Padel is almost always played as a doubles game.
These brief rules are designed to allow people to have a basic understanding of the game. The full rules cover the scoring, play and serving etc. in greater detail and a copy is available to order.
Padel scoring is the same as that used for tennis, i.e. 15, 30, 40 and game, with deuce at 40–40. Then two clear points need to be won before the game is over.
Padel matches are usually the best of three sets, a set being the first side to gain six games with two clear games. At 6-6 a tiebreak is played, which is the first side to seven points with two clear points between the sides. If a 3rd set is played, at 5–5 play continues until one side has a two game lead over their opponents. If it is agreed beforehand, a tiebreak can be played instead of a 3rd set.
All serves are underhand. The first serve is taken from the right and then is alternated between the right and left sides. The ball is dropped onto the floor, behind the line marking the 7m x 5m service box and between the centre line of the court and the side wall.
For the serve only, the ball has to be hit at or below waist level. The serve is hit clear of the net directly into the opponents diagonally opposite service box, where it must bounce. The ball can go on to hit the wall but if, after bouncing in the opposite service box, the ball goes on to hit the metal fence, it is a fault. The receiver can choose to hit the ball before or after it hits the wall. Once the ball has landed in the correct service box and the ball has been returned correctly, the whole of the 10m x 10m playing surfaces on either side of the net, are in play..
If during the first or second serve the ball hits the net cord and then lands in the correct opponents service box a let is called and the serve is taken again
During rallies the ball is only permitted to hit the playing surface once. A player can choose whether to volley the ball or to let it bounce. If the ball bounces it must land directly onto the 10m x10m playing surface without prior hitting the fence or walls, otherwise it is a fault.
After hitting the playing surface, the ball can continue on to hit the wire fence and/or the walls, any number of times before the player returns the ball over the net.
The receiver can either hit the ball directly back into the servers playing area or they can first hit the ball onto their own side and/or back walls, before returning it. If the ball is hit onto the wire mesh before being returned over the net it is a fault.
If the ball goes over the 4m high metal fence the point is usually won but there is a rule that sometimes applies to allow a player to return the ball from outside the court and this is covered in the full padel rules.
Play continues within these parameters until the ball bounces twice on the playing surface or a player contravenes any of the rules.