Best Football Trick Plays

Trick plays are hard to pull off. That’s why they don’t always happen. But when they do, they’re a masterpiece.

A well-done trick play can be very fun to watch, and they can be memorable. In this article, let’s talk about the best football trick plays in history.

Football as a Sport

Football is a unique sport. Aside from the fact that its plays are difficult to execute, the sport has its terms and jargons that are hard to decipher, especially for a non-football player.

For instance, safety in football means a score of two points earned by a defense through tackling the offensive player who is carrying the ball to his own end zone.

By knowing the terms, penalties, and strong tactics in football, it would not be hard for your team to win this popular sport.

There are tricks in this game that your team needs to master for a greater chance of winning.

Some are already planned before the game starts while others are only called out during the match. Some tricks are not effective, but some could be helpful.  

Football trick plays may not guarantee you a sure win, but they, at least, give you a chance to win in your game. Read on to know more about trick plays.

Football Trick Plays Playbook

You wouldn’t see any football player having no playbook. Football aspirants who were accepted to join a football team are expected to receive a playbook.

The entire team will have their own contained with a comprehensive set of plays that the team could potentially execute on different occasions during a game.

However, if any of the players are traded or have decided to leave the team, he should surrender his playbook to the coach so that the new one can use it.

A playbook is like a hardbound bible where players jot down their collection of plays that can be done in every situation in the game.

There are a lot of plays to choose from for both passing and running. There are also plays for offenses and defenses.

Inside the binder are varieties of plays that are usually used and plays that are uncommonly used but can be called out in specific situations.

All the tricks and strategies of a team can be seen in it.

The purpose of a playbook is to keep the focus of the team on planning out formations and assignments than its defenses and specific routes.

It is like a sacred diary that should be protected by each player because if they will fail to guard their playbook, another team would definitely make a plan to defeat them.

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Football Trick Names

Always keep in mind that football is a team sport. Make sure that you are playing for your team’s honor and not for your own sake.

It is always better to set aside your personal gain and make sacrifices for the whole group’s recognition.

As said previously, there are plenty of tricks that could be done by your team that would increase the possibilities of your team winning.

Trick plays will surely not be effective if a team will not work for it together. 

Good tricks are not likely to happen if there’s only one player on your team who executes it.

Tricks plays are attention-grabbing, and they can be so thrilling from the very beginning until the end that they would make you want to grab a popcorn, but you would end up not moving as your eyes focus on the game while having that adrenaline rush.

Legendary tricks would surely result in a massive number of retweets, views, likes, and shares.

Here are some of the best football trick plays that could ensure your team’s success if wonderfully done.

End Zone Camouflage

As the name would suggest, this trick needs an end zone color coordination that is similar to its team’s uniform.

The deception requires one player to lie down on the end zone at the beginning of the game and hide from the kicking opponent.

As soon as another player already takes the kick and makes the defense, the player who lied down should now have his sudden appearance on the other side of the field, receive the ball through a kick, pass it from one side of the field to another, and charge out ahead towards the open territory.

See the below video example:

Hidden Ball Carrier Trick

This trick has been running for decades. However, this play is so difficult to execute that it is known to be achieved only in 2004 from a high school football team.

To do this, the offense shall have two runners behind the line of the scrimmage.

One player shall kneel down while concealing his presence behind the big players on the backfield, while the other shall be in his normal position, noticeable to the defense.

The quarterback takes the snap, gives the ball to the kneeling player secretly, and then fakes passing the ball to the running back in one direction.

The kneeling player should wait for the defense reaction to the fake sweep and then move to the other way with the ball in his hand.

Check out this video:


This trick was invented during the early 20th century by a famous college coach. The play is very popular that the school’s most prestigious football award was named after him.

This trick is very easy. After a snap, the quarterback deliberately leaves the football on the ground.

Since the ball was already fumbled, the offensive team, particularly the guard, shall deceive the defense by having the running back running on one side as he runs to the other direction.

The opposing team should block the guard as necessary. If this will be done successfully, the guard can run freely on the field without anyone noticing him.

See below example:

Statue of Liberty

The trick is basically named as the statue of liberty because of the position of the quarterback’s hand which is on the air while executing a fake throw.

This trick requires coordination, speed, and patience of the team. It can be very risky as it rarely succeeds.

However, if a good amount of motion coordination is done properly and successfully, the trick can be very misleading for the opposing team.

In this trick, the quarterback takes the snap, drops back to pass the ball while gripping it with the player’s both hands, and then fakes a throw (with arms raised just like lady liberty while holding the torch) to the opposite direction of the field.

After, he will hide the ball with his other hand on his back and will hand it to the running back who is behind him.

Then, the running back shall run to the opposite side.

The goal is to make the defense unable to catch up as the running back runs while they focus on the fake pass on the other side.

Check out this great video example:

Fake Field Goal

By the name itself, this trick requires running and throwing down the ball instead of kicking.

It is usually called upon by the team’s coach who wants to try their luck to attack the defense’s alignment. 

The holder is in charge to alert the team for the play to be performed.

After the snap, the punter or the backup quarterback who has the ball will act as if he is about to kick, but instead, he will throw or pass the ball to his teammate.

