This format is generally used when the number of teams in the quiz is large — usually around 8— 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. 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 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 six and ten. The team members decide on a team name, often a supposedly humorous phrase or pun, which must be written on all papers handed in.
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. The person asking the questions is known as the quizmaster. Quizmasters also mark and score answers submitted by teams, although formats exist where teams will mark each other's answer sheets. The questions may be set by the bar staff or landlord, taken from a quiz book, bought from a specialist trivia company, or be set by volunteers from amongst the contestants.
In the latter case, the quiz setter may be remunerated with drinks or a small amount of money. Often questions may be drawn from the realm of 'everybody knows' trivia, therefore leading to controversies when the answers are false or unverifiable. In addition, as the quizzes are not formal affairs, slight errors in wording may lead to confusion and have led to a court case  in the UK.
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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:. In some quizzes teams are able to select one or two rounds as "jokers", in which their points will be doubled or otherwise multiplied.
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Teams usually select their joker rounds before the start of the quiz, although some rounds may be excluded. Teams who consider themselves to be 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. 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.
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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.
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The maximum amount of the jackpot may be limited by local gaming regulations. In some cases, the papers are marked by the bar staff. Alternatively, teams may have to mark their own answers and the handed-in papers are consulted only to check that prize claimants have not cheated by altering their answers. Another method is to have teams swap papers before marking, though this can be divisive.
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. With the mass use of mobile phones and mobile internet access, cheating has become a problem for some pub quizzes, with covert calls and texts made in the toilets, recent newspapers and magazines brought along especially for the event, ringers and so on.
Though a maximum number of members set for teams may help to prevent large numbers of people collaborating, groups posing as several distinct teams are quite common.
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Some quizzes now ban the use of mobiles and nullify the score of any team found to be cheating. Though more prevalent where large sums of money are at stake, cheating can be observed even for relatively low stakes. Some quizzes also now ban re-entry to the pub after the quiz has started, in order to prevent team members from using public internet stations, public telephones and mobile devices out of sight of the quizmaster. Generally, though, a pub runs its quiz alongside its normal operation, making such a measure impractical. Prizes are awarded to the highest scoring team, and often to runners-up.
As a kid I would scan through old books at garage sales, searching for random facts; as an adult I regularly fall into Wikipedia rabbit holes. When I can, I take my passion for useless knowledge out for a night on the town and participate in trivia events around my city—rooms full of people facing off about what they know, often competing for prizes. Trivia night is my new favorite thing. Trivia night is also fun , and super easy to plan.
Here are some tips for hosting a successful trivia night or afternoon or whatever.
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Try to pick a spot that has lots of tables and chairs, and where the host can be seen and heard by everyone. They might be really into the idea, and help you promote it. School gyms, community centers, town halls, and other public gathering places are good spots for trivia-themed fundraisers. According to the Official Trivia Night Planning Guide Book, which so far only exists in my dreams, general and themed are the only two types of trivia nights otherwise known as pub quizzes.
TV trivia is my favorite, because it combines the two best things in the world: If this is a private event, this part is pretty easy—just send out invitations or announce it on Facebook the way you would for any party. Be sure to include what time the trivia starts, where it is happening, and if the participants need to bring anything like costumes for theme nights. This will save you from potential arguments as the game goes on. Setting your rules in advance could save you a lot of time and grief.
Coming up with good questions is surprisingly tricky, because you want to challenge your audience without boring them to bits. The best trivia nights have a good mix of simple and obscure questions, in a variety of categories that include something for everybody. Some people know reality TV inside and out, others are history buffs, some are comedy nerds, and some political junkies. In a general themeless trivia game, you want each one of these people, as well as people who know about music, movies, comics, literature, the internet, etc.
Good questions can come from anywhere!
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