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Advice on How to Run Your Pub Quiz

Running a regular quiz in your pub is a great way of generating repeat trade on quiet nights. If your quiz is well organised the chances are that people will come back on a regular basis, and even tell their friends about it. Here are our tips on how to make your quiz nights really enjoyable for your customers.


Keep It Consistent

If you plan to hold quizzes regularly then keep it consistent - same day of the week - same entry fee - same team arrangements - same question format. People may go home disappointed if the night does not meet their expectations, based on your previous quiz nights.


You should certainly use a team (as opposed to individual player) format. This will get people chatting about the questions and answers and lead to a more enjoyable and sociable evening. We suggest that you keep things flexible by allowing teams of any size, or at least impose a high limit of around 8 to 10 persons per team. There is not much advantage to players in having a very big team (as the prizes will be diluted). Teams of 2 or 3 will not be discouraged so long as you charge a "per person" entry fee. You will probably find that people naturally form teams of around 3 to 6 people.

 Kudos Pub Quizzes: How to run a pub quiz

Entry Fee and Prizes

We recommend that you keep your entry fees and prizes modest. Hefty entry fees may discourage people from playing and large prizes may encourage "professional" quizzers to turn up and spoil the chances of your regular customers.

Larger prizes are also likely to increase the probability of cheating or disputes.

We recommend an entry fee of about £1 per person (perhaps more for charity and one-off events) and a prize fund of around £50 or £60. Bottles of beer or wine or food vouchers are a good alternative to cash.


Around 50 questions is ideal for a regular pub quiz night. To cater for all, include a good range of subjects, from celebrities to science, from youth culture to classical music. A picture round requiring players to identify people, places and animals and even solve a picture puzzle or two often proves popular.

Include about 20% relatively easy questions and 20% difficult questions. This will ensure that every team gets a respectable score whilst the best teams will not get too close to full marks.

You may want to have a tie-breaker question ready. The best format for this is a number answer, nearest wins.

Download free examples of quizzes based on the above suggestions.


Most pubs start their quizzes between 8:30 and 9:00pm. This allows around two hours for the quiz, which is sufficient for regular events. One-off events are usually a little longer.

Decide whether to have the questions read out by a quizmaster or circulated in printed form. We recommend that you use a quizmaster as this will retain people's attention. He/she should read each question twice; be sure that your PA system is capable of making your quizmaster heard above background noise.

Half way through the quiz include a ten minute break so that people can review their answers, get to the bar and take a comfort break.

After all the questions have been read out it's helpful if the quizmaster can circulate amongst the teams to repeat any specific questions and perhaps get some feedback from customers on the quiz.

Consider having a rollover jackpot game to finish off your evening.


There is one golden rule for your quiz night:

The answer on the quizmaster's answer sheet is the right answer - even if it is wrong!

Stick to this rule and you will avoid potential arguments and confusion.

Another rule that you should enforce is to ban mobile phones and other internet connected devices. Read more on this below.


There are many ways to arrange marking. By far the best is to use duplicate answer sheets (of the type that we provide), the top copy is submitted to the quizmaster before the answers are announced. Teams use the duplicate copy to mark their own answers and add up their final score before handing it in. The quizmaster only needs to check the answer sheet of the team claiming to have scored the most points.

Asking teams to mark their own non-duplicate answer sheets can unfortunately lead to foul play and asking teams to swap answer sheets for marking can lead to disputes.

If your quizmaster has a helper or two you can ask for the sheets to be handed in for independent marking, ideally at the end of each round. This is rather slow and your evening may lose momentum. However, this system does have the advantage of enabling you to provide an interesting running total for each team as the quiz progresses.

Use of Mobile Phones

Unfortunately, the use of mobile phones and internet connected mobile devices to look up answers has become a problem for some regular pub quiz nights. However, there are measures that you can take to discourage this.

~ Firstly, make sure that people are aware of the ban on using mobiles by announcing it at the start of the quiz and by stating the rule on answer sheets.
~ Encourage people to report anyone that they spot cheating, and ask the bar staff to keep an eye on people as they collect glasses.
~ If you are aware that a team is cheating notify them in a friendly, non-confrontational way. They will probably be embarrassed into complying with the rules for the rest of the quiz.
~ If you do not wish to confront a cheating team directly, announce that you (or the bar staff) have spotted a team using a mobile phone, that they will know who they are and (if you are feeling particularly strict) would they please not submit their answer sheet.

Good luck with your quiz night. To get everything you need for a great evening register for free quiz questions now.

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