We’re getting set for Super Bowl 56 at Sunday by taking a look at the different ways that you can bet on the game. If you’re looking for a fun, no-pressure way to get action on the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, Super Bowl squares can be a great answer for you. And we’re here to explain to you how it all works.
It takes place on Sunday night, with a kickoff of around 6:30 PM Eastern Time from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Rams will actually be playing on their home field against the upstart Bengals, who come in as the underdogs in the game.
Will the Rams win the Super Bowl?
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The Super Bowl is such a huge cultural event that you’ll often people watching who don’t know much about football and probably haven’t watched another NFL game all year long. But they’re drawn in by the spectacle (and, often, a nearby Super Bowl party.) If they want to bet on the action, it’s a lot to ask them to learn about moneylines, point spreads, and over/unders in a hurry.
In the following article, we’re going to tell you how Super Bowl squares. We’ll give examples of how they’re set up and talk to you about alternative options within the squares format if you need to slightly adjust. On top of that, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of these types of Super Bowl bets, as run by individuals or as offered by top sports gambling websites.
How Do Super Bowl Squares Work?
The reason they are called Super Bowl squares is that the most common form of this wagering game is based on a grid, 10 by 10, with 100 total squares included.
Winning a squares bet is based entirely on the score at certain points of the game. In the most common format, the points where winning bets are determined are these:
- At the end of the first quarter
- At the end of the second quarter
- At the end of the third quarter
- At the end of the game
At each of those junctures, there will be two numbers that will relate to the squares on the grid. These numbers will come from the game scores of the Bengals and Rams. And they’ll based on the number in the “ones” column of each score.
For those who might not remember their grade school math, the ones column is the number furthest to the right of a multi-digit number. For example:
Let’s then take a look at a hypothetical score from the game. Imagine that the scores of Super Bowl 56 on Sunday turn out like this:
Here are the corresponding squares on the grid that would get paid:
Each time one of those points in the game is reached, the grid would be consulted and the person with the winning square would be paid. We’ll talk a little bit more later about pay structure in one of the following sections. But that should give you an idea of how a basic Super Bowl Squares pool would work if you’re planning to run one yourself.
- It’s conceivable that the same square could win multiple times during a game. For example, if the score was Rams leading 14-7 at halftime, and neither team scored in the third quarter, the numbers Rams-4 and Bengals-7 would get paid for the second and third quarter. Conceivably, one could win all four squares payoffs if the score didn’t change after the first quarter.
- Most Super Bowl pools consider the end of the game to be the final payoff point. If the game were to go to overtime, the score at the end of regulation would not be considered for that final payout. This can be adjusted, of course, by whoever runs the Squares pool.
We’ve explained how a Super Bowl 56 Squares betting game works now in terms of each payoff point and the numbers that determine those payouts. Now let’s talk about setting up one of those Squares pools on your own.
How to Make Super Bowl Squares
The process of creating your own Super Bowl 56 Squares grid will come in handy if you want to run a betting pool on your own. If you don’t want to get involved with all that, you could always find a Squares game at a top sports gambling site.
You might want to do this on a big poster board in magic marker to make it nice and clear if you’re going to be displaying it at a Super Bowl 56 party with those who bet. Or you can make it on a computer and then make copies to pass out to everyone who wagered.
Here is what it should look like before you begin filling in the grid:
|Cincinnati (top)/Los Angeles (left)||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
As you can see, all of the numbers are represented here for every possible score at the end of each quarter and the end of the game. Your next task is starting filling it up with the names of the people who have made the bet. But first you have to decide how you’re going to assign them to the different spaces.
You could also simply pick for people once they give you the money for the bet. Or you could use a random number generator or some other method of choosing without any knowledge of the outcome. When you get a name attached to a square, you would fill it in, like so:
|Cincinnati (top)/Los Angeles (left)||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
In this example, our hypothetical bettor is Martha Smith, and, however it happened, she was assigned the square of Bengals-4, Rams-2. You can tell that’s the case because when you follow the row for Bengals-4 over to the column for Rams-2, you see Martha’s name. If Martha were to buy more than one square, her name would appear in the grid multiple times.
