Padel rules

Padel rules: The padel rules are basically easy to understand. If you have been on the court 2-3 times, you know everything you need to know to play padel according to the rules. However, the crux lies in the details. Especially in padel tournaments, everything has to be clear 100%.

Therefore, we have compiled an overview of the most important padel rules for you here. And at the very end there is a link to the official padel rules of the FIP.

Rules of the game Padel

The most important padel rules at a glance:

Padel is always played in doubles, i.e. four players. The two teams face each other on the two halves of the padel court, which are separated by a net (like in tennis). The Padel rackets has a loop. Please be sure to use it (put your hand through and close it) so that the racket does not accidentally fly away.

Because actually, injuries very rarely occur when playing padel - and that's how it should stay!


Padel Serve Rule

The serve must be played behind the service line as an underhand stroke (the ball may be hit at maximum hip height). The ball must be played crosscourt into the opponent's court without touching the net or the wall. The Padelball must first touch the ground on the opponent's side of the court before it touches the back wall or fence. The back player can wait for this or hit the ball directly back after it has touched the ground. A volley is not allowed in this situation!

The serving team changes sides in its own court after each serve and then plays cross court again into the opponent's court. The receiving team remains standing so that the same player always serves in a game, but in the receiving team, the two players alternate for the return.

The server has two service attempts.

A net roll results in a replay if the ball still entered the court correctly.

In principle, the padel ball may only touch the ground once. If the ball hits the ground twice, the team that hit the ball wins the point.


A very common question concerns the position of the players on serve:

  • Who is actually allowed to stand where?
  • Is the serving player's partner allowed to choose his side?


The official FIP rules state:

1. each pair of players will be on either side of the net on the court. The player who is serving (server) puts the ball in play and the
player diagonally in front of said player (receiver) receives the served ball.
2. the player who receives can be in any part of their side of the court, as can their partner and the servers' partner.



1. each pair of players is on both sides of the net on the court. The player serving (server) puts the ball into play and the player serving the ball puts the ball into play.
Player diagonally in front of this player (receiver) receives the served ball.
2. the player receiving the ball may be anywhere on his side of the court, as may his partner and the partner of the server.


This means:

The teammate of the server may stand anywhere - he can always stay on the side where he receives the serve, but he may also switch with the serving padel player and position himself wherever he wants.

Theoretically, he could also stand behind the serving player!


Counting method Padel

Padel is counted in the same way as tennis: first the serve is called, then the return. The winner is the team that can win two sets first. To win a set, A team wins a set if it first wins 6 games and is at least two games ahead (e.g. 6:1, 6:2, 6:3 and 6:4) or, if the score is 5.5 in the meantime, at 7:5 or in a tiebreak if the score is 6:6 in the meantime; then the tiebreak winner has won the set 7:6.

So everything is the same as in tennis. Just like the counting within a single game: 15, 30 and 40.

With the fourth point, the game is won when one team has a two-point lead. From 40:40 onwards, the game is played until one team has a two-point lead.


Padel counting method summarised:

  • Points are counted as in tennis: 0, 15, 30, 40, game
  • GameWith 4 points you win a match - if you have at least 2 points more than the other team. otherwise it's a draw and that means...
  • Draw: If the game is 40:40, i.e. a draw, play continues and the pairing that wins two consecutive points wins.
  • Set: A team wins a set when it has won six games by at least 2 sets.
  • Tie-break: If the score is 6:6 games, a tiebreak is played. The count is 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. The tie-break is won by the team that has scored seven points first. And again, a 2-point lead is necessary 🙂
  • Match: To win the padel match, a team must win two out of three sets (best of 3).


When do you get a point in padel?

The team gets a point if it plays a shot that the opposing team cannot return - for example:

  • a smash flying out of the padel cage after impact
  • the padel ball returns after a stroke without the opposing team having touched the ball


or the opposing pair plays a faulty stroke - faulty moves include:

  • the padel ball lands in the net
  • the padel ball is hit out of bounds (e.g. over the cage or through the entrance/exit)
  • the felt ball touches the ground twice
  • the plexiglass walls (own as well as opponent's side) are touched by the padel ball before the ball hits the floor of the opposing team
  • the cue ball touches the wire mesh of the own court after it has been hit (e.g. when trying to play against the own boundary (plexiglass))
  • the ball touches the hitting player or his playing partner



More Padel Tennis Rules

  • The paddle and the player must not touch the net. A player who touches the net or any part of the court of the opposing team with his paddle or body loses the point.
  • The padel ball may only be touched once with the padel stick per stroke. The padel player may not touch the ball with his body.
  • If the score is odd (1:0, 2:1, 3:2, 4:1 etc.), the side is changed in each case.


FIP - Official Padel Rules

The official padel rules are unfortunately very extensive, because they also clarify many details that are not so important for hobby players. But at big padel tournaments of the FIP, the World Padel Tour or the German Padel Tour (where the best padel players play their matches), everything must of course be cleared 100%.

And these padel rules are of course also continuously updated.

So if you want to know exactly, you can work your way through the official FIP Padel rules.

Download (PDF) the official padel rules: Official padel rules of the FIP in English


Now you have learned a lot about padel and its rules.

But what are actually the Differences between padel and tennis?