50 Best Golf Betting Games

Golf betting games spice up a round, allowing you to profit off your skills and enhance the competition among your buddies. After reading this post, you will know the 50 best golf betting games and how to integrate them into your next round.

Some golf betting games like skins, closest to the pin, and fairways in regulation are self-explanatory. However, I have also included brain teasers like 6-6-6, 5-3-1, and Bingo Bango Bongo, which gives every golfer more chances of winning from tee to green.

The 10 best golf betting games:

  1. Skins – Most Popular
  2. Wolf – Great Individual Game
  3. Match Play – Great Classic Game
  4. Nassau – Great for High Handicappers
  5. Vegas – Great for Teams
  6. Alternate Shots – Combination of Skins & Match Play
  7. Murphy – Best for Short Game Practice
  8. Stableford – Also Great for High Handicappers
  9. Penalties – Betting On Failures
  10. 6-6-6 – Best Game for 4 Players

Any golf fan will want a wealth of games to play on the course with your buddies. This will help you improve your game as you’re having fun and maybe making some money. Read on to learn about the best games I’ve played in my 28-year golf career.

50 Best Golf Gambling Games

Two men and a woman are holding golf clubs, talking and smiling while standing on golf course

1. Skins – Most Popular Golf Gambling Game

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Skins is the most common betting game employed by amateurs and professionals in exhibition matches. Your group assigns a value to each hole, for example, $10, and the golfer with the lowest score on each hole takes the pot. The player with the most skins at the end of the round is the overall winner.

A dead heat often comes into effect with skins, causing the skin to roll over to the next hole. The winner of the following hole now stands to win $20. If a tie occurs again, $30 is up for grabs on the next hole.

Serious punters may consider upping the ante to multiple skins, where the winner receives a payout from the losing players. If the value of the hole is $10 and you are playing a 4-ball, the 3 losing golfers must cough up $10 each, resulting in a $30 payout for the victor.

Read More: Most Helpful Golf Driving Range Games

2. Wolf – Great Individual Betting Game

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

Wolf starts by tossing a tee to see which golfer will be Wolf on the 1st through 4th hole. Keep flicking the tee until you have a winner. The last player standing is the wolf for the 1st hole, while the other players take the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tee box.

The wolf hits the final tee shot on each hole, giving you the advantage of determining which player is lying best. If you hit the best drive, you can play as a ‘lone wolf,’ which offers the highest reward. Carding a lower score than the other 3 players earns you 4 points.

However, when another golfer is in a more favorable position, the wolf can team up with them. The best ball for each team is counted, and if the wolf and his partner win, it is worth 2 points. Conversely, if the opposing team defeats the wolf and co, they earn 3 points each.

Before the round begins, determine what stake each golfer needs to raise for the overall pot. For example, 4 players stake $25, making the total payout $100. The golfer with the highest points after 18 holes takes the pot. In the event of a tie, you split the $100 by the number of players who tied.

Players Win Points
Lone Wolf 4
Team Wolf 2 (each)
Opposing Team 3 (each)

Read more: If you want to bet on golf, read our full guide.

3. Match Play – Classic Golf Betting Game

Who is it for: 2 or 4 players

The classic match-play format is a great way to make per-hole bets or offer the overall winner a generous pot. I prefer throwing a set amount into the pot at the start of the round, and the overall victor takes it all. You decide how much the pot is worth with your opponent, but I feel $30 to $50 is fair.

Both opponents start the round on all square. The player with the lowest score wins the hole, but the score remains the same if the players are tied. If Rory McIlroy plays Rickie Fowler and both par the first 5 holes, the score will stay at all square. However, if Rory birdies the 6th and Rickie makes a bogey, the former goes 1 up.

It is over if the game reaches a point where one opponent can’t tie or win the overall match. For example, should McIlroy go 4 up on the 15th, he wins the match because even if Fowler wins the final 3 holes, his opponent will still be 1 up. Therefore, there is no point in continuing.

Read more: Each Way Golf Bets with Odds, Tips, and Mistakes To Avoid

4. Nassau – Great for High-Handicappers

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Nassau is a tale of two nines and suits the inconsistencies of amateurs. As in skins, each hole has a value, but the winner of that hole does not receive the skin. Instead, the player who wins the most holes over that 9 wins their share of the pot.

