Side Game Suggestions for All Skill Levels

Fun For All
A Bit More Advanced
Points Wolf
Dots Vegas
Wolf Match
Targets Nassau
Rolling Stroke
Skins

Golf is one of the most enjoyable games on earth.

As we all know, golf can also be the most frustrating game on earth.

Rather than killing yourself (or your playing partner, for that matter) by trying to shoot your lowest score, take a break and enjoy your round while trying to take a few quarters from your playing partners at the same time!


Points

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

At 18Birdies, we love GameBets. Of course, there are many different variations to the way people play side games, so we’ve provided a flexible framework that allows you to play whichever way you like - Points!

Choose the number of betting units that correspond to each point, and then as you play, manually add points to each player’s total to reflect their on-course performance.

Start a Points game
  1. Once you have started a golf round and your playing partners added to the round, tap the GameBets button on the bottom menu bar.
  2. Use the scroll/ image carousel or tap All Games to find the Points game; tap Play.
  3. Choose between Individual or Team Play.
Individual Play
  1. Tap the grey + icon next to each players name to turn the + blue and enter that player into the points game.
  2. Tap Starting/ending holes to edit the holes that will be used in the Points game.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Tap Betting units per point to edit the number of points awarded to the winner.
  5. Tap Start this game.
  6. Tap Back to round to return to the hole scoring screen.

Pro Tip: Tap Save my preferences to save these settings for future Points games.

Team Play

This game requires 2 - 5 players.

  1. Tap the grey + icon next to each players name to turn the + blue and enter that player into the points game.
  2. Tap Starting/ending holes to edit the holes that will be used in the Points game.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Tap Betting units per point to edit the number of points awarded to the winner.
  5. Tap Start this game.
  6. Tap Back to round to return to the hole scoring screen.
Assign Points
  1. Once a hole has been completed and scores have been entered, tap the Points button above the bottom menu bar.
  2. Tap the blue pencil in the Points column to open the Points number pad; enter the points won for each team or individual.
  3. Tap the Add link in the Description column to add a note for the hole. Use these notes to help reconcile any point discrepancies at the end of the game.
  4. When you return to the Hole Scoring screen, you should see a Bets column appear with a +# in green for the leaders and a -# in red for the other players

A green number indicates how many betting units that player or team is ahead. A red number indicates how many betting units that player or team is behind.

Damage Report
  1. At any point during the round and Points game, tap the GameBets button on the bottom menu bar.
  2. Tap Damage Report.
  3. You will be taken to the Bets - Points screen that will have the recorded score for each player (hole and total), the points assigned to that player (hole and total), and the betting units won for each player.
  4. Tap the left direction arrow in the upper left corner to return to the Hole Scoring screen.
Automatic Damage Report

To automatically have a condensed version of the Damage Report pop up at the end of each hole, enter and assign points to each player or team before entering the strokes taken on the hole.

  1. When you have finished playing a hole, tap Points.
  2. Enter and assign points to each player or team.
  3. Tap the blue pencil in the scoring column to enter the strokes taken for each player.
  4. When the strokes are entered for the last player, the damage report for that specific hole will pop up.
  5. Tap Done to close the screen and return to the Hole Scoring screen.

Dots

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

In Dots, also known as Junk, you can win points for specific achievements, like long drive, closest to the pin, lowest score and more.

For information on how to set up this game, see the article on Side Games in 18Birdies.

Basic Rules

‘Dots’ are awarded to golfers based on different on course achievements each player earns. 

Each dot is worth a given number of points so that when a player earns a dot, he or she wins that number of points from each player in the group. 

Players can adjust the number of points associated with each dot.

Setup
  1. Once you have started a golf round, tap Add Player
  2. Tap Add Side Games button on the bottom menu bar.
  3. Swipe through the icons on the game carousel until you find Dots (Junk); Tap Play.
  4. Select Individual or Team play.
  5. Tap the grey + icon next to the golfers participating. A blue + indicates that golfer is playing in the game.
  6. Set starting and ending holes; tap Next.
  7. Set the Betting units per dot.
    Each dot will equal a set number of points.
  8. Select the Dot categories for non-score based achievements. Set Off to disable a category or set a custom point value.
  9. Select the Dot categories for score-based achievements. Set Off to disable a category or set a custom point value.
  10. Tap Start this game.

Tap Save my preferences to save these settings for future Dots games.

Non-Score Based Dots

Award dots to golfers for accomplishing non-score based feats, when enabled.

