Dealing with Bar Trivia Night smartphone cheaters

It’s needless to say we’re always on our phones now. If we’re not in front of our computers or tablets, its our smartphone complete with high speed network connections that ensure we’re always wired.

But if you’re a more competitive pub trivia player like myself and are putting forth a real effort to win, then you understand that phones can ruin the entire contest. There is nothing worse then coming to the end of a night and watching the winning team look up answers during the final round.

Well, what do you do about it?

Hopefully, your host is on top of it: Its becoming more of a regular occurrence these days for hosts to supply buckets where everyone puts their phones during rounds of play. They should also remind everyone before each round that using phones is not allowed.

But, if the cheating continues:

Quietly say something to the host between rounds: It doesn’t have to be a huge event. Just ask if you’re allowed to use your phones too.

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If the game is on the line, weigh the prize against the drama: If we’re talking about a free round or basket of jalapeno poppers, it might not be worth saying something a second time. But if we’re talking about a bigger prize then ask your team what they think, and then politely repeat your concerns to the host and tell them you’re concerned the game will be ruined by cheating.

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If the game is ruined by cheating, don’t make a scene then do this: Email the trivia company and the manager of the venue with your concerns. No one enjoys doing this but here is the thing.

You’re spending money on the premise of having a good time. You’re a customer.

And a trivia company is responsible for making sure a good time is had by all, otherwise, they’re ripping you and the venue off.

Encourage “Internet Proof” questions: Its possible to write questions that aren’t easily found on a phone. I do it every day. Whether its a musical challenge, face off, or anagram, there are plenty of ways to get it done.

The truth is that bar trivia is going to get harder and harder to keep honest (don’t even get me started on smartwatches). We have to evolve with the game. Don’t feel bad.

And when you get good enough at trivia, not even the phones will be able to stop you!

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