My buddies and I play a slightly altered version of the game and assign 25% of the pot to the winner of each 9. If the total pot is $100, the front and back nine winner will receive $25, respectively.

The remaining 50% is reserved for the golfer who won the lion’s share of holes for the entire 18. With a total pot of $100, the best overall player for the day walks away with $50.

You can play Nassau as individuals in the event of a 3-ball or on teams when a 4-ball gathers. Obviously, the payout is less favorable when you share, but you have the advantage of a partner carrying you on an off day. If there is a tie, you divide the payout by the number of players with the same score.

Read more: 3 Ball Golf Betting with Tips and Rules 

5. Vegas – Great for Teams

Who is it for: 2 teams of 2 players

Vegas demands consistency from both team members. Your 4-ball is divided into teams of 2, and the scores of each player are put together to form a total number. If my partner and I par a par 4, our total is 44. However, if our opponents both bogey the hole, their score is 55.

You then subtract 44 from 55, leaving us with a difference of 11. That means we take home 11 points on that hole. Points are doubled if one player cards a birdie and are tripled if an eagle is involved.

When my partner birdies a par 4, and I bogey it, our score is 35, and if our opponents par and bogey the hole, their total is 45. 45 minus 35 gives us 10 points, and multiplied by 2 leaves us with 20.

As for betting, assign a value to each point. For example, $0.50. If my partner and I win a hole by 20 points, it equals $10 or $5 each. Always use the handicap system for Vegas. Otherwise, your high-handicap buddies will remain heavily disadvantaged and broke by the turn.

6. Alternate Shots – Combination of Skins & Match Play

Who is it for: 2 or 4 players

Alternate shots see 2 golfers team up and produce rotating swings. Golfer A tees off, and Golfer B hits the approach shot. Golfer A strokes the first putt, and Golfer B taps in for a par 4. Players share the tee box duty, with Golfer A teeing off on the 1st and Golfer B on the 2nd, and this rotation continues for the round.

You compete for 18 holes against your opponents using a combination of skins and match play. The team that cards the lowest strokes wins that hole and takes the skin. If each hole is worth $10, the winning team splits the skins, with each player gaining $5.

If the hole is tied, the skin rolls over to the following hole, giving it a value of $20. The players on the winning team then earn $10 each.

7. Murphy – Best for Short Game Practice

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Murphy is among the few golf betting games that reward quality short gameplay. A ‘Murphy’ refers to a golfer’s ability to get up and down around the green. Your opponents must pay you for your efforts if you get up and down.

However, you must reimburse your peers if you call a ‘Murphy’ and fail to get down in 2. Before the round begins, decide how much a Murphy is worth. I recommend keeping it low because there will probably be several bets occurring during the round. I recommend sticking to between $1 to $5. Otherwise, it gets costly.

If you are a short-game wizard compared to your pals, you can rack in a healthy profit over 18 holes.

Golfers with an erratic putting stroke may consider an alternate version of Murphy, where a player is rewarded for getting the ball within a specific radius of the cup. I find it challenging to judge this game accurately, and it can cause tempers to flare among the group.

8. Stableford – Great for High Handicappers

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The USGA describes Stableford as awarding points relative to the par score for a hole. The further below you are under par for the hole, the more points you receive. The table below represents points for a scratch golfer who does not stroke on any holes.

For us amateurs with handicaps, the points allocation differs, depending on your handicap. I have provided a table below highlighting the points each handicap category earns for an albatross to a quadruple bogey.

The higher your handicap is, the more points you stand to earn for gross strokes relative to the par score. For example, if a 36 handicapper cards a 6 on a par 4, they earn 2 points, which is good enough to beat a bogey from a 9 handicapper.

Score < 0 9 Handicap (points) 18 Handicap

(points)

36 Handicap

(points)

4 over par N/A N/A N/A 0
3 over par N/A N/A 0 1
2 over par or more (double bogey) 0 0 (stroke 10 – 18)

1 (on stroke 1 – 9)

1 2
1 over par (bogey) 1 1 2 3
Par 2 2 3 4
1 under par (birdie) 3 3 4 5
2 under par (eagle) 4 4 5 6
3 under par (albatross) 5 5 6 7

You can either employ skin, where the player with the most points on each hole wins the skin. If the hole is tied, the skins carry over.

Read More: What Is A Calcutta In Golf?

