The Super Bowl continues to become a more interactive experience each year, as the barrier between spectators and spectacle seems to continuously shrink.
With so much commotion surrounding a singular event, audiences have found ways to make Super Bowl Sunday even more interactive. Much of this has been accomplished through the realms of gambling, as betting the Super Bowl has in its own right become a kind of a science.
While the NFL is monumentally big across the globe, casual sports fans may forget that all the widespread attention and relentless coverage ultimately surrounds a 60-minute football game with some added flair.
Yet, for those who aren’t burying their face in odds sheets or perusing through online betting markets, there’s another way to get involved and make money in the process, without having to wager the game in the traditional sense—Super Bowl Squares.
Here, we break down what exactly those are, how people play them, and how they’re making an impact on the Super Bowl Sunday culture.
What Are Super Bowl Squares?
A staple of Super Bowl watch parties and social gatherings, Super Bowl Squares is a pool-type game for groups of people to partake in. A simple game with a betting format, Super Bowl Squares appeals more to casual football fans and non-serious sports bettors.
Whoever in the group oversees the game creates the square itself. This square is then gridded into smaller squares to create a 10×10 layout. Those in the pool, which varies from families, work offices, or groups of close friends, will write their names into one or more of the 100 available boxes if they’re interested in what could be gained by winning.
Regardless of the amount of people in the pool, all squares must be filled out for this to work in full effect, so the prices listed on them must vary in order to present a decent bargain.
Outside of this grid are multiple squares, often colored gray, with numbers 0-9 assigned to them to label each row and column. One of the Super Bowl teams is inserted on the square’s horizontal axis, one for the vertical axis.
With this setup, the square is ready to go, and the rest will be determined by what unfolds in the actual contest on Sunday afternoon.
How Do Super Bowl Squares Pay Out?
The person in charge of creating the square’s pool will assign a monetary value to each existing square on the grid.
The value is usually distributed among the squares equally. The person “purchasing” or writing their name in the square will then have this price attached to their box with their name in it. Payout quantities will vary on the system established by the pool and can be structured for the prizes to go up with each passing quarter of football.
There are many ways to scale the rewards, but the common theme is to have the final score pay out the largest amount of money.
While it’s ideal to have all squares occupied with names, any unowned squares that have their score hit can have their payout rolled over into the next quarter of play.
So, How Does One Play?
The square is played as the group tracks the score of the Super Bowl at the end of each quarter. Whoever has the score in correspondence with the last posted number in each respective team’s score is the winner of that portion of the game.
Take a look at these examples:
First Quarter Game
At the end of the first quarter, if San Francisco leads 3-0 over Kansas City, then the winner would hold the square that reads 49ers 3, Chiefs 0.
If the score at the half is Kansas City leading San Francisco 9-6, then the person with their name on the Chiefs 9, 49ers 6 square is victorious for the halftime deficit.
Final Score Game
If a game ends with the final square 26-23, with Kansas City topping San Francisco, the square with Chiefs 6, 49ers 3 would be the winner.
This progress is simple and easy to track, as everything has already been displayed on the square and the only thing that can determine the result is the flow and the style of the game itself.
However, that’s just the participation side of it. First, you need a square for all this commotion to take place upon.
Where to Get the Square
So, in order for this to all go down one must need a square, right? You may think that finding the template for your Super Bowl Sunday party will be a hassle on its own, but there are plenty of ways to get these squares online. Downloadable and printable PDF Super Bowl Squares are the ones most commonly found at gatherings surrounding the big event.
Much like when college basketball fans print out free, PDF brackets online for them to track their prediction progress throughout the NCAA Tournament, this method is a quick and easy way to get your Super Bowl Square printed and ready for action.
Here, we give an example of what one of these printable, PDF Super Bowl Squares looks like, so you’ll immediately know what to be on the lookout for when getting your free template.
Key Factors in Playing Super Bowl Squares
While a true “handicapping” process may not exist in comparison to those who plan to play the big game using a sportsbook or online sports betting website, that doesn’t mean there’s no strategy at all with Super Bowl Squares. Here are a few notes to run over when considering playing them:
What to Do
Participate in pools where players can pick their own squares, because this gives you the best chance to choose one that reflects how you believe the game will go.
Look back at past Super Bowls and follow the scoring throughout the game. Certain numbers are far more frequent than others and these should be the ones you gravitate towards.
Make sure you know the payout system to avoid all confusion and to ensure your squares are the ones that will benefit you the right way if they were to successfully land.
Get involved in pools that allow you to purchase more than one square, as your chance of profit will increase with more boxes under your name.
What NOT to Do
Participate in pools that have many squares unoccupied as it ruins the point of following the game on a quarter-by-quarter basis in hopes of finding a winner each time.
Expect Super Bowl Squares to fatten your wallet; there are certainly opportunities for profit, but chances at cleaning house are going to be very slim due to the format and purpose of the game.
Think that Super Bowl Squares and sports betting function the same. While there are similarities, viewing them as two separate, unique entities will lead to greater success and understanding in each activity respectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Perks With Super Bowl Squares You Can’t Find in the Sports Gaming World?
Yes, there are chances to profit from the game in a simpler, minimal way compared to traditional gambling. Due to this, Super Bowl Squares have a greater widespread appeal than sports betting, but take a hit in industry reputation. They’re still viewed as inferior to wagering the game.
Why Aren’t Super Bowl Squares as Popular as Betting on the Super Bowl on an Annual Basis?
They’re internal to the group that’s participating in them. Like something around the dinner table or in the work office, Super Bowl Squares are something that should be shared within members of the group but mean very little to those not directly involved.
How Do I Get a Last-Minute Super Bowl Squares Pool Going If I’m Interested in Creating One?
Determine who would be the most likely to get involved. This may come in the form of family and friends, others in the form of co-workers, classmates, or teammates. The more people agreeing to participate, the faster the pool can be set on the square while also adding more drama to the game itself.
Are They Any Tools That Can Be Used for an Edge With Super Bowl Squares?
Very few, as one is ultimately betting a version of the final score. While one can use their knowledge of how the game usually goes, or even research past Super Bowl scores over the course of history, there’s only so much to handicap with Super Bowl Squares.
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