Ah, Trivial Pursuit! This popular Canadian board game is a real test of general knowledge, and we must admit that we love it here at Trivia Bliss! Since its release in 1981, the iconic trivia board game has made quite the stir in the board game community! Most editions follow standard gameplay, though there are some exceptions. Because of these different editions (and there are many), we decided to create this ‘Trivial Pursuit for Dummies’—an explanation of the rules of the most popular versions. If you are completely lost, we hope to answer some of your questions about this world-renowned trivia board game. Read on and avoid family game night confusion for good!
Standard Trivial Pursuit Rules
Let’s start with the OG of the series, the traditional Trivial Pursuit. The aim of the game is to move around the board by correctly answering trivia questions. There are a bunch of different categories that correspond to the colors on the board. Blue is geography, pink for entertainment, yellow is history, arts & literature purple (originally brown), green for science & nature while orange is for sports & leisure. While those are the basics most people know about Trivial Pursuit, here’s a step-by-step guide to explain every aspect of gameplay.
How Do I Set Up Trivial Pursuit?
It’s quite simple. Start by taking everything out of the box. You will find a game board that you have to unfold and lay flat on a surface. Take your card packs out and place them into cardholders if you have any. Each player or team can pick a pie or scoring token that they like and put it in the center of the board. Keep all the wedges in a pile nearby for easy access.
Before the game starts, all the players have to take turns rolling the die to decide who will go first. The player or team that rolled the highest number will go first. Other players should follow clockwise. Then off you go, answering questions and moving along as you respond correctly.
How Do You Move in Trivial Pursuit?
When the game begins, your first task is to move away from the center of the board. You can go down along the spokes to reach the outer track. Then, it is up to you which direction you want to move in. Try to be strategic from the very beginning. Plan your moves and go in the direction that has the best spaces for you to land on.
You can decide to change direction at any point if you haven’t moved yet. When you roll the die, you can go left or right. However, you can’t take one step to the left and two steps to the right. If you’d like to move to the other side of the board, you can go through the middle. Don’t worry if you land on the same space as another player; that’s allowed!
Can You Go Through the Middle in Trivial Pursuit?
Yes, you actually can! You can follow the spokes across the middle to go to the other side. From there, you can continue your journey to the left or right.
What is a Wedge Question in Trivial Pursuit?
Wedge spaces exist in full-size board games. If you land on one and answer the given question correctly, you can add a wedge of that color to your scoring piece. There are only six wedge spaces on the board, which corresponds to the number of categories. Each wedge space features a picture of a wedge.
How Many Wedges Do You Need to Win Trivial Pursuit?
In order to win the game, you need to collect a wedge of each color. There are six colors that correspond to six categories: blue is geography, pink for entertainment, yellow is history, arts & literature is purple (though it was brown originally), green is for science & nature, while orange is for sports & leisure. Your first task is to fill your pie with wedges of different colors!
How Do You Win Trivial Pursuit?
Winning is not as simple as just collecting wedges, though that is important too. Your first task on the way to victory is to collect a wedge of each color/from each category, and there are six. The crux of the game? Keep rolling, keep moving, until you answer a question wrong. And yes, the questions you answer must correspond with the color space you land on. If you land on purple, you can’t answer a question about history. You can continue to roll as long as you keep answering the questions correctly. If you land on a ‘wedge’ space and answer correctly, you add that wedge to your scoring piece.
Once your scoring piece is complete, you have to try and land on the center space on the board. When you succeed in getting there, your competitors can choose any category they want to quiz you on. If you answer this correctly, you win!
How Long Does Trivial Pursuit Take?
On average, a game should take you around an hour or so. The range is between 30 minutes and two hours, the latter being extreme. Some editions offer quicker gameplay. The Family Edition, for instance, is kid-friendly, so the gameplay doesn’t span beyond 45 minutes. Expect that with all Junior editions of Trivial Pursuit, as they are meant to fit the attention span of a young child.
Can You Play Trivial Pursuit By Yourself?
Considering that Trivial Pursuit is a game based on competition, no. You cannot play a regular Trivial Pursuit board game by yourself and enjoy it to the maximum. The game is meant for two-to-six players or teams. Generally speaking, the more people you play with, the more fun it is.
You can, however, try Trivial Pursuit video and online games. Those offer a multiplayer mode, as well as solo play. Choose solo play and enjoy hours of fun gameplay, or click on multiplayer mode and compete against virtual opponents.
