Pickleball Strategy Doubles: 17 Proven Ways to Dominate the Court

Pickleball Strategy Doubles

Looking to elevate your pickleball strategy doubles game? While the sport is easy to pick up solo, those seeking a competitive edge know the value of strategic play.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to explore advanced pickleball techniques and tactics. As a beginner, developing solid habits and utilizing tried-and-true pickleball strategies is key to progressing to a 5.0-level player. Our comprehensive guide delves into proven approaches for winning more doubles matches, highlighting the power of strategy over sheer strength in the game.

We’ll also cover common mistakes for novice pickleball players to steer clear of. Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Let’s dive in and uncover winning pickleball strategies for doubles.

Pickleball Strategy Doubles| 11 Proven Ways To Win Your Games

If you’re looking to dominate on the pickleball court, you’ll need to up your game with smart strategies, effective techniques, and a strong tactical understanding of the sport. With the right pickleball strategy doubles in your toolkit, you can gain a competitive edge and win more games.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, our expert guide provides a roadmap for your player development. Learn how to craft a winning game plan, develop an arsenal of strategic tricks, and leverage basic pickleball tactics for success. Let’s move to take you to the next level with these essential pickleball strategies doubles 11 proven ways to win your games.

Pickleball Strategy Doubles

Goal: Outmaneuver and outscore opponents in doubles play by utilizing effective strategies and communication.

Key Strategies:
Control the “Kitchen” (Non-Volley Zone)
Dink the ball to draw opponents into the kitchen
Aim for your opponents’ feet to limit their mobility
Communicate with your partner to return shots down the middle

Improves teamwork and communication skills
Enhances reflexes and reaction times
Develops strategic thinking and decision-making abilities
Promotes physical fitness and endurance

Equipment: Pickleball paddles, a pickleball, and a net.

Recommended Number of Players: 4 (2 teams of 2)

Playing Area: A rectangular court, 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, with a 7-foot non-volley zone on either side of the net.

Scoring: Games are typically played to 11 points, and a team must win by at least two points.

1. Always Use Less Lob

In pickleball strategy doubles, lob shots can be a powerful tool for both offense and defense. By sending the ball high and arcing over your opponents, you can disrupt their rhythm and force them to move away from the Non-Volley Zone (“kitchen”) line.

On the defensive side, lobs provide a chance to reposition while the ball is in the air. However, they can also be risky as they give your opponents an opportunity to hit an aggressive return shot. It’s crucial to keep your opponents on their toes by utilizing a range of shots such as drives, drop shots, and dinks in your pickleball strategy doubles game plan.

Remember, mastering pickleball strategy doubles requires patience and practice, but with a solid plan and dedication, you can elevate your game and take it to the next level.

2. Hit a Third Shot Drop to Your Opponent’s Backhand

The “third shot drop” is a frequently used tactic in pickleball strategy doubles, and there’s a good reason why – it’s effective. A drop shot involves hitting the ball gently and high from deep in the court, with the aim of having it bounce in the Non-Volley Zone of the opponent.

This forces them into a defensive position, giving you an opportunity to move toward the NVZ line. To maximize its impact, try targeting your opponent’s backhand side.

3. Unlock the Power of the Dink: A Game-Changing Strategy for Pickleball Doubles

In pickleball strategy doubles, a dink refers to a shot made after the ball has bounced in the Non-Volley Zone, with the intention of arcing just above the net and landing in the opponent’s NVZ. When you dink the ball between your opponents, it stays close to the ground, forcing both of them to move toward the center of the court, which can reveal vulnerabilities on their sides.

4. Outsmart Your Opponents: Use the Foot Shot to Win at Pickleball

As a pickleball player, aiming your shots at your opponent’s feet can have several benefits. Firstly, it forces your opponents to move quickly and return the shot while in motion. Secondly, returning a shot aimed at their feet may result in an underhand stroke, possibly popping the ball up high, giving you an opportunity for an aggressive follow-up on your next shot.


5. The Ultimate Serve Strategy

To gain an advantage in pickleball strategy doubles, consider enhancing the power of your serve and targeting the deep part of your opponent’s service court. A well-executed deep serve can keep your opponents at bay and make it difficult for them to return the ball quickly, giving you a chance to position yourself for your next shot.

