Super Bowl Squares Offer Betting Fun For Everyone
Experts estimate that 75% of work places offer a Super Bowl office pool, with a vast majority of those pools being the "buy a square" type. Additionally, private viewing parties and bars commonly offer such pools.
Betting "squares" requires no knowledge of the game, just luck - but there are smart ways to play.
The organizer draws up a 10-by-10 grid to set up the pool. Top-to-bottom for one team; side-to-side for the other. For a price, bettors choose or are assigned "squares" within the grid.
Once the squares are filled, a number between zero and 9 is assigned to each row and column, giving each square holder a number for each team. If the number in the bettor's square matches the last digit in the score at the end of each quarter, that bettor wins. In other words, you have four chances to win, from the start of the game to the final (giving you action even if the game itself is a blowout). Note that the numbers are typically assigned randomly since some numbers are much better than others. (If a pool allows you to pick your own numbers, the best are 7,0,4,3; be very happy if you select or draw those numbers).
For example, a bettor could draw the 7-3 square, 7 for the New England Patriots and 3 for the New York Giants. If, at the end of the first quarter, New England is ahead 17-3, the 7-3 square would be a winner. Smaller prizes are usually awarded to the winners of each quarter and a grand prize goes to the person whose square reflects the game's final score.
A key tip on getting the best chance to win money is determining the percentage of payout for the pool. With 100 squares on a 10x10 grid, the total prize pool is 100 times the cost of a square (for example, $1000 at $10 per square). If the organizers of the pool pull out a percentage of this prize pool as payment for running the pool, there is less money for you to win. Some pools pay out 100%, offering the best bang for your buck.
Be careful of playing pools with people you do not know (especially online) since you cannot be sure about getting paid if you win.
If you want a friendly bet between co-workers, the line is New England -12 (which means New England bettors win if New England wins by 13 points or more; New York bettors win if New York wins the game or loses by less than 12 points).
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