A common question that comes up in the fall and in to the winter months is how to play football squares? The game gets extremely popular around the Super Bowl, and it is a form of football lottery that gives everyone who plays a chance to win. Depending on which options are used in the setup and conduct of play, football squares can solely be based on chance, or when the players get a chance to select their squares with the corresponding numbers known ahead of time, some knowledge of the upcoming football game’s line and predicted score can be used to hedge the odds in the participants favor. If you have seen squares played at your favorite sports restaurant or even at your local Church for charity but just didn’t quite understand how to play, we have included the applicable steps for you to follow below so that you will better fit in and understand how to play! You can also check out the NFL regular season schedule for your favorite team while we move towards the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl! Enjoy!
Steps to Play Football Squares (100 Square Grid)
The basic square game is a 10 x 10 grid that has a total of 100 squares. Both the horizontal and vertical headers are numbered between 0 and 9 representing the last digit of the respective team’s scoring total. The game can be played during college football games, college football bowl games, NFL regular season games, NFL playoff games, and of course the Super Bowl!
Step 1 – Either download or created a 10 x 10 grid on a piece of paper.
Step 2 – Write the name of the home team across the top of the paper above the top line, and write the name of the visiting team in a vertical fashion down the left-hand side of the paper.
Step 3 – If you are running the game, you can sell the squares to friends, family, coworkers, or others. The cost of the squares really depends on what the target audience is willing to pay. Friendly games will usually charge people around a dollar per square. For charity games, the squares will commonly run either five or ten dollars, and some games sell the squares for up to $250 and even $500 USD for those who want to play for a bigger pay out!
Step 4 This is where you will see a fair amount of variation in game setup. In the first method, you write the number zero through nine across the top of the paper corresponding one number per column going from left to right. Then, do the same for the rows, going from top to bottom. An example of this setup is below.
Step 5 – Select the names of the players out of a hat or box, and fill each row from left to right. This provides randomness for what squares each person is assigned. Some alternative methods include: 1 – Having the players choose their square and then randomly assign the numbers to each column and row by pulling them from a hat, 2 – Allowing players to game their blocks by selling them first come, first served, with the grid numbers already laid out, and 3 – When a player buys a square, they select numbers from a hat at random to get their square. You have to set up the ground rules for this ahead of time with regards to if you do the home team or visiting team first. It can also take some more time as the board gets filled which might be frustrating to some players.
Step 6 – Inform your players of the rules. For example, to encourage more people to be invested in the game, you can payout a percentage of the pot for the score at the end of each quarter, or the end of each half with a greater percentage going to the end of the game score. You will also want to outline the rules for if the game goes in to overtime. Many organizations will state that the end of game payout goes to the team who wins which basically makes the end of fourth quarter score not matter for payout purposes.
Step 7 – Provide copies of the square to everyone playing (or post to your Facebook page, email, etc via digital picture if you are using a big board vice an 8 x 11 piece of paper for the game). You will also want to let everyone know how you plan to inform them of the status / winners for each state of the squares game. Many sports restaurants will want those playing to be present during the game to win (ie so you keep buying food and beverages), while many charities will inform the players via email or other electronic means. We also have a free, 100 square template for you below in both excel and PDF format that you can feel free to use.
Step 7 – Follow the game to see how you are doing. If the game you are watching has the home team wins 37-31 for example, then you will find the 7 column across the top row and then go down to the row with the 1 label (7-1), and this person will be the one who wins. We have posted an example picture for you below. For simplicities sake, we just repeated the player names on all of the rows, but this should give you an idea of how to line up the scores. If the Broncos were up 37-31 in this example, then Steve would be a winner in the picture (highlighted with a blue color).