Once all the spots are filled, you’re ready to watch the game and tally the winner at each point. You know now how to set up a Super Bowl Squares grid. Now it’s time to decide how much you’ll be paying out for each potential winning bet.
Payment Structures for Super Bowl 56 Squares Betting Game
When it comes to paying off the winners in your Super Bowl Squares pool, the structure of it is entirely up to you. We would suggest that you get some feedback from those who are betting to see what they prefer. And try to decide before you start selling squares so you can let the participants know, otherwise people might not be happy if they win and don’t get paid what they think they should.
First, you have to decide what to charge each person per square. You’ll have 100 squares to sell, and how much you require to be bet will determine the total pool. As an example, let’s say you go with $10 per square, which means:
- 100 squares
- $10 per square
- 100 times $10 = $1,000 in the pool
We suggest that you try to divvy up the pool in an easy way so that the math doesn’t get too complex. For example, you might try the following:
Let’s put these examples together so that you can see how much will be paid out at each portion of Super Bowl 56 in this Squares example:
As you can see, the profit margin is pretty impressive. For a $10 wager, the winners of the first, second and third quarters won $190 in profit. And the winner of the final score portion of the pool made $390 in profit off that wager.
For those people who buy multiple squares, that margin will come down somewhat. If you decide to beef up the cost per square, that will also raise the amount of money in the pool. Which will make the profits for those who win even more lucrative.
As we said, you can apportion the different wins in any way you want. You would weigh the final score even heavier, or you could make all four junctures even if you wish. If you feel out what the bettors themselves want beforehand, it will help you to come up with a Super Bowl 56 Squares format that everybody will enjoy.
Ways To Change Up Your Super Bowl Squares Pool
So far we’ve given you all the information to set up a Super Bowl Squares betting game in the most traditional format possible.
These changes might be driven by circumstance, or it could be because you want to spice it up a touch from the same-old, same-old. Here are some thoughts on the ways that you can make your Squares game uniqu.
Let People Pick Their Squares
For the most part, Super Bowl Squares is a game based on pure luck, in which you don’t have much control over whether you win or lose. But if you let people choose their squares, it can add a dash of strategy to the proceedings.
However you choose to do it, this twist allows people to try and guess where the numbers will fall. You’d likely see numbers like 0, 3 and 7 go pretty quickly when people get down to choosing. It can be a lot of fun to do it this way instead of having everything be random.
Limit the Number of Squares
When you’re looking at a grid of 100 squares, it can be a daunting prospect to come up with a win. Your chances are pretty slim of winning unless you really get lucky.
You could make the grid 5 by 5 and then assign two numbers for each team to both.
Add More Ways to Win
In the standard format of Super Bowl Squares, there are only four opportunities for someone to win: at the end of each of the first three quarters and at the end of the game. But you can change it up if you choose to do so. You can create as many stopping points for payment as you wished.
One way you could accomplish this is to award money every time there is scoring in the game.
Advantages of a Super Bowl Squares Pool
It might be hard to get a feel for how a Super Bowl 56 Squares pool might compare to the normal Super Bowl wagers you might make at top gambling sites until you actually go through it. You’ll find that there are several positives that might make for a nice change of pace.
- With a Super Bowl Squares pool, everyone is on an even playing field. That means that somebody who might be watching a football game for the first time in their lives has just as much of a chance as someone who’s been a full-time fan for decades. Very few football bets can make that happen in the same way.
- It’s the ideal Super Bowl party betting game. There is a real sense of excitement that comes with knowing you have a shot at the end of every quarter and at the end of the game for a big payoff. And that excitement is amplified when everybody else around you is feeling the same thing.
- You can come away with a nice return on investment. When you look at the variety of Super Bowl 56 real money wagers available online, you won’t see too many that can give you the kind of return that a Squares bet can. And that’s when you just once in a game; imagine if you win multiple times along the way.
- Super Bowl 56 Squares takes the pressure off of your bet. Since you aren’t in any control of what squares you get, you can’t strategize for it in any way. As a result, you don’t feel the misgivings upon not winning you might if you lose a standard bet where you actually had a choice.
