Trivia games are a blast, testing your smarts and quick thinking. Whether you're kicking back at a bar with friends or competing in a trivia night showdown, having a game plan can seriously up your winning chances. It's not always about being the smartest team in the room. You can win by being the better team. Here are our 7 tips to help you dominate at trivia:
1. Size Matters
Bigger isn’t always better. Ideal teams are usually 4-6 players. More than this, and it usually becomes a cacophony of competing answers and hurt feelings. Often the loudest voice “wins” while the team loses. Focus on curating a team of people with diverse interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Do you have someone who knows sports? Movies? American history? Music? They don’t need to be experts, but they should at least give you a fighting chance in the commonly asked categories.
2. Open Your Mind
To nail trivia, you've got to know a little about a lot. You’re not going to be asked trivia questions about minutiae like who came in 3rd place in the 1987 American League MVP voting. Nobody remembers or cares, except Kirby Puckett. (Yes, I looked that up!) So, when you hear interesting trivia facts that aren’t obscure, squirrel them away in that big brain of yours! First Olympics in America? St. Louis 1904. State flower of Texas? Bluebonnet. Better yet, seek out those interesting facts. Dive into books, magazines, and newspapers across different topics – the more, the better.
3. Stay Current
While most trivia questions deal with the past, you’ll often get a question asking about something that’s recently been in the news and/or pop culture. Stay updated by reading news and catching up on the latest movies and shows.
4. Speak Up
While you may not be the team’s trivia expert in a certain area, you should certainly make your voice heard if you think you know the answer. It’s always a good idea to also give a percentage along with your answer. For example, “I’m 90% sure it was Tom Hanks in that movie.” This helps the team put your answer in perspective.
The flip side to “speak up” is to listen. Just because someone on your team isn’t the team’s trivia expert on a subject, doesn’t mean they know zero on the subject. People will surprise you with the tidbits they know. “I know nothing about basketball, but I remember this because my dad was a huge Chicago Bulls fan but couldn’t stand Dennis Rodman and would rant and rant about him!”
6. Oh Captain, My Captain!
You have a limited amount of time to write an answer down. There needs to be someone on the team who will decide among viable answers if the team cannot come to a consensus. Choose a trivia team captain, an experienced player, to make these tough decisions.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Like anything, practice hones your trivia skills. Play more trivia games to spot patterns and anticipate questions. Some trivia questions give subtle clues that you’ll pick up on the more you play. The more you play trivia, the better your team will score.
Bonus! Back Yourself
Trust your gut. If you think you know the answer, roll with it. Second-guessing rarely helps. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a correct answer crossed out on an answer slip!
How to Win at Trivia? Bring It All Together!
Winning at trivia needs the right plan, knowledge, practice, and self-assuredness. Stick to these tips and watch your trivia game soar. Round up your crew, bone up on facts, and get ready to rule the trivia realm!
At the end of the day, trivia night is about having fun and making memories with friends. Always keep that in perspective and you can’t go wrong!