By Ryan Bologna
Going out for a round of golf with your buddies is fun in itself, but there are a variety of ways to raise the stakes with gambling. What works best for you depends on a number of factors, like the skill gap between players and what style of golf you want to play. The well-known games are good, but that does not mean it is the best for your group. Want to have the most fun with your group of friends on the course? Here are a few of the most popular gambling games that you can learn to play.
Nassau is the most popular gambling game in golf. It is based on three bets, best Front Nine score, best Back Nine score and best overall score. Any amount of money can be placed on these bets. This game is well-suited for golfers at similar skill levels.
If the raw Nassau format is a little bland for you, then you can incorporate presses. These are bets that can be made during the middle of the round, and they can be based on one hole or multiple holes. This is where knowing your partner can be helpful. If you are on a course you play all the time and you know your partner struggles with holes 3-5, you can do a press based on those holes. Just make sure you are keeping track of your bets throughout the round.
Bingo Bango Bongo
This game is composed of three mini-games on each hole and is geared towards leveling the playing field for a group of players that have a big skill gap. The three mini-games are first to land their ball on the green, closest to the hole once all players have reached the green, and the longest putt made on the green. Different dollar amounts can be set for each game.
Bingo Bango Bongo allows the less-skilled players a chance to come out with a profit after 18 holes, as that player can still win the longest putt even if it is for a triple bogey. If you are an experienced golfer playing with a novice, this might be the game for you.
Like Bingo Bango Bongo, Skins evens the playing field a bit for less-skilled golfers and makes every hole meaningful. What sets it apart is it encourages everyone to play aggressively on nearly every shot. The game is very popular in the disc golf scene and it creates exciting moments. Some examples include disc golf pros Kevin Jones slipping in the tee box but still throwing a 530-foot ace through the woods and Gavin Babcock hitting an ace for $10,000.
The $10,000 OTB Skins ACE bounty has finally been hit and it couldn’t have happened to a better person. Congratulations @babcock_gavin 🎉 🎇 💰 @SportsCenter @OTBdiscs #DiscGolf #OTBSkins #GKPro pic.twitter.com/o0FuU1okOQ
— GK PRO (@GKProDiscGolf) June 8, 2022
The Skins format is ideally played with three or four players. Winners are decided by the player with the lowest score on each hole. The value of each hole can change, but the simplest example is if everyone puts in $1 for each hole. Let’s say you are playing with a group of four in this case. The player with the lowest score on a hole wins the ‘skin’, which would be $4. If there is a tie for the best score, the value of that ‘skin’ gets added to the next hole. The winner of that hole would then win $8. This can add up quickly and create some high-stakes moments during your round. It also means that a player of less skill can sneak in and take a big chunk of money with one hole of golf. If you think laying up is lame and want to try to make crazy shots with your friends while winning money, this is the game for you.
Photo Credit: Thaninee Chuensomchit