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Pass the Cup Game

Materials Needed

  • a cup or hat
  • a lot of single dollar bills
  • One of the classic games to play at a Super Bowl party, Pass the Cup is easy to understand and does a great job of keeping fans interested in the football game even when there is not a lot of excitement on the field.


    You give a cup to a random party guest at the start of the Super Bowl. That guest puts $1 into the cup and he announces the goal for the round. The goal can be anything that can occur in a single play in the game; such as a touchdown, a first down, a 20 yard pass completion, a sack, or a score of any kind. Anything that would require more than one play, such as “a team having three straight incomplete passes” would not be allowed since it would take at least three plays for it to occur.

    After the first player announces the goal for the round, he holds the cup until one play is completed. If his goal is met he wins what is in the cup, if not, the cup is passed to the next person. The next person puts a $1 in the cup and holds the cup for one play. If the goal is met he wins what is in the cup ($2 at this point), if not he passes it to the next person… so on and so on.

    So if for example the first player gets the cup, drops in a $1, announces the goal as “a touchdown” and waits for one play to complete while he holds the cup. If a touchdown occurs on the first play the guests wins his dollar back and passes the cup to the next person on his right who puts in $1 and starts a new round with a new goal. If a touchdown does not occur on the first play then the guests passes the cup to the person on his right who then puts in a second dollar and hopes a touchdown occurs on the second play while he holds the cup. You keep passing the cup, and guests keep adding a dollar, one play at a time until there is a touchdown in the game. When that happens whoever is holding the cup wins all the money and passes the cup to the first person to his right who starts the game again with a fresh dollar and a new goal.

    Make sure you have a lot of single dollar bills on hand to make change and encourage guests to make reasonable goals. Setting the goal as “a turnover returned for a touchdown” is technically within the rules but the entire Super Bowl might pass without as that happening and that makes the game very boring, so feel free to ban those types of goals just to keep the game flowing and fun.

    Once your guests get the hang of it you can also add in other “side goals” like “every time a fumble happens (and it’s not the current goal) everyone NOT holding the cup adds $1” or “if the quarterback is sacked (and that is not the current goal) the person holding the cup adds $2″…. you get the idea. After a while your guests will usually start tossing out ideas of their own.