The goal of the fake field is specific. There are plenty of options in the playbook a team can choose from.

However, it is always within the decision of the coach if the team would perform it during the game.

Check out these great examples from this video:

Flea Flicker

The concept of this trick has a resemblance of that to a fake field goal, but the play is way more difficult to perform.

This trick play is designed to deceive the opponent by making them think that the quarterback of the other team only runs like a normal running player.

As a result, they would have less attention to the receiver because what the offense is really planning is to pass off the ball.

In this trick, it is the responsibility of the quarterback to pass the ball to the running back or to another player of the team.

The player who has the ball runs towards the goal lines. But before he crosses the line of scrimmage, he shall pass the ball back to the quarterback and then pass it on to the receiver.

Flea Flicker is a great gamble to make.

However, if performed correctly, it would ensure a team’s success. If done otherwise, it would be a big loss to the team.

One of the downsides of this trick is that it takes time to execute.

During its execution, the opponent might reach to the offensive line and seize the running back who carries the ball before he could even pitch it back to the quarterback, or the defense might tackle the quarterback before he could pass the ball to the receiver.

Check out the NFL's best flea flickers:

Hook and Lateral

This trick is also known as the “hook and ladder”. It is one of the most favorite tricks plays among football fans.

The play is typically used in all levels of football – from high school to college to the most prestigious football competitions.

This play is so interesting because it is usually used when the team is about to lose.

However, like other plays, hook and lateral can be very risky. But when the deception works, it can totally fool and mislead its opponent.

The play begins with a hook where a receiver or any member of the team shall run after the hook.

While the ball is passed on the receiver, a second receiver shall run in a crossing drag route beneath the hook.

As soon as the receiver who was running after the hook successfully receives the ball, this player shall throw the ball to the second receiver.

Hidden Ball Trick

Although this trick is more commonly seen in a baseball game, it is often performed in football.

It was invented in 1983 where a certain university got the most prestigious football award after it had used the Hidden Ball Trick in a football match.

To do the trick, there shall be two or more players from the offense huddling in order to hide away the ball from the defense.

The running player shall deceive the opposition with regards to the location of the ball so the defense could run away from the ball while another player from the offense who truly has the ball runs in an opposite direction.

Fake Spike

During halftime or when a game is about to end, both teams are competing not only against themselves but also against the clock.

In the game of football, the clock stops when a pass is incomplete. Spiking is considered an incomplete pass.

For this reason, the opposition is deceived when the quarterback of the offense appears like he has spiked the ball when in reality, he just throws it towards the wide receiver.

Since it was not really a spike, the game shall continue like a regular play without the opposition knowing.

The quarterback who executes the vague spike motion will throw the ball to the receiver and that player will run to touch down so they can make a score.


The end-around needs to have a split end or a receiver who shall run behind the line of scrimmage so that he can receive the ball directly from the quarterback.

When he successfully receives the ball, he can now either run with the ball until he reaches the goal’s line or line of scrimmage, or pass the ball to another eligible receiver of his team.

However, this play is difficult to execute and can be very time-consuming. 

For this reason, the moment the offense is about to complete the trick, the defense’s speediest player could interrupt and mess the execution.

Since this play requires speed, it is rarely used in a football game nowadays.

The only problem with this trick is that if one of the members of the opposing team is too fast, he can easily block the speedy receiver who is behind the line of scrimmage.

Although it works gloriously, the chances of failing to execute the trick are greater.

Fake Punt

A fake punt is similar to a fake field goal. This trick is very simple as it only involves passing the ball and running.

There must have a punter from the offense who shall pretend that he is about to punt the ball but takes off running or passing the ball to a wide receiver after the opponent has turned towards the field while aiming to block the punter.

This play can be executed in various forms.

Another option is that the ball can be snapped directly towards anyone from the back who may either be a halfback or a fullback. 

His goal is to throw the ball or run downfield so that he can block any player from the opposing team who tries to make a score.

Onside Kick

Onside Kick is difficult to perform.  It would be hard for a team to recover from the play, but to make it easier, this requires the help of the coach who shall think of a creative plan for the team.

This play requires the kicking team who has the possession to kick the ball hard and as far as possible from the goal.

This way, the offense would find it hard to regain their possession and control of the ball.

This trick is rarely seen in a football match. This is only used when a team that is about to lose is running out of time.

Onside kick only relies on surprises. The chances of getting a score are greater if the opposing team does not expect the kick.

Obviously, the common denominator of the aforementioned football tricks is that they all aim to deceive the opposition to get that desirable award in all competitions, which is winning.

Although these trick plays are rarely used in a football match, rest assured that if they will be done successfully, they can result in victory.

These tricks are also one of the reasons why the game is considered as a team sport. They require a team’s professionalism and cooperation.

These tricks not only help teams reach victory, but they also build the characters of each player.


A football game can be very demanding. It requires you to be tough, patient and determined in order for you to be the player you aspire to be.

It can even require you to execute the best football trick plays.

However, the most interesting part is that along the way, football as a sport can help you shape the person you are today.

It teaches you to push yourself higher and further. You will be trained to be more selfless to lift your team up.

You will learn to set aside your own aspiration for the team’s recognition.

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