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Trivial Pursuit – How to Play Without the Board: 14 Alternatives (Variations…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Playing Trivial Pursuit is one of the most entertaining ways to spend time with your friends. It’s usually played on a board; however, the heart of the game is in the thousands of intriguing and humorous questions. So, can you still play Trivial Pursuit if you don’t have a board?

Read on to find out how you can use the below-mentioned suggestions for a fun and memorable game of Trivial Pursuit.

Here are 14 things to consider if you want to play Trivial Pursuit without the board:

1. Play It Like a Game Show

This one mimics the flow of a television game show. It starts when one player picks a card, silently reads through the questions, and poses the question they prefer. The rest of the players can shout a buzzword such as “me” to answer the questions, just like one would hit a buzzer during a tv game show.

The first person to shout gets the chance to answer the question. If they answer correctly, they win a point. If their answer is wrong, other players can yell the buzzword to take a shot at answering the question. Remember that participants can shout the buzzword even before a player completes reading out the question.

2. Round the Clock

This variant of Trivial Pursuit is played with the players in a circle. The player that starts the game picks a card and asks a question to the person to their left. If the person gets the answer right, they get to keep the card and win a point. But if the player gets the answer wrong, the question automatically moves to the person on their left. 

Do this until someone wins a pint. If no one is able to answer the question correctly and the card goes back to the player that started the game, the card is put away. As the cards are kept and put away, the game continues clockwise, with the next player drawing a new card. 

3. Team 1 vs. Team 2

Small or large teams of players can play this variation of Trivial Pursuit. Let’s say we have two teams: 1 and 2. Team 1 will get a card and ask one question that they think team 2 is not likely to answer correctly. If team 2 doesn’t get the answer right, they pick a card and do the same to team 1.

If team one also fails to answer the question, they will now ask team 2 two questions from a new card they will have picked. If team 2 fails to answer the two new questions, it will be their turn to ask team 1 three questions. 

The number of questions keeps increasing after each round of failed answers. If either team gets an answer right, they win a point and return to single questions.

4. Introduce Betting

In this version, you can make things exciting by introducing other people who will bet on the players. Here’s how it works. 

A player will pick a card to ask another player a question. Two outside participants will flip a coin to decide who bets first and bet that the player will answer either correctly or incorrectly. They’ll agree on a predetermined amount of money.

Of course, you can use any sort of stand-in for money if you want to keep things light, such as coins or points.

5. Six Questions

This variation can be thrilling if the players are familiar with the cards or generally have a strong knack for trivia. The game is played by asking questions to players around a circle. In their turn, a player will answer a question from all six categories. The order of the categories doesn’t matter—it’s up to the responder to decide.

If the player answers all the six questions correctly in a row, they win a point. If the player fails to answer one question correctly, the turn moves on to the next person in the circle. This person also answers a new set of questions from all categories. 

Once the circle is complete, it’s the next player’s turn to ask the questions. 

6. Roll and Ask

This is a simple version of Trivial Pursuit that anyone can play, whether you’re alone or with playmates. It starts with a dice roll to choose a category. You then ask yourself or the other player the question. 

If they get it right, they keep the card and score a point. If they answer incorrectly, it’s their turn to throw the dice and ask you a question. Easy peasy! The winner can be the first player to reach a particular number of wins. You can also set a timer and end the game after the timer goes off. 

7. Trivial Pursuit Live!

You can try Trivial Pursuit: Live! if you’re tired of the classic board version of the game. Trivial Pursuit Live! is an online game you can play on various gaming consoles. 

This version of the game gives you the likeness of a TV game show to provide you with a more thrilling experience as you answer questions. 

8. Winning Moves

If you want to have some fun around a specific knowledge area, Winning Moves could be your fix. This card game is a bite-size version of Trivia Pursuit that contains 600 questions on a particular subject.

Players roll a die and answer trivia questions about pop culture topics such as Harry Potter, The Beatles, Rick and Morty, and so forth. 

9. Picture Pursuit

Picture Pursuit is a Trivial Pursuit variation with a unique twist to it. Besides moving around a board, players answer questions to get clues to pictures of famous people and places. 

The game comes with a plastic holder that contains the card with the picture. Every time a team answers a question correctly, the holder moves a little to reveal bits of the image. The goal is to identify the picture on the card as early as possible.

10. Trivial Pursuit Pocket Player Set

This variation of Trivial Pursuit is portable and doesn’t require a board. It comes with two scoring devices and two packs of cards. 

To play the game, spin the scoring device to pick a question and slide it to monitor your score. To win a round, you must answer correctly in all six categories before your opponent does.

11. Trivial Pursuit: Steal

The Steal card game is another option that doesn’t need a board. With 330 cards, the game is played by collecting wedges whenever you answer questions.

But there’s more. If your opponent doesn’t know the answer and you do, you can steal their wedges by making a buzz and answering the question.

12. Trivial Pursuit: RPM Edition

Trivial Pursuit RPM Edition: A History of Music is the perfect game for music trivia lovers. It includes questions on many music genres.

13. Play Trivial Pursuit Online

No board? No problem. Today, there are several online apps and websites where you can go and enjoy playing Trivial Pursuit, even if you don’t own a game console. If you are not too fussy about the human bit of playing trivia, you can sign up for games such as Tabletop Simulator.

14. Make Your Own Trivial Pursuit

It must sound counterintuitive to make up your own set of questions and answers to a trivia game that you’re about to play, but you could actually have way more fun than you would with standard editions of Trivial Pursuit. 

Platforms like Sporcle let you create your own boardless version of the game, especially if there’s a particular subject area you like. 

Key Takeaways

Trivial Pursuit doesn’t always have to be played on a board. Today, there are tons of variations of the game. The most common ones include:

  • Playing with card sets and teams.
  • Using boardless versions of the game.
  • Making your own trivia game.
  • Playing Trivial Pursuit online.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.