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May 29, 2024 2 min read

Not sure about badminton rules, badminton scoring and what's in or out in badminton?

Here's a guide that will get you on court playing quickly!

Better with words on a screen instead of a video? We've got you (see below)!

Three Badminton Basic Rules for Beginners

We're here to share with you the most important rules of badminton so that you can get playing right away and not get bogged down with technicalities.

The way to win a badminton game is to be the first player or pair to score 21 points. If it is 20-all though, to win the game, you need to be leading by 2 points (for example, 22-20, 25-23 or 28-26). If the score gets to 29-all, you will play a sudden death point such that whoever wins that point will win the game 30-29.

If you’re playing socially, it’s likely that you’ll only play 1 game (otherwise known as a set).

If you’re playing competitively though, it is the best of 3 sets, meaning that you need to win 2 sets to win the overall match. 

Unlike the old scoring system, you can score a point regardless of who serves.

Each point starts with a serve, which needs to be hit across the net into the box diagonal to where the server is standing.

When the server’s score is 0 or an even number, the serve should be hit from the right box.

Badminton Rules Service - Even Score


When the server’s score is 1 or an odd number, the serve should be hit from the left box.

Badminton Rules Service - Odd Score

But which side serves?
The player or pair who wins the point will serve, and if they win consecutive points while serving, they will change sides each time they serve.

When serving, the serve must go beyond the front service line, regardless of if you are playing singles or doubles.

Badminton Rules Service - Front Service Line

For singles, the court outlines are those drawn on screen - you will see that the side-lines (also known as side tram lines), are out for both the serve and during the rally. And when you’re serving you can seve into the back tram lines. 

Badminton Rules Service - Singles Court Lines

For doubles, the court outlines are drawn on screen - you can see that you can hit into the entire court during a rally. But for the serve, you cannot hit the serve into the back tram line.

Badminton Rules Service - Doubles Court Lines

Of course there are many other rules in badminton - but these will get you started! 

Now that you know the basic rules of badminton, what racket should you use? 

We've got you covered and have this article just for you! (Don't worry - there's a video too in case you're too lazy to read!)

Or prefer to just do a 30-second badminton racquet quiz that will help you choose the badminton racquet that best suits you? Click below!

Badminton Racquet Choosing Quiz

We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions, tips and tricks so please feel free to comment below. If you would like us to write about something in particular, please let us know!

Jeffrey Tho
Jeffrey Tho

Jeff is an ex-international badminton player who represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games (twice as a player & once as a coach), World Championships, All England Championships and multiple Thomas and Sudirman Cups. He was the Australian National Coach, Senior State Head Coach and is the co-founder of Volant badminton & The Badminton Podcast. Jeff is extremely passionate about building the worldwide badminton community & showing the world how incredible our sport really is.

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