How To CHEAT at Badminton – A Tier List of DIRTY Plays

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Disclaimer: If it isn’t obvious, this is satire. Don’t cheat. Hopefully, it’s a fun way to learn the rules of badminton though!

Ever wanted to beat someone at badminton no matter what? Or to get revenge for that one time they hit you with a shuttle? Or maybe you just have the mantra that “there are no friends on the court”? Well, then this is the post for you! I’m going to rank a list of CHEATING techniques and DIRTY plays that you can implement into your game right away! This tier list will be your go to guide to beating your “friends” at badminton! Remember though, these plays are only ranked for CASUAL settings – we don’t want there to be umpires, service judges, or video evidence!

The tier list will be from rank A (best) to F (worst). I randomized all the techniques and dirty plays so they won’t be in any particular order while going through them.

Also, I’ll reorder the items in each tier at the end to make a FINAL tier list.

Let’s get to it!

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1. Double Hitting (by Yourself)

You’re only supposed to contact the shuttle once before it goes over the net and onto your opponent’s court. Therefore, if you touch the shuttle multiple times, it should be illegal. Unlike a double hit with a partner, you have full control of this. With big motions, it’s way too obvious that you contact the shuttle twice. However, it becomes much more difficult to tell when touching the shuttle twice really quickly in succession, such as when doing a net drop.

This has actually occurred in professional play multiple times (example below) and the umpire has failed to catch it. The tumbling of the shuttle during a net drop can help mask the double touch but experienced players can still tell. I’ll give it a rank of C tier only for net drops.

2. Stalling / Wasting Time

Stalling and wasting time isn’t an illegal tactic but it is frowned upon by a lot of players – probably even more so in a casual setting than in a professional tournament. The point of this is to disrupt your opponent’s momentum and rhythm if they’re on a run of points.

If you want to use this to your advantage, don’t be too obvious about it. For example, don’t just walk around the court aimlessly, but rather do some things like towel down or drink water a bit slower than usual. You can also ask for a shuttle change to use more time or maybe even use the restroom (ok that might be a bit much…)? Overall, it’s completely legal so…have it but you still need to outplay (or out-cheat) your opponent after using up the time. C tier.

3. Hitting the Shuttle Under the Net and Pretending it Went Over

Just tell your opponents that you won the point since you hit a super steep shot that landed in. No? They don’t believe you because they saw it go under the net? How dare they!

This might work once in a blue moon with some shot that hit the top of the tape and rolled down the net. Otherwise, this is just garbage. F tier.

4. Double Action While Serving

You’re not supposed to start a forward motion, back up, and then go forward again while serving in badminton. Double wrist actions can be very deceptive so this is obviously banned.

To most experienced badminton player, it’s really obvious when someone serves with a double action so it’s likely that they’ll call you out on it. However, you can attempt to do this technique when flick serving (fake a short service then go back for more power and flick it) that will distract your opponents from calling you out. Further, not all players know this rule so you can definitely abuse it if no one says anything. You do need a relatively fast wrist to execute this successfully though. Overall, I’ll put it in C tier.

5. Hitting the Shuttle Before it Goes Over the Net

Hitting a shuttle before it goes over the net is sometimes obvious and sometimes up for debate. Without any video replay (and it has to be at a good angle right next to the net), it mostly depends on who wants to argue the most. You can probably gaslight the other player into believing that you didn’t hit the shuttle before it went over the net if it’s a close one. However, most of the time it’s difficult to find good spots to do this on purpose. Therefore, this gets a D tier.

6. Distracting Your Opponent

Ever try waving your hands around, dancing, or maybe even telling a joke to get your opponents distracted in the middle of the rally? Well, you’d probably be distracting yourself more than your opponent…but maybe it’s worth a try?

Perhaps what’s better is to distract them right before you serve! For example, calling out the score and immediately flick serving (maybe even before you even finish saying the score to be extra dirty!). That’s a pretty good one. Or you can hire someone in the audience to use flash photography on your opponents right before they hit shots to momentarily blind them.

The problem here though is that the opponent will definitely notice all of these things, but maybe it’s worth a try once? D tier.

7. Add Points to Your Score

You know when you play badminton casually, someone calls out the score every so often? Well, you can always add a point to your score every so often – it’s a free point! Just do it in the middle of the game when it’s like 12-8 or something and after a long rally. You don’t want to add an extra point when the scores are easy to remember (like when it’s 19-19 or 0-0) otherwise you’d get caught.

To an alert opponent, they’d probably just correct your score…so you wouldn’t want to do it too much otherwise they’d get suspicious. Or maybe you can just claim it’s short-term memory loss? Overall, B tier.

8. Touch the Net with Your Racket

There isn’t really much benefit of touching the net with your racket. You might be able to get away and claim that the shuttle touched the net instead, but really not something worth trying. F tier.

