No pub? No problem! Follow our guide on how to make the perfect virtual pub quiz and bring the best of the boozer into your home.
As we find ourselves confined within our homes this Easter bank holiday, one of the big misses will undoubtedly be the pub. Aside from the drinks, food, pets, and general chin wag, a major absentee will be a good old pub quiz.
Riddled with nostalgia and a ‘light’ sense of competitiveness, pub quizzes are perfect for bringing people together. And thanks to the wonders of technology, no pub doesn't mean no pub quiz.
With our top tips on how to make a virtual pub quiz at home, all you'll have to do is grab yourself a drink, kick back and embrace the quiz.
Pick a platform
Isn’t technology just wonderful? With the help of video communication apps like Zoom, Houseparty and Facetime, it’s never been easier to turn your living room into a top-class virtual boozer. Grab all your pals, set a time and a place, and get your quiz started.
Yes, quiz master!
There are two main choices you have for electing a master of ceremonies. Either, you have one, super keen individual come up with all the questions whilst everyone else answers them. Or, get your gang of participants to write a mini quiz each and take turns reading and answering.
It's entirely up to you which one you choose, but we'd probably recommend the latter for a more all-inclusive quizzing experience.
How many questions will I need?
There’s no set number of people or questions needed to make a proper pub quiz, although it does help if you have someone other than yourself to answer your questions.
If you’re willing to commit and make it a proper quiz marathon, then have every participant make one or two rounds of ten questions. If you don’t have much time, then have every quiz participant pick out a handful of questions each.
It’s usually handy for everyone to have the same number of questions in their rounds so, if you wanted to, you could add up a total score at the end and see who the winner is! Maybe even dish out some prizes if you’re feeling generous.
Consider your audience
Now, this is a big one. Homemade quizzes with friends and family are meant to be fun. Before you start writing your questions, think about topics that you all have some interest in and maybe throw in a few insider knowledge questions to make it more personal. This is hugely important as there’s nothing worse than everyone getting zero questions right on your round.
I once had a friend read out a whole, ten-question round on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and no one but him had ever seen an episode.
Obviously, you don’t want to make things too easy so pick whatever topic you’d like, but be careful not to be too niche.
Picking a theme
Deciding on what to do for your questions can be a bit tricky. The best place to start is picking your theme. Think about things that you’re interested in so you’ll be motivated to write the questions and tie it in with what your audience might be interested in to keep them engaged.
You could choose something like Harry Potter, Oscar-winning films, capital cities of the world, or best-selling music artists. You could get a bit more personal and choose a theme like people from our old school, players from our old Sunday football team, guess the person from their old Facebook status’, the list of choices is endless.
If in doubt you can always grab a bunch of questions and simply give your quiz the ‘general knowledge’ theme.
How to spice up your rounds
A fantastic way to keep things more interesting with a homemade pub quiz is to give your rounds a bit of extra edge. This may involve a slight increase in effort but we promise it'll be worth it. Here are some ideas you could consider:
Top and tail: For this fun quiz twist, you use part of the answers to your questions as little hints. To do this, make the letter at the start of each answer the same as the last letter of the previous answer. For example, if question 1 is "what’s the best cashback website on Earth?” and the answer is "Quidco" then the answer to question 2 would begin with the letter ‘o’.
All or nothing: This is a great one if you’re asking questions that everything thinks they know the answer to, such as the capital city of Canada or Switzerland. Your participants can write as many answers as they like, but if they get one wrong, they earn a big fat zero for the whole round.
Confidence: This is basically a watered-down version of ‘all or nothing’. Similarly, your participants don’t have to answer any question that they don’t know the answer to. But, if they answer a question incorrectly, they will only get a score based on their correct answers before that incorrect answer.
So, if there are 10 questions and you got the answer to question 5 wrong, you would only get a score for correct answers up until question 5. Anything after that is void.
Chain to gain: If you fancy giving out some bonus points for your quiz, this could be the way to go. Everyone answers your questions as normal but they are given bonus points at the end for their longest ‘chain’ of correct answers.
So, if someone answered questions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 correctly, but got question 6 wrong, they would receive five bonus points as they gave five correct answers in a row. Remember, it’s not the chain before the first incorrect answer but the longest chain overall.
Picture round: Always a winner and still manageable if you use something like Zoom to conduct your quiz as you can screen-share. If you've chosen an app like FaceTime that doesn't permit screen-sharing, fear not, you can always send you picture round over email or any other messaging service.
Your picture round could be snaps of famous places, celebrities, chocolate bars cut in half, logos with the brand name covered up, or anything else that tickles your fancy.
Tiebreaker: Every so often you might find yourself in a tiebreaker situation where two or more people have the same score on your quiz. A fun way to settle the dispute is to have an emergency tiebreaker ace up your sleeve.
Find a question that no one is likely to know the exact answer to such as, "how far away is Earth from the Sun in miles?" and have all your tied winners write down a guess. It's unlikely that someone will hit the answer bang-on, so the winner will be the person closest to the correct answer.
What’s the link?: This one might take a bit of planning but works great if you put in the legwork. This format involves the answers to your questions acting as clues for the final question. If it’s out of 10, the first 9 questions could be about anything. Question 10 doesn’t have its own question; it simply has ‘what’s the link between the answers from questions 1-9?'. This one definitely keeps people on their toes.
Get inspired by the greats of quizzing
If you're still struggling for some inspiration, you can always nick a few ideas from some all-time classics. A Question of Sport has some fantastic creativity in the structure of their quizzes, for example. There's also always the option of going old-school. Why not pick out some of your own items and make a throwback The Price Is Right quiz?
Whatever you choose to do remember it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts... sort of.