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

Running Your Pub Quiz

Hosting a quiz in your pub is a great way to generate repeat custom on nights that are usually quieter than others. If it is well organised then you’ll be able to generate regular income for your business and probably have some fun along the way. Here are a few tips on how to make your quiz nights enjoyable for both you and your customers.

Be Consistent

Nobody likes change, so if you plan to create a successful quiz night then make sure you keep the important things the same:

Pub Quiz Day

  • Same day of the week
  • Same entrance fees
  • Similar question format
  • Same prizes

An irregular pub quiz will not impress your potential customers.

Teams

By far the most successful quiz format is team based, as opposed to an every man for himself format. This is a much more social approach and will lead to a much more enjoyable evening for everyone.

The size of the teams that you allow is down to personal preference but from our experience a maximum number in each team should be around 7-8 players. Any larger than this and teams with 3 or less players will be discouraged from joining in as they will feel that they are at a dissadvantage.

Entry Fee and Prizes

We recommend that you keep your entry fees and prizes modest. Big prizes will attract the ‘professional quizzers’ and all you really want to do is entertain your patrons. A large prize may also increase the probability of cheating… which is something we’ll come on to later.

We recommend an entry fee of about £1 per person (or per sheet) and an overall prize of a round of drinks or the whole kitty. The added advantage of handing our drinks vouchers as prizes for your pub quiz is that they can only be spent in your pub, which means you’re already generating repeat customers and sense of loyalty.

Questions

We’ve found that around 50 questions is ideal for a regular pub quiz night. To cater for all, include a good range of subjects, check out the different categories we have for ideas.

We always start off with a picture round, it is a great way to ease people into a quiz and lets them catch up with their team mates and get drinks before you start the more in depth questions.

Pub Quiz Question Difficulty


It’s important that your quiz has a little something for everyone, so don’t make your questions too difficult. There is nothing worse than doing a Pub Quiz and only getting a few questions right, especially if you read out the scores at the end… it could be a little embarrassing.

Always have a tie-breaker question or two ready. The ideal format for this is a number answer, nearest wins.

Download an example quiz based on the above format.

Presentation

The majority of pubs start their quizzes between 8:00 and 9:00pm. This allows around two hours for the quiz, which is perfect for regular events. One-off events such as a charity quiz night are usually a little longer.

We recommend that you use a quizmaster as this will retain people’s attention. They should read each question twice and make sure that whatever PA system is being used can be heard everywhere in your venue.

Have a break half way through. This will allow people to get to the bar, have a comfort break and discuss some answers that they may not have got yet.

Consider having an open the box or a roll over jackpot to end your evening. It will ensure your players stay until the end and adds a little something different to the evening.

Rules

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.

One rule that is increasingly hard to police is the use of mobile phones. We’ll be doing a whole other post about managing the use of mobile phones during a pub quiz night but the most effective method (although sometimes controversial) is the naming and shaming. Be clear from the start about the use of mobile phones and hopefully other quiz players may step in to politely mention this rule if somebody forgets.

Marking

There are many ways to arrange marking. One method is for one team to mark another teams paper, although this is not the preferred method. If you don’t have access to specially printed carbon paper answer sheets then you can give a team two answer sheets. One is marked by them so they know which questions they got right and wrong, the other is handed in to the quizmaster before the answers are read out.

If you have someone that can assist then you could 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.

Everything you need to run a great quiz night is available throughout the Pub Quiz Bros website, so get searching and enjoy the hundreds of completely free quiz rounds that we’ve created for you. Or you could visit our shop and download a ready made pub quiz – to make your life even easier.

Best of luck.

The Pub Quiz Bros

Here at The Pub Quiz Bros we know how hard it can be to compile an interesting, engaging and challenging pub quiz.

Fortunately for you, we enjoy creating ready-made pub quizzes just to make your life easier. With each of our quizzes you’ll get 50+ questions split into rounds of differing subjects.

Each quiz comes in printable PDF format which are instantly downloadable.

Answer sheets are also included which means you’re ready to host your quiz night in minutes and not hours.

Above: Screenshots from Pub Quiz #1