Pickleball Singles VS Skinny Singles

The beloved American game of Pickleball started way back in 1965, and the Singles variations have recently grown in popularity due to Covid social distancing, as well as helping one practice for Pickleball Doubles. Two of the variations of Pickleball leave one to wonder, Pickleball Singles VS Skinny Singles, what is the contrast between the two?

Pickleball Singles uses the entire court as one would in playing Doubles, while in Skinny Singles, only half of the court gets used. Skinny Singles still uses the right and left service areas throughout the game, but only one side gets played at a time, either straight or diagonally across.

The tennis, table tennis, and badminton mashup known as Pickleball is a unique and riveting game, especially the Singles variations. Singles and Skinny Singles are similar but work differently, and we would love to tell you more about how they work in terms of the game rules and the different strategies used in each.

How Pickleball Singles Compares To Skinny Singles

Pickleball Singles variations host a unique game plan and rules since it is a one-on-one game. The use of the court is the main difference between Singles and Skinny Singles. The rules are remarkably similar, with a tweak here and there.

The Rules Of Pickleball Singles And Skinny Singles

The standard Pickleball Singles game score determines which side of the court a player serves but can use the court’s entirety to play the game. There is no divide between Server #1 and Server #2, resulting in no triple score, and it is instead divided between the server followed by the receiver. You would only earn a point when serving, and the game reaches a score of eleven and gets won by two.

The serving side of the court in standard Pickleball Singles gets chosen by whether the score is odd or even. Even scores mean that the ball gets served from the right-hand side of the court, and odd-numbered scores get served from the left-hand side. Pickleball Singles rules state that the ball must always get served and returned from the side of the court as determined by the score.

The initial serve must begin on the right side in standard Pickleball Singles. If the server wins the rally, they will keep serving and transition to the left side of the court. If the server falters or the opposing player goes on to win the rally, the opponent needs to serve, and a side-out will occur like it would in a Doubles game. The receiver can move on any side, and only the service is regulated.

In Skinny Singles, points and side-outs get awarded the same as Pickleball Singles and Doubles. The even or odd score still determines which side of the court the player stands, like in standard Pickleball Singles. The difference is only half of the court is made use of, either crosscourt or down the line.

A Skinny Single game will start with both the server and opponent on their even side. Whoever wins the rally gets awarded a point and the ability to serve. Even score gets played and served on the right-hand side and odd scores from the left. Skinny Singles is finished at fifteen points and won by two.

To summarize Pickleball Singles Rules VS Skinny Singles Rules, in standard Singles, the service side gets regulated by the odd or even score, and you can play on any side. In Skinny Singles, both the server and receiver play on the score-determined side, and they can only play on the side of the court where they are situated, either straight down the line or crosscourt.

Pickleball Singles get played until eleven points, Skinny Singles at fifteen points, and both games are won by two. Both Pickleball Singles and Skinny Singles are one-on-one, making Pickleball a more diverse sport than a regular Doubles game!

Strategies Used In Pickleball Singles VS Skinny Singles

Since Pickleball Singles and Skinny Singles only vary slightly, the strategies usable within each are similar. Pickleball singles still use the same court as Pickleball doubles which means a few Doubles strategies can come in handy.

Strategies For Pickleball Singles

Pickleball Singles is played similarly to Doubles but with two people instead of four. Singles games require you to use the whole court without a partner, so there are a few strategic moves to own your play. In returning the ball, you should sprint to the net to put your opponent on the defensive by being closer to them than if you were at the baseline, making it easier for you to pick up the ball and allowing less time for your opponent to react.

Creating sharp angles from the kitchen makes your opponent run more, tiring them out. Bare in mind that since you are using the entire court on your own, the kitchen could also possibly make you weaker than in doubles, so be wary of your strengths. To hit the best return, you should try to create depth and make it difficult for your competitor to hit their third shot, which is best in the kitchen.

Use your opponent’s weaker side, whether that is backhand or forehand. Using a sped-up shot down the sidelines to deter your opponent is a great trick, as using the middle of the court creates a slower hit, strengthening their game. Using the sidelines is high risk but yields more reward!

The main goal in Singles should be to create the most comfortable third shot for yourself and make it difficult for your opponent to control their return by serving fast and using their weakness to your advantage.

Strategies For Skinny Singles

Skinny Singles’ strategies are in the likes to standard Singles strategies. Backhand and forehand moves will be tested, depending on which side of the court you use. Using the kitchen in Skinny Singles is much easier than regular Singles since you only use half the court, so using kitchen play like in standard Singles is also a viable option. The use of the kitchen is a dream for creating angles and making fast, calculated serves and returns.

Backhand weaknesses are best to take advantage of in crosscourt plays. Deep shots, the same as Singles, are functional. Sideline shots would be a bit more complex since you play crosscourt sometimes, so you should reserve this strategy for playing straight lines. Calculating the third shot after serving is still a priority.


Pickleball Singles VS Skinny Singles conclude as similar. The main differences are that regular Singles have different regulations on which side to play but the same serving structure as Skinny Singles. The point system also contrasts.

As for strategies between the two, they are mostly interchangeable. The best tactics are to play in the kitchen and hit a deep and swift shot. Now that you know the comparison between Pickleball Singles and Skinny Singles, it is time to get your paddle and play!


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