Favorite Gambling Game with the Crew

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When we go away for fishing/guys weekend we always manage to squeeze in a fair amount of gambling.  This year, one of my buds brought a horse racing game that proved to be the entertaining game of the trip.  He had a homemade game with the same premise as the one I purchased upon returning (see below)  


So, my question to you is, what’s your favorite gambling game?  It can be a board game or card game or dice game.  It can be for fun or real money.   I’m trying to get ideas for the next trip and I’m hoping you can enlighten me on something new and fun!  Thanks.  

Horse race 

This game uses cards and dice.  I’ll give a high level overview of the rules.  Horses are numbered 2-12 (to match combination of numbers that can be rolled on dice).  Take a deck of cards and get rid of Aces, Kings and Jokers.  

2 card = 2 horse; 3 card = 3 horse and so one (Jack = 11 and Queen = 12) 

Deal four cards that will serve as the scratch horses and set them aside.  Then deal the remaining number of cards in piles to match the number of players in the game.  You want to deal out all cards even though some players will get more cards each round (take turns being the player with more cards by rotating each round)  

Give each player their stack of cards.  

Then start flipping one card at a time from the scratch pile of 4 cards and place them at the foot of the game.  These horses will not be running this race and they serve as the basis for gambling.  First card/horse from the scratch pile is the lowest denomination wager for that game.  2nd card is higher denomination and so on through the 4 cards.  We assigned increments of .25, .50, .75 and $1.00 and then 1.00, 2.00, 3.00, $4.00 for the “high stakes” game.  There may be duplicate cards that are scratched and that just means it costs more if that number is rolled.  

Once the four scratch horses are established, each player should remove those cards from their hand because those horses will not be running the race.  The cards that remain in your hand represent your share of ownership in that particular horse.  If you have two 8’s, you have 50% ownership in the 8 horse.  If you have one Queen, you have 25% ownership in the 12 horse.  

Then you take turns rolling the dice.  If an active horse number is rolled, you move that horse one space forward and pay no penalty to the pot.  If you happen to roll one of the 4 scratched horses, you pay the corresponding wager assigned to that scratch horse to the pot.   You keep rolling until a horse crosses the finish line and then you split your share of the pot in relation to your % of ownership in the winning horse.  

During a high stakes round, we had the 6, two 7s and an 8 as the scratch horses and it was a painful race for some guys since those numbers are the most frequently rolled combos on the dice.  The pot was up to $68.00 when the winning horse crossed the finish line.  

If I failed to explain the game above, send me a PM and I’ll try to explain further.  I’m not the best at articulating.  

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We mostly gamble either straight up Texas Hold-em, which is boring, or come up with some weird small dollar game to make a round of golf more interesting. 

Some of my favorites that are possibly not as well known:

Wolf: played with a 4-some, each player is assigned a number 1-4.  On first tee, player 4 is the "wolf" and may select a playing partner from the other three players, or he may elect to go alone.  Player one hits first, and if the wolf likes the shot, he must elect him as his partner.  if he does not elect before player 2 hits, he cannot later elect player 1, etc.  If he selects a partner, it's best ball of partners and the winning team each receives a point worth a given amount of money.  The wolf may also elect to play his own ball against the remaining 3 players, but if he does this he has to elect this option before he hits.  If he wins, he gets 3 points, but if he loses all other players get a point each.  Then you pay the guy at the end the corresponding amount of money who has the most points. 

Camel/Monkey/Dolphin: this one can be played with any number of players but is a lot of fun in a 4some.  Choose a dollar amount for each "point" that corresponds to your risk level.  each time someone hits the ball into the sand (camel), trees (monkey), or water (dolphin) a point is added to the pot.  This is a cumulative pot that grows as the round progresses.  The fun part is that the last player who has hit either a camel, money, or dolphin has to pay the corresponding dollar amount of the pot out to each other player.  We play a course where there is water on the last 3 holes and the greens are heavily bunkered.  it turns into a real nail biter at times, but is fun.  Usually if the points are .25 the pot is around 8-10 bucks at the end.

Vegas Pony: needs 4players and you have to play 18 holes. It's a round robin style game so each player will play with each other player as a team for one 6 hole stretch.  Its a straight points game and the winner of each 6 hole stretch gets 5 bucks (you can also do more math and make points worth a dollar amount certain, but it can get expensive if you have a blowup).  The game works as follows:  team A has player 1 and 2.  Player 1 shoots a 4, and player 2 a 5.  Their score for that hole is 45 (lower score precedes the higher).  If Team B has a score of 56, Team A wins 11 points for that hole.  In our game, the team with the most points wins 5 bucks, but you can see how if each point were worth a buck it could be higher.


We usually play a combination of Vegas Pony/CMD or Wolf/CMD so there are two games going at a time.  I'd love to hear everyone else's favorite way to make golf more exciting too. 

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