Pickleball strategy – Top 12 Doubles Strategies

To play like a pro and win like a champ, one should never underestimate the power of pickleball Strategies. The key is to focus more on placement than on power.

To be an influential gamer, your strategy is tremendously important in the game of pickleball. Keep in mind that pickleball is both a physical and mental game. So, you must consider these strategies to stand out tall with an authoritative win on the court.

Deep Return of the Serve

The first pickleball strategy is to start with the service which is the first shot of every pickleball rally. It is important to serve accurately because, unlike the sport of tennis, you only have a single chance to get your serve in the correct service area. 

You have complete control over the serve if you have perfected it with practice and have achieved extreme accuracy. While serving during the double pickleball strategy, hit on the feet of the opponent player.

During the placement of your serve, it is significant for the serve to land in the proper service box, but it is also imperative to give yourself an advantage on the serve by making the return of the serve more complicated for your opponents.

Try following tips to make it complicated for the opponent.

  • During playing pickleball doubles target your opponent’s blind spot or his weaker sidewhich is often their backhand side or his feet, as most pickleball players have powerful and stronger forehand shots than backhand shots.
  • Hit your serve deep into the service box, which will push your opponents back beyond the baseline, remember a deep serve is the rule of thumb but avoid hitting your serve out of bounds as a cause of giving yourself too small of a margin for error

The second pickleball strategy relates to the second shot of every pickleball rally which is the return of serve. Like the serve, the return of the serve should be deep in your opponent’s side of the pickleball court which is close to the baseline, but within the court. This is important if you are playing a team that likes to drive the third shot called “bangers”.

You can target a specific player as well.

  • Target the player of the opposing doubles team with the weaker third shot
  • Target the backhand side of a weak player.

If you have mastered the strategy of deep return of serve, then also consider the following more advanced pickleball strategy tips for the return of serve:

Most points in pickleball are won at the Kitchen line also called Non-Volley Zone Line Kitchen Line. As a result, it is important to reach the Non-Volley Zone Line as quickly as possible. As the returning team, you should be able to get to the Non-Volley Zone Line in no time after hitting your return of serve.

Pickleball doubles Strategy

If it’s hard to enter the Non-Volley Zone Line, consider hitting a return of serve with a high arc. This will provide you more time to get to the non-Volley Zone. This strategy can be affected if the wind causes havoc on your shot and carries it out of bounds.

Playing against bangers, a lob return of serve will have the capability to have a high bounce, which will more easily allow the bangers to hit a drive.

Try to put some spin on your return of serve which will make it a difficult shot for your opponents. For instance, consider slicing your return of serve like hitting your return of serve with a backspin.

This will benefit you and your partner and give you more time to get to the Non-Volley Zone Line because the backspin will likely cause the pickleball to travel at a slightly slower pace.

Try to keep the pickleball low when it makes contact with the pickleball court.

1. Return of Serve

If you are playing a team with one player that loves to charge the pickleball net and take the next shot (the fifth shot) in front of their partner), then consider returning the pickleball to the poacher in order to eliminate his or her ability to crash the pickleball net.

By returning the pickleball to the poacher, he will be forced to hit the third shot and you will keep them back in the court.

2. Bend Your Knees

The next pickleball strategy tip may sound simple and easy but it is more difficult than you think and most pickleball players neglect to do it on a consistent basis. This strategy is to move your feet and bend your knees.

Your feet are extremely important in shot execution. And you should move them in a position that will allow you to hit the pickleball out in front of you. This technique is highly effective to hit the low balls in pickleball which is a key goal on the pickleball courts. 

3. Hit Out the Front

  • The best and the most important technique is to watch the pickleball and hit it; however, it is highly neglected as there are many distractions on the court.
  • Focus on the shot and execute one shot at a time.
  • Ignore the opposing player, the opposing player’s paddle, spectators, your partner and your next shot simply watch the pickleball hit your paddle.
  • Make sure to hit the pickleball in front of your body and hitting the pickleball out in front of your body starts with moving your feet. Doing this will stop you from overswinging and you will be able to swing relatively compactly.
  • Try to keep moving forward and otherwise stay at the Non-Volley Zone Line, where most points are won.

4. Be Ready

Ready is the position you should be in when you start transitioning up the pickleball court and entering into the “Transition Area,” as well as at the Non-Volley Zone Line. 

Knees bent and compress your body with your weight on the balls of your feet with your paddle facing forward or facing 10 or 11 o’clock if you imagine that you are standing on a clock face and forward and paddle head up.

The game of pickleball can happen so fast as you move closer to the pickleball net and so it is important to stay ready all the time.

This will cut down on your reaction time and you do not have to raise your paddle to hit the pickleball because your paddle is already there.

5. Make a Choice & Pledge It

Decision-making on the pickleball court is extremely important. Good strategies, good shot selection, playing the higher percentages, and deciding where to position yourself on the pickleball court play a huge factor in losing or winning a pickleball game. 

