Please explain Pub Trivia to me like I'm a toddler

A new Game? Match? Tournament? is starting at a bar within walking distance of my house.

I’ve never played or seen it played. I know a little bit about a lot of things.

Do I have to be a part of a team, or can I just show up?

Will it be like 8th grade softball and I’ll get picked last?

If I go this week do I have to go every week forever?

It’s run by a company with a website. At the top of the RULES tab it says “refer to the game sheet” but nothing that looks like or calls itself a game sheet is anywhere to be found.

I was going to add “need answer fast” to the thread title, but I don’t really.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Easiest part to explain: it’s a way to get free beer. Or “daddy milk,” if you’re still a toddler.

Teams: much easier with one, some places may limit size. I’ve never been in a situation where you can get paired with random people; it’s always with friends or FOAFs. If you’re feeling bold, I suppose you could ask to join strangers, but it does seem odd to me. Nothing is stopping you from being alone or in a small group.

I know of some people who formed teams on Reddit and such.

Weeks: of course not. Of the two I’ve been to locally, one requires you to come back next week to collect winnings. The other gives you a voucher, good for 6 months.

The sheet you can probably pick up there. Rules are usually: no blatant cell phone use, team size limits, specific question counts etc.

I am not an expert but I have played a few times and also won. All of the ones I know just require you to show up at a certain time. You pick your players whether it is people you are with or people that you just ask when to join you when you get there (I have done both). You give yourself a team name of your choice just for that night. They have an MC that reads the questions or gives you a worksheet to do. You turn your answers in at the end of every question for scoring. Smartphones and outside help are strictly not allowed and are grounds for instant team disqualification. The game moves fairly slowly to give people time to drink and spend money.

Some of the questions are like Jeopardy but others may require you to fill out a worksheet of something like identifying international companies by their symbols using the collective brainpower of your teammates. Some of the questions may be fairly difficult because collaboration with your teammates is essential and you have a decent amount of time to spend on each one. The teams around here at least are always really competitive. You want a SDMB type lineup and you want people with strengths in different areas if you want to win.

For all of that, you get your team name announced several times as you lead and a big announcement at the end. The prizes are usually gift cards in the $25 range that you may or may not be able to use for your tab that night. It is fun and worthwhile overall as long as you like bars to begin with.

I’ve played before.

If you like Jeopardy, and you like bars and bar crowds, you should like Bar Trivia.

It is MUCH more fun to play with a group of people that you know and like. I have played with my own social friends, and with my co-workers, and while I like my co-workers, the vibe is much looser and happier with my friends. I cannot imagine playing a pickup game with total strangers, but I am a solid introvert and can only work up the energy to play once a month or so, so I’m a bad one to ask about that.

The specific rules differ with different bars. What seems to be pretty constant is that there is an emcee who announces or passes out the questions, that cell-phone use is strongly discouraged (but done anyway) and the questions come in rounds or categories with different topics or areas of knowledge.

There are often a range of prizes, usually ones that have to be fulfilled at the bar (so the bar makes money regardless) So for example, you could win a round of drinks for your team if you get a perfect score on a single round, or you could win a shared appetizer or bucket-o-beer or a limited bar-tab for winning the whole night.

People can get really into it, and lots of places have standing teams that play regularly. Some teams are all about winning, and are very competitive, some teams are just about being there, and may never win, but are there for every single week.

The fun of it is to balance the fulcrum between smart and drunk, so you’re loose enough to make wild connections and enjoy the contest, but not so drunk that you forget everything or get too wrapped up in the competition.

Like Shagnasty said, it goes much better if you have a sort of United Nations approach with your team and their varied interests. Even if not, you can still have fun.