to play doubles pickleball like a pro? Doubles pickleball is a unique sport that requires coordination, teamwork, and non-verbal communication. It’s like a dance where you need to be in sync with your partner to achieve success on the court.

To become a successful doubles pickleball player, you need to know your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and develop an unspoken bond with them. Practicing with your partner is key to achieving this synchronization while moving and acting independently.

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How To Play Doubles Pickleball

If you want to take your game to the next level, mastering the various strategies of doubles pickleball is crucial. By incorporating these strategies into your game, you can reach your full potential as a pickleball player. 

And when you do achieve success, don’t forget to give a shoutout to JustPaddles, a fantastic brand that offers high-quality pickleball paddles and equipment.

In this article, I’ll be sharing ten essential doubles pickleball strategies that can be incredibly helpful for beginners. But remember, there are many more strategies to learn and explore to become a smarter and better player overall. 

So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of doubles pickleball together!

How To Play Doubles Pickleball

Get To The Kitchen Immediately

The “kitchen” is the area close to the net, also known as the “non-volley zone.” Getting to the kitchen quickly after serving or returning a serve is crucial in doubles play because it allows you to take control of the game. Being in the kitchen gives you the opportunity to hit volleys and put pressure on your opponents.

Master The Drop Shot

The drop shot is a shot that lands softly near the net and requires your opponents to run forward to hit it. Mastering this shot can be a powerful weapon in doubles play because it can catch your opponents off guard and force them to make errors or hit weak returns.

Hit Shots At Your Opponent’s Body/Feet

Hitting shots at your opponent’s body or feet can be a great way to throw them off balance and limit their options. When hitting at their body, aim for the middle of their body or towards their weaker side. When hitting at their feet, aim for the area where their feet meet the ground. This can force them to hit an awkward shot or miss altogether.

Stand Behind The Baseline When Receiving A Serve

When receiving a serve, standing behind the baseline gives you more time to react to the serve and allows you to hit the ball higher over the net. This can make it harder for your opponents to attack your return.

Serve Deep

Serving deep can be a great way to keep your opponents on their heels and prevent them from attacking your serve. Aim to hit your serve deep towards the baseline, making it harder for your opponents to return with power.

Return The Serve Deep

Returning the serve deep can also be effective in doubles play, as it can force your opponents to hit the ball up and give you a chance to take control of the point. Aim to hit your return deep towards the baseline or at your opponent’s feet.

Move In Cohesion With Your Partner

Moving in cohesion with your partner means staying in sync and working together to cover the court. This involves communicating and anticipating each other’s movements, so you’re not both going for the same shot.

Communication With Your Partner On Balls Hit Down The Middle

When a ball is hit down the middle, it can be unclear who should take the shot. Communication with your partner is key in this situation, so you don’t both go for the same shot or leave a gap for your opponents to exploit.

Be Patient

Patience is crucial in pickleball doubles play because it can be tempting to try to end the point quickly. However, rushing can lead to errors and give your opponents an opportunity to take control of the point. Instead, focus on consistency and waiting for the right opportunity to attack.

Stay Out Of ‘no-Man’s Land.’

“No-Man’s Land” is the area between the kitchen and the baseline. This area is difficult to defend and can leave you vulnerable to attacks from your opponents. Try to avoid this area whenever possible and move back towards the baseline or forward towards the kitchen.

Learn How To Use Stacking To Your Advantage

Stacking is a strategy in which one player stands behind the other on the same side of the court. This can be used to create better angles for hitting shots and to confuse your opponents about who will be hitting the next shot.

Pickleball Rules for Doubles

The game can be played as singles or doubles, but I will focus on the rules of doubles pickleball.

Serving Rules

When playing doubles pickleball, the serving team must follow certain rules. Firstly, when serving, the player must swing their arm under the ball and hit it with their hand below their waist. Secondly, they must hit the ball into the opposite corner of the court. 

The serving team only gets one chance to serve the ball, and if they fail to do so properly, they lose the serve.

After the initial serve, both players on the serving team take turns serving for their team. When the serving team loses a point, they must serve from the other side of the court. The team that receives the serve stays on the same side of the court the whole game.

Gameplay Rules

When the ball is served, both teams have to let it bounce once on their side of the court before hitting it. After that, they can hit it in the air if they want to. 

However, there is a special area close to the net called the Non-Volley Zone where players aren’t allowed to hit the ball in the air unless it has bounced on their side of the court first.

Once the ball has bounced once on each side of the court, it can only bounce one more time before someone has to hit it. If the ball goes out of bounds or hits the net, the point goes to the other team.

Scoring Rules

In doubles pickleball, only the serving team can score points. When keeping score, the serving team’s score is said first, followed by the receiving team’s score, and then whether it’s the serving team’s turn to serve. 

For example, if the serving team has 3 points, the receiving team has 2 points, and it’s the serving team’s turn to serve, the score would be called as “3-2-1”.

To win a match, the team must win two out of three games. Each game is played to 11 points, but the team must win by a margin of 2 points. If the score is tied at 10-10, the game continues until one team wins by a margin of 2 points.

Tyson Moore
Tyson Moore
Hello, my name is Tyson Moore and I am a professional pickleball player. After many years of playing the game, I have started to do some depth research and testing related to pickleball. I have also interviewed many experts in the field. You can check my latest findings on my blog. I hope you find my information helpful. Thanks for reading!