How to Serve in Pickleball? Best Methods

How to Serve in Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun game that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s similar to tennis, but with a smaller court, lower net, and just two players per team. There are many different ways of serving the ball into play. 

In this blog post, we will go over some of the most popular methods for serving in pickleball so you can decide which one is best for your playing style!

Before we get into How to Serve in Pickleball, let’s talk about serving rules and types of serving in Pickleball games.

Serving Rules:

Singles Serving Rules:

In singles, each player must keep the score even by switching sides every time they lose a point. You should announce your current side before calling out an opponent’s count so that he or she knows which way to serve next!

Doubles Serving Rules:

In doubles, the serving rotation is determined by which team scores. If Team A is on offense and they score a point, then it’s their partner’s turn to serve next! After every four points scored by either side (alternating between teams), there will be a switch of sides as well as players switching positions.

Pickleball Serve Styles:

There are many different types of pickleball serves that you can use to your advantage when playing this fun game. Here is just a small list of some popular serve styles:

Forehand Front-Row Serve

One of the most common serve styles in pickleball is to start off by serving crosscourt from behind your front row (or shortline) and then quickly move over toward where you served the ball, ready for a forehand return! One advantage of this style is that it can be difficult for an opponent to return. If your forehand is strong, this may be a great serve style for you!

Forehand Side-Row Serve

Another popular way of serving in pickleball is by keeping the ball deep toward one side and then hitting it crosscourt with a powerful backswing into that same shortline area. You can mix this up by sometimes hitting the serve to the opposite side and keeping it deep there as well. When done correctly, your opponent will not know which way you are serving!

One-Sided Serve (AKA Round-the-Corner)

If you like playing a one-sided game with lots of backhand shots, then learning how to serve in pickleball is a great way to open up the court and give yourself more opportunities for backhand shots. To do this, simply put your racket around the corner of the shortline area on one side so that it’s facing toward your opponent! If you hit strong enough, then there is nothing they can do about it except maybe run to the net and try for a great return shot!

Dink Serve

Another way of serving in pickleball is by keeping the ball low over the net with lots of spin so it bounces up high enough on your opponent’s side, but not too high that they can easily put away their own dink serve. This requires good coordination and timing, but if you can do it right, then your opponent will have a tough time returning!

Boast Serve

This is sort of like an off-pace serve in tennis where the ball goes too fast for opponents to get under or return with lots of power. You want to make sure that this type of serve moves forward toward the net or is at least aimed toward that direction. This will help open up the court more for you to volley back and forth with your opponent!

Jump Serve

This is a popular serve style in pickleball that can be extremely effective if you have good timing and coordination. You will first want to jump up into the air as high as possible before hitting it toward your opponent’s side of the court! This helps create more power and control over where the ball goes, but also requires quite a bit of strength so make sure you are ready for this one!

Soft Angle Serve

Similar to a soft lob in tennis, this serve is one that goes left or right over the net and lands short on your opponent’s side. This can be extremely effective if you have good enough control of where you want it to go after serving! If done correctly, they will most likely miss their return shot which means another point for you!

Hard Angle Serve

If there are players who keep hitting back all of your angles when playing pickleball, then learning how to serve in pickleball with an angle may help open up some space so that you can get more returns in play! After using a soft angle by putting the ball into either corner from midcourt (or close), try going toward the opposite side but with a harder angle so that it lands short on your opponent’s side to create some space for you!

High Soft Serve

A popular serve style in pickleball, this is one where you aim the ball high over your opponent’s head so that they cannot easily return it. You can either use a soft angle or go crosscourt to achieve this type of serve which keeps opponents on their toes! If done correctly, then there may be no way for them to get under it without hitting the net and missing the shot altogether!

Power Serve

As the name implies, this is a serve where you are trying to hit hard and create lots of power so that your opponent cannot return it. If done correctly, they will most likely have no chance at all! This style requires good timing as well as strength which can take some time to get used to if you haven’t played with one before.

How to Serve in Pickleball? Useful Tips

The serve in pickleball is an important move to master. Once you have this down, it will be easier for you to play the game and win more points! Here are some tips on how do you serve in pickleball:

  1. Serve cross court. This will make it more difficult for your opponent to return the ball.
  2. Serve with a lot of power and speed. This makes it harder to hit back over the net, forcing them out of position or sending them way off course!
  3. Try serving different places each time. This will keep your opponent guessing and unable to anticipate where the ball is going!
  4. Keep your serve low. This makes it harder for you to return the ball, forcing them into a difficult position as well!
  5. Serve to the backhand. This makes it more difficult for your opponent as they will have a lot of trouble returning this serve due to their dominant hand being on the other side!

How to determine who serves first in pickleball?

A coin is used to determine who serves first in pickleball. If the person winning the flip of a coin decides they would like to serve, then they may choose whether or not their opponent will receive this choice for serving.

In case you decide that your opponent will get to choose if they want to be on the receiving or serving side, make sure it’s clear before choosing! In most cases, whoever wins the toss will be deciding which way it goes and keepers with the right service box responsibility when on offense.

What are the three common mistakes in pickleball?

The most common mistake in pickleball is serving out. This often happens when players serve cross-court, but their opponent does not go for it and instead decides to stay on their side of the court. Serving too short or too long can also be a problem since both sides have trouble with this one! Keep practicing until you get it right!

Another mistake that people make while playing pickleball is making moves before they’re ready. For example, if your teammate hits an easy shot back towards you, don’t try to move into position just yet because chances are there’s another ball coming soon after which will force you off balance. Wait until you’ve had time to prepare yourself before moving into position.


Serving in pickleball is not the easiest part of this game, but it can be learned with practice. Make sure you’re always paying attention to when your opponent has reached their 21-second limit before they serve! Have fun and keep practicing until you’ve got it down pat!

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