Home 9 What is a pub quiz

What Are Pub Quizzes & how do they work?

Looking for a fun and entertaining activity? Then maybe a pub quiz is for you! Learn more about what pub quizzes are and how they work.

Pub quiz master cartoon

What is a pub quiz?

A pub quiz is a social activity originating in the United Kingdom in which participants, usually in teams of 2 to 6, answer quiz questions on various topics. A pub quiz is often organized in a pub or restaurant, but can also take place at home, online or as an on-site pub quiz company event.

Pub quizzing is a popular social activity in the Netherlands where people get together to test their knowledge and have a good time in a relaxed setting.

Many online pub quizzes were held during the corona pandemic, where participants played from home.

Pub quizzes for expats, students, businesses, charity….

Pub quizzes come in many forms. They are organized not only in pubs and restaurants, but also in other locations such as theaters, sports canteens, festivals, town halls, community centers and at organizations and companies as part of team building or company outings.

In some cities, such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam, there are English-language pub quizzes aimed specifically at expats and international students. Quizzes are also organized for good causes, with proceeds going to a charity or local organization.

Pub quizzes are not just a fun activity for adults; there are also quizzes designed specifically for children and families, with questions suitable for younger ages and child-friendly themes. They are also used as educational tools in schools and universities, testing pupils and students on their knowledge of various subjects.

PubQuiz History

The origins of the pub quiz are not entirely clear, but it is thought that the activity originated in the 1970s in the United Kingdom.

Pub quizzes were initially a way for pub owners to attract customers on quiet weeknights and to strengthen a sense of community among their customers. They soon became popular and spread to other countries.

Over time, the pub quiz has changed and took different forms. There are pub quizzes organized by professional quiz companies and others held by local pubs or non-profit organizations. Some quizzes are organized to raise money for charities, while others are simply for entertainment.

Pub quizzes are now popular in many countries around the world, and especially in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. But many pub quizzes can also be found in the Netherlands. Our website lists over 250 quiz venues. Check out our pub quiz overview.

    How does a pub quiz work? What are the rules of the game?

    Not every pub quiz is the same of course, but a typical pub quiz works roughly with the following rules of play.

      • To participate in a pub quiz, teams usually must first sign up and pay a fee, such as 5 euros per person, or fixed fee per team. For some quizzes, advance registration is recommended due to limited capacity, or even mandatory. For others you can register on the spot.
      • A pub quiz is usually divided into several pub quiz rounds. There are often 5 to 8 rounds with up to 10 questions per round. Common rounds of questions are general knowledge, music, sports and history. There are also pub quizzes designed specifically for people with particular interests, such as Star Wars quizzes, Harry Potter quizzes or Disney quizzes. The Football Quiz, Christmas Quiz and End of Year Quiz are also popular themes. Pub quizzes can also contain interactive elements, such as tasks, puzzles or games.
      • The quizmaster, or the person leading the quiz, will provide thequiz questions read them aloud and give the teams time to write down their answers. The quizmaster will read out the correct answers after each round, collect the answers, and score the teams on how many answers they got right. An intermediate score is given every few rounds.
      • The team with the most points at the end of the quiz will be declared the winner. Often the winner gets a prize, such as a free round of drinks, or a discount on the bill.

    The format and structure of pub quizzes may vary. If you are curious about specific rules and guidelines, contact the host or venue of the pub quiz you are interested in.

    If you are going to make your own pub quiz, you can, of course, come up with your own rules and structure.

      Pub quizzes illustration

      Why are pub quizzes so popular?

      Pub quizzes are wildly popular, which is not surprising when you realize the benefits of pub quizzes. The main benefits are explained below.

      Socializing and meeting new people

      Pub quizzes are a fun way to socialize and meet new people, especially if you are new to a city or area, or want to expand your social circle. Over drinks and a fun quiz, you’ll quickly make new friends.

      Testing your knowledge

      Pub quizzes are a fun way to test your knowledge and see how you relate to others. Do you pride yourself on your extensive film knowledge or are you a history buff? Chances are, during a pub quiz, that knowledge will come in handy and impress your fellow players.

