Knowledge Base

Proven Pickleball Doubles Strategy – [Our Expert’s Recipe for Winning]

Are you a beginner pickleball doubles player and looking for the best pickleball doubles strategy, tips, and tricks? Congratulations! You have landed at the right place. In a few moments, we are going to share beginner to advanced pickleball doubles strategy with you.

Pickleball doubles matches are quite challenging ones. You might face difficulties in doubles format even if you’re an excellent singles player. Countering these issues require knowledge and practice of pickleball doubles strategies, rules, and tips.

It’s an old saying that “practice makes a man perfect” which is really true for sports like pickleball. However, practicing pickleball shots haphazardly can only give you temporary success. If you want to be successful in the long run, you need to concentrate on improving your doubles game.

Pickleball Doubles Strategy

We would recommend you to start learning pickleball doubles strategies and advanced pickleball tips for doubles that are right here for you.

How to play a pickleball doubles match?

Most of you know what the world ‘doubles’ actually means. However, for absolute beginners, it’s always nice, to begin with, a brief overview of a pickleball doubles match.

So, let’s get on with this first:

A pickleball doubles match is played between two teams with each team comprising two players. Each team plays on either side of the net. The rest of the game rules and format are similar to the singles format of this game.

We would recommend you to first read pickleball doubles rules and after understanding these completely you can look for different ways to play pickleball videos to get the practical visualization of the flow of this game. We’ve managed to grab an excellent tutorial on how to play pickleball video and you can look at it:

Top-Notch Pickleball Doubles Strategies  – [Basic to Advanced]

Are you ready to learn some really effective and best pickleball strategies that guarantee your game improvement and increase your winning frequency? You’ll be amazed to know that these strategies are followed throughout the world by players and coaches. So, let’s begin our journey through these strategies:

Positioning team players is a key

In every pickleball doubles match, one team is designated as the serving team while the other team is referred to as the receiving team. Both serving and receiving teams keep on shuffling throughout the match.No matter your team is a server or playing the role of a receiver, player positions are critical.

A good player positioning is one of the advanced pickleball strategies. It is an aggressive scheme that can put serious pressure on your opponent team right from the service.

Generally, players from each team stand facing each other. Whether you’re playing in defensive or aggressive mode, position matters a lot. It puts you in a comfortable position to work with a variety of angles while playing a wide range of shots with less effort and maximum results. Have a look at these:

Positioning as Serving Team

If you’re a server, then always serve from just over or behind the baseline. However, don’t serve from too far behind the line as it can create service fault resulting in point loss. In this way, you can easily hit a clean serve and easily return the serve. This position helps you to counter the double bounce rule as well after which you can start volley lay.

You can stand anywhere on your side of the court area as a member of the serving team. It’s always nice to stand in the middle of the serving court area but you should not be standing too close to the kitchen zone. Standing this way assists you to deal with soft-serve returns played by the opponent.

Receiving Team Position

As a part of the receiving team, a player at the receiving end should stand right on the baseline. If you’re a receiver then you must be careful that your feet should be inside the baseline or over it. We also recommend you to be quick in moving forward to handle soft serves. Standing in this way allows you to let the ball bounce off the court surface.

If you are the receiver’s partner then the area near the non-volley zone (kitchen) line in your side of the playing area is the best possible position. After the double bounce rule is out of play, you can easily start pickleball volley play and respond to the softer shots. Moreover, please be careful with your position and stick to the rules in mind.

Read: Pickleball Rules and Useful Tips for Beginners 

Play around the Central Net

Another best pickleball doubles strategy is to get to the nets quickly after playing a shot. Whether you are serving or receiving side, you must try to reach the non-volley zone as soon as you’ve played a shot. This anticipation is a great way to deal with your opponent.

It’s always handy to engage your opponent while playing at the non-volley zone. However, this doesn’t mean that you keep your feet frozen at the kitchen line. There are situations when you have to move back to the baseline for playing lobs and aggressive volley play. So, always try to anticipate what your opponents are thinking and aiming at and this will help you to be in full control of the game.

