Smartphone cheats

How to google-proof your pub quizzes

Are you fed up with teams using their smartphones to Google the answers during your pub quiz nights, spoiling the fun for your honest regulars?

Nothing spoils the fun of a pub quiz more than a cheater. We know some unscrupulous contestants may succumb to a discreet Google before answering … only, we’re way ahead of them. Here are a few ways to ensure your quiz is bullet-proof.

Picture Rounds


Picture this: it’s nigh-on impossible to quickly identify places, objects or animal images on a Google search. At least … not discretely. You can even zoom in or distort them which would make it even more challenging.

You – 1

Cheaters – 0

Puzzles and Riddles

Number or word puzzles are great for muddling a dishonest player … Anagrams, number sequences, dingbats, and other means of making people use their grey matter are what you want.

For instance: John spends one eighth of his weekly wage on food and four times as much on rent, leaving him with £180. What is his weekly wage? (answers below)

Music Rounds

Musical rounds are hugely popular, but there are apps that might make cheating too tempting. The workaround is to use an instrumental version of a tune (karaoke, as these don’t feature lyrics), or doctor the speed slightly. Alternatively, playing two clips at once or in a mash-up will also scupper the no-good rascals!

Questions and Associations

Try questions that feature an association or a misfit, which are impossible to Google.

For instance: What refers to sports equipment, part of a foot and a type of dance? (answers below)

Quick-Fire Rounds

If you don’t give them time to Google, they can’t Google! Collect the answers after every round and tally the scores gradually. You’ll also be able to raise the tension in the room this way, for more excitement.

Statistical Questions

Estimate figures and the likelihood of events. These can be so obscure that they must be guessed, so even the brainiest don’t have an advantage.

Example: If all the Earth’s water was made into a sphere what would the diameter of this ball of water be: 860 miles, 1860 miles or 3860 miles?

Gist Questions

Culture: Create a scene that will provide a clue to identifying a song, item or film. Slightly more labour intensive, but great for teamwork.

Example: Identify the song from this summary: Paddle your aquatic vessel thrice.

Other measures to deter the pub quiz cheats

Reduce the Prizes

Most cheats are in it for the prize, rather than having fun. Detract them by lowering the stakes. This will also limit the magnitude of any dissonance, if cheating is suspected.

Get Tough on Smartphone Cheats

It’s tricky to know for certain whether there is a cheat in your midst, or if someone is just checking a Snapchat. Stay polite and announce that all participants are invited to put their phones away for the duration of the quiz, as even glancing at them may arouse suspicion.

In the event, an announcement could be made stating that a team (undisclosed name) has been caught using a phone and is invited to withhold its answer sheet.

Good Luck!

We wish you the best of luck. Please send us other suggestions on how to beat-the-cheat.


Okay Okay. Here are the answers!

 – £480
 – Ball
 – 860 miles
 – Row Row Row Your Boat