Tennis Scoring System for Beginners

Tennis Scoring System - If you can learn the terms tennis scoring is simple for beginners.

I understand why you are confused about the scoring, While writing this I have gotten confused. Basic tennis scoring is simple but there is a lot of terminology to learn. There is a helpful list at the end of this page that summarizes tennis scoring terms.


I chose to start talking about tennis rules with the tennis scoring system, because it is the simplest yet most confusing.

Points add up to a Game.
Games add up to a Set.
Sets add up to a Match.

Game Scoring

Game scoring is the most confusing but simple. First person to win 4 points wins the game. If you tie at 4 you must win by 2, no matter how long it takes. The terminology for tennis game scoring goes like this:
Point 0 is called Love.
Point 1 is called 15.
Point 2 is called 30.
Point 3 is called 40.
Point 4 a game is over UNLESS it is tied,
Tied games are called Deuce.
Winning by one is called Ad.

When calling the score you say the servers score first.

Some game score examples are:
Love-40 or 0-3, server is losing.
30-15 or 2-1, server is winning.
Deuce or tied, score is over 3-3.
Ad In or server is winning by 1 with score over 4 all,
Ad Out or server is losing by 1 with score over 4 all.

Set scoring

Set scoring is the first person to win 6 games wins the set. You must win by 2 games. You play a tie breaker at 6 games each. So at 5 games each you will play at least 2 more games. If you get to 6 games each you play a tie breaker and count that as one game for a set score of 7 to 6. Examples of set scores are as follows:
6 to 0 (Ouch called a doughnut for the zero)
6 to 1
6 to 2
6 to 3
6 to 4
7 to 5 (must win by 2 games at 5 games each)
7 to 6 (played a tiebreaker at 6 games each)

Scoring Variations

No-Ad scoring the next person to win a point wins the game.


To learn the 4 simple things you need to know to play a Tiebreaker click here. This pages includes examples.

Tennis Vocabulary

The following is a list of tennis terminology that is commonly used;

Server - Hits the ball first.
Receiver - Hits the ball second.
Deuce - Tie game score over 3-3.
Ad In - Game point for server.
Ad Out - Game point for receiver.

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