Can You Play Pickleball with 3 Players

Can You Play Pickleball with 3 Players?

Pickleball in its core is designed to be heavily socially inclined which means the thrill output is proportional to the players partaking in it.

So in other words, the more the merrier, it’s like having a healthy workout party on the court but with some specific rules and dynamics to follow. However, things undoubtedly take an awkward turn when the playing field isn’t leveled as you are left to play with 3 buddies.

However, taking the flexible dynamics of pickleball into account, there are some workarounds you can indulge in to let even your third buddy join in the fun.

But there is a catch as the rules might be a little bit hard for you to wrap your head around, nevertheless, I will try my best to explain it below so you can get a better idea of how you can play pickleball with 3 players.

Playing Pickleball With 3 Players

Obviously, when Playing with 3 players in pickleball, it is necessary that one must play in a solo format against doubles. Even though it gives an apparently huge Advantage since the player on solo has to cover plenty of areas and always has to be on toes, it is a great way to test your skills making it quite a fruitful drill. 

Also known as Australian cutthroat or king of the side, where each player on solo has to play in round robin format, and once they lose a point, they need to switch sides, hence the name “cutthroat“.

The original rules of pickleball haven’t changed, however, there are some new additions such as,

  • The solo player has to stand right behind the baseline on the right side.
  • On the other hand, one player must stand near the net and the other must be right at the baseline.
  • The server gets two chances at serving, instead of one and can only serve behind the baseline.
  • A returner player on the other side, has to let the ball bounce before hitting it, otherwise it will result in a penalty or score point.
  • A player wins if they reach a total of 11 points or at a specified winning point.

Benefits Of Playing Australian Cutthroat Format

Let’s explore the benefits.

1. 3 player Compatibility

The first and foremost benefit is apparently simple and straightforward, this format allows 3 players to partake simultaneously on the court. Otherwise, you will have to wait for your turn if you are the third wheel in the group. 

2. Great source Of Cardio

Keep in mind it’s basically a 2 vs 1 handicap match, which means the team that has to play against a duo format needs to stay vigilant and be on their toes at all times.

While duos can easily cover a court at a moment’s notice, a player on the solo side not only has to struggle but also has to be accountable for any mistake he or she faces as there is nobody to cover their flank.

The silver lining here is that it will ensure you will remain healthy and fit and shed quite a lot of calories even after playing a single session because the energy consumption would be increased tenfold.

3. Ideal Competitive Drill

If you feel like the singles format is no longer your cup of tea or you feel like you are “too good” for the standard format, you can easily partake in this playstyle and give your opponent an intentional competitive edge.

Putting yourself in an underdog position helps you train ferociously, allowing you to sharpen your skillsets so you can partake in big leagues and competitive settings confidently.

It will also help you illuminate your weaker side so you can easily find a workaround and rectify your errors.

Bottom Line

In any case, being a third wheel certainly leaves a sour taste in the mouth, nevertheless, the above-mentioned play style wouldn’t stop you and your pickleball buddies from having the best time of their life.

Make sure you bookmark this article and spread the word around so that instead of leaving a buddy waiting for his/her turn, you can easily spread the joy around by letting them join the court by filling them with this esoteric knowledge.

That being said, I hope you enjoyed reading this article on “Playing pickleball with 3 players”, have a nice day.

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