- Super Bowl Squares pools can become a tradition over many years. If you have a bunch of friends who always get together for the Big Game, you can keep trotting out the Big Board every year. People will start to look forward to it after a while, and you can reminisce about the winners of years past.
- You don’t have to invest too much. At most, a Super Bowl pool among friends might range up to $100 for entry, but were guessing that most of them stay in the range of $20 or so. In terms of risk, that’s not a lot. Thus, Super Bowl Squares can be either a low-cost way to supplement other bets you’re making, or an ideal wager for someone who just wants to dip their toes in the betting pool.
Disadvantages of a Super Bowl Squares Pool
We have to be honest about our assessment on Super Bowl Squares, in that they might have some drawbacks. And they might not satisfy everyone.
- The thing that some people love about Super Bowl Squares games will also be the thing that other people hate about it: the lack of control. Many hardcore bettors don’t like the idea of ceding control over their wagers to fate. And that’s exactly what you’ll be doing with a Squares wager.
- Your odds of winning aren’t quite synched up to the rate of return that you’re bound to get. In a standard Squares game, your chances of winning at least once are 1 in 25. Unless you win the final score part of the game, you won’t be able to return enough to quite cover that risk, which technically makes it a game with a high house edge.
- Your Squares bet might contradict what you want to happen in the game, in terms of a rooting interest. Hardcore bettors know how to compartmentalize all this, betting with their head and not their heart. But if you’re a casual fan and want the Bengals to win the game but need the Rams to score so that you can part of the Squares pool, it can be a bit unsettling.
Tips for Running Your Own Super Bowl Squares Pool
Let’s say after reading all of this that you want to start up your own Super Bowl 56 Squares betting game. You know how to do in terms of how to make Super Bowl Squares, pay off winners and all that we’ve covered. But there are a few more tips that we think that you should consider before embarking on it.
Know the Local Laws
In many cases, US states have so-called “social gambling” exceptions to their local anti-gambling laws which allows for things like Super Bowl pools. Even if they don’t, however, law enforcement has a lot on its plate and isn’t going to hunt down humble pools.
- Don’t take a fee for running the pool. That would technically make you “the house” and would categorize you as a gambling business, which would be illegal without a license in just about any jurisdiction you can imagine.
- Don’t advertise the pool. Again, that would cross a lot of lines for most anti-gambling statutes.
- Don’t let the sums of money you’re asking or paying off to winners get out of hand. As we said earlier, anything higher than a $100-per-square rate might be tempting local laws.
- Don’t run the pool out of a place of business. Whether you own it or not, you can certainly draw the attention of local officials if you’re not equipped with some sort of gambling license.
Although this wouldn’t have any legal repercussions, it’s probably wise not to go overboard recruiting potential square-buyers at work, unless you’re sure your bosses are OK with it. You don’t want to risk your job in any way. Basically, all of these rules come down to common sense and keeping your Super Bowl Squares.
Keep your Pool to People You Know
This is probably wise advice any time money is changing hands. The last thing you want is a stranger getting involved who might not be happy about how the pool is run.
We realize it can be hard finding buyers for 100 blocks, but it’s better to let trusted people buy multiple blocks that in letting wild cards into the mix.
Don’t Compete in a Pool You’re Running
This piece of advice might get some blowback, as there are likely many folks who both run Super Bowl Squares pools and buy squares within those games themselves. But on the whole, it feels like a recipe for hard feelings. What happens if you end up winning once or multiple times?
And that could lead to losses of friendship, which isn’t something that you should ever want to happen on what’s supposed to be a fun game. You could always get in someone else’s Squares pool if you want to play in one and be in charge of one as well.
After reading this, you shouldn’t have any questions left about how Super Bowl Squares work or what the pros and cons of starting one up happen to be. This remains one of the most lighthearted ways to bet on the Big Game. You’ll be ready now to enter one with friends or at top sports gambling websites, or even run a Super Bowl 56 Squares pool yourself, and have a blast either way.