\ \ [15] The underlying meaning of deuce emerges most clearly in its application to playing cards and dice: the number two. It comes from Old French deustwo’, which goes back to duōs, the accusative case of Latin duotwo’ (English two comes ultimately from the same source). Its use in tennis comes from the French phrase à deux, literally ‘at two’, which signifies that a player must score two successive points to win a game. It is generally thought that the mild oath deuce came from duus, the Low German descendant of Latin duōs, which gamblers supposedly cried out in disgust when they threw the lowest score, a two.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

, (said of cards or dice) /

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