Pickleball Blog

Can You Play Pickleball With 3 Players?


Pickleball is a popular racquet sport that can be played with two, three, or four players. While pickleball is typically played with two or four players (one or two on each side of the court), it can also be played with three players.

Playing pickleball with three players follows similar rules to playing with four players, but with a few slight variations. When playing with three players, each player serves twice in a row before the serve passes to the next player. The player serving the ball must serve from the right side of the court if they are on the even side of the court, or from the left side if they are on the odd side. The serve must be diagonal and must clear the non-volley zone.

The other two players should be positioned in the non-volley zone, ready to hit the ball back and forth over the net. The first team to score 11 points and lead by at least 2 points wins the game.

One of the benefits of playing pickleball with three players is that it allows for more individual play and less reliance on team strategy. With only three players on the court, each player has more opportunities to hit the ball and make plays. This can be especially fun for players who enjoy a more individualized style of play.


Tips For Playing Pickleball With Three Players:

  • One player should play at the back of the court, while the other two players rotate between the non-volley zone and the front of the court. This helps to evenly distribute the workload and allows each player to get a break from the action.

  • Communication is key when playing pickleball with three players. Make sure to communicate with your teammates about who is going to hit the ball and where it is going. This will help to avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • Mix up your shots and try to keep your opponents guessing. Use a variety of shots, including dinks, drives, and lobs, to keep your opponents off balance and score points.

  • Stay focused and keep an eye on the ball at all times. Pickleball can be a fast-paced game, and it's important to stay alert and be ready to react to any shots that come your way.


Playing pickleball with three players is a great way to enjoy this fun and exciting sport. Whether you are a seasoned pickleball player or new to the game, playing with three players is a great way to get some exercise and have fun with friends. So grab your paddles and give it a try!