Pickleball players often make mistakes by changing their minds about their shot selection and second-guessing themselves. The time to make a shot and make decisions happen is only fractions of a second. As a result, if you change your mind at the last minute, you will likely make a mistake because you will not give yourself enough time to execute the change.

6. Play With Your Opponents’ Weaknesses

The basic cornerstone of pickleball strategy is playing to your strengths, power, and opponents’ weaknesses. For instance, if you have a great drive and power game, while your opponents have a great dinking and soft game and then drive the pickleball strategy more often and try to speed the pickleball up.

If you have a great job and your opponents have a terrible overhead or poor mobility, then try to lob your opponents and avoid drinking rallies.

7. Stay Persistent

Patience is very important in the sport of pickleball. Exercising patience as a player is the best strategy which is a skill many people on the pickleball court lack.

Many times, on the pickleball court, the players who rush lose scores during the counterattack by or their opponents which is better than the initial speed up. Be patient and avoid unattackable pickleball below the net.

8. Keep it Low

A low pickleball strategy will prevent your opponents from being able to go on the offensive with an aggressive shot and so keep the pickleball low. For instance, a low return of serve will likely result in your opponents hitting a drop shot instead of a drive. Also, a low shot at the Non-Volley Zone Line or kitchen will result in a dink, rather than a fast-paced volley. 

The focus for you and your partner in the pickleball doubles strategy is to keep the pickleball low. To do this, consider your paddle angle and pace when you are putting on a pickleball at different heights.

Paddle Angle:

A paddle angle that is flat or open to the sky which will cause the pickleball to have more height. A paddle angle that is close to the sky or parallel to the net will result in the pickleball having less height.

9. Connect more!

If you are wondering how to play pickleball doubles then one strategy which is key to winning pickleball is strong communication with your partner. You and your partner should communicate between shots and in points.

For instance, communicating and deciding who takes pickleball that lands in the middle, who is running down the lob, and whether or not to let certain shots go by that will be landing out of bounds also helps to encourage your partner.

This is especially true if the opposing team is picking on the “weaker” player and if you are the player that is not being picked on, then your job is to be a supporter for your buddy and enclose yourself where likely to help relieve pressure. Be a positive force for your partner on the pickleball court to encourage him or her. 

10. The Out Balls Must Go

Whether you are playing singles pickleball or doubles pickleball, one of the best pickleball techniques strategy skills that you can have on the pickleball court is the ability to let the out balls go. This is especially true when you are playing against players that like to drive the pickleball so stay on the lookout for out balls! Duck and dodge out balls. Do not help your opponents stay on the point.

11. Hit Crosscourt 

It is important to keep pickleball low. An ace tip for solid dinking is to hit most dinks crosscourt as divergent to straightforward or in the middle of the pickleball court. This is because the crosscourt dink gives you the most margin for error because it will travel over the lowest part of the pickleball net, which is in the middle; 

(a). the ball is hit into a natural angle.

(b). there is more court space to dink into (as opposed to a straightforward dink). 

In other words, the crosscourt dink is more forgiving and it does not require you to be quite as perfect. As a result, you should dedicate yourself to practicing to become extremely proficient at the crosscourt dink, and 70% to 80% of your dinks should probably be crosscourt.

You should also mix up your dinks and your other shots, such as an offensive lob from time to time in order to stay unpredictable in your pickleball strategy. 

If you are in trouble during the game and off balance, consider resetting the pickleball with a simple straightforward dink and make sure to hit the dink slightly toward the middle and out of reach of an opponent.

12. Hit Down the Middle

Whether playing doubles pickleball or singles, the key to winning a pickleball game is hitting the pickleball over the net and between the lines of the court one more time than your opponents, however, it is not so easy.

One easy tip to help accomplish this is to hit most of your shots on the pickleball court down the middle—with the exception of dinks, in which most of your dinks should go crosscourt; this strategy can help you win the game.

The central part of the pickleball court delivers you with the highest margin of fault, as the net is at its lowest point and you can miss a little to the right or a little to the left while keeping the pickleball in play. 

One additional good pickleball tip that is useful for winning doubles pickleball Strategy is to not only target the middle of the pickleball court but to target the foot in the middle of the court that is on your opponent’s backhand side. 


1. Consistently Serve Deep
2. Bend Your Knees and Move Your Feet
3. Watch & Hit the Pickleball Out in Front.
4. Be “Pickleball Ready” with Your Pickleball Paddle Up

The three key things which are most important and on which you should focus are drill, play, and practice.

The five most common mistakes that beginners players make are 
1. Scooting up after the serve
2. “Too fancy” of a spin
3. Smashing balls too early
4. Kitchen faults
5. Poor serve techniques 

For beginners, trying to hit hard is the biggest mistake.

Keeping pickleball low is the hardest thing in pickleball. When you keep your pickleball low, you prevent your competitor from an aggressive shot.