Players can go boom to bust from hole-to-hole when playing Banker.
This money game is great for groups of 3 or 4 players and the number of holes being played doesn’t matter. The “banker” for the hole is determined by which player holes out first with the lowest score on the previous hole. The banker can change from hole to hole. This makes the first hole very interesting; you can glean which players are feeling confident and who might be able to be pushed into a bet over their head.
The minimum amount a hole can be worth is set by the group at the beginning of the round, but the maximum amount is set by the banker for that hole. The most common minimum amount is $5 and bankers rarely tend to go over $100 for a max bet on a hole — but we all know that guy who would love to set an absurd maximum amount just to say he did it.
Once the top and bottom of the wager for the hole is set, each player engages in a match versus the banker, mano a mano. Each hole, the players are basically betting on themselves versus the banker. If you’re feeling confident, you take the max bet; if you’re not, you take the minimum.
Another fun and versatile aspect of “Banker” is that handicaps may be used. Finally, some groups allow for both the banker and players to press or double the bet while shots are in the air.
Let’s play out a scenario:
Player A is the banker and has set a max wager on the hole at $20. Player B decides to bet $10 against the banker, and player C decides to bet $20. As Player B tees off and pulls his tee shot, the banker presses the bet.
Player C hits the ball down the fairway and no action is taken. The banker hits a great drive down the fairway and will play last into the hole. Player B, hitting out of the deep rough hits a great shot and presses the bet himself! The shot lands three feet from the hole and now that bet, having been pressed twice is worth $40, not the easier-to-swallow $10 bet made on the tee.
You can play out the scenarios, but it’s easy to see how this game can be a lot of fun and even more stress.