Tie Breakers – A Quick Guide

Tie Breaker

What Is A Tie Breaker

You’ve delivered a great Pub Quiz and you’ve ended up with two teams scoring exactly the same. It happens more often than you might think. Although this involves extra work for you, this is a very good situation to be in, because it means you’ve managed to create a pub quiz that has catered to multiple peoples knowledge level – which is no mean feat.

What are your options?

At this stage you have a few options. We’ve experienced good tie breaker situations and very, very bad tie breaker situations so be sure to pick the right one as this will be the lasting opinion that your quizzers have on your quiz.

One option could be to simply split the prize down the middle. Congratulate each team and say good night. But your typical quizzer doesn’t want to be ‘joint first’. A pub quiz is a competition and for sake of a free round of drinks the majority of quizzers would much rather take a gamble.

The next option and by far the best option overall, is to ask a tie breaker question to each of the winning teams.

Competitive Tie Breaker

This will maintain the competitive nature of the quiz and give the two (or more) teams an added bit of trivia to end the night.

A Bad Tie Breaker

You need to make sure that your question isn’t such that it could lead to another dead heat. By that, we mean the question should involve a team taking an educated guess rather than knowing the answer.

For example: In what year was the great fire of London? This sort of question belongs in either a History round or a General Knowledge round.

Also (and believe it or not we’ve seen this happen), don’t ask a question such as what number am I thinking of? This just shows that you haven’t prepared.

A Good Tie Breaker

There is no such thing as a perfect tie breaker, that is mainly due to our human ability to retain useless information. For example for some reason I’m able to recite Pie to 11 decimal places. Completely and utterly useless in every day life, but you never know what odd information your quizzers may be able to retain so changing the type of question each week is important.

Your tie breaker should be a question that someone could have an educated guess at, here are a few examples:

  • How many inmates were on death row in the US on 1 October 2018?
  • How many votes did Howling Laud Hope receive for the Monster Raving Loony party in the 2019 UK general election?

If you can, try to make your tie breakers fun and interesting. But if all else fails, you can always head on over to our tie breaker vault and use one from there.

Best of luck.

The Pub Quiz Bros

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