To win more badminton doubles games there are certain tactics and types of shots that you can use.

You need a strategy in place to win more games.

You will only get so far if you are just playing badminton ‘mindlessly’, without thinking about what you are doing.  This article will be focusing on level doubles (men’s and women’s doubles).

I used to play like this and I became frustrated that I was not winning more games. I will cover in this article:

  • The Attacking Formation- where and why each player should stand.
  • Shot Placement- which shot you should play and when you should play it.

Watch my video as well if you like on this:

The Attack

The Attacking Formation

When your opponents lift the shuttlecock to the back of the court, you should make a certain formation.

One player should be at the back of the court, preferably hitting a downward shot. Their partner should be at the front of the court, almost parallel to their partner. 

Most shots from the rear court player should be hit straight, not cross court.

Look at the image and you see the two players in the red shirts and shorts doing just this.

Why should the player at the back hit a downward shot?

The doubles pair need to maintain the attack. If the pair hit a clear, then they will probably end up having to defend.

Why should the player in the front court stay parallel to the rear court player?

As it will be very likely their partner will be hitting a downward straight shot, it will be highly probable the opposing pair will return with a straight shot back. This will give the front court player an opportunity to intercept the return shot and win the rally.

It is likely the defending player will return a straight shot straight!

What if the defending player hits a cross court defensive shot? Surely the front court player will be caught out of position?

As badminton is a fast-paced sport, the attacking players should be quick enough to deal with any cross court defensive shots. Furthermore, the front court player should use his/her experience to anticipate any cross court shots the defensive pairing will play.

I will look at how doubles pairs should you rotate in another video/article.

Shot Placement of the Rear Court Player

As I have mentioned, the rear court player needs to focus on playing straight downward shots.  Depending, however, on where the opposing defending pair are standing, he/she can choose to vary his/her attacking shot.

The Straight Smash  

The most common shot in doubles. The straight smash is a powerful downward shot.

You can smash at your opponent’s body or, if you see a gap down the side tramlines or in the middle of the court, you can smash there.  

The Cross Court Smash

The cross-court smash is the same powerful downward shot but hit diagonally towards the opposite side of the court.

This can be a devastating shot If you see a gap or want to catch your opponents off guard.

Nevertheless, this shot should only be used occasionally because it can leave the attacking pair out of position.

In the image above, if Player 1 was to hit a cross court smash, Player 2 could drive the smash back to the open space (the red area) in the court, leaving the attacking pair out of position.

Drop Shots

A drop shot is an overhead downward shot that can be very useful when attacking in doubles. It is used to deceive your opponents and is hit to the front area of the court from your rear court.

It is useful to think of a drop shot as a slowed down version of a smash. 

Different Types of Drop Shots

Fast Drop Shots

The majority of drop shots that you play should be fast drops. Fast drop shots should not land before the first service line.  

If you are unsure of where the first service line is look at the dotted line.

Why should the majority of your drop shots be fast?

A lot of badminton players you face will be fast around the court. This means that when you play a slow drop shot, your opponents will probably get to the shot early, counter attack with a net shot and put you under pressure.

If you hit faster drop shots they will go further away from the net and your opponents will find it more difficult to counter attack with a net shot etc.

Stop Drops

Stop drops are slow drop shots that are meant to land very close to the net. They should only be used when you see your opponents backing off on their defence because they are expecting a big smash.

The technique of a stop drop is in its name. You should stop halfway though your racket swing so that the drop shot is slow and falls close to the net.

Cross Court Drop Shots

As in the case of the cross court smash, the cross court drop should be used occasionally –  hitting a cross court drop can sometimes leave a doubles pairing out of position.

I would only use the cross court drop if I saw a gap/opening or wanted to surprise my opponents.

There are two main types of cross court drops:

The cross court slice

The reverse slice

This is a deceptive shot. The defending pair think their opponents will play a straight overhead shot (look at the direction of the blue arrow), but they are actually playing a cross court shot (look at the orange arrow).

The reverse slice is played away from you to your forehand side, thanks to the technique of the reverse slice, which I will explain in a later video/article.

The Attacking Clear

As I mentioned earlier, in level doubles most of your attacking shots should have a downward trajectory. However, if you want to surprise your opponents or you think they struggle when you play this shot, you can employ an attacking clear.

The attacking clear should have a flat trajectory and be fast paced.

I will talk about in a later article/video about how to play an attacking clear.


I hope this article has given you the help you need and a strategy to follow. Make sure you go out and practise these tactics and tips and you will definitely win more doubles games! Best of luck!

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