How To Run a Kentucky Derby Squares Contest | Triangle Lawn Games

Kentucky Derby Squares Contest

Learn how to run your own squares contest!

FREE Downloadable Kentucky Derby Squares

The Kentucky Derby is a classic American tradtion, and one of the biggest parties of the year. If you aren’t drinking old fashions or mint juleps right in Louisville, you might be planning your own Derby party. If you do, one fun and popular activity is to have what is called a “squares contest”, which is a fun way to wager a little cash on who the winning horse  and the second place horse is. 

This game is perfect for someone looking to throw the perfect Ketucky Derby party. It is fun, interactive, and gets everyone involved.

We have outlined details for the “Exacta” version of this game, which means the winner will choose the correct number for both the winner and the place (2nd place) of the race. There are other versions as well but we have not outlined those here. 

Basically there is an x and y axis – on the top you have the post number of the winning horse, and then on the left axis you have the 2nd place horse. The person who has the square that has both the correct horse numbers wins! Example of a Winning Square: The horse in Post Position 5 wins the race and the horse in post 12 gets 2nd. The participant’s name in the square with winner as 5 and 2nd as 12 would be the winner.

Similar to any squares games players will choose a square (or multiple if you allow it) ahead of the race. Squares can be sold on a first come, first serve basis OR they can be randomized by picking numbers from a hat. You could also wait to assign post numbers until all squares are sold. 

Note that some squares are blacked out – this is because you cannot have a horse finish in both 1st and 2nd, so we block those so no one picks them and has 0 chance of winning. 

It is important to fill all squares before starting, as you might have no one win if there are open squares.

Do you have questions or would you like a quote? Visit our quote request page or email us at [email protected]


NOTE WHEN PRINTING – If you are printing this on 8.5″x11″ printer paper, make sure to select “fit to printable area”. This document will also blow up to larger areas if you print on a board or something bigger!

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