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How Do You Play Trivial Pursuit? (5 Minute Guide)

How Do You Play Trivial Pursuit? (5 Minute Guide)


If you love trivia, you’ll love the Trivial Pursuit board game. The game arrived on the board-game-scene in 1981 and there have been many editions covering different trivia themes since. Trivia questions cover six topic categories-each represented by a color. Originally, the categories were Geography (blue), Entertainment (pink), Arts & Literature (originally brown, later purple), Science & Nature (green), Sports & Leisure (orange), and History (yellow). As new editions emerged, the categories changed. For example, in the Disney edition, the categories are cartoons & movies, Donald & Mickey, Disney facts, etc.

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The game includes a game board, six colored circular scoring pieces, colored wedges that fit into the scoring pieces, a die, question cards and a card holder. The cards contain a question for each color category on one side and answers on the opposite side. The board looks like a six-spoke wheel with the starting position in the center and a colored category space at the end of each spoke. Once shuffled, the cards are placed into the card holder. Each player begins by placing his scoring piece in the middle of the board in the starting position. Every player rolls the die and the player with the highest roll goes first. Play progresses to the left.


The goal of the game is to collect all six colored wedges by correctly answer trivia questions.


A player begins his turn by rolling the die and moving his scoring piece the number of spaces rolled. Players can choose to move down any spoke, and more than one player can land on the same space. After landing on a space, a different player draws the top card and reads the question corresponding to the space color. If the player answers the question correctly, he rolls again and repeats the process until he gives an incorrect answer.

Players can move in any direction, but cannot retrace their steps on the same roll. When a player lands on a category space and correctly answers the question, he adds a wedge of the same color to his scoring piece. If the player already has that wedge, the space is treated like a normal space. If a player lands in the middle of the board and has not yet collected all wedges, he can choose the question category. However, a colored wedge can only be earned while on a category space. There are also several spaces that allow the player to roll again without answering a question.

After collecting all colored wedges, a player must move back to the starting position. It may take several turns to move the number of spaces needed. If the player rolls a number higher than the remaining spaces, he must wait another turn until he rolls the exact number needed to move to the center space. Once on that space, he must correctly answer the question in a category selected by the other players. Players are not allowed to read the questions before selecting the category.  

Ending the Game:

The winner of the game is the first player to fill his scoring piece with a wedge of each color and correctly answer a final question.

Scoring the Game:

Scoring is easy and doesn’t require any calculating or written tracking. Every player can see all scores by observing the colored wedges in each scoring piece.  

Common House Rules:

  1. Before the game starts, players may want to pre-determine a time limit to answer a question and how closely the answer has to match the one printed on the card. Players will need a timer if a time limit is determined.
  2. Players may also choose to play as teams rather than individuals. Team members can openly discuss potential answers.
  3. Questions must be answered without any assistance from players other than those on the same team.
  4. Another option is aimed at preventing one person from a never-ending turn. This might be the case if one player is an exceptional trivia buff. This option requires play to move to the next player after a wedge is earned. 

Variations of the game:

One or more of the following may apply across different editions of the game:

  1. A pawn may be used to move around the board instead of the scoring piece. Players still have to fill their scoring pieces, but they are not used on the board.
  2. A separate plastic box may be included for each card category. In this case, the cards are placed by the corresponding game-board-category. In this version, the question asked on the card is based on the number rolled on the die; the higher the die roll, the more difficult the question.
  3. A pie sign on the die allows a player to go to any space of their choosing.

It is important to keep in mind that the correct answer may have changed since the release of the game. This is particularly true when it comes to world and sporting records. It may be necessary to look up the answer if a player believes the answer printed on the card is incorrect and the edition of the game being played is older.


  1. Listening is key. Sometimes there is a clue to the answer from within the question.
  2. The ability to move in any direction can be of tremendous benefit. If a player is trying to collect a blue wedge and answers the blue question incorrectly, he has to move off the blue wedge during his next turn. However, he can move right back to that space in the second turn following the incorrect answer.


