QuizStreak Rules

How to Play

QuizStreak is a daily trivia game. There is a single question with three, hidden clues each day. The goal of the game is to answer the original question using as few clues as possible.

Since only one answer submission is allowed, the player may reveal clues as needed, but must do so in order as they go from hardest to easiest.

Each clue adds information to the original question or asks an entirely different question that refers to the same answer as the original question.

Players may read the question and/or any of the clues and perseverate about their answer until the next question is released, so potentially up to 24 hours. In other words, players have time to “think about it”.

Players should remember that they are answering the original question and not any of the clues. This will help avoid submitting answers that may be marked incorrect.


Streaks are one of the primary achievements in QuizStreak.

Players are encouraged to achieve streaks of correct answers. The simplest streak is a correct answer streak regardless of number of clues taken, but there are also sub-Streaks, which could include things like “correct answers in a row without any clues”, “correct answers in a row with 1 clue or less”, “correct answers in a category”; etc. Currently, here are the streaks tracked on QuizStreak:

  • Graphene Streak - # of right answers in a row using no clues
  • Buckypaper Streak - # of right answers in a row using 1 clue or less
  • Dyneema Streak - # of right answers in a row using 2 clues or less
  • Diamond Streak - # of right answers in a row using 3 clues or less
  • Wins
  • Losses
  • Consecutive Days


100 points are always awarded to players who answer a question without revealing any clues.

All other scores are based on the total number of players who have answered correctly at the given levels, so they are variable.

Overall, the QScore awards more points for uncommon knowledge and fewer points for common knowledge. Differentials between scores will be greatest when a small percentage of players have answered by a particular level and then a large percentage of players answer correctly at the next level, whatever those levels may be.

Variables in the QScore for clues 1, 2, and 3 include:

  • The percentage of total players who answer the original question correctly.
  • The percentage of players who have answered correctly by any given clue level.
  • The total number of incorrect answers.
  • The total number of players.

Another way to understand QScore is by remembering that when a small percentage of total players have answered correctly by any given clue level, the daily QScore is higher. When a high percentage of total players by any given clue level have answered correctly, the daily QScore is lower.

Please consult the Archive’s “Statistics” tab to see how answer distributions impact QScores.


Initially, we will have leaderboards for QScore along with the streaks we mentioned above. Players who choose to participate in league play will have access to an additional leaderboard, which will keep track of the QScore of the players in the league from its beginning (where all scores start at 0) until its end (the average of the daily QScores for the duration of the league).

A note on leaderboards: trivia skill is not a measure of intelligence. It’s a measure of trivia skill. Therefore, whether you are at the top of a leaderboard or the bottom, we are only measuring your skill at this game. We may have Jeopardy! champions playing this game and six-year-olds (hopefully future Jeopardy! champions). It’s inevitable that some people may use their place on a leaderboard as a point of pride.

We hope everyone puts the leaderboards, and their place on them, to good use and not evil.

Individual Play vs. League Play

QuizStreak can be played as an individual game by people who merely want to enjoy the personal challenge of trivia or just want to acquire new knowledge or by players who want to compete against other players.

League Play

League play is defined as a certain number of players competing against each other in a closed group for a limited period of time. For instance, League play might be 20 players answering 20 questions for 20 days to see who achieves the highest score.

Leagues require a minimum of 10 players.


Because QuizStreak has many different types of achievements (streaks vs. score), the benefit of guessing will be entirely dependent on the player.

There are definitely places where a strategic, educated guess can be beneficial, particularly if a player’s main motivation to play is achieving the highest QScore possible. For more insight into that, we recommend looking at the Archive statistics and drawing one’s own conclusions.

Generally-speaking though, we don’t recommend wildly guessing. You can try playing the questions in the archive to get a feel for whether or not your guesses would be beneficial.

However, once QuizStreak introduces league play, we anticipate that guessing will have more utility since scoring will be the method of determining the league champion. For instance, if first place is within reach for a player going into the last day of competition, that player might want to submit a guess, but might be reluctant because they have streaks and/or a QScore to consider outside the league.

To accommodate these strategic opportunities, we’ve created the “Guess Pass”, which allows a league player to guess without impacting their overall QScore or their streaks.

Question Construction

The questions may appear difficult to the average person and even to many skilled trivia players.

It is not our intention to frustrate our players or to stump them. In fact, bad trivia questions are the ones people can’t answer and if you’ve ever played in a trivia game where the questions are too hard, you know what we’re talking about.

However, initially difficult questions are necessary in order for the game to separate the very skilled trivia player and the novice (and for QuizStreak to learn what works and what doesn’t). Rest assured that QuizStreak takes question-writing very seriously both as an entertainment, as research, and as art. A great trivia question is really a wonderful thing to read.