Trivial Pursuit Rules PDF
Looking just to quickly download or print out a copy of the rules? Here you can see the instructions from Hasbro, the manufacturers of Trivial Pursuit. We’ve collected the links for various different editions for you here:
|Genus (original) IV||1997||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit Disney||2002||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit Family||2008||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit DVD Star Wars Saga Edition||2005||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit Disney Family Edition||1989||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit Star Wars||1998||Rules PDF|
|Trivial Pursuit Family Edition Master Game||1992||Rules PDF|
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition was launched in 2013 as a special edition of this well-loved board game. While the original game was advised for players aged 16 and over, this edition is suitable for kids from the age of eight upwards. It includes 600 questions for kids and 600 questions for adults, allowing for a fun family night in.
In a nutshell, the Family Edition is not too dissimilar to the original board game. Many elements are the same, you get a single die—although this one has numbers on it (1-5) and a wild roll side which is really fun—you can move anywhere you want to the board if you roll this. The board is also slightly more stylized—an updated version from the original.
It’s important to remember that yellow cards are for kids and blue cards are for adults! Don’t go getting those confused as it might lead to a somewhat awful evening. You can, of course, choose to combine the cards depending on the ages of the kids in your group. This would allow for more variety of questions, but wait and see how your children are dealing with the yellow questions before you go mixing it up.
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition also boasts a “showdown” feature. Using this addition to the classic gameplay, you can challenge another player by trying to steal their wedge. When this mechanism is in action, two players can compete for one wedge at the same time. This certainly adds an extra level of competition and forces players to think strategically.
Trivial Pursuit Junior
So, Trivial Pursuit Junior is essentially what it says on the box—an edition of Trivial Pursuit that is tailored specifically towards kids (unlike the Family Edition which was for adults and children to play together). What’s the difference? Well, the categories for starters! With Every Day, Fun, Science, Stories & Songs, Nature, and Games, these categories are much more interesting for our younger friends!
Everything else remains exactly the same. This would make the perfect gift for any kid who has an awesome interest in the world and who is constantly asking ‘why’ and ‘what’!
Trivial Pursuit 2000s
This. Is. Amazing. A special Trivial Pursuit edition solely for the 2000s? What more could you possibly ask for? An updated interface? Sure, you can have that too!
Trivial Pursuit 2000s includes 1800 questions from six categories. The categories include Places, Entertainment, Events, The Arts, Science & Tech, and Sports & Hobbies. Sounds exciting, right? That’s not all… this edition also allows players to choose to answer a question or stump their opponents based on the topic at the top of each card. What does this mean exactly? The opponent must answer the question instead. If there are more than two people playing, then all opponents must reach a unanimous answer. If this answer is incorrect, the player takes a color wedge and advances. If the opponents are correct, the player stays where they are while everyone else moves forward one space.
Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know It
Oooh this is a fun edition of Trivial Pursuit, bringing higher stakes than ever to the game! On each turn, you have to bet as to whether your opponent knows the answer. If you guess correctly, you can use your winnings to buy the wedges you need for your scoring piece. You can also earn them by answering questions (the normal way!) What is cool about this edition is that you don’t have to know all of the answers to win—you just need to know your friends’ limitations!
Trivial Pursuit Bite-Size Editions
Wedge questions are present in bite-size editions of Trivial Pursuit. Since there is no game board, players simply answer questions and collect question cards. If you are the first one to answer 12 questions correctly and collect six cards, you win. In the game, you start with one question. If you answer it correctly, you are given your second question or wedge question. If you get that one right too, you get to keep the card, which is equivalent to earning a wedge in a full-size game.
Bite-size editions of Trivial Pursuit offer quicker gameplay too, as they don’t come with boards. An average game takes around 30 minutes. Ultimately, the length of gameplay also depends on the number of players. More players will take longer to finish one game. If you’d like to speed up gameplay, play in teams! Add some house rules for faster gameplay and enjoy a quick game of trivia.
Trivial Pursuit Shuffle Cards
Trivial Pursuit Shuffle Cards is a card game introduced by the makers of Trivial Pursuit. When you buy the card game, you’re also encouraged to download the free Shuffle app on your phone. The rules of the game are a bit more complicated than regular Trivial Pursuit.
Get your Question cards out and put them in a pile. Then, deal five Play cards to each player. Whatever cards you’re left with, put them in the Draw pile. When it’s your turn to play, take a card from the Draw pile and play one card from your hand.
