Service variations are the most important in badminton, as, without a good service, there won’t be a good start to the game. If your service is weak and doesn’t go well that means you have already lost the point there. It is very important to learn how to serve and how to vary your service.

What does varying of service mean?

Service variation means to serve to the opponent in different ways and not stick to just one way. This is because if you serve the same service every time, the opponent will know exactly where to be ready and will have a better return each time. They will be prepared, leaving your service less effective.

Variation of service includes serving the shuttle at different angles and lengths and with different grips( forehand and backhand). This way your opponent will have to ready for every possibility.

What are the different types of serves?

There are 4 main types of services. But not all should be learned at once.

For beginners:

Forehand High Serve:

For beginners, the focus is to get the forehand high service perfected. This means the server will stand in position on his/her side of the court and will serve diagonally into his/her opponent’s court by hitting the shuttle in a high and long manner so it reaches the end of their opponent’s court.

This is the first and most basic service any player should know how to do.

Here is how to do it:

For Intermediate:

Forehand Low Serve:

For those who have perfected the forehand high serve, they can start to learn how to vary that serve by doing a forehand low serve. This means the server will stand in his/her court and will serve the shuttle in a downward manner in order to send the shuttle diagonally across the net but in a way where it falls in a low manner near the service line of the opponent.

This service is done using the same action as the high service so the opponent has to be ready as he could be receiving a low of high service.

Here is how to do it:

For Advanced:

Backhand Low Serve:

The backhand service is a tricky one to get right specially in the beginning. Hence it is advised to learn this only after you know how to serve properly in the forehand.

In the backhand low serve, the backhand grip is used and the server has to be very careful as to how tight he grips the racket and how much force he puts in his/her swing.

A loser grip and just right amount of force will be enough to send the shuttle to the receiver. This service also can be varied in where the server intends to send it. The server can serve to the ’T’, to the backhand, forehand or into the body of the receiver. This service is a great one to learn as there are many angles one can give to create variation.

Here is how to do it:

Backhand High Serve:

This serve is popularly known as the backhand flick serve. It is the trickiest and hardest serve to perfect without serving in a faulty manner. Till date, many professionals to struggle with serving this type of service without being called a fault.

It is an amazing variation to the backhand low serve as it catches the opponent by surprise.

It takes time, effort and practice to perfect.

For singles:

You can use all these 4 serves as you have the whole court expect the sidelines to vary your serve. There used to be a time where singles players only used the forehand high serve to start the rally and use the forehand low serve as a variant to that. But now the game has changed and a lot of the men’s singles player has started to use the backhand low serve as their main serve and the backhand flick serve as an element of surprise.

For doubles:

Here the forehand services are not generally used. Specially with the pro players, the forehand services are not popular, but there are some pro players who still use the forehand to serve.
The backhand serve is way better and advised to learn if you are intending on playing doubles. It is a more controlled service and you get better angles to serve as well.


Knowing how to vary your serve can be beneficial to you as it will catch your opponent by surprise.


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