How to Play a Reverse Slice in Badminton: Master the Deceptive Shot

Slice Shot Deception
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Last Updated on 30/08/2023 by Kriss

Did you ever wonder how to do those wonderful deceptive slice shots like Tai Tzu-Ying? In this case, this blog post is for you. Today, we’ll delve into the intricacies of both the straight and cross-court reverse slices, two shots that can significantly elevate your game.

TypeDeceptive Shot
Pre-requisiteBasic Drop Shot

Why Play a Reverse Slice?

Before we dive into the techniques, let’s explore why you’d want to incorporate reverse slices into your game in the first place.

Mastering both types of reverse slices is crucial for a versatile badminton player. These shots not only add variety to your play but also serve as powerful tools for deception.

Strategic Advantages

  1. Singles Play: In singles, a well-executed reverse slice can catch your opponent off guard, forcing them to make a mistake or providing you with an opportunity to win the point outright.
  2. Doubles Play: In doubles, the reverse slice can disrupt the rhythm of your opponents, making it difficult for them to predict your next move. If your preparation looks the same as a normal drop or smash you will keep your opponents guessing.

The Element of Deception

The beauty of the reverse slice lies in its deceptive nature. For instance, in a cross-court reverse slice, your body language may suggest that you’re about to hit the shuttle straight, but it actually goes cross-court. Similarly, in a straight reverse slice, it looks like you’re going for a cross-court shot, but the shuttle goes straight instead. This element of surprise can be a game-changer, often leading to outright winners or forcing a weak reply from your opponent.

Preparation and Basics

Before you can master the reverse slice, you need to get the basics right. Proper preparation is key to executing this shot effectively.

The reverse slice is a deceptive shot, and for it to be truly effective, your preparation should mimic that of your other shots like the smash, clear, and most importantly your drop shot. If your setup looks different, your opponent will catch on, and the element of deception will be lost. Your footwork should also be the same as other shots.

Your body and arm should rotate normally, only the final movement where you slice the shuttle will be different. A loose forehand grip is essential for both the straight and cross-court reverse slices. The grip allows for the necessary wrist and forearm rotation, which we’ll discuss next.

The Cross-Court Reverse Slice

Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into the first variation: the cross-reverse slice.

You basically hit it the same as a normal drop straight drop shot. But instead of hitting it with the strings parallel to the net, you slice the shuttle. As a right-hander, you slice the shuttle at the left side, and the other way around if you are a left-hander.

Contact Point and String Direction

  1. Contact Point: For an effective cross-court reverse slice, aim to strike the shuttle anywhere from above your head to where your grip aligns with your non-racket shoulder.
  2. String Direction: Your racket strings should face in the direction you want the shuttle to go (cross-court), but this should only be revealed at the last millisecond to maintain the element of deception. You will still swing the racket as if you were playing a straight drop shot, but your strings will face diagonally and you “brush” the shuttle.

You will need to put a little bit more power into the shot since you are only slicing the shuttle. You will quickly get a feel for it with a little bit of practice.

The Straight Reverse Slice

The straight reverse slice is actually a little bit harder than the cross-court slice. You will need better timing with this shot, but once you get the timing right it is a really fun shot to play.

Contact Point and String Direction

  1. Contact Point: The ideal contact point for a straight reverse slice is either directly above your head or slightly to the side. Most of the time, your arm is almost straight. Remember – your preparation should look the same as all the other overhead shots.
  2. String Direction: On the contact point your racket strings are pretty much parallel to the net. If you slice the shuttle on the left side it will most likely go out. Your arm should continue moving like you are playing a cross-court shot.

Mastering this shot will add a layer of complexity to your game that your opponents will find hard to read.

Pace and Momentum

Executing a reverse slice isn’t just about technique; it’s also about the pace and momentum you put on the shuttle. Hitting the side of the cork or even the feathers will naturally slow down the shuttle, so you need to ensure you’re still hitting it with enough speed for it to reach the net.

Incorporating into Your Game

Mastering the reverse slice is one thing, but incorporating it into your game is another. Here are some practices to help you do just that.

Simple Practices

  1. Stationary Practice: Focus solely on the technique initially. Include some footwork to get used to the timing.
  2. Progressive Practice: Incorporate movement by hitting a shot from another corner and then executing either a straight or cross-court reverse slice. This mimics typical game scenarios. You should also record yourself to see if your preparation is in sync with your other shots like the drop or clear.

Do you want to see the shot in action? Check out this video from Badminton Insights.

Also Read: Is a Badminton Coach Worth It?


Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this guide on mastering the reverse slice in badminton! By now, you should have a solid understanding of both the straight and cross-court reverse slices, the importance of proper preparation, and how to incorporate these deceptive shots into your game.

If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your fellow badminton friends. And if you want us to cover more shots like this, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Happy playing!

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