9. Penalties – Betting on Failures

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Penalty golf gambling games offer an anything-goes approach for punters looking to make a buck at every turn. While some may get silly, my buddies and I tend to bet on the misfortunes of each other.

One of our favorites is what we call the “water buffalo.” If any player hits a wet ball, they pay those of us who stayed dry $5 each. If you lay up, but your 3 partners hit it into the drink, you earn a cool $15.

Other penalty bets include 3 putts, lost balls, out-of-bounds, failed scrambles, and missed greens in regulation. You can earn a handsome payout for playing safe among a crew of mavericks.

10. 6-6-6 – Best Game for 4 Players

Bonding on the golf course

Who is it for: 4 players

6-6-6 splits the round into 3. Players A and B team up against C and D for the first 6 holes. Then the teams change for holes 7 to 12 before altering again from holes 13 to 18.  It is one of the ideal golf betting games for 4 players, as every player is paired at least once.

Typically the reward is a set amount for the winning team after 6 holes, but you can also use the skins golf gambling system and side bets. $15 to $25 is a fair amount for the losing team to cough up.

If the scores are all square after 6 holes, have a closest to the pin chip off from the fringe. Take the best ball from each team, and the closest one wins.

11. Strokeplay

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Strokeplay is the original golf format, where every stroke counts until the ball drops into the cup. It was known as Medal where I grew up and is the worst nightmare of many amateurs accustomed to Stableford scoring.

The handicap system still saves amateur golfers, as you get to deduct your handicap from your gross to determine your net. If you are a 20 handicapper and you shoot 89 on a par 72, your net score is 3 under 69, which is a solid effort.

Compare that to your 10-handicap opponent who shoots 85 and finishes with a net 75, or 3 over par. That means the 20 handicapper managed to outclass a golfer who is technically twice as qualified as them.

Pool together funds to award the lowest net score on the front and back nine and the overall 18 holes. If the total pot is worth $100, assign $25 to the winners of each nine and the remaining $50 to best net over 18 holes.

12. Two-Man Scramble

Who is it for: 4 players

Another fun golf gambling game for a 4-ball is a two-man scramble. Separate the 4 ball into teams of 2. Every golfer hits a tee shot, but the team decides to play from the best lie. For example, if I hit my ball into a fairway bunker, and my partner hits it down the fairway, we will opt to play our second shots from that ball.

We play our own golf balls from that position and take the lowest score on the hole. Skins or fixed pot work for scramble. Each player can stake $20 to $25 at the start of the round, taking the total to $100. Alternatively, assign a $5 to $10 value to each hole, and employ the standard skin scoring.

13. St James Roll

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

St James Roll is another golf gambling game driven by points. Golfers are assigned points based on how many players they beat on that hole. If you carded a lower score than 3 players, that is 3 points, 2 players, 2 points, while beating 1 player gets you a single point.

If you do not score better than your opponents, you receive 0 points. Tally up your points at the end of 18 holes, and the player with the most wins the pot. My playing partners and I typically put $5 to $10 in for this bet, meaning the winner walks away with a $20 to $40 payday.

14. Scotch

Who is it for: 4 players

Sharpen your pencils because Scotch requires a lot of tracking and can get messy, so I prefer to break the bets up. However, points are awarded for multiple facets of the hole instead of just the lowest score.

Points are awarded for the following:

  1. Lowest best ball score
  2. Lowest total team score
  3. Closest to the pin on the green in regulation
  4. Fewest putts
  5. Birdies

If a tie occurs, 0 points are assigned. For example, if both teams record the same lowest best ball and team score, 0 points are awarded for those bets. No points are earned for the closest to the pin if you fail to hit the green in regulation.

Add up the point scores for each team, and the two players with the most points after 18 holes win the pot. I suggest making it anywhere from $5 to $10 per player, making the payout $20 to $40 per team.

15. Riding Time

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Riding time strays from the norm of skins and points and awards consistency. Each time you have the honor on a tee box, it is worth $1. Add up the number of holes each player held the honor, and the winner takes the $18.

You can also apply a variation of the Nassau game by awarding the best performer on the front and back nine and over 18 holes. Assign 25% of the pot to the front and back nine tee box master and the remaining 50% to the player who held the honor the most over 18 holes.

