How To Play Pickleball

How to play pickleball
October 13, 2022
Read Time:9 Minute, 31 Second
How To Play Pickleball - People play pickleball

The ever-increasing number of people interested in pickleball raises the obvious question, “How to play pickleball?”

Yes, I know that the game is straightforward, but, to begin, you must be familiar with the fundamental rules, how you should serve the ball to the opponent’s area, and what the various tips and techniques are. 

Before holding on to a racket, these thoughts must have crossed everyone’s minds. Because of this, I’ve decided to simplify the game and its rules once and for all so everyone can enjoy it. Let’s not waste more time chit-chatting and get down to the topic! 

Before you continue reading this article, you should know that by the time you reach the end, you will be a professional. Just kidding.

How To Play Pickleball – What Are The Basic Rules

If you are concerned about how do you play pickleball, there is no need for you to be confused since I am going to explain all of the fundamental rules of the game to you in the following paragraphs. 

Throw A Ball Diagonally

How To Play Pickleball - Pickleball diagonal serve edited

The court for pickleball is smaller then a tennis court, and it has a net in the center. The game can be played either by a single player or a pair. 

The paddle must be placed underneath the waistline, both feet should be placed behind the back line, and the ball should be thrown underhand and diagonally. 

Serve From Back Of The Baseline

A player who is positioned on the right side of the pickleball field will be the one to serve the ball initially because the right service area is the first spot to start. 

The right method for serving in Pickleball is to hit the ball backhand across the field from below the baseline into the other team’s side of the court.

Don’t know what is baseline? Read here out article.

Every serve has to go over the net and into the receiving court. Before returning the serve, the recipient of the ball must let it bounce, and the server must do the same. 

In a doubles match, only the receiver of the serve can hit the ball back. Points are given to the serving team if their partner touches the ball. 

When a player serves and hits the ball in the net but lands on a correct serving court, it is called a let, and he must repeat the process until he serves correctly. 

Do Not Enter In A Kitchen – A No Volley Zone

How To Play Pickleball - A No Volley Zone 1

The “kitchen” or no-volley zone is located close to the net. It is seven feet long, extending from the net to the backline. 

This is the area where you are not allowed to hit the ball as it is against the rules.

Winning A Game – How To Score Pickleball

Few individuals believe winning a pickleball game is the most challenging task, though! believe me when I say it is not. You only need to concentrate and know the rules before taking a swing at the ball on an opposing team’s court. 

  • You can only earn a point in pickleball when your team is trying to serve.
  • Right-side players serve first when it’s their team’s turn.
  • In this scenario, the right person is the first server, and the left is the second server. 
  • If a player’s team scores a point, they get to continue serving. This means you only need one server to win the game if you get to 11 points. 
  • However, what if you or your team commits a fault while serving, such as hitting the ball into the net? It is then your partner’s turn to serve. 
  • You’re out of serve if he makes a mistake. When this happens, it’s called “side out,” and it’s the other team’s turn to serve. 
  • The serve goes back and forth between the two teams until one of them reaches 11, 15, or 21 points. 
  • You need an extra 2 points from the opposing team to win. 

Faults To Avoid: 

How To Play Pickleball - Pickleball faults to avoid

There are some faults that either side of the team ought to avoid making to stay within the bounds of the game’s regulations; failing to do so will result in rule violations. 

  • If you hit a volley at the start of a match before the ball has hopped once on a side, this will be a fault.
  • You’re allowed one bounce per side before you have to hit the ball. It is considered a fault in the game if the ball bounces multiple times. 
  • It is a foul if you hit the ball out of the playing area. Balls are considered in or out on a line depending on where their centers contact the ground. 
  • It violates the rules if the ball is thrown into the net. 
  • Any play in which a player enters the kitchen to hit a volley is counted as a fault. 

If you’re a novice to the game, you can start playing it with just these rules to play a round, and with enough practice, you’ll be an old pro in no time!

However, if you are still unclear on the rules and would like some additional explanation, you should watch the short pickleball game rules video, in which you will know how to play pickleball more clearly. 

Know Your Pickleball Lingo – What Are The Other Terms?

The next thing after learning how to play pickleball is to become familiar with the lingo used in the sport. 

According to PPA’s founder and commissioner, Connor Pardoe, believed, “We are continuing to witness way so much progress in the next three years than we have seen in the past.” It seems like every day brings something exciting! 

