What is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game?

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By Malisha kaur

Pickleball has gained immense popularity in recent years, drawing players of all ages to its fast-paced and engaging gameplay. If you’re new to the sport, you might be wondering about the starting score of a doubles pickleball game. In this article, we’ll break down the basics, rules, and strategies surrounding the starting score in doubles pickleball.

Pickleball scoring may seem confusing at first, but it’s actually quite straightforward. In a standard doubles game, the starting score is 0-0. Each team has the opportunity to serve and score points, with the first team to reach 11 points winning the game. However, there are a few key elements to understand to fully grasp the concept.

Understanding Pickleball Scoring

The 0-0 Starting Point

At the beginning of a doubles pickleball game, both teams start with a score of 0-0. This means that no team has an advantage over the other, and the game is essentially in a neutral state. The serving team has the opportunity to take the first shot, determining whether they will be serving from the right or left side of the court.

The First Serve

The first serve of the game is crucial, as it sets the tone for the match. The serving team has the chance to earn points while the receiving team aims to gain control of the serve. A strong first serve can put pressure on the opponents right from the start and give the serving team an advantage.

Strategies for a Successful Start

To ensure a successful start in a doubles pickleball game, communication between partners is key. Players should decide on the serving order and positioning on the court. The serving team’s partner at the net should be ready to intercept any return shots, while the server aims to place the ball strategically.

Managing the Game

As the game progresses, teams will continue to serve and accumulate points. When the serving team wins a point, they retain the serve and continue to serve from the same side of the court. However, if the receiving team wins a point, they take over the serve and switch sides.

Dealing with Deuce

In some cases, the score might reach a tie at 10-10, known as “deuce.” During deuce, teams will continue to play until one team wins two consecutive points, breaking the tie. The starting score at deuce will be determined by which team had the serve when the score reached 10-10.

Mindset and Momentum

The starting score can have a psychological impact on players. A team that begins with a strong lead can build momentum and confidence, while a team at a slight disadvantage may need to rally to regain control. Staying positive and focused is crucial regardless of the starting score.

Advanced Techniques for a Winning Start

Experienced pickleball players often employ advanced techniques to gain an advantage from the very beginning. Utilizing spin serves with variations in speed and placement can catch opponents off guard. Rather than relying solely on power, precision and strategic placement can lead to a successful start.


In the exciting world of doubles pickleball, the starting score plays a significant role in shaping the course of the game. Understanding the 0-0 starting point, the importance of the first serve, and employing effective strategies can set the stage for victory. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, mastering the art of the starting score can greatly enhance your gameplay.


  1. Is the starting score the same for singles and doubles pickleball games?
    • Yes, both singles and doubles games start with a score of 0-0.
  2. What happens if the serving team makes a mistake on the first serve?
    • If the serving team makes a mistake on the first serve, they get a second attempt. If they make a mistake again, the serve goes to the opposing team.
  3. Can the receiving team score points if they are not serving?
    • Yes, both the serving and receiving teams have the opportunity to score points.
  4. Is there a maximum score in pickleball?
    • In standard pickleball games, the maximum score is 11 points. However, some variations of the game might use a different maximum score.
  5. What is the significance of the serving order in doubles pickleball?
    • The serving order determines which player serves first in the team. It rotates between the players as the game progresses to ensure fairness.

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