What is Skinny Singles Pickleball? Know about the rules and strategies

While most people over 50 years old prefer to go with the Doubles, singles are most popular amongst the youngsters. But if you are a total beginner, singles might not be the best option to start your game. In this case, the perfect game for you is the skinny singles pickleball. 

The skinny singles is basically a modified version with a combination of both singles and doubles. This game can improve your skills, planning ability, strategy, and accuracy better as a beginner. 

What is Skinny Singles Pickleball

What exactly is Skinny Singles Pickleball?

Skinny single pickleball is a kind of pickleball that is generally played with another person using half the court. This game follows most of the strategies and short selections used in the doubles. Also, since you won’t be having a partner on your side, you will have to hit all of the shots for your side, which also means double repetitions. 

How to play skinny singles pickleball?

Skinny singles pickleball is mostly played as well as scored like the regular singles where you are only allowed to hit a cross-court into the opponent’s court, the same half of the court where the ball was served initially. It’s considered as a fault if you miss hitting the ball into the right half. 

Additionally, all of the subsequent shots like volleys, return of serve, drops must always be hit cross-court in the skinny singles. This single rule is what makes the skinny singles exceptional. 

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Pickleball skinny singles rules:

As I mentioned in the beginning, most of the rules of this game follow the strategies of the doubles except for the scoring and serving. However, in this part, I am going to mention some of the rules you must know to play this game:

  • Rule 4.B.5: In cases of the scores being even like zero, four, etc., you have to serve from the even or right serving area of your court, and the opponent must receive it from the even/right area of his/her court. 
  • 4.b.5.b: In cases of the scores being odd like one, three, etc., you have to serve from the odd or left serving area and must be received from the odd/left service court of the opponent. 
  • 4.b.5.c: If a server loses the rally or gets a fault, there will be a side-out, and the opponent will get the service. 
  • In this game, the scoring is calculated in merely two numbers. The servers are supposed to score first and the opponents second.
  • Each of the sides must make a groundstroke after serving the ball but before volleying it. So, unlike tennis, you don’t really gt any volley and serve. This is called the two bounce rule!

Some Variations of the Skinny Singles Pickleball:

Although you can find a lot of types of Skinny singles played these days, I am mentioning the most common three types of the game. 


This one is played by following the rules I mentioned above. When you have an even score, you serve from the right side and from the left side when your score is odd. The same rule is applied to your opponent. This type is the most similar one to the double amongst others, and it allows you to play or defend from a variety of angles. 

Down the line:

In this version, one o the player stands on their odd side and the other on their even side. This allows you to hit some new shots than the others. Besides, since the net is typically lower in the center, the players can hit cross-court shots in a high percentage. 

A Mixup of the Down the Line and Cross Court:

Most skinny single players love this combination of the rules. In this type, both the players start the game on their even side. The server will have to switch their side whenever they win a point. The opponent will begin serving from their exact positing as soon as the server loses the rally. 

Pickleball skinny singles strategy

Here, I will talk about some of the pickleball skinny singles strategy that you should know if you are looking forward to having a professional game: 

Singles Serving: In skinny singles, serving is something you need to be hard about. To have a sure win, most players hit the ball hard into the weak side of their opponents. But as a beginner, that might be too much for you. So, what you can do is, go deep and hard with the ball and make it fall in the middle. A strong and deep hit, in this case, will give you a perfect win. 

Serve Return: With serving, it’s best to try to hit the angles and in the deep corners. This will easily keep your opponent on the move. 

Net Approaching: When it comes to net movement, you should always try to move wisely. No need to be too rushed or definitely not too slow. Follow the ball and take a good move towards it for a deep hit. 

Why Does Skinny Singles Follow the Doubles?

The main reason skinny singles follow the shots and strategies like doubles is the size of the court for which each player has to cover almost 10 feet. Hence, there are some strategies followed by the doubles that you can surely use for the skinny singles. It all adds up so beautifully that you can easily apply all the doubles strategies here.

How do the Around the Post (ATP) Shots work?

One of the most significant modifications you can often see on the skinny singles is the allowed ATP shots, even though they are not really appropriate for cross-court games. This rule helps with the concept that your opponent might get a strong ATP on their end if your deep dink is not the most preferred shot in the game.


So, you can see that skinny singles pickleball can be a great option for you to practice as a beginner while gaining some physical benefits. It consists of combined shots and strategies of both doubles and singles and helps you with improving your skills greatly.