How to Roll the Dice and Play a Las Vegas Scramble

A single 6-sided die as is used in a Las Vegas Scramble
Suleyman Orcun Guler / EyeEm / Getty Images

The Las Vegas Scramble is a golf competition format for 4-person teams that is a variation of a regular scramble. It involves the use of a 6-sided die (one-half of a standard pair of dice, in other words).

A roll of the die is used to determine which team member's drive will be used on each hole. So, as she does in the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, Lady Luck has a part to play in a Las Vegas Scramble.

Before we explain that variation, let's remind readers of the basics in a standard scramble:

  1. In a standard scramble format, all golfers on the team hit drives. The one best drive is selected.
  2. The other golfers on the team pick up their golf balls and move them to the location of the selected drive. All hit their second shots from that location.
  3. The one best shot of the second strokes is selected. The other three pick up their balls and move them to that location.
  4. All play their third strokes from that location. And this process continues on each stroke, until one of the team members gets his or her ball into the hole.

The Difference in a Las Vegas Scramble is in the Drives

In a Las Vegas Scramble, the process is the same except for the drives.

Start by randomly assigning each member of a 4-person team with a number from 1 through 4. Draw lots, flip tees, whatever, so that there is a Player 1, Player 2, Player 3 and Player 4.

Now, tee off. All four golfers hit their drives. Here's the twist: After the drives are all played, roll the 6-sided die. The number that comes up determines which drive the team has to use.

If the die shows 2, for example, then Player 2's drive must be used by the team. The other golfers pick up their balls, move them to the location of Player 2's ball, and all play from that spot.

After that a Las Vegas Scramble is exactly the same as a standard scramble. The die is only rolled following the drives.

What If the Die Comes Up 5 or 6?

Ah, you thought of a key question. A Las Vegas Scramble uses a 6-sided die, but 4-person teams. What happens if the die is tossed and comes up 5 or 6?

In that case, the team proceeds as in a standard scramble: The players themselves select the best drive.

Clearly there is a lot of luck involved in a Las Vegas Scramble. The key point to remember is that the die is rolled only after each golfer on the team hits his or her drive.

The Las Vegas Scramble should not be confused with the golf betting game called Las Vegas.