How To Serve in Pickleball: Serving Tips You Must Know

Making the best pickleball serve certainly requires a lot of practice. A serve is a shot that starts a game not only in pickleball but is also used in other net games. In pickleball, a service will affect the course of a game. Improving your serving technique will allow you to control the rhythm of your game as well as your opponent's.

How To Serve in Pickleball: Serving Tips You Must Know

Why Is It Important To Make A Good Serves In Pickleball?

I’m going to explain to you why making good serve shots is important. The shots in pickleball are made by the player or team that wins the ball. Each service must not exceed the game limit line or if it passes, points will be given to the opposing team.

You can add points easily if your opponent makes a mistake or you make a good service that is difficult to return. If your punch is too weak, it will make it easier for your opponent to hit him anywhere on the side of the field that is difficult for you to reach.

pickleball serve

Conversely, if you hit too hard, it can make it difficult to return the opponent’s ball. But he can also get out of the game limit which means free points for your opponent. Therefore the power of your pickleball serve is also important.

At higher levels, you can calculate or estimate effective serve strokes. If you can know your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, you don’t need to spend extra effort to get a good service and make it difficult for your opponent. However, in every game, there are official rules that players must obey. Pickleball serve is also not only about the best shot but also has to comply with the rules. We will try to explain it to you below.

Understanding the Basic Rules of Pickleball Serve

The basic rule in pickleball serve is you must serve underhand. The serve shot must be taken below your navel at the point of contact of the ball with the paddle. You can use the forehand or backhand style with your hands below your waist.

pickleball serve rule

The service is performed behind the baseline, to the left or right of the center line. The ball must be aimed diagonally from where the server hit the ball. The ball must not fall in the non-volley area or touch the front line of the service area. If it lands on another line it will be considered to count as a point. The server will serve again repeatedly if he or his team wins the ball.

The position of the feet in pickleball serve also has its own rules. The foot must not touch the area beyond the imaginary line of extension, either the center line or the sideline. If when hitting the ball the referee finds a foot that is outside the specified area, then the ball will be given to the opponent.

6 Tips For Making A Better Pickleball Serve

If you or your team is having trouble scoring points, I think there may be a wrong way with your pickleball serve. Although the pickleball serve looks easy, you can do several things to improve your shot. We will explain to you some pickleball tips for serving that are often used by professional players.

1. Find The Most Comfortable Style In Your Pickleball Serve

These tips may be taken lightly by some people. But I’m sure, these tips greatly affect your service. You can use any style as long as it doesn’t violate the service rules.

The style I mean covers a lot of things. Such as the comfortable position of the glasses and hat, the style of holding the paddle and hitting the ball, or a warm-up routine to reduce injury. Be sure to train your wrists and ankles regularly as these two parts of the body work the hardest in pickleball.

Relax your body in the game. You can bounce the ball to the ground or jump up and down for a bit of a stretch before making a pickleball serve.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks

The risk I mean here is if you take the services carefully with the aim of not losing the ball. Of course, losing the ball is a loss. However, you should not be too conservative! Taking the serve safely will make it easier for your opponent to get the ball and give them more control over the rally game.

It doesn’t matter if you lose serve once in a while. Using an aggressive serving style increases your chances of controlling the game. Perhaps many articles will advise you not to lose the ball. We hope you forget that and focus on your style of play

By taking risks, you also open up opportunities to try new shooting moves or new serving styles. This certainly increases your ability to play pickleball to another level.

3. Choose the Ball’s Most Hard-to-Reach Falling Point

The placement of the ball’s drop point is about our ability. We can learn where the opponent’s weak points are in taking the ball after we serve. Learn the opponent’s weak side and the foundation of hand strength.

pickleball deep serve

For example, you can serve a deep pickleball to have the receiver hit from behind the far baseline. Recipients who may have difficulty reaching the ball are only able to return the ball easily to your area. Drive fast and hit your opponent’s defenses to win the set.

This is our statement regarding your courage in taking risks. Pickleball services that are conservative or looking to be safe will only cause you trouble. This is because the enemy will get a ball that tends to be easier to return.

4. Use Different Pickleball Serve Styles

If you have mastered various ways of serving, then apply them to your game. This will make it difficult for your opponent to read your game. If you are used to using a long serve, then occasionally do a short serve. Opponents who are ready to accept will be surprised by the sudden change you make. There are many types of service which we will explain below.

Combine the speed, the direction in which the ball falls, and also the rotation of your hand in hitting the ball. Practice your serving style until it is comfortable with your abilities. This is intended to make it difficult to predict your opponent and you will be ahead one step further in the game.

You can watch on Youtube or watch professional pickleball matches about different styles of pickleball serve. Try it in practice with your friends and find a serving style that suits your playing style.