Long drive (par 4 and 5 only) 

Dots awarded for the longest drive on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Closest to the pin (par 3 only)

Dots awarded for the closest to the pin on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Sand save

Dots awarded for a sand save on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Chip in

Dots awarded for a chip in on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

One putts 

Dots awarded for a one putt on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Greenies (green in regulation)

Dots awarded for a greenie on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Arnies (Par without being on the fairway, Par 4 and 5 only)

Dots awarded for an Arnie on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Score Based Dots

Posting the best score on a given hole can earn you a dot. Additionally, Birdies, Eagles, and Aces (Hole in One), can all earn dots, when enabled.

Lowest score

Dots awarded for the lowest score on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Birdie

Dots awarded for a birdie on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Eagle

Dots awarded for an eagle on a hole. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Ace (hole in one)

Dots awarded for a hole in one. Select between 1 - 10 points.

Targets

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

Traditionally, golfers track and measure their performance by their total score. The downside of this is that an individual “blow up” hole can mess up an entire round, taking away from the fun of the game, and distracting from the progress made from round to round.

Targets is a new format that lets players focus on the smaller victories in golf -- the number of Fairways Hit, Green in Regulation, Pars or better, or Birdies or better. Players can now define what “being successful” means to them for each round, and either track progress individually, or use Targets as a betting game with friends.

For information on how to setup this game, see the article on GameBets in 18Birdies.

Overview

Targets is a game-within-a-game designed to help golfers set realistic and attainable goals for the current round. Measure your success by playing Targets!

  • Tap the blue My Targets icon near the bottom of the screen to open My Targets settings.
  • Tap the blue pencil in the Birdies circle.
    • Tap the number that corresponds to the number of Birdies you plan to make in the round.
  • Tap the blue pencil in the Pars circle.
    • Tap the number that corresponds to the number of pars you plan to make in the round.
  • Tap the blue pencil in the GIR (Greens in Regulation) circle.
    • Tap the number that corresponds to the number of Greens in Regulation you plan to make in the round.
  • Tap the blue pencil in the FH (Fairways Hit) circle.
    • Tap the number that corresponds to the number of Fairways Hit you plan to make in the round.

You can also us Targets in GameBets, another fun golf betting game in 18Birdies.

Solo Play

As a single golfer, set Targets and track your performance against any of these four stats categories:

  • Birdies (or better)
  • Pars (or better)
  • Greens in Regulation
  • Fairways Hit

To help you set realistic Targets for each round, we provide both historical averages and personal bests for each category.

Group Play

Groups of two or more players can use Targets for GameBets. The group picks one Target to play for -- for example: Pars or better -- and agrees upon a number each person in the group need to make to reach their Target.

Each player puts a fixed number of betting units into the pot. Any player that reaches his/her Target earns a share of the total pot. If all (or no) players reach their target, the money is returned to each player.

Note: While Targets as a multi-player betting game only covers one stat category, golfing groups can set up multiple games of Targets during a single round.

Skins

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

Skins is a fun and popular golf betting game where the lowest score on a hole wins a skin. In the event of a tie, skins can carry over to the next hole.

For information on how to set up this game, see the article on  GameBets in 18Birdies.

Basic Rules

Each hole is a separate match. The player with the single lowest score on a hole is the winner of the skin on that hole. Each skin has an associated point value (betting units), defined in setup. At the end of the game, the difference in total skins between you and other players will be your final win-loss, and each losing player owes the winner the number of points associated with the difference in skins. Skins can also be played in a team best-ball format, with the same rules as above.

Carryover

If multiple players claim the lowest score on a hole, the skin for that hole will carry over to the following hole. Carried-over skins are claimed by the player with the lowest score on the following hole.

Note: Carry-over skins may go unclaimed if there is no winner for consecutive holes to end a match. Skin carry-over rules are fully configurable in Skins setup.

Giving Strokes

Based on skill levels, players can choose to give each other stroked to level the playing field. The number of strokes given is either determined by each player’s Handicap index, or can be manually entered.

Additional Settings
  • Maximum Score to Win Skins: When selected, you can determine what max score is allowed to win a hole. Options are: Par, Bogey or Double Bogey. If Par is selected, that means the winning player must score par or better on the hole to win the skin. If no player scores par or better, the skin will carry to the next hole.
  • Last Hole Winner Takes All: When selected, the winner of the last hole can win all remaining skins for the round.
  • Limit Winning of Carryover Skins: When selected, you can determine how many skins a specific score can win. This can be completely customized from 0-17 skins. The options are listed below with their default settings:


Winning score >= bogey 0 Skins Winning score = par 1 Skin Winning score = birdie 3 Skins Winning score <= eagle 17 Skins

Wolf

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

The origins of the golf betting game Wolf are as mysterious as the woodland creature itself … no one really knows. A society of die-hard Wolf fanatics – dubbed the Weekday Wolves Golf Club – formed in 2003, but they aren’t credited with creating the betting game.