Time to Play: 90 Minutes

Alternative titles of the game:

Quelques Arpents de Pièges

Remue Méninges


Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

Trivial Pursuit Edición Genus

Trivial Pursuit: Edition Genus

Trivial Pursuit: Edizione Genus

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Editie

Trivial Pursuit: Genus-Mestaripainos

Trivial Pursuit: Genus-Painos

Trivial Pursuit: Genus-upplaga

Trivial Pursuit: Komplettset Genus

Trivial Pursuit: Master Game – Genus Edition


The Trivium

Suggested Player Age: 12+

Community Suggested Player Age: 12+

List of Expansions:

Trivial Pursuit Questions: Music Edition (2016)    

Trivial Pursuit Questions: 1200 Brand New Questions and Answers (2015)

Trivial Pursuit: 007 Edition (2015)

Trivial Pursuit: Dinosaurs (2014)

Trivial Pursuit: Rijnlands Lyceum (2010)

The Ultimate Trivial Pursuit Question & Answer Book (2010)

Trivial Pursuit: World Football – Bite-Size (2005)

Trivial Pursuit: Biographies Edition (2004)

Trivial Pursuit: Kronen Zeitung 1900 – 2000 (1999)

Trivial Pursuit: Hitradio Ö3 (1997)

Trivial Pursuit: 1997 Edition (1996)          

Trivial Pursuit: Essen & Trinken (1995)

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Kartensatz – 2400 Fragen und Antworten (1995)

Trivial Pursuit: Country Music (1993)

Trivial Pursuit: Edition Europe (1993)

Trivial Pursuit: Holland Editie (1993)

Trivial Pursuit: Disney Edition Kartensatz (1992)

Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition – Card Set (1992)

Trivial Pursuit: Bayern Edition (1991)

Trivial Pursuit: Danmarksudgave (1991)

Trivial Pursuit: Édition Cinéma (1991)

Trivial Pursuit: Edition XXème siècle (1991)

Trivial Pursuit: Kansallispainos (1991)

Trivial Pursuit: Sverige-Upplagan (1991)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: Flicks (1989)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: Wild Card (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: Junior II (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: Sports Enhancement Card Set (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: The 1980’s Card Set (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: The Vintage Years Edition (1920’s – 1950’s) – Card Set (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: TV (1989)

Trivial Pursuit: Edición Jóvenes Carrozas (1988)

Trivial Pursuit: Édition des stars (1988)

Trivial Pursuit: Edition France (1988)

Trivial Pursuit: Entertainment Edition (1988)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: Rock & Pop (1987)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: Sports (1987)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: The Good Life (1987)

Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: War & Victory (1987)

Trivial Pursuit: Sports Edition (1987)

Forte Trivia Cards Volume II (1985)

Medical Trivia (1985)

Trivial Pursuit: RPM Edition (1985)

Trivial Pursuit: Welcome to America Edition (1985)

Trivial Pursuit: Young Players Edition Card Set (1985)

USA Trivia Tour (1985)

Forte Trivia Cards, Volume One (1984)

Love, Sex and Romance Trivia Card Set (1984)

Trivial Pursuit: Genus II (1984)

Trivial Pursuit: All Star Sports Edition (1983)

Trivial Pursuit: Baby Boomer Card Set (1983)

Trivial Pursuit: Silver Screen Edition (1983)

1650 more Questions & Answers for use with Trivial Pursuit: Set I, Group I (1981)

1650 more Questions & Answers for use with Trivial Pursuit: Set I, Group II (1981)              

1650 more Questions & Answers for use with Trivial Pursuit: Set I, Group III (1981)

1650 more Questions & Answers for use with Trivial Pursuit: Set I, Group IV (1981)

Continuation Trivia: Set One

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition (1981)

Community Rating:  5.2 of 10

Popularity: 16,729  

Difficulty: Easy

Published Year: 1981

Creator/Publisher Credits:


               Scott Abbot

Chris Haney


               Diset S. A.

Eskifell hf.



Horn Abbot International

Horn Abbot Ltd.

Parker Brothers


Selchow & Righter

Zontik Games

Link to Official Game Site & Rules or Publishers Site: Wikipedia Page for Trivial Pursuit


1993 Games Magazine Hall of Fame Inductee

1990 Mensa Select Winner

1985 Årets Spel Best Family Game Winner

If You Like This Game, You’ll Also Like:

iKnow, The Best of TV & Movies, Wit’s End, Wits & Wagers, Linkee, Smart Ass, and Ultimate Pub Trivia

If You Don’t Like This Game, You Should Try:

Scrabble, Yahtzee, Five Crowns