Golf Betting Games: The Ultimate Guide

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Hitting the links is a blast with friendly wagers to raise the stakes. This ultimate list of popular golf betting games covers everything from scrambles and skins to creative variations like wolf and bingo-bango-bongo. Will you claim the cash and pride, or will you limp home licking your wounds?

golf gambling collage

Filter Golf Games

Use the filters below to find the perfect game for your group. Note that complexity is just a gauge of how much is tracked or how much math is required.


Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: Medium

How to play Wolf

In your foursome, select an order for rotating which player will be the “wolf” on each hole. The wolf will tee off last and choose to play alone vs. the other three or partner with one of the other players. Typically, a player must be selected immediately after their tee shot rather than waiting to see all the shots.

Each hole has a set value (points or dollars), and the low-scoring team wins. However, if the wolf plays alone, the value is doubled. In some variations, you can also declare lone wolf immediately before anyone has hit to triple the value.


Format: Solo Team Players: 2 to 4 Complexity: Low

How to play Nassau

Nassau has three wagers for the front nine, back nine, and the complete round. The lowest score on each wins. When a team is down two holes on any of the three bets, they can press. This begins a new bet for the remaining holes of that section.


Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: Medium

How to play Vegas

In Vegas, teams of two compete by combining their scores into a double-digit number (lowest score first), and the lowest team score wins the hole. For example, team one shoots 3-4 for 34, and team two shoots 2-5 for 25 and wins the hole by 9. If a player shoots a 10 or higher, their team’s score is reversed, so the 10 comes first (e.g., 10-5 would be 105).

An alternate way to play is to select new teams on each hole based on the two left-most vs two right-most drives. Then, give each point a dollar value and pay out the difference after each hole. You can also play that if one team has a birdie and the other team has a par or worse, they must reverse the order of their score (a 3-7 becomes 73). This variation is known as “Daytona”.


Format: Solo Team Players: 2 to Large Group Complexity: Low

How to play Skins

Each hole is worth one (or more) skins. If one player in the group has the lowest score on a hole, they win that hole’s skins. If two or more players tie for the lowest score, the skins for that hole are added to the next hole. If this format is played with a large group, it’s typically added to another tournament format (such as a scramble).


Format: Solo Team Players: 2 or 4 Complexity: Medium

How to play Hammer

Hammer is played 1-on-1 or 2-on-2. A starting wager (e.g., $5) is set for each hole. At any point, either team can “hammer,” which either doubles the bet ($10) or the other team can fold, conceding the hole.


Format: Solo Team Players: 2 to 4 Complexity: High

How to play Scotch

In Scotch, there are five potential ways to earn points on each hole:

  1. Lowest score
  2. Lowest score for the team (if there is a team)
  3. Closest to the pin in regulation
  4. Lowest number of total putts
  5. Scoring a birdie

No points are awarded if there are any ties. This game can have many local rules, such as bonus points for winning back-to-back holes or breaking a team’s streak. An umbrella can also be included, doubling points if a team wins all available on a hole.

Wolf Scotch

Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: High

How to play Wolf Scotch

Wolf Scotch is a combination of the Wolf and Scotch games. Like in Wolf, you have a rotating player who is the wolf on each hole and tees off last. After each player hits, they can decide to join them as a team or be the lone wolf and play by themselves against the others as a team.

  1. 2 points for the lowest individual score
  2. 2 points for low team score (sum of teammate’s scores)
  3. 2 points for a birdie
  4. 2 points for closest to the hole

If your team wins all the points on a hole, it’s a blitz, which doubles the value (to 16 points).


Format: Solo Players: 2 to 4 Complexity: Low

How to play Snake

Snake is a putting game that can be played alone or added to other game formats. In this game, all putts must be putted out (no gimmies).

Each time a player 3-putts on a hole, a set dollar value is added to the pot. The last person to 3-putt on the round has to pay that amount to each of the other players. Alternatively, the player with the most 3-putts can pay out the group.


Format: Team Players: 3 or 4 Complexity: Medium

How to play Banker

First, set a minimum and maximum value for each hole (e.g., $1 min, $10 max). Choose an order for rotating who will be the banker on each hole. Each player decides how much to bet against the banker within that range. Immediately after hitting their ball, players can choose to press and double their bets. The banker tees off last and can decide to press, but this doubles all the current bets.


