Playing a “rubber” or a “rubber game” can mean two things, depending on the situation and the activity. Most commonly, the term “rubber” is used in card games to indicate a version of the game; for instance, rubber bridge instead of duplicate bridge.
In sports, however, a rubber game is a tiebreak. In baseball, it would be the last game of a three game series; in tennis, it would be played when each player had won six games in one set.
A less formal use of the word “rubber” means, loosely, “a round.” In other words, playing a rubber of tennis would entail a shorter game than the full three or five set match. This use of the word, though, is very rare, especially outside the United Kingdom.
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