If you’re curious what “deuce” in tennis means you’ve come to the right place.
The truth is, deuce is quite simple.
What is Deuce Scoring
When the score is tied at 40-all, i.e. 40-40, it’s “deuce” and either player simply needs to win by two to conclude the game.
The literal translation for deuce is two, stemming from the latin word “duos.”
In other words, next time you hear “deuce” just think. Win by two.
When to Use It
The only time the score of deuce is reached is during a game when the score is tied at 40-all.
The first time deuce is reached in a game is when each player has one three points. This ties the score at 40-all, however we don’t say 40-all, instead we say deuce.
Once the score is deuce one player needs to win by two. If the server wins the point at deuce, the score becomes ad-in or the servers advantage. If the server then loses the next point the score returns to deuce.
If the person returning wins the point the score becomes ad-out or the returners advantage. If the returner loses the next point the score returns to deuce once again.
This repeats indefinitely until one player wins two consecutive points in a row.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Ad scoring, i.e. advantage scoring, where deuce, ad-in and ad-out are used is the standard for competitive tennis including the pro tour.
In practice or recreational tennis players will sometime forego ad scoring and play games that are referred to as no-ad scoring or sudden death.
In this case, the first player to win four points wins the game. If the score is tied at deuce the next person to win the point wins the game.
Still have questions? We welcome your questions in the comments below.
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