Scrabble will always be a classic favorite game, as it requires you to use a triple combination of knowledge, language and strategy. While it is a fun and light hearted game to play with your friends and family, it is more enjoyable the more you improve in this game.Often it is difficult to come up with words that will allow you to get better score than your opponents. This game is ideally played between 2-4 members. Like chess, playing Scrabble competitively is time-bound and therefore requires dedicated practice and training to emerge a champion.Playing competitive Scrabble has multiple cognitive and social benefits in addition to expanding the vocabulary. In countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nigeria this is recognised as an official sport. The major difference between a competitive scrabble and regular recreational scrabble is the number of words being played. Competitive scrabble is often time bound and each player has 25 minutes to make the strategic move. Failure to stay within the set time earns negative results. Most scrabble tournaments can last anywhere from 3 to 6 days. Playing competitive scrabble often requires great patience along with gaming skills.It has been found that individuals who are skilled at playing chess are more adept at playing scrabble. Games like this can actually help students at school as well.
Originally called Criss Cross, the game, was developed by Alfred M. Butts, an architect, in 1931. It was redesigned, renamed as Scrabble, and marketed by James Brunot in 1948. It was first sold in Great Britain in 1954.Later this game was produced in many foreign languages , braille as well as magnetic editions.Tournaments have been played in United States since 1973. In 2005 Scrabulous, an unauthorized online version of Scrabble, was released by Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla and upon facing lawsuit from Hasbro, owner of Scrabble’s North American rights, the creators disabled Scrabulous.
Playing scrabble is unique when it is compared to other board games. Regardless of the fact that you win or lose, this game helps in promoting a great sense of satisfaction and confidence therefore boosting the well being of a person. This can be called a stress buster game and can equally promote bonding between players. In India multiple scrabble tournaments are held and these are rated by the Scrabble association of India. SAI and Karnataka State Scrabble Association regularly organize tournaments which see participation from players across the country as well as from other parts of the world.
14 skills and traits needed to be good at scrabble:
- Quick thinking skills.
- Strong vocabulary.
- Excellent spelling skills.
- The skill of picking up on opportunities quickly.
- Strong decision-making skills.
- Knowledge and understanding of prefixes and suffixes.
- Quick learning skills.
- Good emotional control.
- Strong organizational skills.
- Anagramming skills.
- Mathematical skills.
- Strategic thinking.
Nigel Richards is named as the best scrabble player in the world. He has held the first or second ranking on the continent since 2002, the year of his first National Championship. He holds the record for the highest Scrabble rating ever achieved.
If you want to improve your gaming skills, remember to rote learn these tips and tricks to ace the game. Let us get started with some strategies.
Board Control: Let your defense risk it. Avoid opening up high-scoring opportunities unless you are scoring highly yourself. Try to keep the board open so that there are places to get your bonus words down.
Love the word Q: This is a difficult letter to make words with and it can either make or break your game strategy. In order to play your Q better it is important that you memorize some words that will help you to play better than your opponent. Knowing a few words like Quiz, Quant, IQ helps!
Inserting suffix and prefix:It is important to understand how adding suffix or prefix can help you while playing scrabble. Prefix and Sufix are words that are either placed in the beginning or in the end of a word . For example, adding endings like ING, ED or ABLE or beginnings such as UN, DIS or RE.
Many I’s:This particular vowel problem occurs frequently.Some words can get you out of trouble - KIWI and LIMIT for instance. Why not make a list of 4- and 5-letter words with two I’s. egILIA, INIA, HILI, PILI, WILI?
Matching two letter words: Mastering these words will open up many possibilities as they allow you to form words on your tray, not just on the board.these are those words you use every day, such as To, Do, Be and My, but there are a host of more obscure words which you should keep in your bounty of potential hooks.
Rearranging your words: This may sound simple but rearranging words can be beneficial as it allows you to see words that might have been previously overlooked.
Having a defense strategy: While playing Scrabble,Always be looking out for the ways they can score high, and try to prevent it.This may mean having to play low scoring words so that your opponent does not score high. This is a sneaky tip that your opponent may not be aware of!
Using the word S: In addition to suffix and prefix words, the letter S can also come in handy as suffix.Often this comes when you can build off the S in the same turn and earn points from both words as seen in the example below by adding onto FRIEND with the S.
Making compound words:Do you remember what compound words are? Words like foreground or tabletop are words that are made after adding two words together,. If you can make their word into a compound word, you could extend over a triple play without them realizing they have left you open to such a move.
Swapping your letters: Don’t be afraid to swap your letters should it be required to do so. If you are lumbered with a tray full of vowels or consonants and can score no more than 10 points a turn, it is time to swap. Many people, even those who have played for many years, resist doing this and as such score less.
Exchanging letters is a 3 step process. First, remove the tiles you’re going to turn in from your rack and place them face down on the table. Then draw an equal number of tiles from the bag and place them on your rack. Finally, put the face-down tiles back into the bag.You don’t want to reveal the tiles you are exchanging to your opponents.
Passing rather than exchanging: Rather than exchange tiles, you can also pass your turn and take a zero score.In this case if all of the players pass twice in succession, the game ends.