16. Rabbit

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The aim of Rabbit is to capture all 4 legs of the fury mammal, but if golfers fail to capture all of them, the player holding the leg wins in the end. A leg is up for grabs on the 1st hole because nobody holds it. The player to card the lowest net score on the 1st takes the first leg.

Only one player at a time can own a leg. If Player A wins the 2nd hole as well, they now possess 2 legs. Player A then double bogey’s the 3rd and 4th hole, losing both legs. That means the leg is now up for grabs for all players on the 5th hole.

The aim is to be the last player holding a leg once you walk off the 9th or 18th green. I find it works rewarding the Rabbit over the front and back nine, as well as the overall 18 holes. I suggest following the same approach used with Nassau golf wagers.

17. The Slicer – Penalty Bet Game

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

The slicer is one of the side bets my buddies and I engage in, although it is more aligned with a penalty bet. Each golfer who slices their ball out of bounds has to pay their more accurate peers a penalty.

Your group can determine the value before you tee off, but something small like a $1 to $5 wager can do the trick. If 3 of your playing partners slice the ball out of bounds, each player must pay you for their sins.

18. Longest Driver – Great for Par-5s

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The longest drive golf bet typically occurs on par 5 holes, where every player pulls out the big stick to bomb it down the fairway. The longest hitter on that hole receives a levy from their shorter partners, which I typically keep between $1 to $5, depending on the occasion.

You can also play this on par 4s, but not everybody hits driver on par 4 holes, and it would not make for a fair fight. Besides paying the longest driver on each hole, your group may reward consistency.

Keep track of who hit the most long drives in a round and award them the pot, agreed upon at the start of a round.

19. Closest To The Pin – Great for Par-3s

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Closest-to-the-pin golf betting is traditionally executed on par 3s, but you can also do it for approach shots. There is one condition. You have to hit the green in regulation to qualify. If your opponents are inaccurate, you can pick up a few victories by landing the ball anywhere on the green.

Every player in the group stakes a few dollars for each hole, and the winner takes all. For example, if each member of a 4 ball pays $5, the player closest to the pin walks away with $20 for their efforts.

Like the longest-drive betting games, you can track the player who gained the most closest to the pins over 18 holes. The winner takes the entire pot.

20. Fairways In Regulation – Great for Accuracy Practice

Group of stylish friends on the golf course learn to play a new game

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Accuracy is the arch nemesis of amateurs, and to improve your game, you must challenge yourself to fairways in regulation (FIR) bets. I find it best played by pooling together cash at the start of the round and awarding the player with the best FIR percentage at the end of the round.

Set aside $5 to $10 per player for this bet, giving you a total pot of $20 to $40 for a 4-ball grouping. That is not a bad payday for accuracy. If players tie, you split the winnings by the number of tied golfers.

You can also sneak in fines, which are ideal golf gambling games for large groups. The golfers that miss the fairway in regulation must pay those who hit the green $1 each.

Read More: Golf Terms Every Golfer Should Know

21. Greens In Regulation – Also Great for Accuracy Practice

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Greens in regulation (GIR) golf betting follows FIR’s theme. The player who hits the most greens in regulation takes the pot at the end of the round. You can also employ the Nassau tactic and reward the best performer on each nine and over 18 holes.

Avid gamblers may throw penalty payouts into the mix, where every golfer who misses the GIR pays the player who did not. We usually keep it small, in the realm of $1, but feel free to raise or reduce the stakes to your budget.

22. Lowest Round

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The aim of the lowest round is simple, the player who cards the fewest strokes over 18 holes takes the pot. At the start of the round, each golfer adds a set stake into the pot, for example, $25. The player with the least strokes takes it all.

When a tie arises, you can split the winnings between the number of players with the lowest score. Alternatively, aggressive punters can have a chip off on the practice or 18th green, with the closest to the pin taking home the pot.

The lowest round is based on your net score after subtracting your handicap from your gross total.

23. Mulligan Recall

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

I saw Louis Oosthuizen explain the Mulligan Recall golf betting game in a LIV Golf practice round. When you win a hole, you must validate it by scoring a par or better on the next hole to claim your skin.

However, if one of your buddies cards a birdie on the next hole and you a par, they steal your skins. If each hole is valued at $10, $20 is up for grabs if you can validate your performance.

