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Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions

Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions

“Tips on making sure you use the right kind of bonus questions and rounds to keep your audience and paying employers happy!”

Welcome back to the blog. I hope its been a great start to 2016 for you, and indeed the blog has got off to a strong start this year with some great feedback. Thanks again for reading!


Today we are going to go back down the route of some useful hints and tips on formatting and what to include. I think you will know by now that there are two consistent themes within the blog with are how to run the quiz and how to market yourself. Essentially, both need to be solid for you to succeed and I hope this quiz blog helps you in doing so.

What we are looking at in this entry is the way in which you can use “bonus questions” and bonus rounds to make your quiz more enjoyable, more appealing and more fun. Doing a standard, “every questions is worth a point” style round is all well and good but it can lead to the same teams winning and teams getting so far behind they lose interest. Cleverly and tactically done the use of the bonus question can enhance your quiz night, impress the venue owner and above all else, the enjoyment of the customers.

Below we are going to take a look at some of the ways in which you can incorporate bonus questions in your quiz but first I just want to have a quick look at the aims and objectives of including bonus rounds. And of course clear up the term…..


By bonus rounds, we are referring to questions and rounds which are worth more points than the norm. A chance to catch up, pull away and move up a few places. The aim of using these in your quizzes and trivia nights are mainly –

  • To try and avoid the same team winning each week
  • To try and avoid the team who finish last coming last every week
  • To give everyone a chance of winning something
  • To keep everyone engaged
  • To make sure the scores are closer

Now let us see how and what you can to incorporate this into your trivia nights..

Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Joker Rounds

One of the most tried and tested ways to achieve the above aims is the use of a Joker Round. For example, if your event has 6 rounds on varied themes the players chose to use a Joker on any one round to double their score. Why this works so well is simple. The top team is likely to get an even spread across the rounds so the use of the joker may not impact their total or placing. However, the team finishing in the lower places it could affect considerably. For example, a team may get full marks on the TV round but struggle with everything else. This means by using their Joker on the TV round they can boost their score and placing considerably.  This may not stop the same team winning week on week but done correctly it will close the scores and give other teams more of as chance.

Problem being this only works on themed round style quizzes…

Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Wipeout Rounds

Another good tactic that is often used is the “Wipeout Round”. Basically, you have 10 questions pitched at about 4 Easy, 3 Medium and 3 Hard. Teams can have a go at as many as they like but if they get 1 wrong they are wiped out and score Zero for the round. If the get all 10, they earn 10 points plus a bonus 5 for a full house. If they only answer 3 but all are right, they score 3. Its much more simple in practice than to explain but it works wonders as it could cause teams to wipe themselves out due to the risky nature.

Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Random Bonus Points

One quiz I go to, and have since stolen the idea, used an interesting method. As you were paying your entry fee at the start of the quiz you drew out 3 numbers. Whichever three numbers you chose out of the hat, those were your bonus questions and were worth triple points. So if you drew number 4,7 and 21, if those happened to be the easy questions it meant you are likely to rocket up the table. Chose 2,19 and 27 and they happen to be the hard questions and you’ll miss out. Yes it brings luck into the equation which some players won’t like but it produces closer scores and gives everyone the chance to increase their potential for win!

Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Prize Rounds

Finally, rather than having bonus questions as such, a quiz I go to tries to increase involvement but having bonus jackpots. How it works is thus…

The quiz is five rounds of 10 questions. The winner of each round gets a prize of beer tokens. But at the end of every round a jackpot question is asked, something like “closest to the pin” or guessing a number. BUT the team who won the round aren’t counted meaning 2 teams get a prize every round meaning 10 prizes throughout the night as well as the obvious prizes for winning the main quiz.

So as you can see from the above there are a lot of rounds and ideas you can use. There will be more and are more in use around trivia nights so please keep your suggestions coming in and perhaps we can do a follow up post in the near future with further ideas and suggestions.


Remember…keep it fun, keep it rewarding and keep it varied.


Thanks again for reading and we will be back tomorrow with some ideas and information on the potential pitfalls of hosting trivia nights which should benefit everybody reading this. Until then…..happy trivia hosting!

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