How to Play the Coin Flip or Heads or Tails at Your Next Fundraiser

cointossgraphicFundraising games can add loads of cash to the overall event totals and most are very easy to play, or should be and can be played at any event where people gather to raise money. We play the game of heads Or Tails at nearly ever auction nationwide. The game is a real crowd pleaser and always creates chatter and cheer from guests.

Heads Or Tails says “Hey people! We are here to have a good time! Let go of your inhibitions! Stand up! Let’s act a little silly together!” All you need is one coin and a grand prize and an audience. The game is simple and easy to play and effortlessly creates free money.

Anyone can lead the game of Heads Or Tails but there are certain mechanics that need to take place and for that reason it is better to use a performer who is experienced at playing the game. That person will explain the Heads Or Tails game to the audience and then lead the game from start to finish. The game is explained to the audience after they are seated. Sometimes tickets to play Heads Or Tail are sold during the cocktail hour and the following announcement is made during the silent auction, early cocktail hour or by forms on the dining table.

Make Heads Or Tails Announcements

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to play a game that the entire audience can participate in. For just $5 (or more) the winner of the Heads or Tails game will receive a gift certificate to El Gaucho’s Fine Dining for dinner for two. El Gauchos is located in downtown Seattle on 1st Avenue—the best steaks in town (note the plug for the donor).

Guests are then asked to buy a play before the dinner hour or bid on a form placed on dining tables. The emcee explains, “Please write your bid number on the form located at your table called Heads or Tails. This is an easy game to play. If everyone plays tonight we begin the live auction by raising $3000.”

The Mechanics of Heads Or Tails

Later when it’s time to play the game, the emcee invites everyone who bought a play to stand up. “The emcee (name) is going to flip a coin, but before he flips, you must decide if the coin will come up heads or tails so… If you would think the coin will come up heads place your hands on their head. If you think the coin will come up tails put your hands on your tail.” The auctioneer and master of ceremonies demonstrates the game. When the guests are in position, the Master of Ceremonies flips the coin. If the coin comes up heads, the auctioneer exclaims, “Heads stands, tails sits down. Heads are still in the game!” The emcee then explains  “Okay everybody, will the next flip be Heads or Tails? You can switch if you want. Hurry up. Get your hands on your head or tail now! Mike, flip that coin!”

The flip continues until the players are reduced to the last 2 or 3 players.
Ask the remaining 2 or 3 players to finish the game either on stage or in front of the stage.
If only 2 players are left they must choose between themselves who gets to be Heads or Tails to eliminate the possibility of a tie.
Award the winner the grand prize and give the losing player a gag gift as a consolation.

This game is one of those mathematical mysteries whereby the speed of the game is not determined by the size of the crowd. Whether the crowd measures 150 or 1500, the coin has never been flipped more than 8 times at one of my events.

If the bidding is going to take place during the dinner and before the lie auction begins, the form should be gathered from the dining tables after the live auction begins.  Usually 100% of the guests stand and play this game but they often fail to write in their bid numbers on the form confirming their participation. It is imperative that the volunteers who pick up the form check that everyone has written in their bid number. The volunteer can hold up the form showing the empty slots and say, “Did everyone who played write in their bid number?” Next, pass the form with a pen around the table again before moving on to collect from other tables. If this step is not taken and the players get away with playing for free, guests will assume control and collection procedures are lacking.

The Heads or Tails form represents uncollected cash. If they are forgotten, misplaced or illegible these donations will not be collected. These forms may be the only hard copy resource for recording the transactions, collecting the money and reconciling post auction. NEVER throw this form away!!!! After the bid numbers have been reconciled wrap a rubber band around the forms and place a sticky note under the rubber band with the words “Heads or Tails Forms Entered”. Then place the Heads Or Tails forms in the reconciliation tray for the other clerks to readily access.

Play the Coin Flip or Heads or Tails at Your Next Fundraiser