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Passive or Aggressive  |  2 Ways to Play


Sample Hand

Sample Hand

An aggressive player will, if necessary, take advantage of every TV timeout attempting to improve their hand.  It costs a chip each time but depending on game action, dumping a card with little chance of occurring may result in a win.  On the other hand, a passive player may just hope what they hold happens on the field.


For example, consider this sample hand and game situation:


The Visiting team has the ball at the home team’s 25-yd line when a TV Timeout is called. An aggressive player would assume the Visitors have an excellent chance to score in some manner (hopefully by a TD Pass), in which case he/she can discard at least 2 or even 3 cards. (Remember the Match’em card is a wildcard).  Therefore, that player would spend a chip to exchange the 1st Down – Home Team card, hoping to draw something more likely to happen on the Visitors drive.  Keep in mind that the Penalty card is protection from having to ante a chip and can be played any time one is called.


On the other hand, a passive player might see the same hand differently and hold the cards they have.  If the Visitors do score a TD, the passive player can discard at least 2 cards.   If the Home team holds them to just a field goal, he/she still can discard 2 cards (Any Score and the Match’em wildcard), and is then set up well for when the Home team gets the ball, basically looking only for a 1st down and a penalty on either team in the next drive.


Play the Odds | Tips


A typical football game will produce 7 to 10 winning Pig$kin Match’em™ hands.  However, a 3-hour football game will include far more commercial time than actual action.  Unless you’re really into watching commercials, those 2-3 minute breaks allow you ample time to evaluate whether or not it’s worth trying to improve your hand, bitch about the results, or just grab a beer.

Go Green:

In general terms, (especially early in the game) the 1st Down cards (green) are more valuable than any of the Score cards (blue) simply because they occur more often.  On the other hand, the value of holding a Punt card always depends on the situation.  An astute player will always note the value of field position in respect to the Punt card.


Since most scores are the result of “drives” rather than quick TD’s, winning hands often come down to who is left holding what kind of “score” card.  If you need to improve your hand, it makes sense to discard any that are not specific to the team currently on offense.

Penalty Cards:

Since accepted penalties will cost you a chip, the Penalty cards are doubly valuable in that you can both play it and avoid having to ante a chip.


There’s nothing you can do about them…

Just beware if you decide to play the “wet” version and have to drink a shot every time that rookie QB throws an interception.

Rule of Thumb:

The bigger the game, the fewer the number of turnovers, the more punts and the more field goal attempts.

2-Minute Warning:

In reality, it should be called a 4-minute warning…

Most action in a game occurs in the last 4 minutes of each half.  This action intensifies in the last 2 minutes; and this is also when most commercial timeouts occur.  So take advantage, especially before half-time.


For reasons which should be obvious, the cards limited to either the Home or the Visiting Team are less valuable than those applicable to either team.   For example, the 1st Down cards are preferable to the 1st Down – Home Team cards.

When to Buy a Card:

In the Pros, any time a team falls behind by 2 TD’s, the odds of them abandoning the game plan and opening things up for a quick score to get back in the game go up dramatically.


If it’s something like 28-13 and the losing team has the ball late in the 4th quarter, it should be obvious to dump the Punt card at the earliest commercial break.


In college (depending on the teams), TD by Run cards are more valuable than TD by Pass.  In the pros it’s the opposite.


TIP: Don’t be fooled by those college “spread offenses” — if they get within scoring range, the QB will normally look to run first.


Field Goal cards are of much more value in the Pros than they are in college.  Figure on the Pros trying just over 5 Field Goal attempts per game.  However, if a team is trailing by a TD or more on what looks to be their last drive, dump any Field Goal cards ASAP.

Sudden Wins:

Sample Hand

Sample Hand

Ever been dealt a full house in poker?  This is an example of a “dream” hand in Pig$kin Match’em™.  Like a poker deck, Pig$kin Match’em™ includes multiples of each card type.


In this case, all the player holding this hand needs is one play to win… the home team completing a pass for a 1st down.


Best strategy here?  Sit back, have a beer and hope your opponents buy new cards during a commercial break, thereby increasing the pot you are almost certain to win.

Pros Versus College:

Other than the fact they both play by roughly similar rules, the pro game and college football have little in common in respect to game plans.


Expect the pros to pass at least 30% more than college teams (Again, don’t let those “spread/no-huddle” college offenses fool you, most are actually run-first option offenses designed to isolate the QB in a one-on-one rushing match-up.  In the pros, no-huddle usually means pass, so keep the By Pass cards. — In the College game, the By Run cards are more valuable, especially if they get within the 10-yd line.

Field Goals—

The pros will try a field goal virtually any time they cross the 30-yd line.  Not true with the colleges.  Some no-huddle teams average over 80 plays per game and consider a field goal a desperate afterthought.  And since college teams are far more likely to pour it on against an inferior opponent, the Field Goal card is much more valuable in the pros.

Buying Cards:

There is no opportunity of “card counting” in Pig$kin Match’em™ .  Since played cards are immediately re-entered into the un-played deck and shuffled during each commercial break, the odds of buying a card that turns out to be a winner (or a loser) is always the same.

Extra Points:

Nobody cares unless you are holding an Any Score card for the defensive team and they run a blocked attempt back for 2 points.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for that.

The General Theory of Relativity…
(Apologies to Albert E.)

Sample Hand

Sample Hand

Pig$kin Match’em™ is the only game we know of where the relative value of the cards you hold can change instantly based on external circumstances.


Consider this 4-card hand.  Now assume the home team has the ball at their own 30-yd line with 10 seconds left in the half.  Might not look too promising going into halftime, right?


However, they go for it, and a deep pass results in an interference penalty on the visitors’ 15-yd line.  You play the 1st Down – Home Team and the Penalty card.  Everyone else antes another chip and suddenly you have only an easy field goal left to win the pot.


Part of the fun of Pig$kin Match’em™ is seeing on-field action alter your hand… it’s also the part that ticks you off if that same action steals from you what should have been a win.  Nothing you can do about it — that’s why it’s called a game.






Q:  What happens to the cards you hold at the end of each quarter and at halftime?”


A:  Nothing. You keep the cards held unless you decide to buy a replacement during commercials.

Q:  Why are there no defense or special team-related cards, like a punt, kickoff return for a TD,  pick-6 or fumble recovery?


A:  Simply because these plays don’t happen often enough to keep the game interesting. NOTE: Future editions of Pig$kin Match’em™ may include a QB Sack card. It just missed inclusion in the 1st edition.


On the other hand, there are 2 types of cards that can (rarely) be played as the result of a defensive or special team touchdown: The Any Score — Home Team and the Any Score — Visitors cards. However, there are only 2 of each and they are far more likely to be playable in an offensive scoring situation.