How many points is pickleball played too

New and experienced pickleball players are always curious to learn more about the sport, after all, it’s the fastest-growing sport in the US. One thing that many pickleball players are curious to learn more about is the pickleball scoring system. 

Invented initially as a backyard sport to kill boredom by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell, this sport has garnered much attention in recent years. However, after a few games, Joel and Bill decided that pickleball would have a scoring system. Many people who were fond of playing pickleball at that time used to wonder “how many points is pickleball played to?” So, simply put, the total score as decided by Joel and Bill after a few trials and errors was 11. 

But as you dive deeper into the topic, you will realize that the pickleball scoring system is much more complicated than it seems to be. So here’s a guide for you to understand everything about the scoring system and answer your query, “how many points is pickleball played to?”

How Many Points is Pickleball Played To?

Pickleball Scoring Guide:

  • Scoring in Pickleball involves reaching 11 points, with a requirement to win by a margin of 2 points. 
  • The initial serve is always taken by the player in the right service court, and points can only be scored during your team’s service.

Traditional Scoring System in Pickleball

Here are a few basics for you to understand the basic scoring system. This information will help you a lot in answering the question asked by many pickleball players “how many points is pickleball played to?” 

  • In pickleball, points are scored only when you or your team is serving, whether in doubles or singles.
  • The serving team continues until they lose a rally due to a fault.
  • In doubles, the serve rotates to the next player on the same team after a lost point.
  • If the new server or their partner faults, the serve goes to the opponents on the other end.
  • Pickleball scoring requires winning by two points, making the final score potentially higher than 11.
  • Faults, similar to other racket sports, result in point loss, including errors like the ball going into the net or landing out of bounds.
  • Although a game is scored to 11 points, winning two out of three games is typically needed to win the overall match.

What is Rally Scoring in Pickleball?

Rally scoring in pickleball is different compared to traditional systems. It allows either side to score when an opponent faults, even if they aren’t serving. When you play with rally scoring in pickleball, things get a bit more exciting. You can score whether you are serving or not, thanks to your opponent’s slip-ups. Usually, players play to 15 or 21 points, making the scoreboard light up faster and turning up the heat in the game.

And here’s the fun part: every serve is a chance to rack up points. Unlike the traditional scoring system, where only the serving team could score, rally scoring lets any mistake by the other team add to the total. This adds an additional layer of excitement and fun to the game. 

Pickleball Double Scoring

Pickleball Double Scoring

Moving ahead, let’s explore the rules and regulations associated with double scoring in pickleball: 

  • Points can only be scored when your team is serving in pickleball doubles.
  • The first serve starts from the player on the right side (even court) and is served diagonally to the opposite court.
  • If the serving side wins the point, the server moves to the left court (odd court) for the next serve.
  • At the beginning of a game, the first team to serve starts as the #2 serve, with a sideout if they lose the rally.
  • The server continues to serve from right to left after scoring a point.
  • Only players on the serving side alternate right to left, and this happens only when they score a point.
  • When the first server loses the rally, the serve goes to the second server on the same team, and players stay on the same side.
  • If server two loses the serve, the other team takes their turn to serve, starting with the player on the right.
  • The server number (1 or 2) applies only to that service turn, not throughout the game.
  • In the very first serve of the game, only one person serves, starting with a score of 0-0-2, indicating that the second server starts the game. This helps balance the advantage of being the first team to serve.

Pickleball Singles Scoring & Rules:

Here are a few single scoring rules in pickleball you must understand: 

  • Points can only be won when you are serving.
  • If the server’s score is even, serve from the right side; if it’s odd, serve from the left side.
  • When serving, announce your score first: server score, receiver score.

How many points to win pickleball? The first person to 11 wins the game, but there’s a catch – you need to win by two! And, by the way, how many points is pickleball played to? Typically, it’s 11 points, but remember, you’ve got to secure that two-point lead for the win.

How to Announce the Score in Pickleball

When calling the score in pickleball, the person serving says three numbers:

1. The serving team’s score.

2. The receiving team’s score.

3. The server number, which is either 1 or 2.

Remember it as: “me, you, who.”

Bottom Line

The world of pickleball scoring may seem straightforward at first, with a standard goal of reaching 11 points. Eventually, it unveils layers of excitement and strategy as you dive into the game. Whether you are a seasoned player or just getting started, understanding the scoring intricacies, including rally scoring and double scoring, adds an extra element of fun to the fastest-growing sport in the US. 

So, the next time someone asks, “how many points is pickleball played to?” – you will not only have the answer but also a deeper appreciation for the dynamic nature of this engaging sport. Keep playing, keep scoring, and enjoy the thrill of the pickleball court!


How do you score points in pickleball?

In pickleball, points are earned when the serving team wins a rally, and scoring is also based on the opposing team’s faults, like hitting the ball out of bounds or into the net.

How many points do we play pickleball games to?

Pickleball games are typically played to 11 points, with the team reaching this score first declared the winner, but sometimes tournaments or casual play might use a different point limit.

Are games played to 15 points in pickleball?

No, games are not commonly played to 15 points in standard pickleball; the standard is playing to 11 points, but variations can be seen in different settings or variations of the game.

How many points in pickleball do you need to win singles pickleball?

In singles pickleball, the player needs to score 11 points to secure victory, making it a slightly different dynamic compared to doubles play.

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