A badminton match commonly consists of up to three sets. The side that first reaches 21 points wins a set (exception: when there is no two-point difference - see below). The side that first wins two sets wins the match. A third set is played if, after two sets, both sides have won one each.

After each set, the sides change ends. A short break of up to 90 seconds can be made between sets and in the middle of each set, when the first player reaches 11 points. Strictly speaking, the players may not leave the court during the break, but coaching is allowed.