The final cog is the Mulligan Recall. Every player in the group has one on their head. If you hit an approach shot to a few feet, the group can force you to take a mulligan to help their chances. This can only happen once to each player during the round.

24. Validation

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

The Follow-Up golf bet is a simplified version of the Mulligan Recall, as it eradicates the injustice of mulligans on outstanding shots. You must card the lowest score on consecutive holes to win a skin. If you bag the 1st hole with a par, you must card a par or better on the next hole to earn the skin.

However, a par may prove insufficient for the skin. If one of your playing partners birdies the follow-up hole, they claim your skins. I typically assign a $5 value to each hole, which means I earn $10 if I can win consecutive holes.

25. Hammer – Great for Poker Fans

Who is it for: 4 players

Hammer infuses the rules of poker with fun golf betting games.

A typical hole could go like this:

  • Each hole has a base value, for example, $10, requiring 2 or 4 golfers to play.
  • Team A may have the upper hand off the tee, usually deciding to “Hammer” Team B, which drives the pot up to $20.
  • Team B can decide to fold and pay up or see the raise.
  • If that team hits an approach shot within a few feet of the flag, they may opt to “Hammer” further, increasing the pot to $40.
  • Team A can either see the raise and play or fold and gift the hole to Team B.

The back and forth continues until either team folds or one team cards the lowest score.

26. Banker – Great for Blackjack Fans

Who is it for: 3 players

Banker is the golf version of one-on-one blackjack, where you play the dealer, or in this case, the banker. It is best set up for a 3 man golf betting game. The player to tee off on every hole is the banker, and the remaining players in the group can decide how much they want to play for.

Determine a minimum and maximum bet for each hole, ensuring no players exceed this amount. For example, player A decides to play the banker for the minimum bet of $10, while player B stakes $20.

If player A cards a 3 and the banker a 4, then player A wins $10. Hardcore punters can raise the stakes if they hit a solid tee shot, doubling the bet in the case of player A. The bet would now stand at $20. This can only be done before the banker tees off.

Simultaneously, the banker can press or hammer Player A and B if they land in a favorable position off the tee. This means they double the value of the original bet. Should the banker card the lowest score over both players A and B, they would win $20 plus $40, a total of $60 on the hole.

27. Bad Cards Fore Gambling Golfers – Best Golf Card Game

Who is it for: 3 – 4 payers

Bad Cards Fore Gambling Golfers is a fun golf card game to bet without thinking too hard. Flip the cards and let them tell you what to do. Half the deck orders you to pay or be paid by your peers, while the remainder requires you to pay into the jackpot.

The jackpot is the overall prize gifted to the player with the lowest net score for the round. If you reach the green last, you must pay the first golfer to land on the dancefloor or pay a fine for every 3 putt.

Read More: Golf the Card Game: A Must-Play For Golf Lovers

28. Late Fees – Another Penalty Game

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Late fees are a fine rather than a traditional golf betting game. The player who is last to land on the green must pay a fee to the first player to pull out their putter. If one player in your group picks up before the end of the hole, then they are the automatic loser.

The value of this golf bet is low, and I typically set it at $1 to $5, but you are welcome to assign your own amount.

29. Daytona – Good for Rewarding Birdies

Who is it for: 4 players

Daytona is a variation of Vegas, but birdies carry a more significant value. Teams of 2 are required, and your scores are joined with the lowest placed in front. If I birdie a par 4 and my partner pars it, our score would read 34.

Our opponents par and double bogey the hole, making their score 46. However, the power of my birdie causes their score to be inverted, making it 64. If I subtract 34 from 64, we are left with 30 points. The team with the most points after 18 holes take home the predetermined pot.

30. Hole-By-Hole Opt Out

Golf Professional Demonstrating Shot On Fairway To Group Of Golfers During Lesson

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The hole-by-hole opt-out betting game is a precautionary measure to employ when playing with random golfers. Since you are unaware of their skills, and they of yours, it gives both parties an exit strategy should the match become one-sided.

I recommend employing this strategy in skins matches to avoid paying your opponents the fee for all 18 holes. If the losses continue to pile up, you can opt out of the bet at any time.

31. One-Man Scramble – Great Paired With Skins

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

One-man scramble involves one golfer playing two golf balls from tee to green. The player involved selects the best-positioned ball after each shot and plays from that position until the ball drops into the cup.

