Vegas Golf Betting Game: How to Play and Win

by Andrew Pritchard

If you want to get rich fast, try Vegas! No, not that Vegas, try the Vegas golf game which is a boat load of fun to play with your golf buddies. In Vegas, a lucky roll of the putter can lead to some serious cash exchanging hands. But the first step to winning at this fun betting game is to understand how it’s played.

How to Play the Vegas Golf Game

Our first betting tip is to download the 18Birdies App. There’s a lot of math involved in Vegas, so lose the calculator and get your game on!

In the Vegas golf game, four golfers split up into two teams, and each team’s score is paired together (not added together, that’s important to remember). For example, if Golfer A posts a 4 and Golfer B records a 5 on the first hole, the team’s score is a “45.”(In Vegas, the smaller of the two scores almost always goes first when forming the number.) The difference between the team scores determines winnings and losings. Example, if Golfer A and Golfer B combine for a 45 on the first hole and Golfer C and Golfer D record a 55, that’s a difference of 10 points and team AB wins $10 (if it’s $1 per point).

As you can foresee, winnings and losings can add up fast in Vegas. So we’d suggest sticking to 50 cents per point or, if you’re feeling like a high roller, go for a $1 per point. Just keep in mind if one team catches a heater, the other team might need to break out the checkbook to cover the difference.

And if your foursome is made up of a variety of skill levels, we suggest using each golfer’s handicap. The number of strokes given to a team is determined by the difference between each team’s total handicap. So, if Golfer A and Golfer B are an 8 and 10 handicap respectively (total 18), and Golfer C and Golfer D are a 4 and 6 handicap respectively (total 10), team AB will get 8 strokes (18–10=8) in the match.

“Flipping the Bird” in Vegas

One exception to the “lowest number always goes first” rule in Vegas is an option called “flipping the bird.” When a team makes a birdie and wins the hole, that team can “flip the bird” and swap the other team’s score so the higher number comes first. It’s one way to add some serious pressure to this fun golf betting game because one birdie could mean the difference between winning a few points or hitting the jackpot.

High Scores in Vegas

The second exception to the “lowest number always goes first” rule is when a golfer makes a 10 or higher on a hole. Trust us, this is a good thing in Vegas. For example, if Golfer A makes a 4 and Golfer B makes a 10, the higher number goes first making the team’s score a 104 instead of a 410. So if Golfer C and Golfer D made a 56 on the hole that Golfer A and Golfer B made a 104, team AB would only lose 48 points instead of 354 points. See, we told you it’s a good thing.

Betting Tips for Vegas

The smartest betting tip when playing Vegas is to pick your golf partner wisely. If you’re using handicaps, side with the golfer who has the higher handicap, especially if you’re a steady golfer who has no problem consistently putting up 3s, 4s, and 5s on holes. As in any betting game, the more strokes your team can get the better. And if your partner can sprinkle in a par for a net birdie every once in a while, you’ll be in the money.

Another betting tip is to raise the stakes and play a variation of Vegas called “Monte Carlo.” In Monte Carlo, a team’s scores are multiplied together to get the team score instead of pairing them together. For example, if a team’s score in normal Vegas is 45, in Monte Carlo it would be 4×5=20. That doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well just wait until your teammate puts a 10 on the card, then the floodgates will open.

If you want to reward good play, then it’s fun to double the points when the winning team makes a birdie and triple the points when the winning team makes an eagle. For example, on a par 5, if team AB records a 45 (with a birdie) and team CD posts a 56, team AB earns 22 points (56-45=11; 11×2=22).

Now get out there and viva Las Vegas!

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