What Is Pickleball Slice Serve?

If you’re one of the 4.8 million Americans who play Pickleball, you might notice that it seems to have some complex rules. You should know if you can slice and serve the ball as you would in a regular tennis game if you want to improve your Pickleball game.

Pickleball Slice Serve
Ron Alvey – iStock

In this article, we’ll discuss the Pickleball serving rules you must follow to execute a pickleball slice serve and how you can do it! We would also like to share some Pickleball serving tips with you.

Pickleball Slice Serve

In Pickleball, you can slice your serve. To ensure that you’re serving legally, you must use the slice serve within the serving rules within a game of Pickleball to curve the ball to one side and make your opponent rush to the ball. You’ll likely impress with this coveted serving style with a fast and furious slice serve!

You need to follow a few rules before you can slice serve! It won’t be like a tennis slice serve, but Pickleball’s slice serve method won’t be stopped!

Rules of Slice Serve

The goal of Slice Serving is to put your opponent on the defensive and give them a run for their money. Pickleball rules outline what you can and cannot do in any serving situation. When serving in Pickleball, you must place your paddle below your naval while holding the paddle; so it doesn’t raise above your wrist while striking the ball.

Rules of Slice Serve in Pickleball
Ron Alvey – Shutterstock

After hitting the ball, your paddle should move upward in an upward arc. Any method you use to slice serve is perfectly legal as long as you follow the previously mentioned rules, but it may take some practice.

Pickleball rules prohibit throwing the ball downwards, but if you let the ball drop before hitting it, you can throw it upwards. In addition to throwing and tossing the ball with the paddle, you may also release it with the paddle. When it comes to serving, it is a good rule of thumb to let gravity do the work and not apply direct force to the ball.

Bounced balls are exempt from the naval, wrist, and upward arc rules as of 2021! If the ball bounces naturally before being struck, a slice serve does not need to bounce before being struck. In the case that a serving method doesn’t suit, feel free to come up with a creative serve. A bounce serve, also called a ‘drop serve,’ allows you to be more creative!

Technique to Slice Serve

Slice serving is entirely possible in Pickleball! To take your opponent by surprise, you’ll need to create a sidespin on the ball, just like in tennis. In Pickleball, speed and depth are the keys to a successful slice serve.

A slice serve is a wonderful way to create a challenging return when serving. For a slice serve, you should position yourself at least three feet away from the baseline so you can gain momentum before striking the ball.

Take two steps forward before dropping the ball to begin the serve. While dropping the ball to your paddle, use your fingertips to snap the ball in a right-to-left motion. Drop the ball at neck length.

Slice Serve in Pickleball
LPETTET – iStock

To create a force that compliments the momentum you have created by your steps, you must ensure your feet, hips, and shoulders are sideways before striking. Shift your weight under the ball as you take the shot by moving your waist and forearm under it.

A continental grip is the best way to hold your paddle for slice serves. A continental grip is similar to grabbing a hammer, but if you don’t like this grip style, practice makes perfect. With a slice serve, another grip style may work, but a continental grip is preferred because it makes it easier to hit your target directly.

Slice Serving Tips

Pickleball slice serves are deep shots that keep your opponent at their baseline, exactly where you want them! Using deep serves prevents your opponents from running into their kitchens since their return of serve must travel from their baseline, through their court, and both your kitchens before returning for the third shot. You have time to take control of the game by returning long distances.

To enable a poor return, aim for your opponent’s weakness, such as their backhand. The faster your serve, the less time they have to set up their shot so you can target their weakness. When you serve too slowly, the opposition can create a big hit that will send you back behind the baseline, which is not what you want.

Slice Serving Tips in Pickleball
Ron Alvey – Shutterstock

Practice the shot on the other side of the court using a chair – think of it as target practice! It’s a great way to practice serving from both sides of the court and perfect your serving itinerary with chairs.

Pickleball beginners should look where they intend to serve, lock the image in their minds, and then focus on the ball and paddle. A drop serve could solve the problem if you’re a beginner or have a better backhand because the naval, wrist and upward arc rules no longer apply after the ball bounces. Try different serving methods in Pickleball, such as drop serves, to make your serving easier.


Can you slice serve in pickleball?

Slice serving is allowed in Pickleball. If you want to serve legally, you should follow the serving rules. When you slice serve in Pickleball, you curve the ball to one side as a way to make your opponent rush to the ball.

What are the 3 types of serves in pickleball?

In pickleball, there are three types of serves: the high soft serve, the power serve, and the soft angle serve

Which type of serve is not permitted in pickleball?

In the marked non-volley zone, the service cannot touch the baseline, sideline, or centerline. A server cannot cross onto the court until after contacting the ball while both feet are behind the baseline. Ultimately, there is only one legal serving attempt.

Wrap Up

You’ll dazzle your fellow Pickleball players with the Pickleball slice serve, especially since you have to follow intricate serving rules. Before shifting your weight into the slice serve, remember to look out for your naval, wrist, and upward arc rules.

In addition to getting a deep shot to set yourself up for success, aiming for your opponent’s weaknesses, practising with a chair, looking before you serve, and trying a drop serve are some serving tips.

Leave a Comment