And I will agree with him 100%, you won’t believe it, but every move and shot in the game has a nickname or slang that is extremely difficult for beginners to remember. Even experienced players struggle to remember all of these terms since they keep on being updated. 

Since there is no way I could list all the slang terms used in pickleball, I will only define a few of the most common ones.

Ace: An ace is scored when the receiving player fails to return the ball of the serving player. 

Dead Ball: The current point is over since the ball is no longer in play is known as the term “Dead ball.”

Kitchen: Do not be fooled into thinking that you will be served food in the center of the game through the kitchen; this name is given to a non-volley zone located in the central section of the court and is also referred to as the “kitchen.” 

Let: A shot rises through the air and falls in the service court after contacting the net string. Just like in tennis, let serves be played once more. 

Lob: A shot that soars high that it passes over the opposing team’s heads and into their area in the back of the court. This is a shot meant to force your opponents to scramble after the ball, which will cause them to lose their defensive positions. (It is a strategy) 

Opa: When the third shot is shot and open rallying starts, the audience lets out a loud cheer known as an opa. 

Poach: Poaching happens whenever one player on a field interrupts to just let their partner play and starts taking their shots instead. 

Put Away: A strike that the opposition team player can’t revert is known as “put away.” 

Rally: Continuous play that begins when the ball is served is known as “rally” until one of the players commits a fault. 

What Gears Are Must To Have To Play Pickleball? 

You’ve probably figured out “how to play pickleball” by now. But, I imagine another question on your mind is what sort of gear will be needed to participate in this game. 

Let me tell you that pickleball is the most affordable game anyone can ever afford to play, as it doesn’t require much equipment; all you need to have is: 

  • Rackets, also knowns as paddles 
  • A Wiffle ball 
  • A net 


Were you hoping I’d make the most extended list of gears so you could write it down? Though, it is not needed because all that is demanded by both a skilled amateur and a professional to play pickleball is this equipment! Nothing further is required. 

This is how pickleball is played all around the world, with minimal effort and minimal gears.

How To Set Up Pickleball – Tips To Get Started 

Pickleball is incredibly easy to set up, and you can play it anywhere. 

  • All you need to do is gather the necessary equipment. 
  • Find a place to set up your play zone—it could be a parking lot, an empty road, any ground, or even your backyard. 
  • And use the appropriate measurements to create a court that is the standard size for a Pickleball court. 

*20 feet in width by 44 inches in length. 7 feet along both sides of the net is the no-volley zone*. 

Few Tips To Get Started With The Game

If you’re looking up “how to play pickleball,” consider whether your health permits you to do so. 

-Although this game has no adverse effects on health and is very beneficial for players of all ages, it is still advisable for you to seek the advice of a health professional first before entering a court if you are feeling under the weather or if anything else. 

-If you are ready to play on a court, you should also purchase all the needed items. 

-Get warmed up before you start playing; jogging and stretching can help you hit the highest shots without feeling any pain or pressure. 

-Wear sturdy shoes to have a grip in a play area; experts also recommend doing exercise outside pickleball to decrease tiredness after the game effectively.


Q: What are the 5 basic rules of pickleball?

  1. Keep the ball in bounds. 
  2. Each side gets one bounce. 
  3. Serve at baseline. 
  4. A Serve can’t land in the kitchen, “the no-volley zone.” 
  5. Score 11 or 15 points to win the game 

Q: How do you play pickleball for beginners?

The rules are the same for beginners, but the newbies can play the game in their driveway or wherever they like until they feel ready to join a tournament. 

Q: Is pickleball easy to learn?

Yes, pickleball is easy to learn, and everyone can enjoy it. 

Q: Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Yes, it is a much simpler court game than not just tennis but many others as well. 

Q: How long does a pickleball game last?

It doesn’t last more than 20 to 25 minutes. 

The Wrap-Up! 

You should no longer be puzzled by the question “how do you play the game pickleball?” because I have done my best to make everything from the rules of the pickleball to where to set up the game sound straightforward. 

Help your friends get started in the game with this guide, and maybe one day, you’ll all be competing in the pickleball world championship together!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Hey, fellow pickleball player!

My name is Ethan Josephson. I am a pickleball enthusiast who has been playing this fantastic game for more than 5 years. Before that I had almost 20-years-experience with tennis and table tennis, but pickleball fascinated me completely.