About Pub Quizzes

A pub quiz is a quiz held in a public house. These events are also called quiz nights or trivia nights and may be held in other settings. Pub quizzes may attract customers to a pub who are not found there on other days, but quiz nights are an excellent way for the publican to build new clientele. The pub quiz is a modern example of a pub game, and has in recent years overtaken traditional pub games like darts and cribbage, but a pub quiz can exist quite happily alongside other pub games to compliment a good pubs programme of entertainment and events. Though different pub quizzes can cover a range of formats and topics, they have many features in common.


Origins of the pub quiz are unclear but there is little evidence of them existing before 1970 in the United Kingdom.

A 2009 study put the number of regular weekly pub quizzes in the UK at 22,445, and one website has counted approximately 2,000 regular weekly quizzes in the United States. The growth of the pub quiz corresponds to the popularity of trivia board games most notably Trivial Pursuit, which is played and marketed all over the world.


Pub quizzes (also known as live trivia, or table quizzes) are often weekly events and will have an advertised start time, most often in the evening.

While specific formats vary, most pub quizzes depend on answers being written in response to questions which may themselves be written or announced by a quizmaster.

Generally someone (either one of the bar staff or the person running the quiz) will come around with pens and quiz papers, which may contain questions or may just be blank sheets for writing the answers on. A mixture of both is common, in which case often only the blank sheet is to be handed in. Traditionally a member of the team hands the answers in for adjudication to the quiz master or to the next team along for marking when the answers are called.

It is a growing trend that multimedia is used to produce interactive crowd participation, by use of film clips and video games to enhance the quiz experience.



It is up to the quizzers to form teams, which are generally based on tables, though if one table has a large group around it they may decide to split up. Some pubs insist on a maximum team size (usually between four and six). The team members decide on a team name, often a supposedly humorous phrase or pun, which must be written on all papers handed in.

People often have to pay to participate – ranging from around 50p to £5 per person. This is often pooled to provide prize money. Many pub quizzes require no payment at all, as the event is simply a way to get paying customers into the venue, typically on less busy nights of the week. Quiz nights are often used as fundraising events for clubs and charities, entrance fees and raffles held at the event can raise significant funds.


The person asking the questions is known as the quizmaster. Quizmasters sometimes mark and score answers submitted by teams although usually teams will mark each others' answer sheets, and queries resolved by the host.

Quizzyrascals.com supply excellent quiz questions which are ideal for the pub quiz, they are designed to be varied, different and interesting whilst also with the content to satisfy the quiz purist with lots of standard quiz rounds. Most pub quizzes stick to categories like general knowledge, sport, entertainment and music. In our experience pub quizzers like there quiz nights to have a standard structure, but to have a little something extra to add to the enjoyment of the evening. At quizzyrascals.com we provide picture rounds, puzzle rounds and many other types of handout type quiz rounds as well as connections rounds, wipe-out rounds, and specialist topics which are not readily available on run of the mill free quiz web sites, we aim to provide a high quality product for the professional quizmaster or landlord, who do not necessarily have the time or experience to set a well constructed pub quiz which can be used as downloaded without the need to check and swap questions around.


There may be between one and more than half a dozen rounds of questions, totalling anything from 10 to upwards of 80 questions. Rounds may include the following kinds (most common first):

Factual rounds – these are usually spoken, either over a public address system or just called out. Common topics include: General knowledge – covering the topics listed below (if they are not in a separate round) and also topics such as history, geography and science and nature. There may well be more than one of these rounds.

Sport – comprising the statistics and trivia of popular, well-known sports and general facts about others.

Entertainment – movies, TV shows and music (see also below).

True or False – questions to which the answer is True or False.

Picture round – these use photocopied or computer-printed hand-outs and consist of pictures to be identified, such as photos of famous people (possibly snapped out of context, or else partially obscured) or logos of companies (without tell-tale lettering), famous places or objects pictured from a strange angle.

Who Am I? – A series of clues to the identity of a famous person (or thing). Clues are given in order of descending difficulty. The earlier a team can identify the correct answer, the more points they are awarded.

Music round – these consist of excerpts (often only the intro or other non-vocal segment) of songs played over the PA system. Usually the teams must identify the song and also the singer or band (sometimes the year the song was released is also required). Variations include the inclusion of film soundtracks and TV theme tunes (requiring the title), and/or classical music (also requiring the composer).

Puzzle rounds – generally on a hand-out sheet. These may consist of crossword puzzles, anagrams, Ditloids, Dingbats and basic math problems.

Novelty rounds – themed round a specific word or name (e.g. all the questions relate to a famous Norman); 'connections', where the last answer in the round provides a link to all the previous answers; true or false; and various others to break up the general stream of questions.




