Pub Trivia - The Rules

Having a pub quiz is one of the best ways to bring people together. A Trivia Night will pack people into pubs. It is a great incentive for friends to take the time to meet up and enjoy each other's company. However, in order to keep people happy with the pub quiz, the rules need to be clearly stated at the beginning of the night and fairly enforced for the duration of the night. Check out this easy guide to simple rules to run a fair Pub Trivia Night.

Team Members

The teams should be composed of six members or less. Any more than that and things just don't seem to work smoothly. Only team members should be allowed to sit at the table to avoid outside help from people that aren't part of the team. There doesn't need to be a minimum number of team members. There are plenty of people that have enough trivia crammed in their heads to give a fair fight in a one-on-six battle.

The Scourge of Technology

One of the biggest problems with modern trivia nights is the ease of cheating with smartphones, iPods and the like. This is one of hardest things to control and enforce. There are two ways to approach this. The easiest way is to simply make everyone playing turn in their cell phones to the quiz director at the start of play. The other way is the honor system, but this can lead to problems as many people aren't honest.

Cheating with an electronic aid needs to be punished very severely. Trivia nights being played for money need to disqualify anyone that is caught with a cell phone on their table or in their hands, whether or not it is apparent that the phone has been used to cheat. This harsh punishment is necessary to maintain fairness in the game.

Number of Rounds

This is largely a matter of personal preference. Some trial and error will be needed over the weeks to determine the most popular number of rounds at a particular pub. Some places may like a short game with only five rounds. Other may like a long game with a dozen rounds. Most pubs run trivia games with somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to ten rounds. This seems to allow for the right balance of difficulty and excitement.


Each round should have a theme for the most enjoyment. Make sure to have many different themes like sports, movies, music, history, etc. Be sure to keep teams apprised of the score after each round. Have a tiebreaker round ready if the game is tied at the end of regulation. Above all be fair, yet firm. This will lead to happy players that will be sure to come back for the next trivia night.

Article Source: Ryan Bloom

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