6. Know the Art of Kitchen Dominance

To dominate the pickleball court, you need to control the kitchen line. One way to do this is to keep your opponents on their heels by hitting the player at the back and making them move side to side. This will keep them away from the kitchen line, which is a prime scoring position.

However, if they do get too close to the line, you can use a well-executed lob shot over their head and behind them to force them back. Just be cautious not to set them up for an overhand smash!

7. Elevate Your Pickleball Game By Dinking

As a beginner, it’s common to fall into the habit of allowing dinks to bounce before returning them. However, you’re not obligated to adhere to this strategy. Volleys can be a powerful tool in disrupting your opponent’s timing and gaining an advantage.

So, don’t be afraid to volley a dink before it bounces and surprise your opponents with your quick reflexes.

8. Return the Serve Deeply

Opt for high-arcing and deep returns while returning serves. By hitting the ball deep, you make it challenging for your opponent to approach the Non-Volley Zone line, which is usually their preferred move. Additionally, this keeps them at a distance from the net, compelling them to hit a higher ball, which works in your favor.

9. Try to Move Together with Your Partner

Successful doubles pickleball relies on effective teamwork and coordination. It’s crucial to maintain synchrony with your partner and maintain a consistent distance between each other on the court. Not maintaining proper coordination and synchronization can reveal vulnerabilities that your opponents can take advantage of.

For instance, if your partner moves towards the sideline, and you remain stationary in the ready position, a gap between the two of you will emerge, providing your opponents with an opportunity to target and exploit the opening.

Pickleball Strategy Doubles

10. Play Low Game

Strive to keep the ball low whenever possible in your gameplay. Hitting the ball just over the net can make it more challenging for your opponent to return and increase the probability of them sending a high, defensive shot back to you.

11. Aim Behind Your Opponent

Strategically hitting the ball behind your opponent in a pickleball game can be immensely advantageous. This forces them to move backward and attempt to get around the ball, which can be challenging. Techniques like lobs, cross-court dinks, or hitting a low shot to the backhand side are excellent ways to achieve this.

When your opponent has a harder time returning the ball safely, it decreases their control and precision, leading to fewer high-percentage shots.

12. Learn a Compact Stroke

Efficiency is crucial in becoming a swift and formidable player on the pickleball court. Utilizing a compact stroke technique can save you time and energy while executing shots. Reducing the backswing and follow-through of your stroke can help you attain greater efficiency and effectiveness. Rather than thinking of your follow-through as a “smack,” try visualizing it as a “toss” or “push” of the ball.

13. Patience is The Gold

As your skill level advances, you’ll realize that strategy and precision are fundamental aspects of pickleball gameplay. In order to outplay your opponents, you must rely on patience and technique instead of making simple unforced errors.

Maintaining control of the rally’s momentum, positioning yourself well, and keeping your opponents in motion should be your primary focus. Vary your shots by directing them toward different areas of the court and your opponent’s sides. Exercise patience and watch for opportunities to make strategic moves that will earn you points.

14. Make a Decision on Shot Selection & Commit to It

Making the right decisions on the pickleball court is crucial for success. Choosing high-percentage shots, positioning yourself strategically on the court, and making quick and committed decisions are all important factors in winning a game.

Players frequently err by doubting their shot selection or altering their decisions mid-swing.  With such a small window of time to make decisions, hesitation or indecision can result in errors that cost points. It’s essential to commit to your decisions and execute them quickly.

15. Effective Communication: The Secret to Dominating Shots Down the Middle

Hitting shots down the middle of the court can create confusion and indecision about which partner should take the ball. To avoid this, it’s crucial for doubles teams to establish early on who will handle middle shots. This could involve a general guideline, such as the player on the forehand side being responsible for those shots.

Regardless, effective communication is key, and players should shout out ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ to prevent misunderstandings.

16. Move Together

As you play doubles in pickleball, it’s crucial to move in unison with your partner, as if you’re connected by an invisible rope measuring around 8-10 feet. Keep moving together both up-and-back and side-to-side. If you move independently, you’ll create wide gaps that your opponents can exploit to hit successful shots.

