Super Bowl squares: How to play and knowing the best (and worst) squares for the big game

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Super Bowl Sunday doesn't have to only be a fun experience for football and commercial lovers.

It's also an opportunity to turn the casual fan into a competitive one, and there might not be a better game for your party than Super Bowl squares.

You don't have to know anything about the game of football to play squares, which levels the playing field for a room mixed with diehards and nonfans. And there are a variety of ways to play that gets everyone involved.

New to the game? USA TODAY Sports has you covered with everything you need to know to play Super Bowl squares, including which squares are most likely to win.

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How do Super Bowl squares work?

The game starts with a 10-by-10 grid – 100 individual boxes – each of which is assigned a universal price tag, like $1 per square. There is no limit on the number of boxes that can be purchased.

The numbers 0-9 are assigned to the columns and rows (usually at random), giving two numbers to each individual cell. Once the 100 boxes are accounted for, the game will be ready to begin.

From here, the game can be played in a few different ways. The Super Bowl teams are listed on a respective axis. Typically, one axis represents the last digit of the AFC team's score and the other represents the last digit of the NFC team's score.

Whoever has the correct digits of the final score wins the pot; For example, if the Chiefs defeat the 49ers 30-27, the winning square would be where the No. 0 on the AFC axis meets the No. 7 on the NFC axis.

What other Super Bowl square options are there?

One of the most popular variations on Super Bowl squares is to pay out 25% of the pot at the end of every quarter, rather than all of it at the end of the game. (Or, in some cases, 20% at the end of the first and third quarters, and 30% at the end of each half). This makes it more likely that there will be multiple winners, albeit with smaller shares of the pot.

What are the best squares to have?

It's difficult to pinpoint the best squares when the values are assigned at random. However, the best bet is generally tied to any combination of zeroes and/or sevens. This is due to likely more touchdowns being scored.

In a 2013 blog post, the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective wrote that the single best square to have is seven on the betting favorite's axis. Players would also want to bet the zero on the underdog's, with the 0-0 square a close second. The Washington Post lists 0-0 as the best square to have, with the two combinations of seven and zero (7-0 or 0-7) right behind it.

Field goals and extra points are also quite common in NFL games. Thus, numbers such as three, four and one also aren't bad numbers to have from an odds standpoint.

What are the worst squares to have?

Any combination of twos or fives. According to the aforementioned Harvard Sports Analysis Collective post from 2013, the 2-2 square and 2-5 square (two on the favorite's axis, five on the underdog's) are among the worst, because it usually takes some combination of safeties, missed extra points or other general strangeness to get there.

USA TODAY Sports' Casey Moore contributed to this report

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl squares: How to play, rules, best squares to have