If you’ve never played golf before, you might be one of many who assumes it’s just a leisurely pastime for old coots who take no enjoyment in other activities. But when you look at luminaries like Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy, it’s clear that golf appeals to the younger masses too. Plus, there are many variations of golf games that are more exciting and take less time to complete than the traditional 18 holes – and you can still place some great bets and win real money in the process! Here’s seven you can play and engage in with your fellow golf pals right now!


Nassau is a tournament-based game split into three mini-tournaments; a front nine, back nine and 18-hole match. The most common wager is $2 or $5 but stakes can be higher too. The bets are: front 9 worth $2, back 9 worth $2 and an 18-hole match is valued at $2. Any player or team who hits all three wins a total of $6 (or $15 if playing with 5-dollars). You can pretty much play Nassau in any format, including with handicaps. It may seem like there is little earning potential with this game, but as the bets get repressed in the next tees, the wagers can mount up quickly. While this is a good outcome for the winner, pockets can get drained very quickly for other players. This is why it’s worth setting yourself a loss limit with this game. 


This is a very similar game to Nassau. To play, you first set your bet for playing an 18-hole match. As normal, the hole is won by whoever achieves the lowest stroke. As soon as that match is over, (let’s say a player gets 5-up with four holes remaining) you can then proceed to play the remaining holes for half your initial stake. If that original bet was $20 dollars on an 18-hole match – and you win it 5-up – you’ll win $20 and play the rest of the holes on $10 dollar stakes. There might not be a huge amount of return unless you’re placing large bets, but the appeal is in the fact it’s easy and simple to keep tabs of the scores and holes with this one. 


Bisque is a fantastically simple game aimed at those who struggle to hit the ball into a specific hole. As opposed to collecting handicap strokes on scorecards, players can instead utilize up to two handicap strokes on any hole until they exceed them all. The player is only able to use their strokes on a hole once they have announced in advance of the tee shot. Whoever has the low-net score out of the players wins the bounty. It’s truly ideal for novice players and ones who aren’t confident with particular holes, as the strokes can be applied to any of them. 


If you’re someone who likes to play in a threesome, this is a game that could become your new favorite if you don’t already know about it. In this game, points represent a predetermined amount in dollars and you can earn up to 9 points per hole. The player gets five points on a hole with a low score, while the second-lowest score awards 3 points to that player and 1 for the worst player’s score. Points are divided by the number of players who tie on a hole, i.e. if player X and player Y tie on a hole for the best score, the first and second place points would be split (5+3/2=4 points each. This would then be added to the total scores to determine the winner. 


In Quota, each player notes their course handicap then minuses that figure from 36. This new number is what creates the points quota they must achieve for each round. A common scoring system for a mid-handicap group would look something like:

  • Bogey = 1 point
  • Par = 2 points
  • Birdie = 4 points
  • Eagle = 8 points

Whichever player finishes with the point closest to their quota wins the pot, and if no players finish above their quota – the pot can either be rolled through to the next round or go into a tiebreaker to determine the winner. 


Skins is a fun and easy game to play which is typically played in fours. In this game, the holes are given individual point values also known as skins, i.e. 7 points, 8 points, 10 points for each hole, etc. The objective is to hit a lower score than the other 3 players and win each skin. There can be no ties for a skin and it rolls through to the next match if there are two low-score golfers, at which point the skin increases by a value of 1. Whichever golfer has achieved the most skins by the end of the 18 holes is declared the winner and wins the entire pot. 


This game is another variation of Skins and is played either 1-1 or 2-2. Players agree on a wager for each hole, i.e. let’s say $10. In order to begin the match, an individual or team has the option to hammer the opposition. This entails either “folding – which means losing their stake and the hole by default or doubling the original stake to $20. Both teams alternate in giving the opposing team this option for every hole, and the player or team with the fewest number of shots on each hole wins the pot. Unless you’re at an intermediate level, It’s not a highly popular game to play as the betting amounts on each hole can get out of hand quickly.  

Last Hole

Hopefully, that’s given you a few more golfing options to choose from if you’re looking to bet money against your friends on the course this summer. It’s always best to look up the game rules and betting options for each game individually before you play. That way, and like with any form of gambling – you’ll give yourself a much better chance of winning overall. Just make sure your putt is “up to par” with your knowledge! 

Frank West is a bit of an itinerant gambler. An avid traveler and freelance writer with a penchant for games of chance, Frank has hit the tables in casinos the world over and picked up a copious volume of knowledge along the way. Frank enjoys passing on what he’s learned in blog and magazine articles about gambling and teaching people how to beat the house. He also covets his privacy, authoring his articles only under the pen name Frank West.