Game of the week: Banker

This week, we take a look at “Banker.” I love Banker because of its flexibility. It works with any group of three or more players and is great to play with a group of varying skill levels. It can be played as either a scratch or net game. Even if someone can only play 14 holes, Banker can be played!

Every hole is a new game. The minimum bet amount is established before the round by the group. The maximum bet amount for each hole is determined by the player that is the banker. The banker changes hole by hole. The banker is always the person that holed out first with the lowest score on the previous hole.

Example:
If two people tie for the low score with birdies, the person who made the longer putt is the banker on the next hole.

At the beginning of the round, a minimum bet of $10 per hole is established. For example, the banker declares the maximum bet $100. Each player in the group plays a 1-on-1 game against the banker only. Before teeing off, each player declares the amount of their match with the banker, between $10-100. Remember each player plays an individual match against the banker.

Example:
If player A is the banker in a foursome, the matches are as follows:
Player A vs. B, for amount determined by Player B.
Player A vs. C, for amount determined by Player C.
Player A vs. D, for amount determined by Player D.

The game really starts to get interesting with the presses. On each hole, the banker hits last. The players can all decide to press their individual bets with the banker after they hit but before the banker hits. This doubles the bet. The banker then has the option to press back after he/she hits, but the caveat is that the banker must press everyone.

Example:
Player A is the banker; the minimum bet is $10 the maximum is $100. The matches are below:
Player B chooses to play the Banker (player A) for $20
Player C chooses to play the Banker (player A) for $80
Player D chooses to play the Banker (player A) for $100

Players B & C hit average drives and choose not to press the bet. Player D hits a great drive and chooses to press. His bet with the banker (Player A) is now $200. The Banker (Player A) now hits and after hitting and decides whether to double all the bets or leave them be. He decides not too and leaves them as $20 with Player B, $80 with Player C and $200 with Player D.

For the par 3s in this game, the presses get interesting. You must press while your ball is in the air, and the presses and represses triple the bet instead of double. The same rule applies that the banker can only repress everyone or no one and must also repress while the ball is in the air. This can get fun.

Example:
Player B is the banker on the 12th hole a par 3. The minimum bet is still $10 (set by group at the beginning of the round) and the banker sets the max at $50.
Player A chooses to play the banker (player B) for $10
Player C chooses to play the banker (player B) for $25
Player D chooses to play the banker (player B) for $50

Player A doesn’t press the bet after shanking his tee shot.

Player C hits a shot that looks great (must press mid-air) and presses but sails the green. His bet with the banker is now $75.

Player D hits a bad shot short left and doesn’t press.

The banker hits a great shot and presses (again has to be while in the air). The bets in the group triple to the following:

Player A is playing the banker (player B) for $30
Player A is playing the banker (player B) for $225 (the original $25 tripled on Player A’s press and again on the Bankers)
Player D is playing the banker (player B) for $150

There are a few moving parts in this game, but once you get the hang of it, it's one of the easiest and most user-friendly games to play. Let me know if you have any questions and if you have a game you’d like to see featured submit it here!

Read our other editions of "Game of the Week" here