9. Throw the Game

What? Ok…why are you even playing badminton if you’re just going to throw the game (i.e. lose on purpose)? There might be some strategic element to this in a tournament setting…but not so much in a casual setting. It didn’t even work out for the 8 players who purposely lost in the 2012 Olympics (spoilers, they all got disqualified). Anyways, easily F tier.

10. Double Hitting (with a Partner)

You’re not supposed to hit the shuttle right after your partner hits or touches the shuttle. It’s called a double hit or double touch. Most of the time, it’s pretty obvious when your partner’s racket touches the shuttle. The shuttle wobbles or changes trajectory. For all of these cases, you simply can’t claim that your partner didn’t touch the shuttle.

However, probably 1% of the time it happens, it gets really difficult to tell if someone actually touched the shuttle. In that case, it’s possible to get away with it. And of course, if someone calls it out, just claim that you didn’t see it touch anything – gaslighting at its finest.

Anyways, getting this to occur consistently is simply just too difficult. So, it gets a D tier.

11. Blocking Your Opponent from Viewing the Shuttle During Service

To block your opponent from seeing the shuttle during service, you’d probably need your partner to block it. And yes, this is against the rules during service.

For most “normal” play, hiding the shuttle during service would really only occur in mixed doubles, where the male player usually serves behind the female player. Clearly, your opponent would notice though. F-tier.

12. Invading the Opponent’s Court

Did you know that you can technically go under the net and into your opponent’s side of the court as long as you don’t interfere with them (i.e. touch them)? Your racket can even go under the net.

So…why don’t we just like…step on your opponents or something? Well, that’d be illegal at that point and they would definitely call you out on it. Not much more to be said. F-tier.

13. Returning the Service for Your Partner

Oh hey, the shuttle is being served, I better hit it! Oh, it was for my partner…let’s hope the opponents didn’t see that and just keep playing…

You better be playing doubles with your identical twin and be wearing the exact same clothes to hope that your opponents get confused by this. If you can pull it off, kudos to you. F tier.

14. Blocking Your Opponents from Viewing the Shuttle During a Rally

Unlike blocking your opponents’ view during a service, blocking your opponent’s view of the shuttle during the rally is completely legal. To be honest, this isn’t even that much of a dirty play. If a doubles pair pulled this off consistently against me I’d actually be pretty impressed. I would even consider this a meme tactic haha. D-tier.

15. Calling the Shuttle Out When it’s In

In casual games, the player on the side of the court where the shuttle lands gets to determine whether the shuttle landed in or not. As a cheating player, that’s what you want to hear. Especially for shots that are near the back line that are far away from your opponent(s), simply call them out when they land on the line. It’s quite difficult for your opponents to see since it’s the furthest away and it’s even better to do when it happens with a fast shot.

I’ve seen this happen plenty of times in casual games and sometimes it’s even done by accident. Most people let it go but if it’s fairly obvious, the opponents will argue. In those cases, you either have to gaslight them hard or simply give up. Most times, you won’t get too much backlash if you use it in the right spots. B tier.

16. Moving Before the Server Serves

The service receiver isn’t supposed to move their feet off the ground until the shuttle is hit by the server. This technique helps you to rush a serve by moving forward in anticipation of a short serve. You might be able to get pretty close to the net with your head start and to outright win the point.

And if you move too quickly…most people would let you just redo the point instead of simply giving themselves the point – so that’s a plus.

But…with an alert opponent, they’ll sense your movement and flick serve you, making it extremely difficult for you. It’d be worse than if you were just standing still. You’d probably just lose the point and feel kinda stupid.

Overall, you could probably win a point here and there but also lose some outright from flicks with this. You also wouldn’t really be labeled a cheater, but more so an eager beaver. So, this gets placed in the C tier.

17. Serving Before the Receiver is Ready

Oh man, this one is dirty. It’s not illegal mind you – just a dirty play. Simply serve really quickly while your opponent is getting ready and you’ll give yourself a significant advantage if they attempt to return the shuttle. Worst case scenario is that they don’t try to receive the shuttle and a let occurs (a redo of the point). Best case scenario, you just win the point (especially when doing this with a flick serve). So really, you have nothing to lose! Just serve quickly every so often for a quick point or two. People won’t like you though, but that’s the price you gotta pay!

Since there’s really no down side game wise and it’s not illegal, this is A tier!

18. “Carrying” or Scooping the Shuttle

Instead of hitting the shuttle cleanly or slicing the shuttle, you can try carrying the shuttle for a prolonged period of time. The problem with this is that it’s way too obvious when you’re trying to do this intentionally…so it’s not really useful. F-tier.

19. Hitting the Shuttle After it Touches the Ground

So, the point is supposed to end when the shuttle hits the ground. However, you can still try to hit it back over and pretend it’s like tennis right? Interestingly, this might work better in professional games than in casual games since professional games are faster and the umpire is the one that determines whether the shuttle actually touched the ground or not. There have been cases where the shuttle touched the ground but the umpire didn’t see it and the rally continued (see below)!

