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Tips to Master the Badminton Serve

In order to be successful in the game of badminton, one must master the serve. You must keep your opponent guessing on which type of serve you are going to use and where you are going to place it.

The badminton serve is a big part of the strategy. There are a few different kinds of serves: the high serve, low serve with your forehand or backhand, flick serve, and drive serve. You want to master them all so you do not give easy points to your opponent.

badminton serve

The whole rally starts from the serve and serving well gives the player upper hand right from the beginning. This is the reason why this is essential.

It is crucial to know when to use which kind of serve. There is a picture where you can see how the shuttlecock flies in each serve.

High Serve

This badminton serve is used when you want to open the opponent’s court. This is a great serve in singles but has to be used carefully in doubles.

  • Stand a relaxed couple of feet behind the service line and bend your knees.
  • Lead with your non-racket leg.
  • Put your racket near your shoulder level.
  • Hold the shuttle by its feathers and let it drop slightly in front of you.
  • Hit the shuttle with racket’s face.

The high serve is mostly used during singles play in order to move your opponent as far back into the court as possible. In order to execute this serve you use your forehand grip and stand a few feet behind the service line. Bend your knees and extend your racket to almost shoulder level.

Be sure to follow through back into ready position when the shuttle has been hit. Because of the close proximity to the back line many players hit this serve out.

Don’t aim for the back line, but aim to hit it high towards the ceiling, thus eliminating the chance of a flat serve. high serves should also be placed towards the middle of the court and not the corners.

high serve

high serve

Low Serve

This badminton serve you want to use when you want the opponent to lift the shuttlecock. It is recommended when the opponent’s attack is strong. This serve is commonly used in doubles. Low serve can be served both forehand hand backhand.


  • Relax your body and bend your knees.
  • Stand couple of feet behind the short service line.
  • Place your racket leg behind.
  • Keep the racket on to your waist level and hold the shuttlecock by the feathers close to the racket (do not drop it in front).
  • Push the shuttle bit higher but below your waist line.
  • Aim to the tape of the net and make the shuttle skim from it.

TIP: Mix the way you serve and catch your opponent off guard.


  • Stand relaxed with your racket hand in front.
  • Lead with your racket leg.
  • The backswing should be short.
  • The shuttle should be held in the waistline.
  • Aim to the tape of the net and make the shuttle skim from it.

TIP: Shorten the grip to have better control of the racket

The low serve is most often used in doubles play when you want your opponent to lift the shuttle. You can also use this serve if your singles opponent’s attack is too dominant. To execute this serve, you can either use the forehand grip or backhand grip.

To use your forehand grip have your racket at waist level before you begin your swing. Contact the shuttle below your waist line, and push it forward so that it just makes it over the tape of the net.

To perform a low serve with your backhand, use a short back swing before contacting the shuttle at waist level. Again be sure the shuttle just clears the top of the tape to catch your opponent off guard.

This serve is sent directly at your opponent, giving them less angles to return the shuttle back. (In order for better control and feel you can shorten your grip on the backhand low serve).

The low serve should only be played when you can react quickly to the return. This serve usually sets up for net play, and fast reflexes and quick footwork are a must.

low serve

low serve

Flick Serve

It is all about the wrist motion and executing this serve without opponent anticipating it. This badminton serve starts the same way as low serve but then the wrist movement comes in and hopefully surprises the opponent.

Flick serve is used when an opponent has momentum and is on the attack. It is mostly used in doubles because if your opponent in the singles play knows you are going to use it, it can leave you vulnerable for an attack/smash return.

The key to this serve is all in the wrist action, on either your backhand or forehand. It is a deceptive serve that gives the impression you are going to perform a low serve, but then at the last moment, you flick your wrist to propel the shuttle over. Stand close to the service line, unlike the other serves, and try to hit it above your opponents backhand out of their reach.

flick serve

flick serve

Drive Serve

The main point with this badminton serve is to attack. The result may be a bad return from the opponent which gives you a great opportunity or it could lead straight to gaining the point.

This is quite the same as high serve, but instead if aiming up the player makes the shuttle go horizontally.

A drive serve is considered an attacking serve, and can be used successfully in either singles or doubles competition. The shuttle moves in a flatter arc then the other serves, and if you catch your opponent off guard it can lead to an unforced error.

The forehand grip is used for this serve, following through at waist level to contact the shuttle. Use a lot of force to contact the shuttle and send it hard across the net.

It can limit your follow through, and your racket face stays square with the net. Unlike the high serve, the flick serve should be played to the corners to create a greater movement for your opponent.

drive serve

drive serve

All these are great ways to serve but the main thing is to use different ways and keep the opponent guessing what you are about to do next.

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