Can you play pickleball with 2 players? Everything You Need to Know

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Pickleball is a highly popular game; people prefer it because it is easy. Despite being too easy, some people still need help understanding its rules. Because it is a hybrid between tennis and ping-pong, its rules are different and harder to remember. However, people also need clarification about the number of players that can play a pickleball match. 

Can you play pickleball with 2 players, or can you only play with four? This is one of the questions that most people have, and we are here to answer them for you. In this article, we discuss pickleball singles and how it benefits you!

Is it possible to play pickleball with 2 players? 

You must have always seen Pickleball matches with two players on each team. Pickleball is an inclusive game, and it was designed so that more people can play at once. This leaves the wrong impression on beginners, making them think pickleball is a game of only four players. 

What happens if you only have 2 players for a pickleball match? Well, it is even better if you have two players because it makes the match even more competitive and interesting. You can play pickleball if there are only two players on the team.  

Here’s how to play pickleball with 2 players:

You don’t need a bigger team to play pickleball properly or follow its rules. In a 1 vs. 1 game, a player must cover the entire court, which can be harder than playing a 2 vs. 2 game. However, pickleball singles are still the most preferred among many players. 

Some Basic Rules to Follow When Playing Pickleball Singles 

Before you start with a two-player pickleball match, there are certain rules you must remember. With a slight change, the pickleball singles rule is identical to pickleball doubles. Let’s have a look at some basic 1 vs. 1 pickleball match rules: 

Rule # 1: Server Gets the Point 

One of the main rules that you must always remember is that the server gets the points. Opponents only get the point once the server makes a mistake, and they get a chance to serve. The server will always serve from the right and shift sides upon gaining a point or making an error. 

The rules are different for every match, and players get to tweak them. If your shot does not go past the net, it is counted as an error. On the other hand, the ball should not land on the opponent’s side’s kitchen or beyond the boundary as it is an error. 

Rule # 2: The game Always Starts from the Right Side 

Another basic rule when playing singles is always starting from the right side. There is only one player in the team; hence, the player must move to the right side and serve. The ball should go diagonally upwards across the court rather than straight. 

On the other hand, the ball must bounce once on the server’s side and once on the opponent’s side before it hits. You cannot hit the ball directly out of the air as it can cause you to lose a point. 

Rule # 3: Server Gets One More Chance After Error

A single pickleball match can progress in two ways, and each player has a different choice. A team has only one player; hence, the ball either goes to the opponent or you switch sides upon making an error. On the other hand, you can also switch sides when you gain a point, as it shifts the game’s momentum. 

Benefits of playing pickleball with two players 

There are many benefits of playing with two players, which few people realize. Some people think pickleball is a game of only 4 players, and it loses its charm if you have a two-player match. However, we are here to bust some myths and let you know the benefits of a two-player pickleball match: 

Improves fitness level 

Two players’ pickleball match is the best if you want to improve your fitness level. Pickleball courts are small but wide enough to keep you physically active. You must move around the court to tackle the ball and strategize your next hit. 

You can expect your fitness level to improve drastically when playing a two-player pickleball match. However, pickleball is a relatively easy game requiring much stamina. You don’t have to put a lot of stress on your knees but move your muscles. 

Easy scoring 

For beginners, the pickleball scoring system can be very confusing and stressful. Three digits in the scoreboard can be confusing for a beginner. However, the scoring board for a two-player match is quite straightforward. The first number is the server’s score, while the number beside that is the receiver’s. 

More chances to participate 

Most of us like to engage in the game fully and participate every chance we get. However, pickleball doubles only require a little participation from the left-side player when serving. Pickleball singles are a much better way to keep both players engaged in the match. It allows you to move around a lot and tackle the ball. 

If you are a beginner at pickleball and want to practice, starting with a single-player match is beneficial. You get to focus on improving your reflexes and become better at hand-to-eye coordination. You are more likely to upgrade your skills and become a professional if you master pickleball singles. 


Pickleball is a great sport that allows you to have fun and helps you improve your reflexes. Can you play pickleball with two players? It is the most asked question, and we have answered it in the best way possible. If you are skeptical about playing pickleball singles, you shouldn’t because it has great benefits. 

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