But for casual play…it’s quite obvious most of the time and the pace simply isn’t that fast to make it difficult to see. Therefore, I’ll place it in D tier.

20. Swap Service or Receive Spots with Your Partner

In doubles, you’re supposed to remember where you’re standing so that the serve and receive positions are accurate. But if you have one player on a team that is significantly better at serving or receiving than the other, then you can “accidentally” swap places with them to get them in the correct position. The vast majority of people won’t even notice this since it’s quite sneaky and difficult to remember. Just do it after a long rally where it’s more likely that people will forget where everyone is supposed to be. And if one of your opponents does remember? You’ll just swap back – you know, no harm no foul. B tier.

21. Serving with the Racket Head Facing an Upward Direction

When serving, your racket head must be facing downwards. Moving the racket head such that it’s facing upwards can give you a significant advantage by letting you produce some top spin or get extra power during the serve. It can pretty much make your service have characteristics of an overhand serve instead of an underhand one. If done correctly, this is difficult for your opponents to spot and even if they do they’ll have to stop the rally to call you out on it. And as we know in casual play that doesn’t have video review or service judges – you can get away with it pretty easily! Unfortunately, this mostly only gives you an advantage in doubles. B tier.

22. Serving above 1.15 meters

In badminton, you’re not supposed to strike the shuttle above the 1.15 meters mark during a serve. In professional games, there’s a service judge that is specifically watching every serve to look for this, among other things. But in casual games, it’s all based on an “honor system”. People are very rarely called out on serving a shuttle too high because there is no way to prove it unless there’s a recording – and even then it can be difficult to tell.

And guess what – if you try calling them out on it, YOU’RE the one that looks like an asshole! Even if you’re correct, the player committing the fault can deny it and just claim for a redo and you’ll probably get too annoyed to argue and then just agree to it.

Further, there’s a special technique you can also use to “hide” the fact that you’re serving from too high. Simply hold the shuttle at a legal height at the start of your serve, but then right before you hit the shuttle, bring your hand up to an illegal height and then hit it! This works especially well for flick serves since your opponent will be distracted on trying to get back to hit the serve rather than call you out for your fault!

You can get away with it as long as you’re not making it super obvious. I see it all the time but it’s hard to prove and not worth getting into an argument about. I’ve even seen it at local tournaments and nothing really happens until a service judge is called over.

So, for casual play, it’s A tier.

23. Waiting a Long Time to Serve

This isn’t really a fault or cheating unless you wait a REALLY long time, but it’s kinda dirty, which is why it’s here. So, basically, what you want to do is hold the shuttle in place for a good 7 to 10 seconds at least before serving. Inexperienced opponents will get impatient and it’ll throw off their rhythm.

They’ll probably be straining to keep their eyes open the entire time waiting for your serve while you’re blinking freely since you control the service timing. And if you can serve right as they’re blinking, even better.

Technically, you’re not doing anything illegal, but you will be annoying. So this belongs in B tier.

24. Scream After Every Point

This isn’t really cheating…and it’s not really considered a dirty play, so this is just an honorary mention. Really, it’s just annoying and obnoxious. You can get into your opponent’s head and get them to lose focus. However, you won’t be popular with anyone in the gym as everyone can hear you every 10 to 20 seconds. Not much else to say here, C-tier.

25. Hitting the Feathers When Serving

Hitting the shuttle on the feathers during the serve would be A tier if it was actually legal. Just look at the Sidek serve that was banned after it was abused by the Sidek brothers in professional tournaments. Hitting the feathers during the serve can make the shuttle spin rapidly and gives the server an extreme advantage in the rally. Take a look down below for a demonstration.

So against someone who doesn’t know about the rules, this is pretty much A tier – at least for the day until they find out it’s illegal. Otherwise it’s more of a D tier skill since your opponent would get quite suspicious after the first couple of serves that you do it. If you use it sparingly though, you can definitely get away with it more. So overall I’d give it a Ctier.

26. Touching the Net with Your Body

Way too obvious with absolutely no benefit. Probably even worse than touching the net with your racket. F tier.

27. Standing on a Boundary Line During Service

The only good reasons to stand on a boundary line (and yes, it’s against the rules) during service is to be closer to the net in doubles so that you can rush the serve better or, if you’re the one serving, to make the distance even shorter. For the most part, it’s too obvious without a big advantage gained. F-tier.

28. Subtract Points From Your Opponent’s Score

Same thing as adding points to your own score but instead subtracting points from your opponent’s score! You can mix these two tactics together to keep your opponents off guard! Also B tier.


There you have it, the tier list of dirty plays in badminton! Each tier should actually have their items reordered though since I didn’t put them in order yet. The final tier list can be found here!

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