There should be plenty of fireworks when the Patriots take on the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, but if two of the league’s best quarterbacks aren’t enough to keep your attention, there are always other ways to spice up the big game. A simple grid and a little bit of money could be all you need to keep things interesting for even the least enthusiastic football fan.
Super Bowl squares is a simple game that takes the skill out of betting and turns every quarter into a chance to win money through sheer blind luck. If prop bets like "what color hoodie will Bill Belichick wear?" or "number of times Gisele is shown on television?" seem a bit too obscure for you, we’ve got just the thing.
Here’s how you play.
1. Poll your friends.
The squares are an easy sell, because the answers to a) are you watching the Super Bowl? and b) would you like to make some money? are almost always yes. Granted, the second part will only come true for a handful of lucky players, but you’re selling the dream here, not necessarily the reality. Besides, the outcome is entirely random, so it’s not like sitting down at a poker table full of sharks. The more people, the better — though there’s an upper limit of 100 participants before you have to start doubling up squares.
2. Create your grid.
This is pretty simple. All you need to do is waffle out a 10 x 10 square chart. 11 x 11 if you want some fancy cells for your titles.
Here’s a solid example of what your grid could look like, thanks to PrintYourBrackets.com.
3. Assign squares.
Typically, you set a dollar value per square. One dollar works. Five ups the ante. One million is probably a bit too rich. Everyone signs their squares on the blank sheet, not knowing what numbers they’ll get. Do this until all the squares are filled.
4. Assign point values
Here’s where things get interesting. Find a random number generator and assign digits 0-9 to the tops of all your columns and the side of each of your rows — i.e., the shaded boxes above. Now, every square should be the intersection of two numbers.
5. Figure our your winners
Therein lies the beauty of the game. If your two numbers reflect the game’s final score, in any order, you win your pool — and all the money that comes with it. Of course, there are other ways you can spread out the winners. A 14-7 score at the end of the first quarter could pay out 25 percent of the pool to whoever had the square where 4 and 7 meet. If the score is 31-21 at halftime, whoever has 1 and 1 gets another 25 percent payout.
There’s no limit to the number of ways you can split the pot, so get creative. The more winners there are, the more fun people will have.