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How to Win More Often at Your Local Pub Quiz?

Updated on December 2, 2020
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I am a fan of any type of quiz, but especially pub quizzes. I like to participate in the weekly pub quiz at my town.

Pubquiz
Pubquiz | Source

What is a Pub Quiz?

A pub quiz is an event in which teams try to answer trivia questions. These questions can come from any category, like sports, history, music, films and more. A pub quiz is generally divided in rounds, most often of ten questions each. Some rounds might be themed, other rounds will just contain random trivia questions.

As the name suggests, a pub quiz is most commonly organized in a pub, although that does not have to be the case. A lot of pubs organize weekly or monthly pub quizzes. This could be very big events with lot of teams, but also very small with only a couple of local teams. Some pubs decide to make the quizzes themselves, while other pubs hire a company to make and present the quizzes.

Which Kind of Categories Can You Expect Questions From?

Although literally every trivia question can be asked in a pub quiz, there are a lot of categories that will appear in any pub quiz. Some categories are just unavoidable, and prevent opportunities for a lot of questions. Examples of these are:

  • Actuality
  • Sports
  • Politics & History
  • Movies & Series
  • Music
  • Art & Culture
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Language

You can expect a pub quiz to be very balanced. That means that it won't be the case that there will by ten questions about sports and only one about music. Also, there will be a balance between easier and more difficult questions. Therefore every quiz favors a different type of team. Sometimes the geography and art questions are very difficult, but the science and language questions are easy, while the next time it may be the other way around. Therefore, if your team is very good at certain categories, but very bad at others your ranking will vary a lot of you participate frequently.

Types of Questions

There are a lot of different types of questions that can be asked. The easiest is just asking for one fact. These questions have only one right answer. Another option is to ask multiple answers. For example: name three out of five, or name all three. With these questions the teams can score multiple points. These kind of question often have one or two easier answers, while the last one if very difficult. This way everyone has the idea that they could give an answer, but the best teams can distance themselves by also knowing the last answer.

Another type of questions is an estimation. There is one right answer, but it is impossible to know. Therefore you score the point if you are within a certain margin of the answer.

Sometimes a video or audio fragment will be used. For example they show a part of a movie, or let you hear a part of one. Audio can also be used to ask who you hear speaking, or about which event the fragment is. Furthermore they can mix up two songs or play one backwards or in eight bit version.

Themed Rounds

Themed rounds are very popular. In these rounds all answers have something in common. For example, the theme of the round is animals. Then it doesn't have to be that all answers are animals, but one answer could be "piggy bank" or "Bear Grylls". Usually, the quiz master doesn't tell you beforehand that there is a theme in a round. Therefore, it is crucial in such a round that you recognize early that there is a theme. If you have some questions wrong then this might be very difficult. If you know the theme then you might get answers right which you normally would not have known. The theme in this case puts you in the right direction.

Special Rounds

In all categories multiple types of questions can be asked. A lot of pub quizzes have a photo round to start. In this round the teams get ten photos and need to answer a question about what they see. This round is most commonly round one. Teams then have multiple rounds to think about the answers of the photo round. They have to hand them in after a couple of rounds, for example when the break stars.

Also the music round, in which a part of a song is played and teams need to write down title and artist, appears in most pub quizzes. The music round can involve any kind of music. Also. it could be a themed round if all titles or artists have something in common.

Pub quiz
Pub quiz | Source

How to Form a Winning Team?

Most teams participate in a pub quiz just for fun, and to have a nice evening with a group of friends. However, there are teams that take it much more serious. They try to win. What do they do different than the other teams that makes them score more points than the other teams?

The most important thing for a winning pub quiz team is that you cover all categories. If you are with five experts on sports and geography but nobody knows anything about movies, series and music you are going to lose to a team of three people that all have different expertise. Therefore, if you want to form a winning team, make sure you select people with different types of knowledge. At least, make sure you cover the categories mentioned above, since they are the most asked categories. For these reasons it also is recommended to play every quiz with same team. That way you will be best responsive to each other.

Another tip is to trust the team member that has a lot of knowledge in a category. It often happens that two people from the team give an answer. Then you have to choose which one to write down. Therefore you need to know the expertise of everyone.

Furthermore, it very much helps if someone follows the news closely. But also the recent music lists or showbiz award winners are always popular to ask.

Why do you participate in a pub quiz?

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Summary

At a pub quiz any kind of question could potentially be asked. It is therefore required that you and your team mates cover all topics that return frequently, such as sports, movies, music and history. If there is doubt, it is best to listen to the person who is an expert on that topic. When you participate more often with the same team, you will become better at recognizing who to trust in certain situations.

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