pub quizzes tips

12 Tips for succeeding with pub quizzes

How To Succeed At Playing Pub Quizzes

Playing trivia at pub quizzes is a lot of fun, but how do you get to be a champion at it? There are some pretty good prizes to win after all. Unless your memory is exceptional it may take a little time to learn the ropes and put together a good team before you have any success at winning pub quizzes.

We can only give some general advise here but it will give you a good start. The rest is up to you…

1. Turn up around 15-30 minutes before the comp starts.

You’ll be able to pick a good table, where you can see the host or screen and are able to hear the questions clearly. Go earlier if you haven’t attended pub quizzes before, and you won’t be holding up the host from starting the comp as he explains the rules to you.

2. Turn off or simply don’t take your mobile phone in with you.

Serious pub quiz competitors can suffer outspokenly aggressive “cheat rage” if they see you checking your messages. Many clubs and hosts take a dim view of anyone using mobile phones during pub quizzes. Play fair. Go cold turkey for 2 hours.

3. Gather a good mix of players on your team.

Don’t be afraid to be uncool enough to drag along a younger or older acquaintance, even a family member. People from different generations have a vastly different knowledge base, that can make all the difference. Does someone you work with seem interested to come? Don’t be shy about mixing up your friend groups.

4. Play fair in all things

You play as a team so be considerate. If you tend to speak loudly, remember other teams have ears, don’t give away your team members answers. Work out how the team shares any prizes before competing, so you all get a fair share. Don’t cheat – if you get caught – your whole team gets suspended. Don’t hold up the comp arguing with the host, he has a schedule to keep to, speak to him after the pub quiz ends.

5. Pick the right team member for a task

Make sure the person you choose to write down the answers can spell and has clear handwriting. You don’t want to lose points on technicalities. Nominate a person each week who is very decisive, to play team referee for when two team members are both certain about two different possible answers.

6. Trust your instincts.

The first answer to pop into your head is most likely to be the true one. Don’t over think it. Have confidence and own your answers. Argue a bit if you are sure, and say so if you are not sure.

7. Beware of trick questions in pub quizzes!

Ignore the “trust your instincts” tip above and think very carefully before you commit to an answer that seems too easy. Quizmaster loves to throw a spanner in the works by playing on obvious answers that are false. Pay attention to all aspects of the question.

8. Have someone write down the pub quiz questions as they are read.

If you cannot decide on an answer immediately, you can go back to it before you submit the answers for the round and make a guess. If you have not written the trivia questions down, you will lose points in pub quizzes because you can’t answer a forgotten question.

9. If you really want to succeed at pub quizzes – never stop learning.

Gather information, read or watch news, pay attention to trends, read and recall. You will start to see patterns in the information you are asked for. Making a note of the questions helps to work it out. You’ll understand which current news topics to keep an eye on and may get lucky enough to have just read about and remember the answer to a new quiz question.

10. Support your pub quiz provider and venue

Very few pub quizzes charge you to attend but they pay for the prizes, the host and the quiz. If you love going out to pub quizzes and don’t want to see yours close, make sure your venue makes its profit from your drinks or you stay for a meal now and then. Do your bit and tell people about the quiz so the venue continually gets some new trivia players.

11. Before you dispute an answer – be sure you are right.

If you intend to dispute an answer you believe to be incorrect in a pub quiz, be prepared to back it up with a link to a published source confirming your alternative. You must cite a reputable reference source for any query to be taken seriously. Your host will contact the quizmaster. His final decision is not negotiable, just like a football referee.

12. Report trivia vampires to the club management.

Trivia Vampires are the nomadic jackpot hunters who only show up for the big money at pub quizzes. They rarely buy a drink and roam in packs, doing the circuit of pub quizzes with jackpots. They are not club members, they are not pub regulars. If your venue is aware of them they can take steps if they choose to restrict the jackpot prizes to regular trivia players or “members”.

So that’s the Pub Quiz “Champion” dozen! Come and belong, have fun and good luck!