By offering clues, it is the intent of the game to appeal to as wide a range of trivia player as possible and to make the game and the knowledge acquired playing it, informative and fun.

In order for the questions and clues to be accessible to the widest range of players, the answers must be something with which most people are familiar.

Therefore, it is fair to assume, when answering a question, that you (yes, you) have heard of the answer. While this may not always be the case, it will more frequently be the case than not. This provides a possible strategy that can help players answer questions or choose between two answers when one is not easily clued. Simply put, assume you’ve probably heard of the answer.

Another strategy to think about that may help players arrive at answers earlier is that many of the questions have answers that can be answers to other, completely different trivia questions. It is a fairly rare occurrence that all the clues provide additional information to the original question or that the original question is such a specific piece of information that there’s no way to write a totally different question with the same answer.

As an example, let’s say somebody invented a particular device and her last name is spelled “Xqxeniquad”. Well, unless you know her name because you happen to remember it from some book you read, there are really no other clues that we can provide that are going to help get the player to that answer. Most of the questions in QuizStreak try to stay away from this kind of problem.

In general, here is how QuizStreak approaches each phase of the game:

Question - Usually a pretty difficult, but hopefully interesting, piece of trivia that may be missing some essential clues. Like, if this were bar trivia, there’d be more information. In a perfect world, we should see a correct answer percentage between 5% and 15% most of the time. And, we hope, most players will be really excited when an esoteric piece of information that they know pops up and they get a question right without needing clues.

Clue #1 - meant to add information and make the original question easier, thus increasing the “get rate” (correct answer percentage). Can be an entirely different question.

Clue #2 - a medium level question or clue meant to push the get rate of the answer to 50% or above. If you want to know the truth here, the question writer (who is a very average trivia player, but believes himself to be a very good trivia writer) feels like he should be able to get the answer at clue #2 most of the time. This is probably TMI.

Clue #3 - An “easy” clue or question that pushes the get rate above 80%.

Notice we said “in general”. This may not always be how the clues are structured. However, players are welcome to quibble with questions and clues that they perceive to be wildly off of these goals. So, if you’re a pretty good trivia player in other formats and you’re finding our questions and clues frustrating because you’re not performing at the level you usually do, let us know. We will regularly monitor the get rates on QuizStreak questions and make edits if we feel we’re missing this goal wildly. We want players to have fun, not be frustrated. We also want our players to be active participants in improving the site so that it’s the best it can be.

Clue types

Sometimes the clues will provide additional information to the original question and other times the clues will be completely different questions on entirely different subjects that refer to the same answer as the original question. Sometimes the clues will be self-contained questions, pieces of information, statements, or constructions of words that may not make any sense on their own. Ultimately, the player is providing an answer to the original question only.

This raises a potential issue in question construction that could confuse some players. Normally, when writing trivia questions, it is very important to “pin” the question to a particular answer so that the answer is the only answer to the question.

An example might be something like “Name the 1988 movie starring Tom Hanks?” Since Tom Hanks starred in two films in 1988, this question isn’t pinned properly. In order to refer to a specific answer, it needs an additional pin, like “Name the 1988 movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by Penny Marshall?” This question has only one answer: Big. The original question has two possible answers: Big and Punchline.

In QuizStreak, the question will always be pinned to one answer. However, the clues can sometimes be pinned to multiple answers. The intent of the clues is to provide additional information to make answering the original question easier, not to be perfect trivia questions in their own right. Players should always remain aware that they are answering the original question. Answering just a clue could potentially be wrong, particularly if the player provides too much information.

A quick example of such a situation could be a question that is looking for the answer of “Tom” and a clue that says something like “The first name of the man who headlined the 1988 film Big. The player who submits an answer of “Tom Hanks” will be marked incorrect because that is not the answer to the original question. (And we don’t know why were using Tom Hanks for every example so far)


Players are reminded to RTFQ (read the f***ing question - apologies for the profanity but this is a common acronym for trivia players who miss questions because they provide an answer for a question that is not being asked). This will be a more common issue in QuizStreak due potentially to reading up to four separate questions and/or pieces of information. Always go back and read the original question before submitting an answer.

Correct spelling is not required. We will do our best to accept all alternative spellings and/or typos and be open to challenges from players who maybe submit a phonetic spelling to a question that we did not anticipate, among other things. However, that determination is at the sole discretion of QuizStreak.

Unless otherwise requested, ONLY the last name of a person is required for questions that ask for a name. This “rule” is particularly important in QuizStreak where a question and its accompanying clue may refer to a person with the same last name but a different first name. As an example, if the question is “Who was the first President of the United States?” and the first clue is “What American singer and pianist was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924? A submitted answer of”Washington” is all that’s required. A submitted answer of “George Washington” will be marked correct because it answers the original question correctly. An answer of “Dinah Washington”, while answering clue #1 correctly, answers the original question incorrectly and will be marked incorrect. An answer of “Georgie Washington” while getting the last name correct, will be marked incorrect because the first name makes the whole answer wrong. Therefore, it’s best to simply submit a last name on all questions that do not specify a first and last name.


