What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game

Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game

In doubles pickleball, every game starts with a score of 0-0-2, signifying the second server. The serving team begins from the right side of the court.

It’s a usual tricky aspect for all beginners, what is the starting score of a doubles Pickleball game?

After going through our provided information, you’ll be able to get insights into Pickleball playing strategies in both singles and doubles formats. Hence, knowing the scoring system is crucial to enjoying the game fully. The starting score of a doubles pickleball game is always 0-0-2, and this seemingly peculiar combination of numbers. It has a purpose deeply rooted in the balance of the game.

Three-Digit Scores in Doubles Pickleball Gameplay

When you come to grasp what is the starting score of a doubles pickleball game, it’s crucial to note that in this format, the score is represented by three numbers. These numbers are:

  • The 1st number represents the serving Team’s points
  • The 2nd number denotes the receiving Team’s points
  • The 3rd number represents server number (1 or 2)

Example: 10-8-2 signifies the serving team’s 10 points, the receiving Team’s 8 points, and that server #2 is serving. 

Doubles Pickleball Scores

Remember that this scoring combination is in contrast with singles Pickleball, where the score comprises two numbers representing server and receiver points.

Singles Pickleball Scores

Which Team/Side Starts Serving in a Doubles Pickleball Match?

In doubles Pickleball, to accomplish the serve sequence follows a specific pattern. Whether you’re playing doubles or singles game, the serve must begin from the right-hand corner of your court.

At the tournament inauguration, only one player from the serving team is allowed to make the serve due to the 0-0-2 Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game. This Pickleball player is automatically considered as “Server number 2”. Afterward, the serve must move to Server #1 on the receiving Team.

player of right hand side will start the serve in Pickleball

Why is Every Doubles Pickleball Game initiated with 0-0-2 and its Purpose?

Have you ever wondered why the initial winning point of a pickleball doubles sport is always 0-0-2? In Pickleball, a sport grounded in principles of fairness, every rule is accurately crafted to ensure equal treatment for all players, and the starting score is no exception.

Hence, the reason why every doubles pickleball game begins with 0-0-2 instead of 0-0-1 is to minimize the advantage of being the first team to serve. It allows only one player to serve during the initial service turn. 

In a doubles pickleball game, the scores are 0-0-2, and two zeroes are straightforward, representing the absence of points for both teams at the start. But where does the # 2 score meet in the game? Here’s the rationale: the serving team, with the advantage of initiating the game, is granted only one serve instead of the typical two.

The number 2 signifies the serving team (starting with server number 2). This strategic adjustment curtails the serving team’s advantage of the first serve. If the serving team loses the serve, it immediately transitions to the receiving Team, eliminating the prospect of an additional serve. 

This practice ensures that the game starts and progresses in a truly equitable manner, preventing any team from gaining an unfair edge. 

Furthermore, based on this aspect of scoring, the first server exception rule ensures that only one player gets to serve during the first service turn of the game. After this initial serve, the serve alternates between the teams. This equitable rule ensures fairness and is a fundamental aspect of pickleball sports. 

Learn More: Pickleball Doubles Scoring

Balancing the Advantage of Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game

Pickleball thrives on the delicate balance between serving and receiving teams. The serving team exclusively scores points, but they must serve underhand, and the return must bounce, giving the receiving Team plenty of chances to react. This balance extends to the start of the game, emphasizing the sport’s essence of fairness.

First Server Exception

First Server Exception

The first server exception rule symbolizes Pickleball’s fairness. The advantage of serving first is mitigated, ensuring both teams have an equal footing from the game’s onset. This balanced approach defines Pickleball, making it a sport of strategy and skill.

What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game? Singles vs. Doubles Scoring

  • In singles pickleball, the score comprises two digits (0-0). The 1st number represents the server’s score, and the 2nd number signifies the receiver’s score.
  • In doubles pickleball, the 1st-serving team only has a single service turn. If they lose the first rally, the serve moves to the other opposing Team. After this, each side has two service turns, allowing each player a chance to serve.

What Significance Does the Three-Digit Score Hold?

While going to know the of Pickleball scoring, understanding the three numbers in a doubles match is quite favorable for you. 0-0-2 initially can confuse gamers, especially for players familiar with singles matches where they only need to track their own and their opponent’s scores.

In pickleball scoring, the three-digit score in a doubles match, such as 6-8-2, signifies distinct aspects of the game.

  • The initial digit (6) reflects the serving team’s score
  • The second digit (8) denotes the receiving team’s score
  • The final digit (2) indicates the server number, as each team member serves twice.

Hence, 6-8-2 represents the serving team’s score, the receiving team’s score, and the current server number, respectively.

Significance of 0-0-2 Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game

The 0-0-2 Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game indicates the fair play and equity fundamental to Pickleball. By limiting the advantage of the first server, the game ensures a level playing field, where both teams have equal opportunities to score and win points.

Hence, knowing the foundation behind the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game sheds light on the sport’s emphasis on balance and fairness. To master these rules is essential for players, particularly beginners, to enjoy the game and compete effectively on the court.

Visit More: Doubles Pickleball Strategy


Yes, in singles Pickleball, the score comprises only two numbers, representing server and receiver points, reflecting the different gameplay dynamics.

The 0-0-2 starting score of a doubles pickleball game maintains fairness by limiting the initial serving advantage, promoting competitive and balanced matches.

The first server exception minimizes the advantage of the first-serving team, ensuring fair gameplay and balancing the competition.


To know what is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game can enhance your game experience. The 0-0-2 starting score, though it may initially confuse you. Meanwhile, this approach to scoring is essential to boost your sport’s essence of fairness and balance. As you step onto the pickleball court, with this knowledge, you’re ready to embrace the game with a deeper understanding of its scoring particulars.

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