The Blackjack Golf Game Explained

Blackjack is the name of a golf side game that pays off to any golfer in your group who strings together scores that add up to 21. Sounds simple, and it is simple. It's also a game in which lousy golfers have exactly the same odds of winning as great golfers, because golf's Blackjack is entirely about luck.

There's are no playing cards required for golf's version of Blackjack, only the scores on your scorecard. If Golfer A, on consecutive holes, scores 6, 4, 5, 6, then A wins one unit of the Blackjack bet. Why? Because 6+4+5+6=21. If Golfer D scores 8, 7, 6 on three consecutive holes, then D wins one unit of the bet, because those three scores equal 21.

That's it. In Blackjack, if any stretch of consecutive scores adds up to 21, whether it's three holes, four, five, six, whatever (even if a golfer scores score 10 on one hole and 11 on the next!), the bet pays off.

Now you know why we said Blackjack is entirely about luck. But that does make Blackjack a good option for those catch-all betting games known (among other names) as Garbage, Dots, Trash or Junk. In those games, a group plays many betting games all at once, and almost all the other games the group is playing will be skill-based (or low-score based) games. Blackjack, on the other hand, gives each golfer in a group, no matter the skill level, equal odds of winning a bet.

In playing cards, "21" is an alternate name for blackjack. But in golf, "21" and "Blackjack" are not synonymous: There is an entirely different game called Twenty-One (21) that has to do with putting.

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