Regardless of who was responsible for forming the rules of Wolf, this fun betting game is definitely one you and your golf buddies need to try.

Basic Rules

Before teeing off on the first hole, the order of play is decided randomly through the app or manually by the player. The “Wolf” is either the first player to tee off or the last player to tee off. Going first allows the Wolf to see his/her shot before deciding to pick a partner or go alone, while going last eliminates this element.

For each hole, players rotate the tee-off order (first hole 1, 2, 3, 4 and on the second hole 2, 3, 4, 1 and so forth). Each player will be the wolf once every four holes. On the 17th and 18th holes the first and second place players are Wolf, respectively.

After teeing off, the Wolf has the following options:

  • Choose from one of the three players to team up OR
  • Decide to play the hole alone. Better know as the “Lone Wolf”

The Wolf can also choose to be a “Blind Wolf” calling that he/she will play alone before anyone tees off. The rewards the Blind Wolf with more points if they win.

Setup Example
Hole 1
  1. Tony, Alex, Kyle and Trevor are playing in a foursome and start the game Wolf.
  2. Tony is the first player on the scorecard, so Tony tees off first.
  3. Alex tees off and hits it into the woods. Tony passes on Alex.
  4. Kyle tees off and hits a good tee shot, but a little off the fairway. Tony passes on Kyle.
  5. Trevor tees off and hits a perfect drive down the middle, 350 yards (he ate his morning spinach).
  6. Tony picks Trevor as his partner and they play the hole out as a team.
  7. Tony and Trevor win the hole.

    Tony and Trevor win 1 point.
Hole 2
  1. Alex is the second player on the scorecard, so Alex tees off.
  2. Kyle tees off and hits a decent shot, but Alex thinks Trevor or Tony can do better. Alex passes on Kyle.
  3. Trevor tees off and hits another 350 yard drive down the middle. Alex picks Trevor.
  4. Tony hits it 360 yards right down the middle! Alex cannot pick Tony though since Alex already picked Trevor.
  5. Alex and Trevor play the hole out as a team.
  6. Tony and Kyle win the hole.

    Tony and Kyle win 1 point.
Hole 3
  1. Kyle is the third player on the scorecard, so Kyle tees off.
  2. Trevor tees off and hits a great iron into the par 3, about 15 feet from the pin. Kyle thinks the other two might do better so he passes on Trevor.
  3. Tony steps up and hits one right into the water. Kyle passes on Tony.
  4. Alex tees off and hits a shot over the back of the green into the bunker.
  5. Kyle wants to pick Trevor, but he can’t. Once he passed on Trevor, he can’t go back and pick a player he passed on.
  6. Kyle decides to go it alone. Kyle is the Lone Wolf and plays the hole out.

    Kyle wins the hole and earn 2 points as the Lone Wolf. Nice playing, Kyle!
Hole 4
  1. Trevor has been playing the best so far and has little confidence in his playing competitors. Trevor declares himself the Blind Wolf and hits his tee shot right down the middle.
  2. Tony, Alex and Kyle all tee off
  3. Trevor does not win the hole.

    Tony, Alex and Kyle beat the Blind Wolf and they each win 3 points. Sorry, Trevor!
At the end of the four holes, the point total reads:
  • Tony (5 points)
  • Alex (3 points)
  • Kyle (6 points)
  • Trevor (4 points)

Kyle has the lead after four holes, but this is Wolf… anything can happen from here.

AWOOOO!

That was a wolf howl if you were wondering :-)

Vegas

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

In the Vegas golf betting 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 information on how to find this game in the app, see the article on GameBets in 18Birdies.

Basic Rules

On each hole, the scores of each team member are combined to become a team-score. 

If Player A and B are a team, and A gets a 4 and B gets a 5, their team score is a 45. After each hole, the two teams’ scores are compared, and the team with the lower combined score wins the number of points that represent the difference in team scores.

It is important to note that when pairing and recording team scores, the lowest number comes first.

Example

Andrew and Randy are on Team 1.
Andrew records 4 strokes and Randy records 5 strokes on the first hole.
Andrew and Randy's team score is 45.

Josh and Gary are on Team 2.
Josh records 5 strokes and Gary records 3 strokes on the first hole.
Because Vegas scoring rules state that the lowest number comes first in the pair, Josh and Gary's team score is 35.

Team 1 = 45
Team 2 = 35

45 (Team 1 score) - 35 (Team 2 score) = 10

Team 2 is given 10 points for the difference. Team 2 leads the game by 10 points.

Scoring

The scores of each team member are combined to become a team-score, where the lower score is used as the first digit and the higher score is used as the second digit. If the two teams get a 45 and 56, respectively, each member of the team that scored 46 gets 11 Vegas point, and each member of the losing team loses 11 points.