Bonus rounds

In some quizzes teams are able to select one or two rounds as "jokers", in which their points will be doubled (or otherwise multiplied). Teams usually select their joker rounds before the start of the quiz, although some rounds may be excluded. Teams who consider they are particularly strong on certain subjects can improve their chances with a good joker round, but risk wasting the joker if the questions are unexpectedly difficult. The idea of using a joker in a game may come from the BBC television programme it’s a Knockout.

Some quizzes include a bonus question, in which a single answer is required with one or more clues given each round making the answer progressively easier to solve. In some variants, the first team to hand in the correct answer wins either a spot prize or additional points to their total score. In others, the questions continue until all teams have the correct answer with each team been given progressively fewer additional points the longer it takes them to submit the correct answer.


Some quizzes add a small, separate round of questions to the end of a regular quiz, with the chance to win a jackpot. Each week an amount of money is added to the jackpot, and if no team answers the questions correctly, the money rolls over to the next quiz. The maximum amount of the jackpot may be limited by local gaming regulations.


Teams usually have to mark the paper of an adjacent team.

One or two points are scored for each correct answer; some quizzes allow half marks for "nearly right" answers (such as a celebrity's surname when their full name was required). In some quizzes, certain questions score higher marks, particularly if they are unusually difficult.


Prizes are awarded to the highest scoring team, and often to runners-up. Prizes are usually one of the following:

alcoholic drinks: a case of beer or some money on a bar tab to spend at that pub are common.

cash: if money was charged for entry into the quiz, this is often pooled to form prize money. This may all go to the winning team. Alternatively, there may be a separate short set of questions or even a single 'jackpot' question to win the cash; if no team gets the right answer, the money is typically rolled over, making a larger prize the next week.

vouchers: such as cinema discount-coupons, food discounts, or even drinks vouchers for use at the bar holding the quiz.

drink-related promotional items from a brewery, such as t-shirts and beer glasses advertising their products.

Miscellaneous or novelty prizes, such as chocolate or cheap toys. The winning team may get first choice to pick a prize from a range on offer.

Another format for quizzing is called "infinite bounce". This format is generally used when the number of teams in the quiz is large – usually around 8–10. Every question is addressed to the team succeeding the team that answered the previous question. If no team answers the question, the next question is addressed to the team succeeding the team to whom the previous question was addressed.




Enclosed are:

4 Question Rounds including tie break questions – Team Score Sheet – Answer Sheets - Picture Handouts - Puzzle Handouts

Before you start:

Make sure your microphone and PA are working okay and that everybody can hear properly.

Introduce yourself; tell quizzers about the format of the quiz and approximately how long it will take.

If it is a fund raiser tell them about the charity and where raised funds are going

About 10 minutes before the actual start time advise people to get themselves into teams and think of a team name.

Advise what the prizes are.

Advise entrance fee.

Give out the quiz answer sheets, handout quizzes, jokers if you are using them, scrap paper for team members, pens, pencils etc.

Advise the Quizzers to write their team name at the top of the sheet.

Inform teams that they can start doing the handout rounds, i.e the picture round and the puzzle round, make sure people get these papers at least 20-0 minutes before the quiz is due to start, to give them something to do while they are waiting for other people to arrive.



Advise Quizzers that the Answers are to be written on the Answer sheets that were given out at the start of the Quiz.

Read out the questions slowly and deliberately in the rounds, always read the questions twice.

Ask if anyone wants questions repeated.

(Give each round about 15 minutes from start to finish)

Take short breaks between each of the rounds to enable people to collect drinks and to use the toilets.

Do not restart proceedings until all participants are re-seated

Get them to swap Answer Sheets with another team after each round, or if you prefer at the end of the quiz

Check everyone has swapped, read out questions again this time adding answers.

Collect in the Answer Sheets that have been marked and fill in the team score sheets

Get the Quizzers to collect their Answer Sheets back.

Read out overall scores.


If the Quiz results in a Tie and you need to separate the teams, then refer to the tie break’ questions.

Advice a member from each of the teams involved in the ‘Tie Break’ to collect a piece of paper and return it to their team.

Advice the teams involved in the ‘Tie Break’ to put their team name on the piece of paper.


Advise people that you will read out a question where the answer is a number and that the closest answer will win.

Give the following instruction:



Read out the question.

Ask people to write their answer on the paper.

Get the paper returned within 1 minute after reading out the question.

Collate the answers.

Read out what answer each team submitted and the answer you were looking for.

Announce the result of the ‘Tie Break’.

Read final scores and give out the prizes for the actual quiz.

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