Hosting a Bar Trivia Night

pub trivia nights

Hosting a bar trivia night, often called a pub trivia night or pub quiz night, is a great way to get people into your bar or pub. These events work especially well for slower nights as a way to get people coming back week after week.

Because bar trivia nights are team events, they tend to work better than other types of events. Events that involve teams puts an obligation on each of the team members to come out to the event. No one team member wants to let the other people on the team down. Therefore, the turnout tends to be higher.

The basic premise of a bar trivia night is that you prepare a bunch of questions in a variety of categories to ask your customers who have formed themselves in teams of anywhere from 1-6 players per team.

The simplest version of the game would be to have a question sheet with dozens of different questions in many different categories. The teams each have an answer sheet where they write down the correct answers. The organizer him or herself can be the questioner or you can have one of your staff or a customer ask the questions. You’ll obviously want to set this up beforehand.

If you want to get more hi-tech or advanced, you can prepare a Powerpoint presentation containing the questions that you can display on an overhead screen or you can even run the event through your computer and include video and picture questions. The advantages of going the simple route are that it’s just that….simple. Its easier to prepare for and you don’t have to worry about any technical glitches that may disrupt the event.

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That being said, however, using a Powerpoint presentation or bar trivia questions that include pictures and video is more professional, provides more variety, is more engaging and overall, more entertaining. The downside of course, is that it takes more effort to prepare and run the event each week.

It’s not too difficult to organize but it does take some preparation to run a successful bar trivia night.

There is an alternative, however. There is a company called PubQuizPro that will do it all for you for $24. Here is a list of what they give you to help you run your own bar trivia night:

  • Questions, answers and scoresheets including picture questions and optional audio and Powerpoint questions
  • Additional brain teasers, quotes, puzzles and jokes for your patrons entertainment between rounds
  • Access to their archives which includes back-issues of the free weekly quiz questions, back up quiz packs, table talkers and posters to help promote your event
  • Access to articles on how to host your bar trivia night, how to promote your quiz night and how to select prizing for your pub trivia night.

So, if you don’t want to do all the research and work that’s involved in setting up and running a weekly bar trivia night but you do want the increase in profits that go with it, check out the guys at Pub Quiz Pro.


Announce how many questions will be asked at the beginning of the night and have each team write down at the top of their answer sheet how many questions they think they will get right. This number is used in the event of a tie – the team who guesses closest to the number they wrote down wins the event if two teams have answered the same number of questions correctly.

Alternatively, you can design some tiebreaker questions.

Things to Keep in Mind When Hosting a Bar Trivia Night

  • You’ll want to make sure that you announce at the beginning that the judges decisions (or answers) are final. Even if you find out later that you may have made a mistake, it doesn’t do anyone any good to have teams arguing over the answers. That being said, make sure that when you research your questions, that the questions and answers that you research are from verifiable and reputable sources.
  • No one is allowed to use cell phones, PDAs or any other internet-connected device that allows them to search the net for answers. All answers have to come from the team members themselves, without any outside help from anyone or anything.
  • Don’t spend too long between questions as people will likely get bored. You’ll want to limit it to around a minute or so.
  • Don’t make each round centred on a specific category, like say, movies. If you do that and one or more of the teams aren’t big on movies, you’ll lose their interest quickly.
  • Don’t make the questions too hard – you don’t want to make people feel stupid.
  • Make sure you set a table / team limit and ensure that no table exceeds that many players. A team can, however, have less than the max amount.


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