If the Washington Redskins and the St. Louis Cardinals end up with the same won-lost records in the race for the wild-card spot from the National Football Conference, the tie can be broken in as many as eight different ways.

The first step is the best won-lost percentage in head-to-head competition. If the Redskins, who won the first meeting of the teams Oct. 2, defeated the Cardinals Dec. 10 in St. Louis, they would win the wild-card berth.

Step No. 2 is best won-lost percentage in the division; No. 3, best won-lost percentage in the conference; four, best point differential in division games; six, best average point differential in conference games; seven, best point differential for regular season; eight, coin flip.

If the Redskins tie with a team from the NFC Central or West divisions, the wild-car team would be determined in six ways. The first way is best percentage is head-to-head competition. If the Redskins, for example, were tied with the Atlanta Falcons, Washington would get the wildcard berth by virtue of its 10-6 victory over Atlanta Sept. 25.

The second step would be best won-lost percentage in conference games; three, best point differential in conference games: five best point differential for the regular season: six, coin flip.

If there is a fire-place tie in a division, the loser, or losers, under the tie-breaking system becomes a candidate for he wild card. The point differential is determined by subtracting the points allowed from the points scored. The everage point differential is included because of the possibility of an unequal numberof division or interconference games.