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Pub quiz


A pub quiz is a quiz held in a pub or bar. 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. The pub quiz is a modern example of a pub game. Although different pub quizzes can cover a range of formats and topics, they have many features in common. The pub quiz was established in the UK in the 1970s and became part of British culture. The Great British Pub Quiz challenge is an annual event.

The pub quiz was established in the UK in the 1970s to get people to come drinking on quieter nights. Redtooth runs an annual Great British Pub Quiz challenge, with more than 600 pubs taking part in 2012.

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 US.

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 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.

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.

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.



  • 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 minutiae of popular, well-known sports and general facts about others.
    • Entertainmentmovies, TV shows and music (see also below).
    • True or False – questions to which the answer is True or False.
  • Picture round – these use 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 mathematics 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.
  • 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 minutiae of popular, well-known sports and general facts about others.
  • Entertainmentmovies, TV shows and music (see also below).
  • True or False – questions to which the answer is True or False.
  • 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.
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Wikipedia

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