The ultimate virtual pub quiz guide

Host a pub quiz in the comfort of your own home. (Getty Images)
Host a pub quiz in the comfort of your own home. (Getty Images)

During the coronavirus lockdown, people are choosing to stay in touch with their loved ones via video calls.

It’s great to have a chat but sometimes you just fancy adding a bit of normality into the mix during these difficult times.

Enter the virtual pub quiz.

Nothing gives your mind a bit of light relief quite like a bit of competitive quizzing. If you’re planning on whipping together a virtual pub quiz for your friends, gives these top tips a read.

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Select your video app early

We’ve all got our preferences, but it’s good to get it set up earlier in the day so everybody knows where to go when quiz time approaches.

Each app has its merits, but most people seem to be heading to Google Meet or Zoom for their socialising fixes.

For us, Google Meet just has the edge because Zoom cuts you off after 40 minutes unless you’re on the £11.99 per month paid plan.

Assign rounds ahead of the quiz

To ensure that you’re not all picking similar rounds, pick a quiz master to manage the assignment of rounds earlier in the week.

If this is a weekly or monthly event with your friends, why not switch the quiz master up each time?

In order to make sure nobody is generously self-marking (aka if you don’t trust your friends) you could paste the answers to the round in the text box of whatever video app you’re using.

It’s also worth noting any answer ranges during the questions so everybody is on the same page. For example, if you’re asking your friends to guess a year, you might want to tell them they can get it within three years of that time, or make sure they’re aware that only the exact year will do.

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Designing your quiz

This really is down to personal choice and it depends how long you’ve got. Many people choose to make a night of it with each person creating a round, others have one host who doesn’t play and just asks questions.

Here are our three top tips to consider when designing the quiz:

  • Have a toilet and snack break half way through.

  • Choose some lighter rounds unless you’re serious quizzers, in which case, as you were.

  • Tailor your quiz to the audience. There’s no point in making your history round about art in the 1800s if nobody will be able to answer the questions.

Lighter rounds

We spoke about lighter rounds but we wanted to go into a little bit more detail about what we mean by this.

Lighter rounds could be things like anagrams, dingbats and missing words, so even if some of the quizzers aren’t great at general knowledge rounds, they’ll still have something to get stuck into.

We also add in rounds like “who said this?” where we delve through old Facebook posts to find the funniest former statuses. It’s a great game to play amongst friends.

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Ideas for rounds

If you’d like to get a bit inventive with your quiz questions and not just have the classic music, science, geography, history rounds, here are some suggestions:

  • Guess the song: play the first few seconds of a song and ask your friends to guess it.

  • Pictionary: If your wifi allows, draw a picture live, or else draw one ahead of time and record it for the quiz.

  • Anagrams: Pick an acronym that suits each round of the quiz and encourage quizzers to guess it.

  • Charades: Act out favourite films, TV shows or songs. Or, act out hilarious moments throughout your friendship for your friends to guess.