Learn to Play the Split Sixes Golf Game the Correct Way

The three-player betting game is also known as English.

Three golfers on the green, two wait while the third putts
Split Sixes is a golf format played by a group of three. Stephanie Noritz/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Split Sixes—sometimes called English, 6-Point Game, or Cricket—is a golf format or betting game for a group of three golfers. On each hole of the round, six points are at stake, and the three golfers split those points. At the end of the round, the golfer with the most points wins. If Split Sixes is played as a betting game, the payouts are based on each player's accrued points.

Here's how the six points are split on each hole:

  • The golfer with the low score on the hole gets 4 points.
  • The golfer with the middle score on the hole gets 2 points.
  • The golfer with the high score on the hole gets 0 points.

Of course, there are likely to be tie scores on many holes. In that case, the points are distributed like this:

  • If two golfers tie for low score, both get 3 points, while the high scorer gets 0.
  • If two golfers tie for high score, the low scorer gets 4 points and the two golfers tied with the high score each get 1 point.
  • If all three golfers tie, each golfer gets 2 points.

Some golfers prefer not to award any points if there is a three-way tie. That's something for members of the group to decide prior to beginning the round.

Betting in Split Sixes

If playing Split Sixes as a betting game, golfers in the group must also decide how much each point (or unit) is worth. Tally up the points at the end of the round and pay out the differences. Let's say Player A wins with 43 points, Player B has 35 points, and Player C has 30 points. Player A collects eight units from Player B and 13 units from Player C; B pays eight units to A and collects five units from C; C pays 13 units to A and five units to B.

Similar Games

Split Sixes is similar to a game called Nine Points. The difference is the number of points awarded on each hole. In Nine Points, as the name suggests, there are 9 points at stake on each hole. The golfer with the lowest score of the group gets 5 points; the one with the middle score is awarded 3 points; and 
the golfer with the high score gets 1 point. Points for ties are distributed in a manner similar to Split Sixes.

Don't confuse Split Sixes with the foursome format that is sometimes called Sixes. In Sixes, also called Hollywood, the golfers pair up and play six-hole matches, switching partners every six holes. Each golfer of the winning pair accumulates 1 point. The individual with the most points wins.

Six-Six-Six is a tournament in which the format changes every six holes. For example, the first six holes could be a scramble, the next six holes might be alternate shots, and the last six holes, better ball of partners.