Communicate with your teammate

This is probably the most effective pickleball doubles strategy and adopting this doesn’t require too much effort. This is something that you can call a habit and you can develop it easily with a little practice.

Communication doesn’t mean talking to your partner constantly and doing this can reduce concentration level. If you are playing with your friend as a partner then you might not need too much communication. However, this is super helpful if you’re playing with some person with whom you haven’t played before. For such a scenario, make it your habit to talk to your partner after playing every single shot. With communication, you can do different things easily:

  • You can boost up your partner’s confidence if he/she is feeling low.
  • After each rally ends have a slight chat with your partner. You can also discuss your game plan and negatives in a positive way. Criticizing your partner is never a good idea.
  • Decide with your partner who will be taking lobs and smashes.
  • Shots that come down in the middle of the court are difficult to handle especially when both partners are either left-handers or right-handers. Plan out this before the start of the match and give a quick call like ‘on me’ to your partner if you feel that you can handle this sort of shot during the match.
  • Notify your partner by saying ‘dead’ or ‘out’ if you’ve judged a dead ball.
  • If you can play the shot with a backhand while your partner is in a position to play the shot with a forehand then never hesitate in letting your partner play it. Call ‘yours to ask your partner to play the shot.

Synchronize your movements with your partner

In the doubles format, your position with reference to your partner’s play is really important. If you don’t move accordingly then you’re sure to end up either too close or too far. This creates a chance for the opponent team and they can aim at the open gap easily. So, it’s a great strategy to synchronize your movements with your teammate.

This is seeming slightly complex but it’s actually very easy. All you need to remember is that the hitting partner determines the movement of the whole striking team. We are sharing some advanced pickleball tips that we’ve got from coaches and experienced players and we’re sure that these tips are going to help you a lot during intense competitions. So, here we go:

  • Ideally, a player should move forward after your partner has started the movement towards the non-volley zone after hitting the ball.
  • Move around in the court in such a way that you’re neither too close nor too far from your partner. This saves you from creating a weak spot for your opponent.
  • The Middle area of the court is an ideal position for hitting winning shots and you can’t afford it to be wide open. In case the hitting partner has moved near the sideline while returning a shot then another partner should forward towards the middle area.

Shot selection and Placement

“Play smart, not hard”, should be your mantra in every pickleball match. It’s a misconception that playing power shots is the only way to go in games like pickleball. Although it’s true that you do need a powerful shot playing powerful smashes constantly makes you predictable.

This intermediate pickleball strategy can do wonders for you. However, to do this you need to mentally strong because playing power shots give you inner satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to stop yourself from playing powerful smashes. Instead, all you need to do is just to cut down the frequency of these shots.

Effective pickleball doubles strategy suggests that you can take advantage of your opponent players’ positions especially if they are wide apart. In these circumstances, always go for a deep power smash to utilize the gap between your opponent players.

Sports researchers say that 75 percent of pickleball matches are lost because of errors. Playing a safe game and keeping your opponents on the move is one of the advanced pickleball strategies. Keeping the ball in play and reducing the number of errors paves your way to win.

Tempting your opponent for playing backhand shots is one of the best pickleball doubles strategies. Do a bit of analysis and you’ll get to know the backhand (or weaker hand) of your opponents. Once you’ve found this, all you need to do is just direct your shots with proper speed and angles towards the opponent’s backhand. However, experienced players are good at playing with both forehand and backhand so in such a case, try to mix up your shots.

In pickleball doubles, you can take the advantage of the middle court area. You can direct your shots towards this area and create confusion in your opponent team.

Wrap Up

Having a strong mind and sheer power is never enough for winning a pickleball competition. You always need some pro pickleball strategies and tips that we’ve shared with you in this blog post. A single pickleball doubles strategy can’t guarantee you a win in the game.

For getting margin, you need to practice different doubles strategies for pickleball that we’ve discusses with you. We’ve tried our level best to pinpoint the best practices followed by expert coaches and players and we hope that you’ll like it. In case of any confusion, please feel free to contact our experts. See Yaa!!!

About the author


I am James Brad i am pickle ball lover and love to write about pickle ball and pickleball gear. I play pickleball from 2015 I hope you like my writing.