Badminton Serves, Types & Rules for Singles & Doubles

The serve is literally the soul of Badminton. It starts the game, it earns the points, it makes the game, it breaks the game. Keeping in mind the importance of serve in Badminton, we have attempted to bring you an essentially helpful guide of Badminton serve that will surely help you to a great extent.

Badminton Serves | Types of Serves, Serving Rules For Singles & Doubles

The serve is one of the most crucial shots in Badminton. It entails extra attention and careful execution. Because, it starts off the game and each rally to be precise. This is the first step to commence the game and players introduce themselves to each other with the serve.

After a player serves a shuttlecock, it crosses the net and goes towards the opposite side of the court. The opposing player, standing on the opposite side, hits the shuttlecock back to the server and this starts the rally.

The rally will continue until any side misses to return the shuttle. After the end of each rally, the winner of the rally makes the next serve. Most of the times, a poor serve creates a chance for your opponent to play a powerful attacking shot. Therefore, it is very mandatory for you to know how to perform the serve properly and how to make your serve considerably unplayable.

To do so, you should not depend on just one way of serving, rather, you may serve the shuttle in multiple ways to undo your opponent. If you serve the shuttlecock in the same way repeatedly, your opponent may learn the way of your serving and he will always be ready to have a better return each time.

To teach you the unique ways of serving and making you an invincible competitor, we have brought for you an undisputed and matchless guide that will take your serving skills to the next level.

Basically, there are three major types of the serve in Badminton game- low serve, high serve and flick serve. However, we have added all the additional serves used in Badminton to help you improve your Badminton game to the fullest.

You can perform these serves either with forehand or backhand style. If you do not start with appropriate service, it will create a negative impact on your performance and you may lose the point there.

Types of Serves in Badminton

Here are 5 types of Serves in Badminton. They are;

  1. Low Serves in Badminton
  2. High Serve in Badminton
  3. Flick Serve in Badminton
  4. Drive Serve in Badminton
  5. Smash Serve in Badminton

Let’s now discuss various types of serves in Badminton Singles and Doubles.

1. Low Serves in Badminton

It is supposedly the most common serve in Badminton sport. A low serve is used to hit the shuttle top over the net so that it may land vertically on the front court of your opponent.

When a player serves the shuttle, he must bend his wrist back in order to push softly with forehand and backhand shots. These shots will allow your shuttle to land very near to the service lines of the opponents’ court.

Your opponent will try to move forward to hit it back but, surely, he will fail to return it properly and end up either missing the shuttle thoroughly hitting it astray. When your opponent becomes unable to return the shuttle, he loses the rally and thus your target is accomplished.

You might witness the frequent use of the low serve in doubles. However, this serve is equally rewarding for singles and doubles.

2. High Serve in Badminton

The high serve is used to hit the shuttle high in the air. It lands on the back court of your opponent. The main purpose of high serve is to force your opponent to use his backhand, because most of the players are bad at using their backhand.

The most intriguing thing about this serve is that it seems fairly easy to hit but most often beats your opponent when he tries to smash it back to you. How promising this serve may be, you are to make sure that you do not use high serve frequently.

If you use it, your opponent will know where he should stand exactly during your service and how cautiously he should respond it. Therefore, you have to avoid its frequent application and save it for special moment.

3. Flick Serve in Badminton

A flick serve is used to create a tricky situation in which you can surprise your opponent. You have to hit the shuttle with the gentle flick of your wrist to push forward the shuttle towards your opponent’s unoccupied court area.

You must pretend to serve the shuttle in such a way that you are playing a low serve, instead of a flick serve. When you are about to hit the shuttle, it should suddenly get speedy momentum in order to fly over the heads of receiver, to the back of his court. The flick serve can be used either in doubles or singles, but it is commonly used in Badminton doubles.

4. Drive Serve in Badminton

In this serve, the server has to hit the shuttlecock straight and fast towards the back court of the opponent. As he does this, he wins the point easily. Because, your opponent might not have sufficient time to hit it back. Being a server, you should bear one thing in mind that this serve is also considered a very risky in badminton game. For example, if the receiver is already prepared, he can hit the shuttle powerfully back it to you.

