When the Chiefs and Buccaneers square off in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday, chances are you’re going to ask the age-old question.
How do you win Super Bowl squares?
Super Bowl squares is a common office pool or party game played during the game, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic the game will be more prominent online in 2021.
It’s a game of chance and each player draws two “numbers” but it can make the Super Bowl experience more rewarding if your favorite team isn’t playing.
How do you play Super Bowl squares? Which numbers produce the winning combination most? Here is SN’s guide to those questions, including rules, tips and a printable squares grid.
SUPER BOWL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight-up predictions
How do Super Bowl squares work?
Most Super Bowl squares are played on a 10×10 grid with a “home” team row on top and the “visitor” column on the side:
An empty board starts with 100 “squares.” The next step is filling out the board, which can be done online or using a poster. In the online version, squares are generally labeled 1-100.
There is no perfect science to picking a square, because the numbers down the “home team” row and “visiting team” column are drawn at random.
Keep in mind, however that if you pick multiple squares in the same row or column you will have fewer number combinations to work with.
TIP: You can also use “winning score” and “losing score” instead of the team names for a more complex pool, but for the sake of simplicity we will stick with “Chiefs” and “Buccaneers.”
When all 100 squares have been filled out with players, then the board is set. It should look like this:
It’s almost time to draw numbers. First here are the combinations with the best statistical odds of winning on Super Bowl Sunday.
What are the best numbers for Super Bowl squares?
There have been a total of 216 winning number combinations in Super Bowl history (which is a limited sample size), but here’s how those combinations have hit by quarter. The home team is on the horizontal access and the road team is on the vertical axis.
For reference, in the game between the Chiefs and 49ers last season the winning combos were 7-3, 0-0, 0-0 and 1-0.
In the history of the Super Bowl, the four best combinations have been 0-0 (19 times), 0-3 (11 times), 0-7 (10 times) and 7-0 (10 times).
How to draw numbers for squares
You should designate a person to hold a drawing to randomly place numbers 0-9 across the Chiefs row and the Buccaneers column. Use Post-It notes in a hat or an online number generator.
TIP: You could also do a 25-square grid where each home and road team gets two numbers instead of one. In that case, each player would have two numbers for each team.
Once the board is full, each player has two numbers.
Your numbers should align with your square from both the vertical and horizontal position. So, let’s say your numbers are “7” for the Chiefs and “3” for the Buccaneers.
How do you win Super Bowl squares?
Most standard Super Bowl squares pools pay a winner after the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter and final score. How is that determined?
Go back to those numbers of “7” and “3.”
That player would win if Kansas City leads 7-3 or Tampa Bay leads 13-7 after the first quarter. The magic “number” is always the last number in the score. Obviously, 7, 3 and 0 are among the most-popular numbers, even if it doesn’t always work out.
Printable Super Bowl squares grid
Need a printable grid for your Super Bowl squares? Now that you know how to fill it out, here’s a PDF version for Super Bowl 55.
You can download the grid by clicking here.