Rules for Doubles Tennis

Whether you’re new to tennis or have been playing for a while, doubles can add excitement and challenge to the game. Doubles tennis has two players on each side of the court, making it fast-paced and strategic.

In this post, we’ll go over the rules for doubles tennis and some tips to help you play better.

How to Play Double Tennis?

The rules for doubles tennis are mostly like singles tennis, but there are a few important differences to know on how to play double tennis.


Tennis Doubles Scoring

  1. The scoring system in doubles tennis follows the same format as singles tennis.
  1. Points are awarded as follows: 15, 30, 40, with the final point needed to win the game referred to as “game point.”
  2. If both teams reach 40-40, it’s called deuce. From deuce, a team must win two consecutive points to win the game.
  1. The first team to win six games with a lead of at least two games wins the set.
  1. If the set is tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker is played to determine the winner of the set.

Tennis Doubles Serving Rules

  1. In tennis doubles serving rules, each player serves alternately, starting with one team serving for the first game, and the opposing team serving for the second game.
  1. The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball into the diagonal service box of the opponent’s court.
  1. The serve must land within the service box and not touch the net.
  1. If the server’s team wins the point, they continue to serve. If the opposing team wins the point, they gain the serve.

Court Dimensions

  1. The dimensions of the tennis court for doubles are the same as those for singles, except for the width.
  1. The court is 36 feet wide instead of 27 feet, to accommodate two players on each side.
  1. The length of the court remains 78 feet.
  1. The net is 3 feet tall at the center and extends to the sidelines, dividing the court into two equal halves.

Additional Tennis Doubles Rules in Tennis

Expanding upon the fundamental tennis doubles rules outlined earlier, the following provides supplementary rules and guidelines essential for understanding and playing tennis doubles effectively.

Service Order

  • The serving order is determined at the start of the match and alternates between teams after each game.
  • Players on a team usually take turns serving for one game before the service switches to their partner.
  • The serving team can decide which player serves first in the initial game, but the subsequent order follows the established rotation.

Service Faults

  • A fault occurs if the server fails to execute a proper serve, such as missing the service box or foot faulting (stepping over the baseline before contact).
  • Two consecutive faults result in a double fault, and the point is awarded to the opposing team.

Let Serves

  • If the server’s ball touches the net and lands in the correct service box, it’s called a let serve.
  • In such cases, the server gets another chance to serve without penalty.

Faults during Play

  • Making a shot that lands out of bounds, hitting the net with a shot, or committing a foot fault while serving leads to the loss of the point.

Court Positioning

  • Players must maintain their assigned court positions during each point, usually defending either the forehand or backhand side.
  • While players can switch positions between points, they must adhere to their designated positions during play.


  • Players switch ends of the court after every odd game in a set to ensure fairness regarding factors like sun and wind direction.

Time Between Points

  • Players are allotted a specific time between points to prepare and serve, and exceeding this limit may result in warnings or penalties.

Code of Conduct

  • Tennis has a code of conduct that players must follow, including rules against unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse, and racquet abuse.
  • Violations of the code of conduct can result in warnings, point penalties, or even disqualification from the match.

Improving Your Doubles Tennis Game through Positioning

In doubles tennis, where you stand on the court is very important. It helps you anticipate your opponents’ moves, cover more ground, and play to your strengths as a team. 


Here are some basic positioning rules to help you win more matches:

  1. Stay in Your Area: Stick to your side of the court—either forehand or backhand—to avoid confusion and cover the court effectively. When your partner serves, stand near the service line ready to move forward if needed.
  1. Watch Your Opponents: Pay attention to where your opponents are positioned. If they’re both at the net, play defensively. If one is back at the baseline, take advantage of the net.
  1. Communicate with Your Partner: Keep talking to your partner and coordinate your movements. This ensures you both cover the court well and can adapt to each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  1. Work as a Team: Doubles positioning is all about teamwork. By following these rules and communicating effectively, you’ll improve your chances of winning matches and taking your game to the next level. With practice, you and your partner can become a strong doubles team and enjoy success on the court.

Tips for Better Doubles Tennis Performance

Now that we’ve covered the doubles tennis rules look at some simple tips to improve your game:

  • Improve Your Net Game: Work on hitting volleys and half-volleys effectively and feel confident moving to the net. Practice your net skills and footwork to become more comfortable in this area.
  • Cover the Court Well: Move quickly and efficiently to reach the ball and anticipate your opponents’ shots. Coordinate with your partner to decide who covers which areas of the court and adjust your strategy based on your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Serve Smartly: Vary your serves to keep your opponents guessing and aim for the corners of the service box. Target the weaker player on the opposing team to apply pressure and increase your chances of success.

Conclusion Playing Doubles Tennis

Playing doubles tennis is both fun and challenging, but it’s important to know the rules for doubles tennis  and strategies. 

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can get better and succeed on the court.


What are the basic double tennis rules❓

Doubles tennis involves two teams of two players each, with players on each team taking turns serving and covering specific areas of the court.

How do players rotate serving in doubles tennis❓

Players serve alternately within a team, with one player serving for an entire game before the serve switches to their partner.

Are there specific court positions players must adhere to in doubles tennis❓

Yes, players typically cover either the forehand or backhand side of the court, ensuring comprehensive court coverage and strategic positioning.

What happens if the serving team wins a point in doubles tennis❓

If the serving team wins a point, they continue to serve; if the opposing team wins the point, they gain the serve.

Is communication important in doubles tennis❓

Absolutely! Effective communication between partners is crucial for coordinating shots, movements, and strategies during a match.

What happens if both teams reach a score of 40-40 in a game❓

When the score is tied at 40-40, it’s called “deuce,” and a team must win two consecutive points to secure the game.