What is Deuce in Tennis?

The tennis scoring system is quite complex, especially if you are only starting to learn the sport. It is essential to understand the mechanics, such as the deuce in tennis.

The last thing you want is to concentrate on understanding words while playing instead of winning the game.

So, really, what is deuce in tennis? Let’s jump right in!

What Deuce Means in Tennis

To understand what it means in tennis, let us first understand how the game works.

All in all, there are four-point values in the game of tennis.

The first value is zero, also known as “love.” The next value is 1, which means you have scored 15.

The following value is two, which means you have scored 30, and the last value is three, meaning you have scored 40.

  • 0 – Love
  • 1 – 15
  • 2 – 30
  • 3 – 40

Deuce points refer to any instance of the game where tennis players have accumulated a score of 40 simultaneously.

The moment players have similar scores (either at 15-15 or 30-30), it’s known as “all,” but when both players accumulate a total of 40, it is a “deuce.”

It is played on the right side of the tennis court, called the deuce court. 

You need to win two consecutive points to have the set.

Origin of the Term Deuce

The name has Latin (Duos) and Old French (Deus) origins which then evolved to deuce in the late 15th century. You can pronounce the term as dus or dyus.

The tournament of tennis is from jeu de paume (a game of the palm), in France. Other than that, it is not explicitly indicated why it is called the word deuce when two players tie at 40.

Even though there is no definite confirmation of deuce’s actual usage in tennis, many accept this from “Deux de jeu”. 

Deux de jeu is a French phrase that may imply that either a player only requires two more values to succeed or indicate that two players have identical scores. (1)

What we understand for sure, however, is that even though it has French origins, they still fancy using the word “égalité” at the French Open.

Read: How Do You Play A Tiebreaker In Tennis?

What Score is Deuce in Tennis

In tennis games, when the scores reach 15, it is called “15-all”. Conversely, when the tennis score between athletes is 30, it’s called “30-all”.

However, when it reaches 40 and it’s a tie score, it’s called deuce. In other words, you don’t call it “40-all” or “40-40” in tennis. 

You need 2 points to win consecutively when this happens. The athlete who does it first wins the game. 

In the instance both athletes keep on reaching the same score, the game score will show deuce only, so you have to keep playing each other until a game point.

score deuce

What Happens After Deuce

Based on tennis rules, when both players have an equal score of 40, the athlete who scores the first point does not win the game. 

As mentioned earlier, for an athlete to have the set following a deuce, a tennis player must then secure 2 points to win. It is the advantage and the winning.

There are 2 types of advantage points following a deuce. It’s called advantage in or ad in, and there’s advantage out or ad out. 

  • Ad in if the server secures the score.
  • Ad out if the receiver ensures the score.

Whoever has the advantage score and wins the next score, referred to as the winning point, wins the game. If the opponent takes the score after an advantage, the game goes back to deuce.

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Number of Deuce Allowed in a Tennis Game

There is no fixed number in tennis matches. The general rule of tennis games is that until you or your opponent wins by a margin of two points, the scoring system continues, and it’s not yet game over. 

If you’re a server, and you win two points consecutively, then you win the game. Or else, a returner wins two points, then that athlete wins the set. 

You won’t continue with the following sets until someone wins the first 2 scores. You score a point after a deuce, move to the ad court, and score another point to win. 

how many deuce allowed

In most cases, it barely goes up to six to seven deuces in a single match. You may also want to learn what a break point means. 


The relationship between love and deuce in tennis is that they are both used in tennis scoring. However, they have different values. 

The term love refers to zero. Deuce refers to a game instance where both tennis players have accumulated a score of 40 at the same time.

Yes. The perfect way to play deuce is to win by two consecutively. You need to focus on getting the next point to secure your victory.

Anthony Fawcett and Keith Glass hold the record for the most deuces in one game of tennis which took place in 1975, accumulating a total of 80.

The highest number of deuces in a tennis match is 37 from Keith Glass and Anthony Fawcett’s game in 1975 at Surbiton.

No. There is no advantage scoring in doubles which means whoever gets the following point after reaching 40, wins the match.

The probability of winning the game that reached a deuce is 0.9.

So, What Does Deuce Really Mean in Tennis?

A deuce happens when both players reach 40-40 in a singles match in the sport’s scoring system. The player who scores a point after a deuce, moves to the ad-court, the receiver’s left-hand service court. 

It is played on your right side of the court, referred to as deuce court. 

For a person or a team to win, the player must secure the next two consecutive points. Next is to win enough games to win the set, and eventually win the match. 

You simply have to focus on getting the next point to secure your set.

While learning the tennis terms such as deuce won’t enhance your swing, stance, or any physical aspect for that matter, learning the terms one by one is where you begin.


  1. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-mar-22-sp-20-second-timeout22-story.html

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