Football Squares is one of the most popular Super Bowl party games, and a great way to make your next football party even more enjoyable! It’s also very easy to set up and play. Gather a group of players and ask each person to pay a set amount of money to enter the game. Assign teams and score numbers to a 10×10 grid, then have players bet on 1 square on the grid. Whoever’s numbers matches the scores for each quarter wins!
EditCreating a Grid
- Draw a 10×10 grid on a large poster board with a permanent marker. You want each square to be large enough to record your players’ initials and numbers. The grid should have 100 squares in all—1 for each player. Ideally, you should have 100 players total, but this isn’t a hard rule. Use a ruler to keep your lines straight as you draw.
- Create a grid in a word processing program if you don’t want to draw it. Making a grid digitally is as easy as opening your word processor! Use the table tool to create a 10×10 grid. You can print the table out on regular x printer paper.
- Print out a readymade grid from the Internet to save time. It’s okay if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own grid. Football Squares is popular enough that you can easily find premade game grids online. Try https://www.superbowlsquares.org/assets/images/grids/football-squares_10x10.jpg.
- Label each row and column with a number from 0 to 9. Start with the top row, writing 0 above the first square. Write a new number above each square until you get to the last square, which should be number 9. Repeat with the left side of the grid. Each square will receive a number from the top and side rows, which represents the final digit of the score for each time. Every square on the board represents a potential score outcome for the game.
- Say, for instance, that one team earns 11 points and the other earns 25. The player with a 1 on the first half of their square (representing the first team’s score) and a 5 in the bottom half (representing the second team’s score) wins for that quarter.
- Assign 2 football teams to the board—1 on top and 1 on the sides. Write the name of 1 team at the top of the board. The numbers there will represent their scores. Write the name of the other team on the side of the board. Their scores will be reflected by the other numbers written on that side. Make your game board look a little more fun by printing out each team’s logo and gluing or taping it on their side of the board!
EditDistributing the Squares
- Ask your friends and family if they’ll be watching the next game. Before you hand out squares to your players, you have to figure out who’ll be watching the game in the first place! As you talk with the people you know throughout the week, just ask, “Are you watching the Superbowl this weekend?” If they say yes, follow up with, “Would you be up for a game of Football Squares?” Inform anyone who seems interested on how you’ll be running the game.
- Charge your participants a $1 fee to choose a square from the board. You can charge a higher fee if you want. $5 or even $10 are other common fees to charge for each square. Charging a $1 fee for each square will allow everyone to participate. It will also accumulate into a decent prize to reward your winners.
- Distribute your squares among as many people as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t know or can’t find 100 different people to play the game. While 100 players is the ideal situation, you can still play the game with much fewer people. Ask each of your players if they’d like to purchase more than one square. Try to distribute an equal amount of squares per person. You can even get in on the fun by buying a few squares for yourself!
- Write each players’ initials inside a square of their choosing. Let each player pick whatever square they want. This allows them to essentially bet on final scores for both teams. Keep going until every square is claimed. You can either ask players which square they want and write in their initials for them, or let them come up to the board to choose and write their initials themselves.
- Draw numbers from a hat for each square for more randomization. After you print your grid, cut it into individual squares, then pile the squares all into a hat or box. Shake the numbers around to mix them up before drawing a number for a player. Draw each number for 1 player at a time. While this method takes away your players’ ability to bet on specific scores, it adds a randomized element that makes the game even more exciting!
EditPlaying the Game
- Gather your players together to watch the football game. Football Squares is meant to be a party game, so it’s best played as part of a football party. Throw the party at your home and invite all of your players. If anyone can’t make it, you can contact them via text or phone if they win the game.
- Calculate the winner of each quarter based on your grid numbers. The numbers written into each square are meant to represent the last digits of each team’s final score for each quarter.
- For instance, imagine you have the Green Bay Packers written at the top of the board and the Texas Longhorns on the side of the board. During the first quarter, the Packers score a 10, while the Longhorns score 15. The winner for that quarter would have a 0 on the top half of their square, representing the Packers’ score. They would also have a 5 on the bottom half of their square, representing the Longhorns’ score. Always look at the last digits of both scores to determine a winner.
- Assign a winner at the end of each quarter based on each teams’ scores. Look at the last number for each score (for instance, the ‘9’ in ‘19’) and choose a winner whose numbers match up with the outcome. Award them their money (or another prize of your choosing) and congratulate them! Repeat with the winner of each quarter until the end of the game.
- Decide what percentage of the cash prize each winner will receive. There are 5 common options for prize distribution.
- Give the winners of each quarter 25% of the cash prize.
- Award the winners for the first 3 quarters 10% of the money. The winner of the last quarter gets the remaining 70%.
- The winner of the first quarter gets 10% of the money. Give the winners of the second and third quarters 20%. Whoever wins the final quarter gets the other 50% of the cash prize.
- Award the first 3 winners 15% of the prize. The last winner receives 55%.
- Give the first winner 10%, the second 20%, the third 30%, and the last winner 40%.
- You can also distribute other prizes alongside or instead of money. Some good alternative prizes include fun football memorabilia (like mini helmets, player bobbleheads, or team flags) or gift cards. Give the final winner the greatest prize!
EditThings You’ll Need
- 10×10 grid (drawn or printed out)
- Scissors (optional)
- Hat (for picking numbers, optional)