If you are interested in playing this game why not arrange an introductory
lesson or an introductory course by contacting one of the
professionals? After these
initial sessions you should be proficient enough to play a
game and the professional will arrange one for you with other
members of the club
1. Scoring was inherited by lawn tennis so is the same. To
win a game a player wins four points (15, 30, 40, game) and
be more than two points ahead of his opponent (40-all is deuce).
The first player to win six games wins the set but it is not
necessary to be ahead by two games; the eleventh game is decisive.
2. It is the score of the player who won the last point that is called first.
(This is different to lawn tennis)
3. Service is only from one end of the court.
4. For the service to be correct:
- The ball must touch the half of the side penthouse on the receiver's side;
the ball may also touch the side penthouse on the server's side and/or the side
- The first bounce of the ball must be on or beyond the service line at the
- The server must stand further from the net than the second gallery line.
- The ball must go over the net but it can first strike the wall or penthouse
on the striker's side.
5. The ball is out if it strikes the side walls above the green painted line
or hits one of the rafters or lights.
6. A ball entering the dedans, the grille, or the winning gallery wins a stroke
for the striker.
7. A ball entering any other opening or bouncing twice on the floor records
a chase at the mid-point of the opening or at the point of bouncing twice as appropriate.
There is no change to the score. If the score is within one point of game or if
two chases have been laid, the players change sides (and service) and the chases
are played in the order in which they occurred. The player who has not laid the
chase has to win the chase by ensuring that the second bounce of his or her return
is nearer the back wall than the chase being played.
8. The gallery posts are considered to be part of the gallery nearer the net.
9. The stone sides of the openings are not considered to be part of the opening.
10. Hitting the net post loses the stroke.
Real tennis has its courtesies and accepted practices. Cambridge's
accepted etiquette is details on the membership
pages, but for completeness are detailed here too. Players
should take note of the following points:
If you arrive while a game is in progress and you need to
pass through the gallery passage, you should wait for a gap
in play before walking. Usually this means waiting for the
players to change ends (ie after one or two 'chases').
Players should agree before starting their match between
themselves what handicap difference (if any) they will be
applying. A handicap system exists to smooth out the differences
between playes so that players of differing handicaps can
play each other, but players of unequal handicaps may nevertheless
choose to play level, i.e. start each game at love all.
It is usual to spin a racket to determine who will start
out as the server. Before the game commences, it is common
practice for the receiver to take the basket of balls from
underneath the net, put the balls in the dedans for their
opponent and replace the basket, before taking their position
at the hazard end. This is not something that you should assume
your opponent will do, but it is a courtesy to be encouraged.
When changing ends, if you are about to leave the service
end, you should wait for the other player(s) to cross the
net first. It is also usual to place a couple of balls on
your opponent’s racket, before moving to the hazard
When you finish your match, please gather any loose balls
(including those in the galleries) into the basket.