      Enter the competition

      Pub quizzes are often competitive, which adds an extra element of excitement and fun. Whether you’re competing against other teams or yourself, pub quizzes offer a chance to put your knowledge to the test and see where you stand.

      Work together with your teammates

      Pub quizzes bring people together in a friendly atmosphere. It can be fun to work together as a team and share your knowledge with others. Whether it’s a group of friends looking for a fun night out, or a team-building activity for colleagues – a pub quiz is often well liked.


      Pub quizzes are a fun form of entertainment, especially if you’re looking for something to do on a weeknight. A pub quiz should not be an overly serious, dry activity. A good pub quiz will have enough reason to laugh, such as funny questions or a quizmaster who sets the mood.

      Accessible to all

      Perhaps the best thing about pub quizzes is that they are open to everyone. No matter your age or background, anyone can participate and have a chance to win.

      The purpose of a pub quiz

      The overarching goal of a pub quiz is to provide a fun activity that brings people together and tests their knowledge on a wide range of topics.

      Besides entertainment and testing knowledge, pub quizzes can also have other purposes. Such as raising money for a particular cause, fostering a sense of community among participants and improving teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills.

        Pub quiz etiquette

        There’s no official pub quiz etiquette, but if you want to make a good impression, you’d better follow the guidelines below ;-).

          • Arrive on time: Make sure you are on time so you don’t miss any important announcements or instructions.
          • Follow the rules: Be sure to follow the rules of the quiz, including any restrictions on the use of electronic devices (smartphones!) or other materials.
          • No cheating: Do not cheat during the quiz, by looking up answers on your phone or consulting with other participants without permission.
          • Be respectful: Have respect for your fellow players, the quizmaster and the venue where the quiz is taking place.
          • Pay attention to the noise level: Watch your noise level during the quiz, especially if you are in a busy or noisy environment. Avoid shouting or talking too loudly.
          • Show sportsmanship: Whether you win or lose, be sportsmanlike.
          • Have fun: Finally, above all, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the quiz!

        What do you need to know for a pub quiz?

        Of course, you don’t know what will be asked during a pub quiz, but to be successful in pub quizzes it certainly helps to have a good general knowledge. This can be knowledge of current events, history, science, pop culture, sports, music and many other topics. Tip: Practice with our general knowledge questions.

        In addition to broad knowledge, it also helps to:

          • Have a good problem-solving ability;
          • Ability to work well in a team environment;
          • Being able to think quickly.
          Pub quiz illustration cafe

          Preparing for a pub quiz

          To prepare for a pub quiz, it may be smart to practice trivia questions on pub quiz apps and quiz websites, and participate in pub quizzes at local pubs.

          That way you can improve your general knowledge and trivia skills and be better prepared for a pub quiz. Read more about preparation in our getting ready for a pub quiz article.

          If you want to practice questions right away, in our free pub quiz questions section you will find hundreds of free quiz questions on a variety of topics. You can also take our free online pub quiz and see approximately what to expect.

          Conclusion: is a pub quiz something for you?

          By now, you should be convinced that a pub quiz is a fun form of entertainment that brings people together to test their knowledge and have fun.

          Whether you’re competing to win prizes or just looking for a fun outing or team-building activity, a pub quiz is an excellent activity.

          So what are you waiting for? Form a team and participate in a pub quiz near you!


            Frequently Asked Questions

            Are pub quizzes free?

            Whether a pub quiz is free depends on the organizer. Some are quizzes free, while others charge a small fee to cover costs and/or offer fun prizes to the winners. On our website you can buy a pub quiz, as well as do a free online pub quiz.

            How long does a pub quiz last?

            On average, a pub quiz lasts 1.5 to 4 hours. The duration of a pub quiz can vary depending on the number of rounds, the specific format and structure of the quiz.

            What kind of questions do you get at a pub quiz?

            The questions you get at a pub quiz can cover a wide range of topics. Some quizzes have specific themes, such as pop culture, history, sports or music, while others may include general knowledge questions on various topics.

            Custom pub quiz

            Are you looking for a custom pub quiz for a party, your own pub or any other special occasion? Contact us to discuss the possibilities.