Pickleball Strategy Doubles

17. Practice, Patience, and Positivity

When it comes to pickleball doubles strategy, success is all about teamwork. Unlike singles play, your decisions and efforts affect not just you, but your partner as well. You’ll need patience and trust in order to develop a solid partnership on the court.

Remember that there’s always a bit of luck involved, so don’t forget to celebrate successes and take responsibility for any missteps. One key to successful doubles play is communication. Resist the urge to make every shot and trust your partner’s skills.

Be willing to let them take the shot if they have a better angle, and remember to call balls in and out for each other, especially on serves. It’s also important to think before you act, as your risk of errors is doubled with a partner on the court. When building a strong partnership, celebrate every point, regardless of the outcome.

Tap your partner’s paddle after each victory or defeat to stay positive and motivated, and to strengthen your bond as a team. Mistakes are inevitable, but instead of blaming each other, use them as opportunities to grow and learn together.

Honesty and self-reflection are essential to improving your game. As opposed to fixating on previous errors, concentrate on how you can use those lessons to catch your opponents off guard with improved skills. By demonstrating patience, trust, and openness to communication and learning, you and your doubles partner can accomplish remarkable things on the pickleball court.

Pickleball Doubles Strategy and Final Thoughts

In the last, I’ll conclude my discussion with the remarks that by acting on the pickleball strategy double, we can dominate the game. As a pickleball doubles player, implementing these strategies can greatly improve your skills on the court and enhance your partnership with your teammate.

While these pickleball strategy doubles may not be intuitive at first, practice and repetition will make them second nature. So take the time to incorporate as many of these concepts as possible and watch as your game reaches new heights.


Pickleball doubles strategy for beginners involves several key concepts that can help improve your game and make you a better partner on the court. Some of these strategies include:

Communication: To improve your game in pickleball doubles, it’s important to prioritize effective communication with your partner both before and during the game.

Positioning: Work together to find the best positioning on the court to cover the most ground and defend against your opponents’ shots. Movement: Move together as a team, always keeping an eye on your partner’s position and movements. Shot selection: Make smart shot selections, playing the higher percentages and avoiding low-percentage shots that could lead to errors. 

Patience: Additionally, practicing patience and developing trust in your partner’s skills and decision-making abilities can help you work together more effectively on the court.

Celebrate successes: Celebrate each point, no matter the outcome, and stay positive and motivated to build camaraderie with your partner. By implementing these strategies and practicing them consistently, beginners can improve their doubles game and become more successful on the pickleball court. 

Advanced pickleball doubles strategies include mastering the third shot drop, using dinks and drops to control the pace of the game, utilizing the poaching technique to surprise opponents, and improving court coverage through effective positioning and movement.

These strategies require a higher level of skill and coordination between partners, as well as the ability to read and anticipate opponents’ shots. The use of advanced strategies can lead to greater success on the court and the ability to outmaneuver and outsmart opponents. It is important for advanced players to continually practice and refine these strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

The best pickleball doubles strategy is to work together as a team, communicate effectively, and maintain good court positioning. It is important to keep the ball in play and avoid unforced errors, while also trying to anticipate and capitalize on your opponent’s weaknesses. Consistency, patience, and accuracy are key components of successful doubles play.

Additionally, implementing a variety of shots, including lobs, dinks, and drives, can keep your opponents off balance and allow you to take control of the point. Overall, a strong doubles strategy involves a balance of offense and defense, as well as a willingness to adapt and adjust to the situation on the court.

Pickleball mixed doubles strategy requires both partners to have strong communication and teamwork skills, as well as an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The female partner should aim to cover the middle of the court and anticipate lobs, while the male partner should focus on covering the backcourt and hitting powerful shots.

When serving, the male partner should aim for strong serves down the middle, while the female partner can utilize a more strategic serve to catch the opponents off guard. Mixed doubles also require a balance of power and finesse shots to keep opponents on their toes. Overall, an effective mixed doubles strategy is all about communication, cooperation, and utilizing each partner’s strengths.