Online Pub Quiz 2024 | How to Host Yours for Virtually Nothing | Steps with Templates

Quizzes and Games

Lawrence Haywood 10 April, 2024 10 min read

Everyone's favourite pub activity has entered the online sphere on a mass scale. Workmates, housemates and mate-mates everywhere learned how to attend and even how to host an online pub quiz. One guy, Jay from Jay's Virtual Pub Quiz, went viral and hosted a quiz online for over 100,000 people!

If you're looking to host your own super cheap, even possibly free online pub quiz, we've got your guide right here! Turn your weekly pub quiz into a weekly online pub quiz!

Your Guide to Hosting an Online Pub Quiz

Get the Crowd Going

To learn how to create an engaging live quiz for free, check this video below!

How to Host an Online Pub Quiz (4 Steps)

Hosting an online pub quiz can be as simple or as complex as you like. At the most basic level, you just need to get everyone in front of a camera and start reading questions! You can have a great time with a set-up just like this. 

But then, who keeps track of the score? Who is responsible for checking the answers? What is the time limit? What if you want a music round? Or an image round?

Thankfully, using virtual quiz software for your pub quiz is extremely easy and makes the whole process smoother and more fun. That’s why we recommend it for any aspiring pub quiz host.

For the rest of this guide, we’ll refer to our online quiz software, AhaSlides. That’s because, well, we think it’s the best pub quiz app out there! Still, most of the tips in this guide will apply to any pub quiz, even if you use different software or no software at all.

Step 1: Select Your Rounds

A set of themes is crucial for your virtual pub quiz
Online Pub Quiz - A solid set of rounds is a crucial foundation.

The very first thing to do is to pick out a few rounds on which to base your trivia night. Here's a few tips for this...

  • Be different - Every pub quiz has a general knowledge round or two, and there’s nothing wrong with old favourites like than 'sport' and 'countries'. Still, you could also try... 60s rock music, the apocalypse, top 100 IMDB movies, beer brewing techniques, or even prehistoric multicellular animals and early jet plane engineering. Nothing's off the table and the choice is totally yours!
  • Be personal - If you know your contestants personally, there's some serious scope for hilarious rounds that hit close to home. A great one from Esquire is to dig through your mates' Facebook posts from the old days, pick the most hilarious and let them guess who wrote them!
  • Be varied - Stray from the standard 'multiple choice' or 'open-ended' questions. The potential of a pub quiz online is vast - way more vast than one in a traditional setting. Online, you can have image rounds, sound clip, word cloud rounds; the list goes on! (check out the full section down here.)
  • Be practical - Including a practical round might not seem, well, practical, in an online setting, but there's still plenty you can do. Build something out of household items, recreate a movie scene, perform a feat of endurance - it's all good stuff!

Protip 👊 If you're looking for some inspiration, we've got a whole article on 10 pub quiz round ideas - free templates included!

Step 2: Prepare Your Questions

Spend a decent amount of time for your questions list. Your participants expect good questions from your online pub quiz.
Online Pub Quiz - Spend a decent amount of time for your questions and keep them varied.

Preparing the list of questions is undoubtedly the toughest part of being a quizmaster. Here are some tips:

  • Keep them simple: The best quiz questions tend to be simple ones. By simple, we don't mean easy; we mean questions that aren't too wordy and are phrased in an easy-to-understand manner. That way, you'll avoid confusion and make sure there's no disputing over the answers.
  • Range them from easy to difficult: Having a mix of easy, medium and difficult questions is the formula for any perfect pub quiz. Placing them in order of difficulty is also a good idea to keep players engaged throughout. If you're not sure what's considered easy and difficult, try testing your questions beforehand on someone who won't be playing when it's quiz time.

There's no shortage of resources out there to create your question lists. You can consult any of these links for free pub quiz questions:

Step 3: Create Your Quiz Presentation

Time for the 'online' element of your online pub quiz! Nowadays, interactive quizzing software abounds online, helping you to host a super cheap or even free virtual pub quiz from the comfort of your own lazy boy.

These platforms allow you to create your quiz online and for participants to play virtually using their smartphones. Looks like lock down has been good for something, at least!

Below you can see how AhaSlides works. All it takes is a quiz master with a desktop and a free AhaSlides account, and players with a phone each.

GIF of the presenter screen on AhaSlides, showing a Harry Potter quiz question and answers as part of an online pub quiz.
Online Pub Quiz - Quiz master view on desktop
Gif of a phone screen with a player playing a quiz on AhaSlides
Online Pub Quiz - Quiz player view on phone

Why use a pub quiz app like AhaSlides?

