How to Play Twelves (the 12-Point Game)

There is a golf format for groups of four golfers named Twelves, and it also goes by the name 12-Point Game. And the names give away the key to this game: On each hole, 12 points are at stake to be split amongst the four golfers.

In Twelves, assuming each of the four golfers in the group makes a different score, the points break down like this:

  • The low score of the quartet earns 6 points.
  • The second-low score earns 4 points.
  • The third-best score earns 2 points.
  • The worst scorer among the four golfers gets zero points.
So on Hole 1 if Golfer A makes a 5, Golfer B gets 4, Golfer C scores 7 and Golfer D makes a 6, then B earns 6 points as the low scorer, A gets 4 points, D gets 2 points and C earns zero points. Repeat the process on each hole.

But there will naturally be lots of tie scores from hole to hole. How are ties handled? Add the points earned by the tie scorers and divide them among those tied golfers.

Example: If two golfers tie for low score, add 6 and 4 together and divide by two. Both golfers get five points. If three golfers tie for second-best score, add 4, 2 and 0 together and divide by three. Each of those three golfers earns two points. And so on.

Like all similar points-per-hole games, Twelves can be bet two different ways. Most groups who play it add up total points at the end and pay out the differences, based on the agreed-upon value of each point. Or, the four golfers can agree on a fixed amount for each to contribute to a pot, and pay out the top two or three spots at the end.

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