Format: Solo Team Players: 2 to Large Group Complexity: Medium

How to play Stableford

Stableford is a points system where the player with the highest score wins. This game emphasizes low scores while not penalizing high scores. The points are as follows:

  • Four under par: 6 pts
  • Three under par (albatross): 5 pts
  • Two under par (eagle): 4 pts
  • One under par (birdie): 3 pts
  • Par: 2 pts
  • One over par (bogie): 1 pt
  • Two over par or more (double or worse): 0 pts

Another option for better players (like on the PGA Tour) is Modified Stableford scoring as follows:

  • Three under par (albatross): 8 pts
  • Two under par (eagle): 5 pts
  • One under par (birdie): 2 pts
  • Par: 0 pts
  • One over par (bogie): -1 pt
  • Two over par or more (double or worse): -3 pts

Bingo, Bango, Bongo

Format: Solo Players: 2 to 4 Complexity: Easy

How to play Bingo, Bango, Bongo

Bingo, Bango, Bongo is a points game where the total number of shots on a hole doesn’t matter. Points are scored for:

  • Bingo: the first player to hit the green (even if not in regulation)
  • Bango: the player closest to the pin when everyone has reached the green
  • Bongo: the first player to get the ball into the cup

Since the number of strokes hit doesn’t matter to score points, this can work well for players of varying skills. It can also be played on top of a standard stroke play match.

6-6-6 (Sixes)

Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: Easy

How to play 6-6-6

Sixes is played by dividing the round into three rounds of six holes. Each player will have a different partner for each set of six holes.


Format: Team Players: 4 to Large Group Complexity: Low

How to play a Scramble

A scramble involves teams of two or four players. Each teammate tees off on a hole and plays their next shot within one club length from the team’s best shot. The team continues to play from the best shot until finishing the hole. Check out our golf scramble strategy guide.

There are also some scramble variations:

  • Shamble – play from the best team drive, but then play your own ball for the remainder of the hole and take the lowest score.
  • One-Man Scramble – each player hits two balls and plays from their best shot.
  • Texas Scramble – everyone in a foursome must have at least four of their tee shots used.
  • Miami – the golfer whose tee shot is used can’t hit any more shots until the team reaches the green.

Best Ball

Format: Team Players: 4 to Large Group Complexity: Low

How to play Best Ball

To play Best Ball, you’ll form teams of two or four. Each player plays their own ball, but only the lowest score for the team is recorded. This game can also be called better ball or four-ball.

Best to Next

Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: Low

How to play Best to Next

Form teams of two and then follow the Best Ball format, where players play their own ball. Take the lowest score for your team, but in the event of a tie, the lowest score of the second player is counted (e.g., a 3 & 4 beats a 3 & 5).


Format: Team Players: 4 Complexity: Medium

How to play Umbrella

Umbrella is a 2-vs-2 game with 6 points available on each hole:

  • Low score: 2 pts
  • Low total: 2 pts
  • Closest to the pin in regulation: 1 pt
  • Birdie: 1 pt

If one of the teams gets all 6 points, it’s an umbrella that doubles the points they win to 12.


Format: Team Players: 2 to 4 Complexity: Low

How to play Rabbit

To play Rabbit, everyone pays into a side pot. The first player to shoot a lower score than all the other players captures the rabbit. They keep the rabbit until another player shoots the lowest score (no ties) on a hole. Whoever holds the rabbit on the ninth hole wins half the pot. A new rabbit is set free for the back nine, and the player holding the rabbit at 18 wins the remainder of the bet.

You can also play a variation where the rabbit is released (but not captured) when a second player wins a hole, but this variation makes it possible for nobody to be holding the rabbit.

Roll ‘Em (Roll, Re-Roll)

Format: Team Players: 2 or 4 Complexity: High

How to play Roll ‘Em

Roll ‘Em is a modification on many other base games (match play, Wolf, Scotch, Stableford, etc) to increase betting. The winning team tees off first, and the other team can optionally “roll” them, which doubles the bet (or bet per point). Then, after hitting their next shot, the leading team can “re-roll,” doubling the bet again.


Format: Team Players: 3 Complexity: Medium

How to play Defender

Defender is played with three players, where one player rotates being the defender on each hole. The defender’s goal is to at least tie the best score of the other team of two. Points (which are given a dollar value) are awarded as follows:

  • Defender wins the hole: 2 pts to the defender
  • Defender ties: 1 pt to the defender
  • Defender loses the hole: 1 pt each to the other players

Alternate Shot

Format: Team Players: 4 to Large Group Complexity: Low

How to play Alternate Shot

Alternate Shot has teams of two that play the same ball by alternating shots. It begins with player A teeing off on a hole, followed by player B hitting the next shot. They continue alternating until the ball is holed. On the next hole, player B will tee off, and player A will hit the second shot.


What golf games are best for varying skill levels?

If you have golfers of varying skill levels, you can try these games: Scramble, Bingo Bango Bongo, Snake, Wolf, or any game using handicaps. It’s crucial to balance team skill levels as much as possible in team games.

What game can you play with 3 golfers?

The best golf betting games to play with 3 players include Nassau, Skins, Scotch, Snake, Banker, Stableford, Bingo Bango Bongo, Rabbit, and Defender. These games can all be played solo or with one player by themselves.


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