We’ve been hosting live trivia events for almost 20 years (🙀) and the list of categories we’ve done in that time is LONG. While we have hundreds of categories we could share with you, we’ve compiled some of the most successful rounds below, broken into two groups: the standards and some unique round ideas. Hopefully this helps you have a great trivia event!
The following trivia categories are considered standard in most bar trivia nights. While it’s great to have unique rounds (see below,) it's always important to include some standard categories as well. Here at The Quizmasters, we like to rotate these categories week to week so we can craft an experience that keeps players coming back, while always including two general knowledge rounds. (Give us a try with a full, absolutely free trivia packet.)
🤓 General Knowledge: This category is a staple of any successful trivia night because it covers a wide range of topics, allowing for every player to have input. It also helps to test participants' overall knowledge and makes it harder for a single person or team to dominate the event. The Quizmasters weekly trivia packs always include two General Knowledge rounds.
📜 History: History buffs tend to love trivia nights and you will surely have a few at your event. The key is to have a balance of difficulty that satisfies that history professor on one team but doesn’t frustrate the rest of the teams and teammates. In a ten question round, it’s best to have a balance of a few easy questions, some with moderate difficulty level, and a couple of thinkers.
🌎 Geography: Geography is an excellent category for trivia nights because it encourages players about countries, states, and cultures. From mountains to nations, a geography round can be as broad or specific as desired, and can offer an endless array of potential questions.
🧪 Science: From biology, chemistry, and physics to other branches of science, this is a great category that has a diverse question base. Similar to history, there are science buffs that will enjoy this round but it’s also important that the questions don’t alienate anyone. It’s vital to have a fair range of difficulty.
🤩 Pop Culture: Movies, TV shows, music, and other pop culture offer a vast array of questions for a trivia night. This category is perfect for those who enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest trends and celebrity news while also providing some levity to the teams’ deliberations. Whether film, TV, or music, we Quizmasters always include some sort of pop culture round in all of our quizzes.
⚾️ Sports: Sports rounds are a consistently great addition to any trivia night. And while you surely have a few locals at your bar that can recite statistics from memory, it’s important to craft this type of round in a way so everyone from the SportsCenter fiend to the casual fan can enjoy the questions. A stat here or there is fine, but a round with just individual statistics can be dull. This might be the hardest round to write because you need the perfect mix of variety and difficulty levels. (We have a great full Sports Quiz available to use for a one-time event or even to supplement your regular trivia nights.
Unique Category Ideas
Including unique trivia rounds in your bar trivia night can add a fun and exciting twist to the event. By having trivia questions that are not commonly asked, or are more specific to certain themes, you can challenge your participants and provide an opportunity for them to learn something new. At The Quizmasters, we try to include unique and clever categories in each of our quizzes. These different categories can make your trivia night stand out from others while creating a more engaging and memorable experience for everyone involved. Additionally, unique trivia rounds can appeal to a wider range of interests and knowledge areas, attracting a diverse group of participants and enhancing the overall atmosphere of the event. Overall, including different and exciting trivia rounds can elevate your bar trivia night and make it a more enjoyable and entertaining experience for all.
📺 Fictional Businesses
At The Quizmasters, we love to rotate this round into our trivia nights. It’s super fun and can lead to some spirited discussions within teams. The answer can be the show/film or the place of business itself. For some more well-known businesses, make the answer the business (think Los Pollos Hermanos in “Breaking Bad”) and for more difficult business names, you can make the television show or movie the answer.
❓ The Answer Is ____
Rather than a single round, this can be a series of categories with differing concepts. For instance, during NCAA March Madness, we included a round named “The Answer is a March Madness Team” where all the answers were teams included in March Madness but the questions weren’t about college basketball. For example, one question included in the round was, “Tenochtitlan was the capital of what peoples' empire?” The answer: Aztecs (as in, San Diego State) You can see that the answer “Aztecs” is referring to the culture but within the category of a March Madness team. There are endless possibilities from car models to cereal brands.
✏️ Word Rounds
At The Quizmasters, we pride ourselves on our creative word categories and include one in every weekly quiz. All of the questions are crossword-style statements with a one-word answer, with all of the answers having a similarity. These similarities can be as simple as three-letter words or as complicated as words with letters in alphabetical order. Fair warning, these are not the easiest questions to write. Fortunately, you can get a new crossword round with every one of The Quizmasters Weekly Quizzes or Past Quizzes.
1️⃣ Single Number or Letters
How about including a category where the answer is a single letter or number? It can be as easy as “What is the letter of the first element in the periodic table?” or can be a little more difficult, like, “There are how many Canadian provinces?” You can even go pop-culture in this round with questions like, “Julia Stiles starred as Desi Brable in what 2001 movie based on a Shakespeare play?” or “How many seasons of ‘The Office’ aired?”So, here’s to having a fun and diverse quiz! The most important part of a trivia night is that all of your teams have a great time. With a diverse set of questions and categories, you can make sure that everyone is involved and is getting the most out of your event. While you can work to craft your own categories and questions, you can also let us do all of the heavy lifting by getting an entire trivia pack emailed to you every Sunday for only $20 per week. Check out our shop here and in the meantime, happy quizzing!