You can choose from a variety of cards to play. A colored Wedge card allows you to answer a question from the category of your wedge. If you answer correctly, you get to keep the card in front of you. A Wild Wedge card gives you an opportunity to answer a question from a category of your choice. Finally, a Steal or Double Steal card allows you to steal one or two wedges from in front of any player or players.
Use a Block card to protect yourself from a Steal or Double Steal card. Finally, the Buzz card allows players to steal your questions. If you haven’t answered yet, any player can grab the Buzz card and attempt to answer your question. If they get it wrong though, you get to take one of their wedges.
Much like in regular Trivial Pursuit, the first player to collect a wedge of each color wins. If you enjoy quicker gameplay, Trivial Pursuit suggests you attempt to collect only four wedges regardless of color.
Trivial Pursuit Party
The purpose of Trivial Pursuit Party is to facilitate quicker and easier gameplay for groups of people. You start the game by choosing a playing piece and placing it in the center of the game board. Put the cards in a cardholder for easy access. Roll the die and go!
When you land on a colored space, you get to answer a question in the category of that color. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer; you can ask a friend for help. In case you and your friend answer correctly, you both get a wedge each. If you answer wrong, nobody gets a wedge.
If you land on a wild space, you get to pick the category without looking at the questions. In this round, other players can “steal” the wedge by buzzing in their answers. If they think they know the correct answer, they have to yell “Got It.” You get to answer first, and the other players get a go only if you answered incorrectly. Then, if another player answers correctly, they get a wedge. If not, they get a wedge taken away from them.
As with most Trivial Pursuit board games, you have to earn six wedges, one from each category, to win.
Trivial Pursuit Harry Potter
There are two different editions of Trivial Pursuit Harry Potter. The full-size edition is played the same way any other Trivial Pursuit edition is played. Follow the instructions outlined here. In short, after placing your playing piece in the center of the board, you roll the die and choose which way to go. Go around the board answering questions and collecting wedges. Your goal is to collect all six, one from each color. Once you’ve done that, you have to make your way to the center space on the board and answer a question from a category picked by your competitors.
The bite-size edition of Trivial Pursuit Harry Potter features different gameplay. Bite-size editions don’t come with boards, so the gameplay is reduced to shooting questions back and forth. When you get a question right, you are offered another question right away. If you get that one right too, you get to keep the card. Collect six cards or answer 12 questions to win.
Suggested House Rules for Trivial Pursuit
So you love Trivial Pursuit but you want to spice it up a little. Here are some ideas for House Rules you can implement next time you play! One word of advice? Make sure everyone is aware in advance so there are no nasty surprises or hard feelings!
1. The Higher You Roll, The Harder The Question
This basically means that the question on the card is based on the number rolled on the die. This variant certainly adds more of an element of random luck to the game which we certainly appreciate!
2. Play Nice
If the question-asker doesn’t know the answer and believes the person answering wouldn’t have any idea, they can replace the card and draw again. This would be a cool rule to implement if you are playing as a family and you don’t want anyone singled out for not knowing answers.
3. You Said WHAT?!
The moment someone pauses or hesitates using the words ‘hmm’ or ‘errrrm,’ everyone must stand up and do a silly dance. That’s the family-friendly version. Are you over 21 and drinking? Then that person has to do a shot!
4. “No Pinks”
If you’re stuck in a cross-generational situation playing the original Genus Edition of Trivial Pursuit, the entertainment questions are downright impossible for non-Boomers. Sky King anyone?? Unfortunately, not everyone’s an expert on 1950s kids shows nowadays.
If all the more “seasoned” players are on one team, they could be kind and spot the younger teams the pink pie or even agree not to ask a pink question for the final challenge. Have mercy!
Maybe the most famous Trivial Pursuit rules dispute ever was a plot point on the show Seinfeld back in the ’90s. You can read more about this famous episode—and decide what you would do in the same situation—in our article here.
5. Adult Version
Well, we wont get into that right now. But feel free to read our suggested rules here.
Still on the fence about Trivial Pursuit? Not to worry, there are a variety of themed editions that you can try. From the World of Harry Potter to Dragonball Z, from 007 to Lord of the Rings, you are sure to find a Trivial Pursuit edition to suit!
Though Trivial Pursuit features a level of strategy, it is still one of the easiest board games to learn. Follow the instructions outlined above to play your next game of Trivial Pursuit. Trivia knowledge is important, but knowing the rules and planning your moves ahead can definitely help.