5. Focus Your Shot Power On The Shoulder And Leg Muscles

Some pickleball players, especially newbies, will focus their services on the strength of their elbows and bend their wrists. This will make your strength and your hit inflexible.

Try to use the strength of your shoulder to hit. Relax your arms, elbows, and wrists for a hard, easy hit. Do not hold the paddle with a firm grip. This will make it difficult for you and make your arms feel tired quickly.

Do you hold the paddle properly? Find out how should you hold paddles: “Pickleball Grip: 3 Ways To Hold Your Paddle”

Combine arm strength with a strong stance. Leg muscles are a major force that your body has. With strong arms and stable legs, you will find it easier to make a pickleball serve. After having good skills and a stable physical condition, you can make the perfect pickleball serve.

6. Understand the Basic Rules To Push Your Limits

You might take these tips lightly because everyone knows that every game has to follow the rules. But in reality, not everyone can understand the official pickleball rules clearly. Most of them will play more conservatively and avoid basic bans by playing it safe. Our advice, try to study the rules thoroughly to know the limits of playing.

If you know the official rules more carefully, then you will explore a wider range of abilities and variations of the pickleball serve. Makes sense right? You can know the limits of experimenting without breaking the official rules of pickleball serve. The pickleball serve rules include:

  1. Make sure the contact of the paddle stick with the ball is below the belly button.
  2. Your arm swing should be up or down.
  3. The paddle must not be above the wrist at its highest point.

Some of the tips above might help you raise the level of your game a little. Everything will be useless if it is not accompanied by hard work and regular practice. Effective practice and understanding of every part of the game including serving will help you become a professional player.

Pickleball Serve Style Options For You To Try

After understanding the rules and tips in pickleball serve, it’s time for you to understand some options in doing pickleball serve. There are many different types of pickleball serves, but we will list some of the most popular and commonly used types in pickleball. You can modify or even create your style as long as it doesn’t break the rules.

You can combine the various styles below in one game. In other words, you don’t have to stick to one style for every set. That way, your game will not be easy to predict. Some variations of the pickleball serve to include:

Lob Serve

The lob serve allows you to hit the ball higher than usual for a high bounce too. This is if you want to play highball and are looking for momentum to hit hard.

A lob can give you the advantage of buying time and confusing your opponent as to the correct shot to return. If the enemy thinks long then he will land a clumsy punch that allows you to hit the ball harder. Mistakes may arise if you hit the ball before it reaches waist height. This of course will lead to violations.

Drive Serve

Drive Serve is the opposite of lob where the point of this service is to get a quick shot and play short balls.

Pickleball Volley Serve

The volleyball serve is the most traditional way of serving in pickleball. The idea is to throw the ball in the air and then hit it with a paddle before it bounces off the ground. This is a technique that beginners can do.

Pickleball Drop Serve

If you’re having trouble hitting a ball that’s thrown in the air, try hitting it from the bottom bounce. Drop shots allow you to bounce the ball first before you hit it with the paddle.

Some people find this technique easier because they can find momentum before directing the ball. To keep the bounce from breaking the height rule, make sure not to push the ball down to avoid it.

Top Spin Serve

A hit with a level of difficulty that may be a bit high. The idea is to turn the paddle up to get the ball to dive down so it’s hard for the opponent to return. You need flexibility in your arms to do this technique. So make sure to stretch before playing.

Inside Out Serve

The inside-out is a technique of turning the direction of the shot so that the ball turns slightly to the right or the left. If combined with a strong hit, it is almost impossible for the ball to be returned by the enemy.

This service is a blow that will be very lethal if you have mastered it. This is because the ball will move erratically and wildly. Some variants of this technique are prohibited by the USAPA. So make sure if you want to develop this technique stick to the rules. Also, don’t be upset if your finding technique is banned in the upcoming Pickleball rules.

Definition Of The Term “Let” In Pickleball

pickleball let serve

Under certain conditions, a game can experience certain disturbances. For example, a dog catches a ball and takes it away. If this happens then the rally will be repeated and is called a “let”. The service let is the most common type of let in Pickleball.

A let serve is a service where the ball hits the net but is still in the right area. Usually, this happens when the ball hits the top of the net. in the event of a service let, then the service will be repeated without incurring a penalty. Players and referees can submit let also there is no limit to the number specified.

Note that it should be underlined that the service let must fall in the correct area otherwise it will be counted as a fault.

This rule was later removed in 2021 to maintain the integrity of the game. Any serve to touch the net will be considered an active ball and must be continued in play. Also, any error in the service will remain a fault and result in a loss of serve for the player who made the mistake.


Pickleball Serve is the first shot to start a game. You can try various hitting techniques according to your taste as long as it is still following the applicable rules. Effective and sharp strikes will make you unpredictable and can win the game easily. Some of the rules regarding this service are constantly being updated to provide a regular game.

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