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6 Types Of Badminton Serves

A game of badminton cannot begin without a serve and getting this part of the game just right takes some practice and skill.

Up until 2011, when the rules of the game were changed, only the player who had served could win a point in that round. This is common in most racket sports but now it has changed, you could win a point no matter who serves.

That being said, delivering a good serve could be the difference between winning and losing the game, so it is vital to get it right!

In this article, we are going to be looking at six of the most common types of serves in badminton and giving you a few helpful tips to master them.

Types of Badminton Serves

Serving Rules

As with all aspects of the game, serving in badminton does come with a set of rules. It is not uncommon to hear experts discussing the fact that a game of badminton could be either won or lost by one serve and not following the rules is a surefire way of putting yourself in a losing position.

There are three main rules when it comes to serving, none of which are extremely complicated and can be easily committed to memory.

The shuttle may only be hit when it is below waist level.

Both of the players’ feet should remain on the court.

The racket head must be below the handle before it makes contact with the shuttle.

Types Of Badminton Serves

Forehand Serve

The forehand serve is one of the most commonly used serves in the game and it can be explained in some simple steps. Much like all of the other serves, your forehand serve will require some practice but as you develop this skill, you will notice how you will begin to thrive.

To begin with, you must use the forehand racket grip which should feel comfortable. This grip involves you holding the racket near to the base as this gives a greater level of control. While serving, you should stand around two metres away from the net for optimal performance.

Where you hold the shuttlecock will also have an impact on this type of serve and most experts would agree that you should grip it at the cork using your thumb and forefinger before allowing it to drop to around the height of your thighs before serving it to the opponent.

It is also important to remember that this should be a series of two movements; dropping the shuttle and then swinging the racket, it should not be one fluid movement.

You will need to make a decision on which type of forehand serve you will take, these could be a low serve, a high serve or a flick serve and we will look at these in a little more detail later on. Most importantly, you should aim the shuttle diagonally across the court to your opponent.

Backhand Serve

Using a backhand serve is another of the most common techniques during this part of the game but it does require a certain approach to get right.

To start with, you will take hold of the racket using a loose yet firm grasp in the backhand grip. You must pick up the shuttle in a similar manner to the forehand serve using the thumb and forefinger to hold the head. This will point towards you with the feathers pointing towards the net.

Put your racket foot forward and ensure that you are certain of your aim before making the serve. Once again, you should keep in mind that the serve should be diagonal.

This type of serve requires no more than a gentle flicking motion and the trajectory and speed of the serve will largely be determined by the weight shift in your feet.

Types of Badminton Serves

Low Serve

This is potentially the most common type of serve in badminton and is often used in both types of badminton matches; singles or doubles. The idea of this serve is to aim the shuttle for the front side of your opponent’s court – you can aim for the short service line.

This type of serve is done gently in order to just clear the net.

High Serve

You will never see a high serve being used in a doubles match, they are exclusively for single tournaments. This is an aggressive serve that is done at high-speed and will land almost vertically in the back portion of the opponent’s court.

The shuttlecock is hit upwards and with a powerful motion with the aim of achieving a fast serve that can go far.

It is important to remember that when you are delivering a high serve, you won’t ever be able to obtain the power you need by using a backhand serve. Therefore, this type of serve is only ever performed with a forehand serve.

Flick Serve

In much the same way as the high serve, the flick serve is used to send the shuttle to the far end of the opponent’s court, only in this instance, the goal of the serve is different. You would likely use this to waste the time of your opponent who will be forced to attempt to hit the shuttle from behind his/herself.

Unlike the other type of high serve, this one is delivered much more gently and is often seen in a doubles match. However, you will never see the flick serve being used in a singles game.

Drive Serve

If you want to put your opponent in a position where he or she must act fast and think on their feet then a drive serve is an excellent way to achieve this.

This serve is done at high speed and the aim is to get the shuttlecock to the back end of the opponent’s court but not at a high height, unlike the high and flick serves that we have already discussed. In contrast, the drive serve is done powerfully across the net, keeping as low as possible.

You would be unlikely to spot a drive serve in a pro badminton game purely because expert players know that their opponents have the quick reactions needed to counter this serve. However, hobby players may use this serve to outdo their unsuspecting opponents.

Delivering A Serve

There are several things to think about when delivering a serve and how you hit the shuttlecock is just one of these. First of all, you must think about the angle of the serve, this will depend on how it is received.

A wide serve is used frequently in doubles games and will see the shuttle aimed for the outer edges of the court.

A straight serve works well with low serve and, as its name may suggest is directed straight across the court.

A serve that is directed at the receiver is good if you want to confuse your opponent as they will not know whether to use a fore or backhand reply.

In addition to the angle of the serve, you must consider some of the following points if you want to be sure that your serve will win you the point.

Try not to move your feet too much. As we mentioned earlier, one of the rules of the badminton serve is that the players feet must be in contact with the ground. If you can master a serve without moving your feet, you will never accidentally compromise this rule.

Think about how you appear to your opponent; if they are easily able to tell the type of serve you will be using then they will be in a much better position to react. Any pro player will tell you that disguising your serve until the very last second is the best way to confuse your opponent and stay in the game.

Similarly to the previous point, you should take the time to look at what your opponent is doing. Does he or she look as though they are in position ready to take a low serve? In that case, you might want to throw them off by delivering an unexpected high serve.

Don’t become famous for using one type of serve, this will become predictable and any opponent will be ready to react effectively, giving you less chance of being successful. Work to practice a variety of serves and make sure that you always use something different.


One of the most important points in a game of badminton is knowing how to serve correctly. This could mean the difference between winning and losing and since there are several types of serve in this sport, it is vital to practice each one.

You might use certain serves in a singles game and others when playing a doubles match but whatever you do, it is important to be precise, powerful and ready to react.

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