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How to Play Trivial Pursuit? Game Rules

Trivial Pursuit was once the “must-have” party game! While its popularity has lessened slightly over time, this general knowledge board game is still a popular choice. You can learn all about the Trivial Pursuit rules with our in-depth guide. 

Trivial Pursuit might seem like quite a simple game at first glance. After all, you just need to answer questions, don’t you? Well, Trivial Pursuit is a little more complicated than that; let’s first take a look at the history of the game. 

What is Trivial Pursuit?

One of the first things that may surprise you about Trivial Pursuit is that it was actually sold in the early 1980s. Many people mistakenly believe the game to be much older. Trivial Pursuit was created in Canada by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. 

The two men were planning to play Scrabble. However, once they realized they had pieces missing, they created their own game instead. This experimental game would lay the foundation for what would later become Trivial Pursuit. 

After a couple of years of development, the first Trivial Pursuit game was released in 1981. The game went through numerous publishers till the rights were purchased by Hasbro in 2008. Numerous different versions of Trivial Pursuit have been released as well. 

It might not rival the numerous themed Monopoly sets, but there are still dozens of different options. We’ll be focusing on the classic version of Trivial Pursuit for our guide. This is also the option we recommend for new players. 

What You’ll Need to Play Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is still quite a popular game, so finding a set shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, the difficulty will likely be in finding the right set. With deluxe editions, family sets, and numerous themed game boards, finding a standard Trivial Pursuit game board might be a little tricky. 

The product below showcases what you would be looking for. Some of the other sets offer cosmetic differences, however, others will offer different kinds of gameplay. Exploring other Trivial Pursuit games is fun and highly recommended. But try the classic version first to get used to the gameplay. 

On Sale Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit Game: Classic Edition

The Game Board

The Trivial Pursuit game board is very striking. The shape can be best described as a wheel with six different spokes coming off it. Each space on the board will be a different color. These colors are used to designate the subjects players will be asked. 

At the center of the board, you’ll find a hub space. At the end of each spoke on the board, there is also a category headquarters space. These are also known as wedge spaces. Your aim is to get to these squares, answer the question successfully and collect a wedge. Which nicely leads us to the next piece.  

The Pieces/ Wedges

Every player in Trivial Pursuit will have a playing piece. These pieces are circular and have 6 triangular wedge gaps in them. When you start playing your playing piece will be empty. 

You’ll need to move your piece around the board to collect wedges. Wedges come in 6 different colors, one for each of the different trivia categories. You’ll find 6 playing pieces and 6 wedges of each color in your Trivial Pursuit box. 

The Trivia Cards 

So, this is the main event, isn’t it? In Trivial Pursuit, players will spend a lot of their time picking up trivia cards and hopefully answering them successfully! The exact number varies, but you will usually get over 400 different trivia cards. 

Each card will have an easy, medium, and hard question printed on it. The answers to each question are printed on the back of the card. Under traditional Trivial Pursuit rules, the difficulty of your question is decided by your dice roll. 

If you roll a 1 or 2 then you answer the easy question. If you roll a 3 or 4 you answer the medium question. And finally, if you roll a 5 or 6 you must answer the hard question. The table below shows what each color card represents. 

Blue Geography
Pink Entertainment
Yellow History 
Purple Arts/ Literature
GreenScience/ Nature

Each colored deck of cards has its own corresponding cardholder as well. This makes choosing the appropriate card easy. 

The Dice 

Finally, we have the dice. There isn’t really much to say about this. In Trivial Pursuit, you move with a single dice. However, you can control the movement in a number of different ways. The unusual board shape in Trivial Pursuit means you have more control over how you move. 

Do you go down one of the spokes or travel around the circle? Choosing your movement strategically can make a big difference when it comes to winning Trivial Pursuit. 

Trivial Pursuit Rules and Gameplay 

The Aim of The Game

The aim of Trivial Pursuit is to collect a wedge of each color. You do this by traversing the board and getting to each of the 6 wedge spaces. Once you get to wedge space you need to answer the question successfully to collect the colored wedge. 

When you have collected each of the wedges, you need to move towards the hub space at the center of the board. Once you have successfully landed on the hub space you need to answer one final question. 

The subject of the question is decided by the remaining players. If you answer the question successfully the game is over and you win. If you don’t, your turn ends and you have to wait till you can try again. 

Setting Up Trivial Pursuit 

Setting up Trivial Pursuit is quite simple. First, place each colored deck of cards in the appropriate cardholder. Under normal Trivial Pursuit rules there can be between 2 and 6 players. 

However, some people do play Trivial Pursuit in teams as well. Each player/ team should take a playing piece. You should place the different colored wedges into the gaps around the spokes in the board. This will make taking them much quicker during the course of gameplay. 

Each player starts in the center hub of the board. To decide who goes first everyone should roll the dice. The player with the highest roll will go first, with play continuing in a clockwise motion from then on.  

Winning The Game 

Under the traditional Trivial Pursuit rules, a player’s turn continues till they have answered a question incorrectly. This means players should move carefully to ensure they land a subject they are confident they can win. 

However, in order to win the game, they will need to answer at least 1 question from each subject. Once a player collects all 6 of the wedges they need, they can move towards the center hub. 

The player will need to move into the hub with an exact roll in order to be asked the final question. The best strategy to employ if you want to win is to keep your turn for as long as you can. This can mean taking a longer path to avoid subjects/ questions you aren’t confident you can answer. 

Trivial Pursuit – A General Knowledge Masterclass 

Trivial Pursuit is one of the few games that really make general knowledge questions fun! The game is essentially a race between players. And there is a lot of room for strategy as well. So, why not give Trivial Pursuit a try? It’s an amazing party game but also quite challenging and strategic.

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