The player then records the lowest score of the 2 balls and compares it to their playing partners. I suggest marrying one-man scramble with skins golf betting, where the lowest-scoring player on each hole wins the skin.

32. Bingo Bango Bongo

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Bingo Bango Bongo offers 3 points on each hole rewarding the first player onto the green, closest to the pin, and the first player to get their ball into the cup. I assign $5 to each bet, leaving $15 up for grabs every hole.

Bingo is awarded to the inaugural player to hit the GIR, while Bango goes to the player closest to the pin. Finally, bongo is earned by becoming the first golfer to get the ball in the cup on a specific hole.

33. Defender – Great for 3 Players

Who is it for: 3 players

Defender is built for 3 ball parties. On every hole, 1 player is the defender and must compete against the remaining 2 players. The “defender” switches on every hole, and you must score equal to or better than your opponent’s best ball to successfully “defend” the hole.

In my case, $5 is the going rate per player per hole. If I successfully defend the hole, I receive $5 each from my opponents, making my payout $10. However, if I fail to defend my hole, I pay $5 to the winning team, which they split between them.

34. Bisque – Great for Players of Different Skills

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Instead of the course dictating which holes you stroke, you get to decide. Bisque allows you to apply your strokes to the holes where you struggle more than usual. This helps you level the playing field and give yourself a fighting chance on your nemesis holes.

For example, I am a 12 handicap, meaning I do not stroke on strokes 13 to 18. However, if I struggle on the stroke 18th hole, Bisque allows me to gain a stroke and make up for mishits. Once the hole is completed, determine your net score. The lowest net score wins the skin for the hole.

35. Closeout – Great for Match Play

Who is it for: 2 or 4 players

Closeout offers amateurs an ideal approach to keeping a match play game going, even after the result is decided. You and your opponents stake $20 for the 18-hole match-play event. If you win the match on the 15th hole, you pocket the $20 and then start a new bet as you turn for home.

You and your opponents now pool together $10 and start a new wager on the remaining 3 holes. Bagging the 16th and 17th leaves you 2-up with 1 to play, making it impossible for your opponents to win, causing you to win the $10 pot of the second bet.

36. Quota System – Great for High Handicappers

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The Quota System is a unique scoring system that gives high handicappers a chance to defeat their skilled peers. The aim is to exceed 36 points by as much as possible to beat your buddies.

Your handicap signifies the points you start with, and normal Stableford points scoring applies.

The player with the most points after 18 holes wins the predetermined pot. Since I am a 12 handicap, I would start on 12 points. However, a 36 handicapper begins on 36 and has a massive advantage over the field.

37. Strike Three – Great for New Golfers

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Strike three is even better than a mulligan. Instead of erasing one shot from your memory, it removes your 3 worst holes. You then tally up your gross on the best 15 holes, and the player with the lowest net wins the overall pot.

38. Snake – Great for Improving Putting

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

The Snake golf betting game promotes a superior putting stroke. Every time a player in your group 3 putts, they take ownership of the snake. The player who holds the snake after walking off the 18th green pays a predetermined fine to the rest of the group. In my case, it is typically $20 to $30.

39. Bounce Back – Great for Improving Resilience

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Bounce Back is a golf betting game low, mid, and high handicappers should play because it promotes resilience. If a player cards a double bogey on the 2nd hole and recovers with a par on the 3rd, they receive a slice of the pot.

Before your round starts, determine the value of a “Bounce Back.” You can assign a set amount from the pot or get the remaining players to pay a penalty to the successful golfer. My buddies and I typically create a kitty, from which the $5 reward for a bounce back reward is paid.

40. Let It Ride – Great for Risk Takers

Group of smiling friends enjoying together playing mini golf in the city.

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Let It Ride rewards risk-taking golfers looking to make the most of a hot streak. There are multiple variations of this game, but I keep it simple. As in Stableford, points are awarded based on your net strokes for the hole.

Score Points
Bogey 1
Par 2
Birdie 3
Eagle 4

At the conclusion of each hole, players can bank their points or “let it ride.” If I make a 3-point birdie and choose to let it ride, the offering doubles on the next hole. A bogey is now worth 2, a par, 4, and a birdie gets me 6 points. However, a double bogey will see me lose all my unbanked points.

The player with the most points at the end takes home the total pot, determined at the start of the round.

