King of the Court

How to Play King of the Court

Do you want to learn how to play King of the Court? Read on to learn the how-to, the rules, and the benefits of this basketball game.

I don’t remember when I learned how to play King of the Court, but I do remember the last time I played it.

I was with a few of my cousins and my nephew.

We went to the leisure centre to play basketball and didn’t have enough players to play 3s or 4s.

My nephew really likes King of the Court for some reason (I say this because he always gets owned) and suggested we play it.

So, being nice uncles we let him go first against the worst player.

My nephew, who started playing basketball a couple of years prior, drove on him and made a layup.

He racked up 1 point.

Then it was my turn to challenge. We checked the ball. He pump-faked and chucked up a 3. It clanked off of the rim and I ran to grab the rebound.

Now, I was the King.

One of my other cousins stepped up and we checked. He got into his defensive stance and I jab-stepped to see how he reacts.


So, I attacked the basket, got a clear look, and made a layup.

I still had my throne and 1 point.

My other cousin stepped up.

I started with the jab step again to see what his reaction would be. He stuttered a little bit. So, I drove left, sidestepped, and took an elbow jumper. It clanked off of the side of the rim and bounced out.

He grabbed the rebound and is now the King. But I’m not too worried because I still had 1 point.

This cousin knocked out two of my other cousins and registered 2 points for himself.

Now, my nephew had to defend him.

Everyone was telling him to D up because it was game point.

My cousin, being a cocky guy, taunted my nephew as he did all of these unnecessary dribbles.

Then after about 30 seconds, he drove on him, scored, and won the game.

How to Play King of the Court

And that’s pretty much how King of the Court is played.

It’s a simple basketball game to pick up. But here are the specific rules and how-to of the game:

  • First off, shoot to see who gets to start the game off
  • Then, pick the rotation (who goes first, second, third, etc.)
  • Always check the ball up (learn what that means here)
  • Then, play the one-on-one game.
  • If the ball-handler (or king) scores, he gets to keep the ball and also gets a point. If the ball-handler doesn’t score, then the defender gets to keep it
  • Repeat these steps until someone scores 3 or more points
  • Additionally, if a defender fouls, then he loses his turn. And if a ball-handler violates a rule (travels, double-dribbles, etc.), then he loses his turn and the defender gets the ball

Benefits of Playing King of the Court

King of the Court, like American 21, is a great game for working on your one-on-one game because you have to go against different players on both ends.

You won’t be able to continuously take advantage of a single handicap.

You’ll have to challenge different players who have different strengths and weaknesses.

By doing this, you’ll be able to develop a well-rounded game (like talented wing players who are supposedly going to take over the NBA).

Final Thoughts

When you have an odd number of players or you want to play Ones but have too many players, King of the Court is the game you should play.

It’s simple and is great for working on your one-on-one skills.

So, play this game the next time you head to the basketball court to work on your iso game.