Questions fall into one of seven categories. They are: Art & Words (art, music, literature), Atoms & Aardvarks (science), Balls, Dice, Cards (sports and games), Here & There (geography), Past & Present (current events, history), Screens (movies, tv, internet), and The Kitchen Sink (everything else).

Please keep in mind that the category is determined by the question and that the clues may not fall into the same category.

To avoid confusion, the question category is only revealed after an answer is submitted.


Cheating is defined as the use of or influence from any outside source, even if it is inadvertent (we could go into deep detail on this subject, but will refrain until such time as it is required by too many questions submitted by our players asking for clarifications).

Thus, players can use a writing implement and a piece of paper to make lists and/or do math. That’s it.

It is a requirement of membership and participation in QuizStreak that its players do not cheat. Cheating is prohibited. Players who cheat will be permanently banned.

Another form of cheating is to answer questions selectively that a player knows in an effort to manipulate one’s QScore. For instance, a person who is good at sports questions only answering sports questions and avoiding all questions on other subjects would be a violation of the spirit of the game and defeat the purpose of the QScore.

Can we truly prevent cheating? No. However, if you’re the type of person who sneaks a look at their phone during bar trivia so you can win a $25 gift card, we’d rather you play somebody else’s trivia game. Cheating is anathema to the spirit of trivia. Don’t cheat. We want players who enjoy learning and enjoy the thrill of pulling an answer unexpectedly from out of nowhere. Eventually, you may find yourself in the same room as your fellow trivia players. We want participants who can look another trivia player in the eye, shake that person’s hand, and know that they do so with integrity.


We welcome suggestions. Those suggestions can be on anything, but new features or statistics players would like to see are particularly welcome.

We also welcome complaints. Complaints contain valuable information that we turn into positive criticism. We want to know how we can do things better. While we can’t promise to implement your ideas, we’ll certainly give them consideration. We particularly welcome complaints about question construction. If a question and its clues didn’t work for you, let us know why. We strive NOT to be close-minded in our approach to cluing our questions.

This means that we believe everyone deserves to see their interests reflected in trivia questions. So, if you see us ignoring certain subject areas, let us know. That also means that we will not be receptive to complaints about any subject area not being worthy of representation. You like American football, somebody else likes soccer. Both are legitimate sources of trivia. Replace “American football” and “soccer” with any two other subject areas pretty much, and hopefully you understand.

We also welcome praise. If you like something about QuizStreak, feel free to let us know. It’s also helpful if you tell us why you like something. Whether it’s how a particular question is constructed or the features of the site, it’s always nice to hear that somebody appreciates your work. It’s extra helpful if we know why so that we can continue to understand our players and what they want and like.

Bias in Trivia

Like many areas of culture, trivia is rife with cultural, sexual, and class bias. Generally, questions are overwhelmingly written by white, middle and upper class males for other white, middle and upper class males. Sometimes those are 75-year-old white males who still aren’t over the end of Leave it to Beaver. Although QuizStreak is not immune to these cultural biases, we will strive to be self-aware about them and hope that our trivia community will help us by pointing out areas where we are weak.

We want all in our trivia community to feel represented by the questions we write. So, with abandon, feel free to let us know any area where we need to do some research and we will happily write questions. As hard as we may try NOT to be biased in our questions, it’s simply impossible. What we can promise to do is be completely open to new topic areas. A true lover of trivia is ALWAYS open to learning new information and that’s what we promise.

So let’s just briefly address two areas of bias within QuizStreak. First, there is an American bias. Because the vast majority of players are likely to be American and the question writer is American, it’s difficult to hide that one. It also might not be advantageous for the site to tie itself in knots trying to hide that one. That said, we’re always trying to introduce key pieces of data that illuminate the fact that many non-Americans exist on this planet. Second, there is a popular culture bias. Popular culture (and yes, probably American popular culture) is one of the things that connects people of differing backgrounds. Thus, when we’re struggling for a clue to a particular question, we’re probably going to lean toward popular culture. While the issue of American cultural hegemonic oppression is something we struggle with, we can only promise to do our best and be open to other options.

We also realize that this is a fraught political topic. For some of you, representation is an every day struggle and for others, it is a topic that is over-discussed. We’re not trying to be political or make a statement here. It’s to our benefit as a people and a culture to know more about stuff we don’t know anything about. If we want to grow our trivia community, questions need to reflect the interests of a wider array of players. It’s really that simple.

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