Team Formation

On the first tee, you have two options for team formations.

Dynamic Teams

You will select starting teams for the first hole, and after the first hole is completed (and for the remaining 17 holes), players with the lowest and highest score from the previous hole, respectively, will be grouped together for the next hole, against the other two players.

Fixed Teams

Keep the same teams for the entire round.

Flips & Doubles

When selected, you can choose to turn on or off three different options.

  • A birdie flips the opponent’s team score.
  • 2 birdies flip and double the score difference.
  • An eagle flips and doubles the score difference.
Example

On a Par 4, Team A scores a 4 and 7, for a 47. While, Team B scores a 3 and 5, for a 35. Since Team B scored a birdie, Team A’s score flips to become a 74.

Tied Hole Multipliers

In the event of a tied team score, you can select how the value of the next hole increases, either incrementally (e.g., 2x, 3x, 4x, etc.) or exponentially (2x, 4x, 8x, etc.).

Note: When playing with dynamic teams, team pairings on double holes will remain the same as on the previous hole. The multiplier in place will apply to the number of Vegas points that the winning team accrues.

Three Players Vegas

While Vegas is traditionally a four-player game, a group of only three players may play this game as well. In this case, teams must be set up as 2 vs. 1. The single player’s score will be counted twice to form his team-score, so if he/she scores a 4, his/her Vegas score will become a 44.

Match

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

Match Play is a scoring system at its most basic. Match play scoring in golf is as simple as apple pie (or the pie of your choice except rhubarb). Golfers compete hole-by-hole. The person getting the lowest score gets one point, so there are 18 points up for grabs during the match.

For information on how to setup this game, see the article on  Side Games in 18Birdies.

Basic Rules

Match play can be individual or team based. The player or team with the lowest score on a hole is the winner of that hole. The winner of each hole wins a point, and the loser of each hole loses a point. No points are awarded for holes that are halved (otherwise known as a tie). Unlike Skins, there are no carryovers in match play.

Team Scoring Options

You have the option to select from the following options below:

  • Use the best score.
  • Add the scores from all players.
Press Settings

Match play includes the option to “Press,” to increase the number of Match points associated with each hole. Players can press on any hole, or select “Auto press,” which increases the number of points per hole on a pre-determined schedule.

Give Strokes

Based on skill levels, players can choose to give each other strokes to level the playing field. The number of strokes given is either determined by each player’s Handicap Index, or can be manually entered.

Nassau

Recommended Skill Level: ANY!

The most popular of all golf betting games, Nassau, can trace its origins all the way back to 1896 when a prominent member of Nassau Country Club developed a more “gentlemanly way of playing.” Club member J. B. Coles Tappan devised a three-part scoring system allowing golfers who play poorly on the outgoing nine holes to regain their form, win the back-nine and halve the match (also known as a tie.) And with that, the ever-popular Nassau betting game was born.

For information on how to setup this game, see the article on  GameBets in 18Birdies.

Basic Rules

Nassau is a game that includes three concurrent matches: Front 9 holes, Back 9 holes and all 18 holes. Each Nassau match is scored in the traditional match play format, where holes are won, lost or halved based on player or team scores.

Team Scoring Options

You have the option to select from the following options below:

  • Use the best score
  • Add the scores from all players
Betting Units per Match

You can determine what each of the 3 matches is worth. For example, if you set your betting units to 5, then the most you can win (without a press) is 15 betting units.

Press Settings

When a player is behind in a Nassau match, he/she has the option to press -- and add a new match -- at any point during the round. If “Auto press” is selected, an additional new match will automatically start and run for the remaining holes in the round, when a player or team is down by two holes in a match. Multiple new matches can be added when playing Nassau.

Giving Strokes

Based on skill levels, players can choose to give each other strokes to level the playing field. The number of strokes given is either determined by each player’s Handicap Index, or can be manually entered.

Rolling Stroke

Recommended Skill Level: Advanced

The Rolling Stroke golf betting game is a multiple round stroke play game between players, where the players' previous results determine the number of strokes given.

Basic Rules

After each round, players’ net scores are compared and the difference in strokes is recorded. The player with the lowest net score wins the game. The next time this group plays together, their course handicaps are recalculated based on the previous round’s performance.

Rolling Stroke

The rolling stroke system determines the number of strokes a player gives to, or receives from, the other player for each round by calculating their specific win-loss history between. The number of strokes to be given or received in the next round is constantly being adjusted, based on real outcomes from previous rounds.

Rolling Stroke Adjuster

For every preset number of net strokes one loses after a round, the player will get one additional stroke from the winner for their next round. His number is configurable in-game bet set up.

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