Written by David Hutson, a Last Call Trivia host
So you’ve decided to start playing Last Call Trivia, good for you! There are all sorts of ways to enjoy your weeknights, but only Last Call Trivia can give you the feeling of triumph and victory while enjoying the company of your friends and tasty beer. Mmmm, beer.
Here are the ABC’s to improving your team’s trivia game so you can become one the elite who make it to Ludimentis!
A is for Advocate – How many times has it happened to your team? After you get an answer wrong, someone shouts, “I said that!” Of course, now that person is loud and clear, but where were they two minutes ago? Advocate for every member on your team, so the right answer has the chance to be heard.
B is for Betting – There are some teams who always “Go Big or Go Home”. Most of these teams go home. Granted, there are times when your team should bet 15 points, but that depends on how well you know your competitors and the subject of the final question.
If one of your teammates Senior Thesis was on American Presidents’ pets and the final question is to match the pet to the President, then by all means, go big.
C is for Categories – At the beginning of each round, the host will tell you the categories. Write them down in the allocated spots and guess how you will wager your points. If a category comes that you have a success rate of 10% or less, then try to use your 6 early on. Sports and History categories tend to be broad, so proceed with caution.
D is for Discuss – If a few people have different ideas, then each must discuss why they think their answer is right using things they remember and their reasons. Hear out your teammates and trust your gut.
E is for Eager – Too many teams rush up despite using the whole two to three minutes. Good teams know to pace themselves. Do not be so quick to turn in your answer and do not be so quick to use your 6 or 7 point wager.
F is for Food – It’s true! Certain foods can make you smarter.
G is for Geography – Geography is often used as a category in Last Call Trivia. If you really want your team to be the best it can be, start trying to memorize more geographic facts. Or, find a Geography nerd to play on your team.
H is for Hints – Get your weekly hints from www.lastcallusa.com. If you do your research beforehand, you could get a free answer at Trivia Night!
I is for Intelligence – “I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.” – Socrates.
J is for Jeopardy – Everybody around here loves Jeopardy. It can’t hurt to enjoy the show while brushing up on your Trivia knowledge. It may even end up helping you at a live Last Call Trivia night!
K is for Kookaburra – It’s a breed of kingfisher from Australia.
L is for LADS – Ah, we’ve come to it at last. LADS system stands for Listen, Advocate, Discuss, and Select. This is a methodical way of making the correct guess. Also consider this when selecting your point wager. GPA stands for Good Point Allocation and BPA is, of course, the other. I have seen too many teams get the first right and only to waste their 6 point wager.
M is for Music – Besides playing songs between questions, there are many things that hosts do with their music selection. Sometimes it the song title simply matches the question, other times the name of the artist can be the clue, and sometimes the song itself can be a clue to the answer. Take all of this into consideration before racing up to turn in your answer.
N is for the Signal and the Noise – The Signal and the Noise is a book by Nate Silver that talks about why predictions are so often wrong in sports or politics. In trivia terms, we may use it when we have a question that only two of a group of six would know. Often, the other players will start making guesses instead of allowing the experts to think clearly. The experts need concentration to read the Signal through all the Noise. When possible, try not to be the Noise.
O is for Oh Face – It is perfectly reasonable to make your Oh Face after you got a question right.
P is for Points – Going back to BPA and GPA, if you know you don’t know a category that is coming up, it is better to take an educated guess than be forced in a corner on your third question. Nobody puts Davy in a corner. And nobody loses points in a Last Call Trivia game unless it’s a Final Question.
Q is for Quiz– What’s the difference between Trivia and Quiz? Quiz is usually a faster pace. Last Call Trivia gives you a 2 to 3 minute song between each question to discuss your answer.
R is for Repeat– It is always okay to ask the host to repeat the question.
S is for Science! – When the host says, “Science” for a category, it is a great idea to yell out SCIENCE! Hosts love that. It is also a good idea to have a science guy on your team, but make sure they are multi-talented. Science does not come as often as items like Literature, Books, and History.
T is for Theme Round – The theme round is one of the most satisfying things to get right while playing Last Call Trivia. Putting together the information from three separate questions shows your true mental mettle. There are several ways to ascertain a theme round. They typically fall on the third, fourth or fifth round; rarely the sixth. Any question that has a lot of parts to it and lists items should make your spidey sense start tingling. There is a benefit to figuring out themes early. The sooner you figure it out, the quicker you can reverse engineer the other questions. I once predicted the theme round after the first question and predicted the next two questions and answers based on the categories. They thought I was a Trivia Jedi. I am.
U is for Understand – Make sure you understand exactly what it is the question is asking you. When a question asks how many people live per square mile in Montana, 1 million is not even close to the right answer.
V is for Virgin – Everyone has a first time playing trivia, so be nice to the new teams. Cheer them on and encourage them to come back.
W is for Win – It’s that feeling you get at the end of a Last Call Trivia show when your team has the most points. It’s pretty great.
X is for “X out” – Always cross out your wrong answers so you don’t get your math and the host’s math confused. Don’t be afraid to challenge the host’s math of you think it is wrong; there are a lot of pieces of paper going their way.
Y is for Yak – Trivia is a good chance to catch up and have a good yak. That was lame, but I’m almost done.
Z is for Zero – Don’t be afraid to bet zero on a hard final question. Mathematically, it is better than making five random guesses.
There you have it. With these tips and tricks, your team will continue to improve and finally make it to the biggest Trivia tournament of the year, Ludimentis! Let us know some of your favorite tips in the comments.