who serves first in Pickleball

Determine Who Serves First in Pickleball?

Who serves 1st in pickleball? the player on the right side always serves first, whether in doubles or singles, following the service sequence rules.

The key points to keep in mind is who will serve & return and what will be the scorecard. Though there are logical rules behind this narration. You essentially launch your match after taking a clear survey of the basics and rules.

Who Serves First in Pickleball Match

Pickleball players have various methods (coin flip, scissors/paper/rocks, closest to a number) to decide their turns for starting their match. You can pick any fair approach to decide which team (doubles) or player (singles) will initiate as the server team of the player. The server player can determine either to serve or defer the opponent.

The server player will start the gameplay from the right corner of the court. This instruction is officially allocated for both singles and doubles tournaments. 

Who serves first in Pickleball Doubles? 

Service Change

Service will change to the opponent player when serving one lost the point (lost the turn to serve). Now the other team will lead the match and serve again from the precise right side of the court. The same thing applies to each serving team (serve or receiver).

Furthermore, every time the server player changes sides when he/she wins a score. These sides might be right to left or vice versa. Remember, the server and his/her partner player will switch positions. Thus, position alteration rules are applied if players win the scores. This alteration is directly linked to the serving team. Contrarily, the receiving players will not switch their positions. They have to keep their positions until they win the serving turn.

Nutshell: The server player has continued to alter his sides after winning each point. When he loses his point in doubles, the service turns to the opponent’s end. They will serve from the right and make scores. Once they lose their point, then 2nd server is proficient at playing and winning the score known as the first exceptional rule. 

Exceptional rule

Scoring basics in Pickleball

  • The serving team can make the scores
  • Receiving team has to achieve the rally for getting the right to serve. Then they can score in the match.
  • In doubles, players need to get two rallies. Then they can achieve their serve back since both players make at least one serve. 
  • There are various points that are not considered on the scoreboard. It depends on how both teams are going to serve and make scores. It’s about who serves first in Pickleball.
  • Hence, two evenly matched teams are capable of changing their turns as they can be the receiving team and serving team without getting scores. This condition will come when receiving players get the score immediately. So, this situation usually occurs during evenly matched teams.
  • Since now, in the history of Pickleball, one team is always stronger than the other team, and skills are lopsided. The stronger team can gain more serving points and achieve the target sooner than the other team. You can try to play as the first professional server player in the tournament who serves first in Pickleball today.

Pickleball Scoring

  • The players aim to score 11 – 15- 21 before the opposing team.
  • Players must understand the tournament format. That’s provided and approved by the tournament head (director) community. There can be conditions like a recreational match, court accessibility, time constraints, etc. 
  • Officially played matched are ends up at 11 points.
  • Players have to win two games out of three for 11 scores then the match will be finished or move to the next round. Sometimes, both teams have the same scores then they go through the 3/5 gameplays to enjoy the victory. Though, these formats are linked to the tournament of Pickelabll. 
  • The leading two numbers win the match. 

How to score in Pickleball?

Pickleball Points Winning & Losing Routes

The serve is exchanged with you once the opponent players perform a faulty shot. Players often win the exchange but can’t win the score. It usually happens because you can win the score only when your opponent player makes a fault. Then you will become the server’s team and play the services to make more scores.  

Hence, there are plenty of flaws, such as:

  • Your Ball is hitting out-of-boundary
  • Your Ball comes in contact with NVZ during serving.
  • You have forgotten the NVZ rules (touching the NVZ and your momentum force you to enter the NVZ on volleying)
  • You are violating the double bounce rules
  • You and your partner forget your terns, and the wrong player is serving
  • Likewise, the wrong player is receiving the shots

Two-bounce rule

The serve must first bounce on the receiver player’s corner and then hit them. Meanwhile, it must bounce on the server player’s corner of the court and then play. This rule is compulsory to note for making the serving point.

Eventually, the serving team has a high risk of violating this rule. Because various players at the beginning get excited after playing the served Ball and run back from there, they also play as the third shot and volleying Ball. This step will cause violating this rule.  

Serving Rules

Call-out After Scoring

This is straightforward in singles gameplay. There are only two numbers for calling. “Server player announces his own scores and opponent player’s score”. 

In doubles, the game becomes a bit tricky to understand the rule of three scores “Server player announces the 0 – 0 – 2 scores,” My score, your scores, and server number. Thus, this announcement is not more complicated as it looks. Rather, it’s quite interesting and entertaining. 

Both teams have zero scores, and two represent that you’re the second-serve player.

