Deuce (playing card)

The four Deuces from a William Tell pack
Deuce of Acorns
Württemberg pattern deck: Deuce of Bells
Deuce of Bells playing card depicting a wild boar sow (1573)

The Deuce (German: Daus, plural: Däuser) is the playing card with the highest value in German card games. It may have derived its name from dice games in which the face of the die with two pips is also called a Daus in German.[1]

Unlike the Ace, with which it may be confused, the Deuce represents the 2, which is why two hearts, bells, etc. are depicted on the card. In many regions it is not only equated to the Ace, but is also, incorrectly, called an Ace. In the south German area it has been historically called the Sow (Sau) and still is today,[1] because of the appearance of a wild boar on the Deuces in early card packs, a custom that has survived on the Deuce of Bells.

Ei der Daus! (also: Was der Daus!) is an expression, similar, to "What the deuce!" in English, which reflects astonishment, bewilderment or even anger. It is commonly, if wrongly, assumed to be an expression derived from card players' jargon.[2]

Comparison of German and French suits

German playing cards Bay eichel.svg Bay gras.svg Bay herz.svg Bay schellen.svg Deuce (German: Daus)
French playing cards ♣ ♠ ♥ ♦ Ace (German: Ass, French: as)
Other Languages
français: Daus
polski: Tuz (karta)