Super Bowl party betting games bring out the inner gambler in all of us. Even if you aren’t a seasoned sports bettor, there is just something about “the Big Game” that compels us to wager on it or something related to it.
It’s why most Super Bowl parties have a gambling element to them. You just won’t have as much fun without a small, responsible sweat on the game in some way.
Since Maryland sports betting isn’t even two months old yet, it’s a good time to help some of the novice bettors navigate some of the Super Bowl party betting games they’ll likely encounter at their gatherings. Similarly, if you’re going to host a get-together for the first time, it’s a good idea to have some activities on tap.
Here is an explanation of some of the more common games I’ve played at Super Bowl parties.
No. 1 among Super Bowl party betting games: Squares
This is the most common form of Super Bowl gambling you’ll find. Depending on how ambitious the host is, it could also be the most time-consuming to create.
First, let’s start with the arguably more fun way to do it, which will take a little more time and some posterboard. You’re going to have to draw 11 equal squares across the top of the poster. Then, you’re going to draw another 10 squares heading down the left side of it.
I’m not particularly good at eyeballing distances or drawing in straight lines. Therefore, if I were the one creating the board, I’d make sure there was a ruler at my disposal.
Once you have the outside boxes drawn, extend the edges out to create a 10 X 10 grid inside of the boxes you just created.
If you don’t want to put that much effort into the game, there are plenty of websites that will create the squares for you. The only effort in making the board is printing it out.
Pick your stakes
All 100 squares of the grid need to be sold, so make sure you are gambling responsibly for numbers your party can afford. For each square that is sold, have the person sign their name on whatever box they want.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to agree on the given stakes for every game on the list. Therefore, you should make sure that everyone agrees on a number beforehand. This way, nobody feels uncomfortable about the amount they are gambling.
Once the entire grid is filled, give the top of the poster to one of the teams in the game and the left side to the other. Then, write the numbers 0-9 on pieces of paper and put them in a hat.
You’re going to have one person pull those numbers out one by one and write them in the empty squares across the top. Then do the same for the left side of the board.
Those numbers will correspond to the final number of the score for each team and the person whose box represents that score will win a portion of the total pot.
For example, at the end of the first quarter of last year’s big game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 7-3. Whoever’s box corresponds with the Tampa Bay 7 and the Chiefs 3 would win the prize money for the first quarter.
For example, in the picture on the left, “O.C.” would win the first-quarter money. If the score were 17-13, the same person would win the money.
You can split up the pot in whatever way you see fit. However, most pools I’ve been involved in have larger payouts for halftime and end-of-game scores.
The more seasoned gamblers will enjoy this one the most. It has a touch of skill and plenty of random things to sweat during the game.
For the newer bettors in the crowd, a proposition bet is a wager that isn’t directly tied to the outcome of the game.
In most games, the most common types of “prop bets” are related to a certain player’s performance. For example, how many touchdowns will the quarterback throw? Or an over/under on how many rushing yards a certain player will gain.
Like I said before, the Super Bowl brings out the inner gambler in us. Most sportsbooks know this and offer some crazy prop bets for the most anticipated game of the NFL season.
Depending on the state and its gambling laws, you can bet on the length of the national anthem before the game, the result of the coin toss or even the color of the Gatorade poured on the winning coach. In case you’re inclined to bet the coin toss, it’s come up tails 29 of the 55 Super Bowl coin tosses (I knew tails never fails).
Print out a list of prop bets and have everyone make their picks. Like the squares, there are usually websites where you can print these out.
Unlike the squares, there is no advantage to doing this step yourself. Therefore, there is less of a need to exert extra effort.
At the end of the game, tally up the results, and the person with the most correct wins the pot.
Super Bowl bingo
The game is as self-explanatory as it sounds. Make bingo cards with squares representing possible events of the game.
Using last year’s game as an example, you could make squares as simple as “Tom Brady records a passing touchdown” and as obscure as “Jim Nantz says ‘Hello, friends.’”
It’s also good to have boxes for commercials to help out some less enthusiastic football fans who are just as interested in the ads and dissuade people from wandering around your house.
In fact, you could make the cards solely about the commercials if you wanted to have more variety in the subject of your games.
Like the traditional game, when someone gets five squares in a row, they yell “Bingo!” and win the pot.
Pass the Cup
There is no skill edge at all in this game, and you can play it in a few simple steps:
- Everyone puts the same amount of money in a cup.
- Draw names out of a hat to designate the order the cup is passed and who starts with the cup.
- Each time possession changes, pass the cup to the next person.
- The person holding the cup at the end of the game wins the money in the cup.
Be careful that the money cup isn’t too similar to the ones used for drinking. Ending up with a mouthful of singles makes the germophobe in me cringe. (If it doesn’t elicit a similar reaction in you, I dare you to put a $1 bill under a microscope.)
Get creative: Make up your own
Don’t feel constrained by the games I described.
If you can think of a fun way to incorporate some small-stakes gambling into your party, give it a try.
You can always blame it on me if your friends don’t enjoy it.