How to Play the Golf Game Named 'Poker'

Do you love golf and poker? Then the golf game named Poker combines two of your favorite games. But you don't need to know anything about poker to play this game, other than the order the "hands" rank in. Because just like in the card game, the object in the Poker golf game is to build the best hand.

In golf's Poker, though, you are using your golf scores to build that Poker hand. And in Poker, you are building one hand from your front nine scores, and a second hand from your back nine scores. That means any group playing Poker gets to play it twice.

All members of the group throw the agreed-upon ante in the pot before the round begins. Then, go play golf. In the Poker golf game, just like in golf itself, low scores are better than high scores. Let's say your front nine scorecard looks like this:

3-5-5-6-4-4-5-3-4

What poker hand can you build from that? You can build a full house, fours over threes (4-4-4-3-3). Note that you also had three 5s on your front nine, but low scores are better. Also note that in Poker, you are building five-card hands, which means four holes per nine aren't going to matter for the purposes of this betting game. If your group is playing Poker as a solo game (not in combination with any other games, and not betting on the actual total scores), then you can play aggressively on every hole knowing that four holes won't matter for the game.

How do hands rank in the golf version of Poker? This is the heirarchy:

  1. Five of a kind
  2. Four of a kind
  3. Full house (three of one score and two of another)
  4. Straight (scores in ascending order, e.g., 2-3-4-5-6)
  5. Three of a kind
  6. Two pair (e.g., two fours plus two fives)
For tiebreaking, remember that just like in "real" golf, lower is better. A straight that begins with a 2 beats a straight that begins with a 3. A full house that includes three 4s and two 3s beats a full house that includes three 5s and two 3s.

At the end of the front nine, the best poker hand wins the pot. Everyone antes up again and the game starts over the back nine.

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