Badminton Rules: How to Play Badminton?


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Badminton is one sport that every single sports enthusiast wants to try their hands at. This is one game that is unceasingly simple to play, despite the age of the players and their skill level. But to enjoy a good sport that truly enhances the spirit and the interest in the game, it is mandatory to ascertain and follow the rules of the badminton game. Though it is known as one of the fastest racket sport, it is still an effortless game and has just a handful of some easy and painless rules. All that you would require to smash the shot is a racquet, shuttlecock, and a net and few easy rules, that we will discuss here.

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Basic Rules of the Badminton Game

Badminton Rules

Badminton can be played either as a single or a doubles game. In a single rally, there will be two players who will play with each other and in the doubles rally, the game is played between four players in two sets. The players can choose the side from where they wish to play randomly. At times the side of the court is chosen based on the server’s score. When the server’s score is even at the beginning of the game, they can choose the right service court, and when the server score is odd, they can choose the left side.


Badminton is played with the help of a stringed racquet and a shuttlecock. The cock is also referred to as a birdie as it is topped with feathers and a rubber base. It is important that players hit the rubber base and not the feathered portion. The game begins with a toss and the team that wins the toss starts serving. The next first serve depends on who wins the rally.

Check out: Top 10 Best Badminton Rackets

Badminton Rules for Singles and the Doubles Match

AttributesSingles gameDoubles match
The serveThe service in the singles game should always be done underarm and preferably below the waist of the server. Serves that are done overarm is against the basic rules of badminton and is considered a fault.The serves in the doubles match always start with a coin toss. The next first serve depends on who wins the rally. If a player wins the first set of the game, then the next game begins with their serve.
Game formatIf the server wins the rally, they get a point and serve again from the alternate side. If the receiver wins the rally the receiver scores the point and becomes the new server. The play by play tournament format is followed where the players are paired with their opponents for the first round matches.The scoring system is a little confusing as there are two players in a team to serve. The game starts always from the right-hand side. Players can also continue to stay in their respective service courts, from where they played their previous game.
Scoring systemWhen the server wins the rally, he gains a point and retains his serves as well. When the receiver wins the rally, they get the chance to serve. A match is scored to the best of three games, to up to 21 points. At 20 all, the player who gets the two-point lead first will win the game. The serving side wins when they score a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court. Whereas, when the receiving side wins, they score a point. Now, the receiving side becomes the new serving side. To win the game, the side should score before their opponent. The side should win two out of three sets. The side of the doubles that win the rally, adds a point to the score. When both the sides reach 20 all, the side that gains a 2-point lead first will win the game.
Faults and errorsFaults and errors by a player result in a point for the opponent and then they should surrender the serve to them. A major fault is missing the shuttle while swinging on the serve.If the player hits the shuttle but passes it underneath the net, it can also count as a fault.When you hit the shuttle out of bounds, it is also a major fault.Touching the shuttle with the body or clothing is also considered as a fault, and is against the basic rules of badminton.The cork that is served should land inside the service court. If the cock flew away from the white boundaries, this will not be counted and the opponent will score. One side will have only one attempt to retrieve the shuttle.If the shuttle is touched accidentally touched by hand, it is considered a fault.A two-player team must serve inside the white lines of the diagonally opposite side so that the shuttlecock falls inside it. 

Some Basic Yet Interesting Rules of the Badminton Game

  • The net is the most vital part of the game and should never come in contact with the net. If it does so, then the player disqualifies from the game.
  • When the game is on, the feet of the player should not touch the white line bordered around you. 
  • A hand touch is considered a foul play and thus the birdie should not touch the racquet.
  • As per the basic rules of badminton, if the cock touches the ground or if you hit the ball twice from the same court, then it is also considered a foul play.
  • The shuttlecock that is hit or served, should land inside the service court. If the cock flew away from the white boundaries, then the opponent will score the game.
  • During the play, the player should never back or temp the opponent when they serve, as it might ward off their concentration.
  • Feinting or bullying the opponents is also an offense in the badminton game.

Do Read: Best Badminton Sets


The Badminton World Federation has simplified the rundown of the rules of badminton. Both the singles and the doubles match are the best of the three games. The rules of the game are thus pretty simple and straight forward.



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