How to Play Skins Games
The Skins game is a popular betting game in golf. A skin is won by a player who posts the lowest score on a hole among all players in the game. The low score must be unique among all scores (no ties). There are potentially 18 skins in an 18 hole match.
The value of a skin is determined by the participants in the match. Typically, the value of a skin is the same for all holes played. A popular modification is to play the first six holes at one value, the next six holes at a higher value and the last six holes at the highest value.
Low scores on a hole may be determined with or without handicap. Some groups may play both "gross" and "net" skins at the same time.
A common variation of the skins game is to play skins with "carryovers'. If the low score on a hole is tied there is no skin but the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the next hole. When playing "quarter skins", if at least two people tie for low score on hole #1, a skin on hole #2 is worth 50 cents.
A less common variation is to play skins with "validation". A player who initially wins a skin on a hole must validate their win by scoring the lowest score on the next hole (ties permitted). If the player does not validate the skin, the player loses the skin and the skin may be "stolen" by the player with the lowest score on the validation hole, who then must validate on the next hole. A skin on hole #18 does not require validation.
There are variations to all of the above. When it comes to wagering in golf, anything is possible.
The origin of the Skins game is not clear. Some believe the name of the game arose from an old slang term for the one dollar bill.
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