When you're the richest person in sporting history, you're allowed to splurge a bit on some fun, but Michael Jordan's betting habits are downright ridiculous.

The NBA superstar, famous for being the only sportsman in history to crack the $1 billion mark, had his extravagant hobby outed by commentator and former player Charles Barkley.

Barkley, who played against Jordan throughout his career, recalled a number of occasions where he bet against the all-time great while playing golf.

"Why would you play golf if it wasn't for money?" he said on The Dan Patrick Show.


Barkley admitted he would put a few hundred dollars on each hole, a wager big enough to make most seasoned punters queasy, but the 54-year-old said Jordan's level of commitment was on another level.

"Back when I would play it was pretty much even (between me and MJ)," he said. "But I tell you what, and I apologise to Michael for saying this ... we'd be playing golf with certain people on a couple of hundred dollars a hole. But he'd like to play for, like, $100,000."

Barkley recalled a time when he was told to move out of the way for Jordan to take a putt for the small sum of $300,000.

"It was crazy, man. But I never understood why they were playing for that much."

While incredulous at his former rival's betting habits, Barkley admitted to fluttering a little too hard in Las Vegas with his NBA riches.

"I developed that problem a few years ago. When I went to Vegas, I won a million dollars. I probably won a million dollars five times, but probably lost a million 25 (other times).

"I developed this thing where I had to win a million, so I quit gambling for two years. But when I was talking to my close friends I'd say: 'Man, I really miss gambling'. And they'd tell me that I should but I just shouldn't be an idiot.

"The key to being successful is to keep good people around you. My friend would say: 'Dude, you're just an idiot when you gamble'. So now when I go to gamble, I just do it to have fun."

Barkley has good reason to shy away from huge bets on golf, considering his swing has been labelled the "worst of all time", earning millions of views on social media.

Barkley admitted he "sucks at golf" on The Colbert Report last year. He said he's hit a few people with his wild heave.

"I don't like playing charity tournaments ... it's very nerve-racking, because once you hit the first person, you get really nervous. I could really hurt somebody.

"I choke under pressure on the golf course, that's the only way to explain it."