How to Run a Great Pub Quiz Night



Welcome to the guide to running your Pub Quiz event. What follows is a comprehensive guide to running a successful pub quiz event, and covers the obvious, and suggests things which you might not have previously considered.

Preparation For Your Pub Quiz


The success of your pub quiz depends to a large degree on the preparation you put into the event. What kind of quiz will you host? Will it be themed? Will you be offering food? How many rounds will your quiz have? How will you promote your quiz night? Prior thought and consideration to these and similar questions will allow you to plan and prepare for a successful quiz.

Regular Pub Quiz

Themed Quiz Night and Special Events

If there is an upcoming anniversary or special event such as Fathers Day, New Years Eve or a national Saints Day then you might want to offer a themed quiz night. For Halloween for example, questions might be based around a horror or supernatural theme, you might ask your staff and even players to dress in fancy dress costume. Doing so will make your regular pub quiz night different and memorable, and if players enjoy the evening, then they will be sure to return. Check out our themed quiz night features for advice and suggestions for hosting a themed pub quiz night.

The Quiz


Quiz Content

Quiz Rounds

Publicity and Promotion for Your Pub Quiz


You could prepare the greatest pub quiz the world has ever seen, but unless people know about it, its all wasted effort. To be sure you get a good turnout for your quiz you will want to promote it.

Word of Mouth

Try to involve all staff and customers in your quiz event. Inform them all of your plans and try to involve them in promoting your quiz night event.

Remember that the greatest endorsement and advertisement for your quiz comes from people who have enjoyed themselves and spread the word to friends and family. The more fun and enjoyable your pub quiz night is, the greater the likelihood that people will return, and bring new players with them.


Posters and notices in or around your venue will keep your regular customers informed about forthcoming events. Your posters should be displayed prominently, and clearly state the date and time of your quiz. Check out our site for templates for posters which you can use to promote your pub quiz night.

Local Press and Press Releases

You can significantly increase the interest and awareness of your pub quiz event if you can enlist the help of local press and media in promotion. Consider preparing a press release and submitting it to local newspapers and radio stations. Many local papers, particularly daily papers, need to find material to fill their pages, and will look favourably on properly formatted and submited press releases - after all it allows them to let you do all the hard work, and then credit themselves. To make your press release particularly appealing and newsworthy, it helps if you can find a new or unusual angle - perhaps you are running a themed night, or you are re-opening under new management, or have undergone a refurbishment. If you can be creative and find a new slant to your press release then you are more likely to see it in print. Another feature which will help significantly is having a photo or picture which can help give the story visual impact. It might, for example, be a picture of your team with your pub in the background.

Your press release should be in a specific format which will help editors. It should be a simple unformatted text, with a heading, and clear contact details. The body of the press release should be clearly marked. The following is a simple example:

You should compile a list of people you can submit your press release to. You can find the email address for the news desk or editor for your local newspapers either listed in those papers, or on their websites. Consider local and regional newspapers. If your event is particularly unusual you might even consider national newspapers. You should submit your press release in a format similar to that above, ideally four or five days before the paper is printed. This allows the story to be read and prepared for print to meet publishing deadlines. In some cases you may be contacted by the editor or a journalist to supply more detail to flesh out the story. Sometimes they may want to supplement the article with their own photographs, and send a photographer to meeet you.

Be as polite, friendly and helpful as you can. You want to cultivate a good relationship which you can build upon for future events and press releases.

On the Evening


Fees and Teams


Quiz Rounds

The Golden Rule 1

The Golden rule of any pub quiz is considered to be that the players are aiming to get the answer which the quiz master has on his or her answer sheet. To a degree this is correct, but there is also another golden rule which is far more important.

The Golden Rule 2

The Golden rule which should be adhered to in any and every pub quiz, is that it should be FUN!!! Whether people are paying for the privilege of playing or not, and whether there is a large prize or just a free drink, your primary concern in hosting a pub quiz is to ensure that those playing are enjoying themselves. Even teams or players who lose miserably will come back time and time again if they find the event fun and jovial.

Try to keep your quiz night light hearted and not too serious. Inject humour where appropriate, and perhaps even tell the odd joke. Remember if everyone takes the event too serious, it will be no fun, and people will be unlikely to return.

Marking Your Pub Quiz


Mark Your Own Quiz

The most time effective method of having the quizzes marked is to trust players to mark their own pub quiz answers. Most players will play fairly, and can be trusted to score only correct answers. Most of the time this will be acceptable, however, if you are offering a substantial prize, there will be a greater incentive to cheat. In those circumstances, and to avoid accusations of cheating, it would be advisable for players not to be responsible for marking their own answer sheets.

Pass To Another Team

Although this at first looks like a more relaibel way to have answers marked, it is just as liklely to be abused as allowing players to mark their own quiz answers. In particular where there is fierce team rivalry, this might give rise to teams not fairly marking each others pub quiz answers, giving rise to accusations of bias and cheating.

Collect In Answer Sheets

The fairest form of marking involves the quizmaster collecting all answer sheets and objectively marking all the answers. This works well only when there are small numbers of answers and small numbers of teams as it otherwise becomes time consuming. If you choose this method then be sure to give an indication of how long players will have to wait for the results, and be sure to read back the answers so players will know whether they were right or not.

If you are offering a particularly generous prize for the quiz winners, or if there is fierce team rivalry, marking the quizzes yourself might be the best option to avoid claims of cheating and unfair play.

Announcing Quiz Winners

Pub Quiz Prizes


Professional Quiz Teams

Professional quiz teams can be both a blessing and a curse for your quiz night.

Professional teams who make a regular habit of travelling to local quiz nights may well become regulars at your quiz, particularly if they win frequently. They may travel quite some distance to attend your quiz event. The downside is that often they can be very competitive, and take the event very seriously. If they win frequently then other teams or players may begin to lose interest, and stop attending. There are a couple of ways of getting around this:

Offer a prize for a nearest the mark type question. These sorts of question rely more on luck and judgement than specific knowledge. By offering such a prize you allow others an opportunity to win if the professional team wins the main quiz.

The winning team sets the quiz for the following week. This means that the professional team are excluded from partaking in the quiz, but still get to be involved, because they get the opportunity to set questions for the following pub quiz.

Cash Prizes

Non Cash Prizes

Rollover Prizes

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