41. Pick-Up Sticks – Great for Players of Uneven Skills

Who is it for: 2 or 4 players

Pick-up sticks prevent a one-sided affair in golf betting. When a player loses a hole, they get to remove one club from their opponent’s bag. Some game variants prevent putters’ removal, but I say anything goes. The format is match play, and the overall winner enjoys a fixed payout.

42. Trouble – Great for Avoiding Hazards

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Trouble betting games revolve around shots into the rough, water, bunker, and out of bounds. Points are assigned when you fail to escape the bunker, stroke more than 2 putts or hit your ball in the drink.

The points system I use is as follows:

Action Points
Out of bounds 5
Wet ball 4
Fresh Air 4
Rough 1
Bunker 2
Bunker to bunker 3
Stayed in the bunker 4
3 Putt 2
4 Putt 3

Calculate your penalty points on each hole, and the player with the fewest at the end of 18 holes wins the pot.

43. Dots – Good for Practicing Accuracy

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Dots offers a string of bets on every hole. I am familiar with numerous variations, but the one I typically play rewards accuracy from tee to green, scrambling, bunker saves, and one putts.

One point is assigned for every action. At the end of the round, the player with the most points wins the pot.

44. 5-3-1 – Great for 3 Players

Who is it for: 3 players

5-3-1 or Nine’s is set up for 3-ball golf, where each player is awarded points per hole based on their finishing position. If player A makes a birdie, and B and C card a par and bogey, A wins the hole and earns 5 points.

Player B earns 3 points for finishing 2nd, and C grabs the final point. You keep track of the points over 18 holes, and the golfer with the highest tally at the end wins the allocated pot. If 2 players tie for first, they receive 4 points each. However, if all 3 tie, they gain 3 points apiece.

Read more: The Best Golf Games for 3 People

45. 2 Ball Best Ball – Great for Teams

Who is it for: 2 teams of 2 players

Best ball sees 2 teams of 2 compete against each other. Both team members play their own ball, but only the lowest score counts. If I make a bogey and my playing partner pars the hole, only the par is recorded in the scorecard.

I recommend each player throws $20 to $25 into the pot, and the team with the lowest score takes it all.

46. Three Putt Poker – Great for Putting Practice

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Three putt poker punishes a wayward putting stroke, with each golfer earning 1 point for a 3 putt and 2 for a 4 putt. At the end of the round, the points are added up and the golfer with the fewest points wins the total pot.

47. Gruesomes – Great for Scramble Fans

Who is it for: 4 players

Gruesomes is a variation of scramble, but instead of selecting the best-positioned drive, you pick the worst-placed tee shot. The aim is to see which team is best at recovering, and the couple with the lowest score after 18 holes takes home the agreed-upon pot.

48. Sandies – Good for Side Bets

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

Sandies is a side bet, but given the quantity of sand traps at my home course, it is a regular feature in my round. When I or my playing partners get up and down from the bunker, we receive $5 from the predetermined kitty.

49. Dollar Per Hole – Great for Golfers On A Budget

Who is it for: 2 – 4 players

A dollar per hole is the most effortless golf betting game. Each hole is worth $1, and the hole winner earns the $1. If the hole is tied, the $1 carries over, and the next hole is worth $2. I look at it like the poor man’s skins. It is fun, affordable, and carries no risk.

50. Different Value Skins – Great for Skins Fans

Who is it for: 3 – 4 players

The skins format features heavily in golf betting games, but different value skins has a twist. Instead of assigning a flat rate to each hole, you increase the value of the skins on more challenging holes.

For example, if the average skin is $10, you may double it to $20 on the most challenging stroking holes on the golf course. You can also decide whether you want to carry over the skin or not. If there is no carryover, the skin disappears if there is no outright winner on a hole.

Final Thoughts

The 50 best golf betting games give you several options to raise the stakes in your next round of golf. Although there are multiple ways you can bet on your casual rounds of golf, there are two ways to win.

Skins see you earn on every hole where you carded the fewest strokes relative to your peers. Conversely, many golfers play for a set pot that they determine at the start of the round. This is often less complex and more affordable than the skins route.

If you are ready to learn more about the world of golf betting, increase your knowledge with our detailed guide on how to bet on golf.

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Matt is a seasoned golf equipment writer and sports fanatic. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for over 28 years.

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