The Grid Kings app is for people who want to start and manage a sports pool based on a game called (American) football squares. This page explains the traditional gameplay of football squares. Future posts will explore how the same mechanic can be used for other sports.


Football squares, or “squares”, is a game where people pay for chances to win money or prizes based on the outcome of an (American) football game. We’ll run through the basics of the traditional gameplay and then go through an example. Examples are always the best way to learn. Examples are awesome. Like pizza, for example.

  • In football squares, the outcome players care about is the score of each team.
  • A 10 x 10 grid is created so that there are 100 squares.
  • Players then buy one or more squares on the grid. Each one of these squares represents a chance to win.
  • The money used to buy squares is collected into a single “pool” of money. That’s why some people also call this a sports pool.
  • That pool of money will paid out to 1 or more winners throughout the game.
  • After all the squares have been sold, digits from 1-9 are randomly assigned to each column and row.

Every square now has a location on the grid defined by a numbered column and numbered row.

  • During the football game, the scores for each team will change as they score points.
  • Players win when they own a square that corresponds to the last (or only) digit in each team’s score at the end of an interval.
  • Typically, there is a payout every quarter.

Before we walk through an example, we need to know what a “box score” is.

  • Most sports leagues summarize game results in something called a “box score”.
  • A box score shows the key stats of a game. Typically it’s the points scored by each team. And typically there’s a box drawn around it. So, you know, box score.
  • The typical box score format for football tracks points scored in each quarter.
  • But in football squares, the box score tracks the cumulative or running score in each quarter.

Okay, enough with the rules talk. Let’s walkthrough an example game of football squares as if we played it for the Pro Bowl shown above.

  • You can see below the grid, that the host has decided that there will be a payout for every quarter and that each payout will be 1/4 of the pool.
  • At the end of the first quarter, the score is NFC 13, AFC 14.
  • This corresponds to the 3 on the NFC side (3 is the last digit of the score 13) and to the 4 on the AFC side (4 is the last digit of the score 14).
  • Since this is the location of the square belonging to “GK”, GK wins the first payout of $125.
  • At the end of the second quarter, the score is NFC 21, AFC 28.
  • Using the 1 column on the NFC side and the 8 row on AFC side, we see that “BEN” wins the next payout. Another cool $125.
  • And that’s it. Keep going until the game is over.
  • It’s possible to win more than once.

One of the reasons we love football squares is that it requires no knowledge of the teams or even the sport. Whereas, sports book betting and even fantasy football require effort to be successful, squares does not. That makes it the perfect game for casual fans or even non-fans.

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