Fun Pickleball Games

Drop & Dink

Skill Level: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Played as a regular game 

3rd shot must drop in the NVZ — or serve is lost 

Next 10 hits must be dinks, all landing in NVZ 

Option: 6 dinks (or players’ choice) instead of 10 After 10 dinks the game goes to “open play” 

Game is scored normally 

Option: Play to 7 points, win by 1 vs. 11 points


Skill Level: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Game is played as a dink game at the NVZ line 

Players cross-court dink - 2 balls at once - to the same players until one ball goes fault. 

Call “Dingles” on 1st fault. All players will now play the remaining ball 

SAFETY: Be careful to remove 1st fault ball 

Play continues with remaining ball — played now as open play with all players playing the last ball. 

Scoring: (Optional) 

     The non-fault team on the first fault gets 1 point 

     The team that scores on the last ball scores 1 point 

     Option: Score only on the last ball. No point awarded for 1st ball fault.

Drop first to score

Skill Level: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Teams must drop at least one shot into opponent’s NVZ before hitting a scoring shot 

The dropped shot can be a scoring shot if not returned by the opponent 

Played as a regular game per rules and scoring 


Exception: Server continues to serve, without player rotation, if no point is scored.

Dink only
Skill Level: Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced


Played as a normally scored game with all players at the Non-Volley Zone (kitchen) line 

All hits must land in the NVZ. Outside of a NVZ line is a fault. 

NVZ lines are “in bounds” during serves and play. 

Serves must be cross-court using an imaginary dividing line 

Option: Players may take a ball in the air. That player’s return hit must land in the NVZ.


Skill Level: Novice, Beginner Intermediate

If you’re looking for a multiplayer option that isn’t quite so fast-paced, you may want to consider trying out the Mortimer strategy. We’re not really sure where the strategy got its name or where it was developed, but Mortimer pickleball involves six players, with three designated to each side. When serving, all three players begin at the baseline together. After service, two players move up to the kitchen line while the third player (known as the Mortimer) hovers in the back. The Mortimer cannot serve or receive the serve. Instead, the player generally picks up lobs and shots down the middle that get past the players at the net.


How does the rotation work? Players essentially take turns being the Mortimer. If one of the primary kitchen-line players puts a ball into the net or makes an unforced error, they swap places with the Mortimer. This can be an added incentive to hit your spots and make your shots. Alternatively, the Mortimer strategy can help you work on and practice very specific shots.