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Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed

Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed

“Cheating in trivia is the bane of every trivia hosts life, but allowing it to be incorporated into your trivia nights could open the door to a more enjoyable night”


Welcome back to the blog. I had a great response to yesterdays post about the pitfalls of trivia and today’s entry ties in with that post to some extent as we are going to look at one of the ultimate pitfalls of trivia nights and that is cheating. That very word sends a shudder down the spine of the modern trivia host buts its something you need to deal with and think about on a constant basis.


But rather than another extended rant of why cheats ruin quizzes and why they should be outlawed under all circumstances, today we are going to come at the issues of cheats in pub trivia from a different angle. How to incorporate cheating into your night to add to the experience.


Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed – The dilemma?

Now, before we start, some of the tips I am going to give you in this post are ones I have rarely used and ones I would not want to use again under ideal circumstances. My personal opinion is to bar all cheats, void their score and have a player win who has had a genuine score with a genuine team….

However, your dilemma is very simple and the simplicity of the dilemma is the factor the cause of the issues. You are paid to run a trivia night that attracts people and gets them buying drinks at the bar etc…..barring cheats, voiding their score and eliminating them from play means you are effectively not doing your job. A team of 10 are in your pub, buying $40 of drinks per round, regulars, and you see them cheating? Are you going to ban them? What will the pub owner say if that team of 10 decide they don’t like being called on cheating and go elsewhere?

Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed – The cryptic round

Cheating can be tailored by including a few rounds that allow cheating. Make sure all the other rounds are handed in and set 5-10 cryptic questions that require lateral thought (if you have ever seen the show Only Connect that’s a good example of a format you can’t cheat at) and deeper thinking and give a bonus point for each questions. Have a separate round if needs be!

Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed – The impossible round

Set questions where people have to use intelligent Googling. Give facts that google does not bring up. Research pages on the likes of IMB trivia that google doesn’t necessarily find…If they are going to cheat make them work for it! For example, I asked the questions “Which actress gave Walt Disney the idea of adapting Mary Poppins 10 years before he did it?”…..Go on, google it and see how easy it isn’t. Sounds easy on the front of it so trivia players will think they can easily locate it but then will get annoyed, competitive and then determined to find it. Giving satisfaction when they do.

Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed – The speed round

One local quiz I have attended before also introduced me to another novel idea. The speed round. 10 questions in 3 minutes….any question sheet handed in after 3 minutes is void. This means they need teamwork, to write down the questions and google the answers and someone to watch the clock. Worked well but did feel a bit frantic and can lead to google errors. Don’t award too much as people with better phones and more players will find it easier but a token bottle of wine or drinks voucher will be fine.

Trivia Games Where Cheating is Allowed – The problem?

The key problem in allowing cheating, or at least the way I see it, is very simple. How do you control a quiz so that they are only cheating on one round? Unless you are running the sort of “non-quiz” that just allows and tolerates google cheats then you need to make sure you have a handle on things. If for example you use any of the above ideas in your general quizzing you need to make sure that all other rounds, picture rounds, answer sheets etc are handed in and marked. Why I hear you ask? Well how do you know that players will google only one round if they have access to the whole paper.


As said above, I personally think that if you need to resort to any of the above ideas, then you need to look at your wider quiz and trivia performance and see what is driving people to cheat…too hard? Too boring? Poor choice of subjects?

All in we have looked here at some key issues revolving around cheating, which as I mentioned is something we all have to deal with at one time or another as a trivia host. The above samples won’t work everywhere and you will find it could even turn people away from the quiz. In the right setting it could work, although the best idea is a cheat free quiz.

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In essence what we have looked at is –


  • Using cryptic clues to reward “intelligent cheating”
  • Clues to which Google makes it hard to find
  • Short time requiring team work
  • Separate cheats allowed game with catch outs
  • Avoiding allowing the cheating to ruin the whole experience


So that’s it. I often get tired of talking about anti-cheat measures and how to deal with the abundance of cheaters in quizzes but it is worth talking about as it happens so often. Cheating and mobile phones can, and may well, ruin your quizzes but it is how you deal with them that matters most!

Thanks for reading again, we are back tomorrow with a post recapping some of the key points we have covered in the last series of posts. Until then, keep the feedback and suggestions coming in and….happy trivia hosting!

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