  • It's 100% the cheapest way to host a virtual pub quiz.
  • It's incredibly easy to use, both for hosts and players.
  • It's completely digital - play from anywhere in the world without pen or paper.
  • It gives you a chance to vary your question types.
  • There's a bunch of free quiz templates waiting for you! Check them out below 👇

Step 4: Choose Your Streaming Platform

A professional live streaming setup for online pub quiz
A professional setup for live streaming a digital pub quiz.

The last thing you'll need is a video chat and screen sharing platform for your quiz. There are a bunch of options out there...


Zoom is an obvious candidate. It allows up to 100 participants in one meeting. However, the free plan limits meeting time to 40 minutes. Try a speed run to see if you can host your pub quiz in under 40 minutes, then upgrade to the pro plan for $14.99 a month if not.

Read also: How to run a Zoom Quiz

Other Options

There's also Skype and Microsoft Teams, which are great alternatives to Zoom. These platforms do not limit your hosting time and allow up to 50 and 250 participants, respectively. However, Skype tends to get unstable as the number of participants gets higher, so be careful which platform you choose.

If you are aiming for professional streaming, then you should consider Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch. These services don't limit the time or the number of people that can join your quiz, but the setup is also more advanced. If you're aiming to run your virtual pub quiz long-term, these might be a great shout.

4 Online Pub Quiz Success Stories

At AhaSlides, the only thing we love more than beer and trivia is when someone uses our platform to its maximum potential.

We've picked out 3 examples of companies that nailed their hosting duties in their digital pub quiz.

1. The BeerBods Arms

The overwhelming success of the weekly BeerBods Arms Pub Quiz is really something to marvel at. At the height of the quiz's popularity, hosts Matt and Joe were looking at a staggering 3,000+ participants per week!

Tip: Like BeerBods, you can host your own virtual beer tasting with a virtual pub quiz element. We've actually got a whole article on how to do that!

2. Airliners Live

Airliners Live is a classic example of taking a themed quiz online. They're a community of aviation enthusiasts based in Manchester, UK, who used AhaSlides along with the Facebook live streaming service to regularly attract 80+ players to their event, the Airliners Live BIG Virtual Pub Quiz.

The BIG Aviation Virtual Pub Quiz! by Airliners Live

3. Job Wherever

Giordano Moro and his team at Job Wherever decided to host their pub quiz nights online. Their very first AhaSlides-run event, the Quarantine Quiz, went viral (excuse the pun) and attracted over 1,000 players across Europe. They even raised a bunch of money for the World Health Organisation in the process!

4. Quizland

Quizland is a venture led by Peter Bodor, a professional quiz master who runs his pub quizzes with AhaSlides. We wrote a whole case study on how Peter moved his quizzes from the bars of Hungary to the online world, which gained him 4,000+ players in the process!

Quizland runing a virtual pub quiz on AhaSlides

6 Question Types for an Online Pub Quiz

A top-quality pub quiz is one that's varied in its question type offerings. It may be tempting to just throw together 4 rounds of multiple choice, but hosting a pub quiz online means that you can do so much more than that.

Check out a few examples here:

#1 - Multiple Choice Text

The simplest of all the question types. Set out the question, 1 right answer and 3 wrong answers, then let your audience take care of the rest!

#2 - Image Choice

Online image choice questions save a lot of paper! No printing necessary when quiz players can see all images on their phones.

#3 - Type Answer

1 right answer, infinite wrong answers. Type answer questions are much harder to answer than multiple choice ones.

#4 - Sound Clip

Upload any MP4 clip to your slides and play the audio either through your speakers and/or through quiz players' phones.

#5 - Word Cloud

Word cloud slides are a little outside of the box, so they're a fantastic addition to any remote pub quiz. They work on a similar principle to the British game show, Pointless.

Essentially, you pose a category with many answers, like the one above, and your quizzers put forward the most obscure answer that they can think of.

Word cloud slides showcase the most popular answers centrally in large text, with the more obscure answers flanking in smaller text. Points go to correct answers that were mentioned the least!

#6 - Spinner Wheel

Spinner wheel as part of a virtual pub quiz on AhaSlides

With the potential to host up to 10,000 entries, the spinner wheel can be a fantastic addition to any pub quiz. It can be a great bonus round, but can also be the full format of your quiz if you're playing with a smaller group of people.

Like in the example above, you can assign different difficulty questions depending on the amount of money in a wheel segment. When the player spins and lands on a segment, they answer the question to win the amount of money specified.

Note 👉 A word cloud or spinner wheel aren't technically 'quiz' slides on AhaSlides, meaning that they don't tally points. It's best to use these types for a bonus round.

Ready to Host an Online Pub Quiz?

They're all fun and games, of course, but there's a serious and dire need for quizzes like these at present. We commend you for stepping up!

Click below to try AhaSlides for absolutely free. Check out the software with no barriers before you decide whether or not it's a good fit for your audience!

Check out more online pub quiz ideas