As any good pub quizzer knows, it’s only fun when it’s a fair fight. There is something quintessentially English about the traditional pub quiz. Usually held in pubs that have a good ‘locals’ culture, pub quizzes are a reason to go to your favourite bar and do something a bit different. And, of course, there’s the added bonus of being in with the chance of winning – it’s perfect for competitive trivia types!
Lots of teams turn up week after week, and there are ‘professional’ pub quiz teams who do the rounds of the local pubs to try out their general knowledge. Casual players will always recognise this type of team as they’re the ones who generally don’t give themselves a ‘comedy’ name, spend a lot of time discussing answers in subdued whispers (they don’t make the common mistake of yelling out an answer out of excitement at knowing anything at all) and frantically scribble notes along the way. They’re also usually placed in the top three every week.
If you’re looking to be part of a winning pub quiz team it’s pretty important to have a team with a range of knowledge. You’re going to be sunk if all you have are scientists, for example. And you must always, always have someone who knows a lot about sport – many a team of intellectuals and politics lovers fall at the sports round.
Once you’ve collected a group of diverse team members, the trick is to always write down the questions if you’re not immediately sure of the answers. This gives you time to allocate someone to concentrate on those while the rest of the team gets on with the main questions. This can claw back valuable points.
Most pubs have a no mobile phone rule, but it’s notoriously difficult to properly ban cheating in a pub quiz. People are so glued to their phones these days, and now that smartphones are everywhere, it’s impossible to know who is on the internet or not. Of course, it would be nice to think that people wouldn’t cheat, as that takes all the fun out of winning, but as prizes can be large, and people are people, it definitely does happen.
Some pubs get round this by using handsets that are connected to a central computer. This allows customers to answer entertainingPub quiz questions while the results are spat out in an excel document at the end of the quiz. Another alternative for landlords to clamp down on cheating, and therefore the majority’s enjoyment of their pub quiz is the Speed Quizzing app. It’s a smartphone and tablet app that acts as a keypad for the teams, while recording results. It totally wipes out the possibility of cheating while opening up gameplay to new and different methods.
It’s possible you’re lucky enough to frequent a pub quiz where the chance of cheating is minimal to nil anyway and the only threat you have is from that geography round you’re dreading…