The Nassau bet is a type of bet in golf that is essentially three separate bets. Money is wagered on the best score in the front 9, back 9, and total 18 holes. The Nassau is one of golf’s most classic and most popular wagers.The amount of the bet is established — often $2 or $5 — for each nine with a third bet for the overall 18-hole match. Points are calculated by scoring each hole as a separate match. The player with the lowest score on a hole wins a point. If the scores tie for a hole, this results in a “push,” or no points won or lost.
This is a side bet offered during a Nassau match by the side that is losing in an effort to even their money for either the front or back nine. If the player who presses then beats his opponent over the remaining holes on that nine, he wins the press bet. In effect it is a double or nothing proposition. When a side is two or more points down in the match, they may request a press. The opposition has the option to accept or reject the press, although it is usually accepted.
The press bet runs for the remaining holes to be played on either the front or back nine holes only. Press bets can be re-pressed if the player falls two more points behind. The amount of the press bet is the same as the original match bet. For example, in a $2 Nassau, presses are for $2.
As with any golf game, players of greatly different abilities can compete. Handicaps are used to determine how many strokes one player must give another.