Therefore, after playing the drive serve, you have to take the right position and stay carefully on your toes. When you execute the drive serve, you must stand slightly far away from your service line. Hence, the shuttlecock can travel sloppily to pass the net with a sheer pace.

5. Smash Serve in Badminton

A smash serve, as the name implies, is considered the most powerful shot in Badminton. It is used to hit the shuttle with brutal force and high speed towards the surface of opponent’s court.

The trajectory of the shuttle might create a difficulty for the opponent to return it successfully since this shot possesses the speed of a bullet. When you perform a smash serve, you have to make sure that the shuttle goes in the right direction. The smash serve can be performed in three ways- forehand, backhand and jumping smash.

Types of Smash Serves

  1. Forehand Smash Serve
  2. Backhand Smash Serve
  3. Jumping Smash Serve

All these styles generate the required power and give the shuttlecock a bestial blow. Let’s learn bit more about forehand smash, backhand smash and jumping smash serves.

a). Forehand Smash Serve:  A forehand smash serve is played when your racket is above the head. The players perform it with full speed, from a higher to lower direction.

Firstly, you have to raise your non-racket hand slightly above your chin. After this position, you should put the weight on your back foot in order to maintain the balance of your body. It will prevent you from foul play. Your elbows should be straight, and swing the racket with full potency to hit the shuttle forward to the opposite side.

You should keep one thing in your mind that you have to move the shuttle forward with your racket, so keep your non-racket foot ahead and bend your knees a little You have to be ready on your toes to hit a forehand smash serve at any moment.

b). Backhand Smash Serve:  A backhand smash serve is very difficult to perform. Even well-experienced players of Badminton avoid using it. But it is very important to know about the shot and how it works. For this serve, the racket should move softly from forehand grip to backhand. You also need to think carefully about further swings and shots.

You must wait for the right moment to hit this serve. Until you are fully sure that whether it is backhand shot or other shot, that is not satisfactory. You do not take a risk with backhand smash.

  • You twist your body in such a way that your back faces the net. You have to do this within three second.
  • As we have mentioned above, you should put your weight on your back foot to maintain the balance of the body.
  • But in backhand smash, you have to shift your weight on your racket foot.
  • You are to lift your arm from the shoulder with the forearm parallel to the floor. The head of the racket should be pointing downwards.
  • If you are not fully confident of your direction, do not try to hit the shuttle with full power.

c). Jumping Smash Serve:  A jumping smash serve mainly requires a jump before hitting the shuttle. You need to jump so that you can send the shuttle speedily, from some height, towards the right direction.

In that way you may create difficulty for your opponent to return it. It needs jump before hitting, because it creates a lot of power to make it aggressive.

Let’s see how to do it.

  • Firstly, you have to take a proper position before starting to hit the jumping smash serve.
  • The proper timing plays a very important role in playing a jumping smash serve.
  • You must be ready to react quickly within a few seconds, because it is faster and more powerful than the normal smash.
  • A perfect forehand grip can help you maintain a good body balance. The tendency of your body must face the sideways. Additionally, your both feet should be towards the side of the court.
  • When you jump, your body becomes tight. But you have to keep your body relaxed in order to sustain a firm stance.
  • After playing this serve, you can give back faster returning shot to your opponent.
  • While jumping, you should focus on the shuttlecock, extend your arm back as much as possible.
  • Your non-racket arm must be at the level of your chest with bent elbow. After this position, bend your knees and lean moving ahead.
  • Before going to hit the jumping smash, you have to inhale deeply and strike downwards with your racket while you are jumping into the air.
  • After harmless landing, you must keep your racket foot more forward to maintain the body balance.
  • Because you normally have less time to reply your opponent’s shots that come instantly to you. You should always prepare for another effective shot.

Service Rules; odd and even in Badminton.

First of all, the players should know about odd and even numbers. Even numbers (2 4 6 8) and odd numbers (1 3 5 7). These numbers are basically the points of the players. This method is applied for changing the position of players while serving.

1. Singles service rule odd and even

Every Badminton game starts with (0-0) at the starting of the game. If a server’s score is an even number (2 4 6 8…), he has to serve from right side of service court. If a server’s score is an odd number (1 3 5 7…), he has to serve from the left side of the service court.

2. Doubles service rule odd and even

In doubles, the server and the receiver must take their positions in diagonal opposite service court. If the serving team’s score is an even number, the server of this team has to serve from right side of service court.

If a server’s score is an odd number, he has to serve from left side of the serve court. In doubles, each side has only one service box. The service will pass to other player after his turn. Whosoever wins a rally, will serve a new rally. The server and receiver of both the teams cannot change their service box, until they win a respective rally.

 Singles long Service line in Badminton

This is the line which the server cannot cross. It is legally called the “long service line”. It is also called the base line or the back boundary line. The long service line is used for playing singles.

 Badminton Service Rules for Height

According to the previous serving rules, while you are serving the shuttlecock, your shuttlecock must be below your waist. This old fixed height service rule was applicable to all the Badminton games and tournaments. But, it has been modified by the Badminton World Federation.

Recently, the Badminton World Federation has introduced a new service rule for the height of shuttlecock during the serve. According the new service rule, your shuttlecock should be below 1.5 meters from the floor of the court. It means, during the serve, your shuttlecock should be above your waist.

Method of Serving: How to Serve in Badminton?

Let’s first explain the method of serving in Badminton before moving to its types. There are two service areas on Badminton court-one on each side. There is a center line which separates the service court. A server has to serve the shuttle diagonally to his opponent. It means, if your opponent is standing on left side of the service court. You have to serve towards your diagonally standing opponent. Let’s see how to do it.

  • While you are serving the shuttle, a little part of your both feet must touch the surface of the court. For example, if your one foot is lifted, the other foot cannot touch the service area. So, you have to keep both the feet on the surface of the court.
  • You have to be inside of your service box and you are not permitted to cross the service line while you are serving. In the same way, the receiver must be inside his service box.
  • During the service shot, your shuttlecock should be blow your waist height. Once the game starts, you cannot hold the shuttle in hands for more than five seconds.

1. Who Serves first in Badminton?

In Badminton singles, the toss winning player decides who is going to serve the shuttle first. The server makes the serve and starts a rally. Once the shuttlecock touches the floor, the rally will be over. Whosoever wins a rally, gets a point and serves the next respective rally.

As far as you keep winning the rallies, you will always be the first person to serve. Conversely, if you lose a rally, your opponent wins a point and the serve too. In Badminton doubles, it is a little difficult. As mentioned above, a toss winning side will decide who is going to serve the first rally.

Bear in mind, the first rally must be served from the right side of the service court. Subsequently, the players of both the team will decide who is going to take a position of the right service court and left service court.

After the first rally is over, there are two possible situations. Either receiving team might win a rally or the serving team. Whichever team wins the rally, gets a point and the serve. The server, who served the rally previously, turns to the opposite side of the service court and serve the next rally.

2. Where should a serve land in Badminton?

The main purpose of serve is to hit the shuttlecock with your racket-arm in order to pass the shuttle over the net and land diagonally inside the service line of your opponent’s court.

Whenever the shuttlecock lands on your opponent’s court inside the valid area, you will win a rally and a point. You can also win more rallies, if your opponent hits the shuttlecock into the mid of the net or out of the court.

Similarly, your opposite team has the same purpose to win rallies and points. They will also try to send it back towards boundary line of your valid court and make it land there.

3. Can you touch the net of Badminton while serving?

A server should know about the rules of Badminton net. You cannot touch the net at any cost. Neither with your body nor with your racket while you are serving the shuttle or during the course of entire match. If you touch the net with either your body or racket, it will be considered a foul and you might lose the point.


Badminton serves are the important part of game. A thorough knowledge of Badminton serves, its types & Serving rules makes you advanced in the game of badminton play.

Related Topics

  1. Super Badminton Drills & Exercises
  2. Smash Shots in Badminton Explained
  3. Basics of Playing Badminton Singles

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