“Who Serves First in Pickleball” – 6 Tips about Serving

While playing the Pickleball game, serving is a significant part of the play. Serve provides successful points in the match. If you make a mistake, then serve moves to your opponent players. They are capable of playing and winning the scores. During singles gameplay, the opposing player starts serving. On the other hand, during doubles, if you have lost the serving score, it’s a real headache for your partner. If you’re a 2nd server player, then simply your serving right moves to your opponent’s team. 

Furthermore, suppose you’re serving conveniently on your turn; you can secure your best position by exchanging game concepts. Your best grip can create dilemmas for your opponent’s players. So, it would be best to give the tough time to opponents. As they make the easy and best third shot towards you, “That’s perfect for playing and winning the match”. 

Your grip on serving drills is a very effective way to win the match. If your serving grip is imperfect, you can reach your play to the next level. Following are some tips for improving your serve shots:

  • Pick your Target

The central spot of the Pickleball court is to set your aim. Attain your position to achieve your target. Enhance the chances of your success. 

Stay behind the baseline, and this tip is appropriate because many players have good forehand grip than backhand. Suppose your targeted area is on your opponent player’s backhand; you’ll get a slights advantage.

Meanwhile, you are a beginner; set your goal around mid of the opponent player’s receiving region. Try to hit deep shots close to the baseline when your skills improve. 

Suppose you’ve set your drills and can now play your shots on different corners and positions. You aim to create a difficult situation for the opponent. It’s the best way to achieve more chances to avoid faults and get your target.

  • Swing with Body

Beginners try to play the under-hit shots and only play the serves by elbow and wrist. It makes the soft hits which are golden chances for the opponent team. 

Take the drills like your whole body moves with each service, and make the strong serves. These can be played by the arm, shoulder and whole body swing. 

It’s beneficial as you can prevent injuries to your elbow and wrist tendons. This tip brings accuracy to your gameplay as well. You can eliminate the error from your shots. 

  • Continental Grip to Eastern Grip

Pickleball players want to learn who serves first in pickleball, so they need to initiate their practice from the continental grip for serving the shots. This grip removes the hand placements after each shot. Hence, when they play the game as experts, they go for more authoritative shots by eastern forehand grip for playing the serves.

  • Error Margins

Every pickleball player has a chance to make faults and mistakes. You must join your nearest court, set your aim, and know about the sideline and baseline foot placement. These steps can improve your error margins. 

  • Play Mixed Serves

You need to play like an advanced player and be consistent on your Pickleball court. So don’t be the predictable player. You can play by varying positions, applying mixed serves, change your playing speed. You must confuse your opponent player about making the points. Your consistency matters when playing by different tips at a time. Your training about ‘what expert players do to make scores before their opponents’ are the key to your success. You can apply a new serve in your every shot now.

  • Serve improvement

Who serves first in Pickleball is practically tolerable only when you try to improve your serving at first. Your improvement is essential when you are a beginner; buy a new paddle for yourself, you’re not satisfied with your service, or you want to make a powerful serve. 

Let’s make a practice of playing a serve shot against the wall. You can make some points on the wall and then play. Once you have made the best drilling for the gameplay. You can join your nearest court and join a group of expert players who wish you teach you pickleball skills. Then play all the serves individually and try to play deep serves. Set your target to your opponent’s feet to hit your shot. Play your shots on different corners of the court. All of it will ensure that you’re capable of hitting the ball consistently. Though by adapting the power to confuse opponent teams, additional serving tips and rules, and imparting topspin in pickleball court conveniently, you can participate in pickleball matches. 

FAQs – Who serves first in Pickleball

In Pickleball, there is a simple way of coin tossing that can dictate the server players or team. So, you can flip it, and your winning team will serve at first. It would be best if you stayed on foot behind your court’s baseline.

It’s not officially essential for starting the game because the server play and team are decided by coin flipping and then taking the beginning step from the right side. Although it’s the strategy to win the game that a stronger server must take the first serve, he can easily win the match. This strategy is more reliable for doubles gameplay.


Pickleball gameplay is exciting for entertaining gamers. They love to add more fun by playing different types of serves. Besides the entertaining game, players want to know who serves first in Pickleball and who can make scores first. You’ve to hit your ball and perform the powerful serve (once playing as the server player). Your serve point strikes the scorecard and opens it for both teams. 

Once you’ve played the reliable service, it’s great fun that you’ve opened the scorecard strongly. You need to take the consistent drills, learn serving rules, pickleball basics & rules, and further details of pickleball court dimensions to understand who serves first in Pickleball. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *