Do You Get 2 Serves in Badminton?

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Badminton is a sport that has been played since the 16th century. Given that it’s been around for such a long time, some people feel naturally confused about some of the rules. In this article, we’ll tackle one of the most common questions: do you get 2 serves in badminton? 

Do You Get 2 Serves in Badminton?

No, you don’t get 2 serves in badminton. If your first serve fails or goes out then your opponent will win a point. That’s why it’s so important to practice serving in badminton since you don’t get a second chance. 

Person wondering if do you get 2 serves in badminton

Serving is the start of a rally. That’s why there are special rules and restrictions in place that prevent the server to have an overwhelming advantage. 

What is the Proper Way to Serve in Badminton?

Unlike tennis, the serve in badminton must be hit in an upwards direction. The motion must also utilize an underarm hitting action. So if you are used to serving in tennis, transitioning to badminton could be more difficult than you might think. 

For instance, you must hit the shuttlecock below your waist. In badminton rules, the height level is the lowest part of your ribcage. So you can get away with serving a bit higher from the top of your shorts

How Service Courts Are Used for Serving in Badminton?

Service courts are smaller box shapes found inside the court. They are used for three things and that is:

  • The server must stand inside the service court.
  • The receiver must stand inside the diagonal opposite of the opposing service court.
  • The serve must travel towards the diagonal opposite of the opposing service court. 

An example would be if you were serving on the left side service court then your opponent should be standing on the left side of his service court. 

When the serve lands outside the opposing service court then it is a point awarded to the receiver. The receiver can hit it and the rally continues even if the serve would have been out. 

How to Decide Who Serves First?

In most major tournaments, you and your opponent will decide using a coin toss to determine which side will go first. 

Man about to serve in badminton

In leisure games and some badminton leagues, they use the shuttlecock to determine which side serves first. They usually throw it up in the air and whichever side the shuttlecock is pointing upon landing, gets to serve first. 

How to Determine Which Side to Serve From?

There are two service courts for each side, the left, and the right service court. The side which you serve depends on the server’s current score. 

If the server’s score is an even number then the server will serve from the right service court. When the server’s score is an odd number then the server will serve from the left side court. That is why the service courts are popularly called as the even service court and the odd service court. 

What Happens When You Serve and Win the Rally?

In singles, you simply serve in the alternate service court from where you previously served. 

If you are playing in doubles the serving might be confusing so here’s how it goes. You still follow the even and odd serving scheme. However, you don’t switch who the server will be. Instead, the server and the partner will swap service courts. 

The receivers won’t change their service courts until they win a point and it is now their side who is serving.

What Are The 4 Types Of Serves In Badminton?

Low serveMakes the opponent think the shuttle won’t go over the net
High serveTravels a great distance
Drive serveGoes directly at the opponent
Flick serveDeceives the opponent

Even if your serve is limited to below your waist and underhanded action there are still a variety of ways you can do a serve in badminton. Most of the serves are executed using a forehand or backhand motion. 

Low Serve

The low serve is a gentle tap to the shuttlecock just to travel over the net. The purpose is for the shuttlecock to barely pass over the net while falling over the border of the opposing service court at the same time. 

Person about to serve in badminton

If not done correctly it can go too high or predictable and a skilled opponent will instantly smash or net kill you. 

High Serve

The high serve is a power strike directed upwards and towards the opposing service court. The purpose of the serve is to let the shuttlecock travel long distance and drop on the most end of the service court. 

While this serve is the popular choice among beginner players, the serve is easy to predict since you will always use the forehand grip to execute it. 

Flick Serve

The flick serve is also played upwards but at a lesser altitude. The most common way to do a flick serve is by using a backhand motion with your badminton racket. While you can trick opponents with it thinking that you’ll do a low serve, while actually doing a flick serve. 

Because of this, competitive badminton players oftentimes use this serve. Low serve and flick serve look almost alike up until the point of contact with the shuttlecock. 

Drive Serve

A drive serve is when you try to hit the shuttlecock directly at your opponent. Your opponent will be caught off guard and won’t have the time to react. This is a very offensive-oriented serve which some of the top badminton players like to use. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about serving in badminton

Who Will Serve in the 2nd Set In Badminton?

After the first set, the winner servers first. Though, to decide who will serve on the first set, the players need to toss a coin. The winner of the coin toss will decide whether he wants to serve or receive.

Can You Score From the Serve in Badminton?

Yes, if you successfully serve and your opponent isn’t able to return the shuttlecock to you, you score a point. This is considered to be an ACE, a point scored directly from the serve.

What Are Illegal Serves in Badminton?

In badminton, you cannot serve by hitting the shuttle in a downward motion. The correct way is to hit it by doing an upward motion. On top of that, you need to have your feet in contact with the floor at all times.


Serving in badminton is important to the game. It’s great that you learn the basics and rules of badminton, especially about serving. You can score a point from an opponent just by serving alone. Hence, you should also consider polishing your serving skills. 

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.