So when to exchange? It is interesting to note that tournament players exchange tiles less often than casual players. In part, this is because they know more allowed Scrabble words, so they see more opportunities to form them on the board each turn. They also look for the chance to form a bingo during their next turn, especially when with opportunities to add suffixes such as -ing or to make plurals.
Learn new words: Two of the best ways to score fairly better than most of your opponents is practicing and improvising in the game. Another is to learn new words. This can be beneficial for you both in your word game as well as in daily life.
Using bonus squares: Bonus squares are easy ways to boost your score and you can strategize these bonus spots to open up when it is your turn. Note, combining bonus squares is even better; For example if you have a word that hits on 2 double word score tiles, you get 4 times the score instead of just double!
Time Strategy: You have limited time to play the game. Use it wisely.As a general guide, try to make about seven moves in the first 10 minutes of your allotted time, and five moves in the next 10 minutes.
Luck and Attitude: Accept your losses and your wins graciously. Learn from it.
How many points is each Scrabble tile worth?
Scrabble Tiles Listed by Point Values
0 points: blank/wild
1 point: E, A, I, O, N, R, T, L, S, U
2 points: D, G
3 points: B, C, M, P
4 points: F, H, V, W, Y
5 points: K
8 points: J, X
10 points: Q, Z
Scrabble Tile Distribution and Point Value
Blank/Wild: 2 tiles, 0 points
A: 9 tiles, 1 point
B: 2 tiles, 3 points
C: 2 tiles, 3 points
D: 4 tiles, 2 points
E: 12 tiles, 1 point
F: 2 tiles, 4 points
G: 3 tiles, 2 points
H: 2 tiles, 4 points
I: 9 tiles, 1 point
J: 1 tile, 8 points
K: 1 tile, 5 points
L: 4 tiles, 1 point
M: 2 tiles, 3 points
N: 6 tiles, 1 point
O: 8 tiles, 1 point
P: 2 tiles, 3 points
Q: 1 tile, 10 points
R: 6 tiles, 1 point
S: 4 tiles, 1 point
T: 6 tiles, 1 point
U: 4 tiles, 1 point
V: 2 tiles, 4 pointsW: 2 tiles, 4 points
X: 1 tile, 8 points
Y: 2 tiles, 4 points
Z: 1 tile, 10 points
Official Scrabble Dictionary
Currently for Scrabble, the official dictionary is Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Fifth Edition, published August 6, 2014. This dictionary can be purchased at bookstores or online. It included a few handy new two-letter words that were missing from the fourth edition. These are DA, GI, PO, and TE.The prior edition was published in 2005. It created controversy by introducing the two-letter words QI and ZA, which are extremely useful for making high-score words.Alternatively you can also use the online tool at Hasbro to look up official Scrabble words.
For tournament players, use the Official Tournament and Club Word List, Third Edition. This is also published by Merriam-Webster. It was published in 2014 .The need for an official Scrabble dictionary developed after the players wanted an authorized dictionary.
Study up- words to improve your score
Becoming an advanced Scrabble player requires practice as well as study. With a few tricks up your sleeves even the modest beginners can ace this game. This words list is the perfect fodder for you the next time you invite your friends for a game night.
Four letter words
A to E
- ADZE (a woodworking tool)
- AZAN (a call to prayer)
- AZON (a type of bomb)
- BIZE (alternate of bise, a cold wind)
- BOZO (a foolish person)
- BUZZ (sound of vibration)
- CHEZ (home)
- COZY (providing comforting warmth)
- CZAR (a person with great power)
F to J
- FAZE (to cause hesitation)
- FIZZ (to become bubbly or foaming)
- FOZY (too ripe)
- FRIZ (alternate of frizz, to form into tight curls)
- FUTZ (to waste time)
- FUZE (part of a military munition)
- FUZZ (frizzy hair)
- GAZE (a long, fixed look)
- GEEZ (an exclamation)
- HAZE (atmospheric condition obscuring visibility)
- HAZY (indistinct)
- JAZZ (a genre of music)
- JEEZ (an exclamation)
K to O
- LAZE (to waste time)
- LAZY (unwilling to make an effort)
- LUTZ (a figure skating jump)
- MAZE (a complex system of paths)
- MAZY (like a maze)
- MEZE (small portions of appetizers)
- MOZO (an attendant to a bullfighter)
- ORZO (a form of pasta)
- OUZO (a Greek alcoholic drink)
- OYEZ (traditional saying to open a court of law)
P to T
- PHIZ (an obsolete term for face)
- PREZ (short for president)
- RITZ (an ostentatious display of elegance)
- SIZE (how large something is)
- SIZY (viscid)
- SPAZ (a hyperactive person)
- TZAR (a person with great power)
U to Z
- WHIZ (a skilled person)
- ZAGS (sharp turns)
- ZANY (buffoonish)
- ZAPS (electrical shocks)
- ZARF (an ornamental container)
- ZINC (a metallic element)
- ZING (a high-pitched humming sound)
- ZIPS (moves very quickly)
- ZITI (a type of pasta)
- ZITS (plural of zit)
- ZOEA (larval stage of crustaceans)
- ZOIC (pertaining to animals)
- ZONE (a region)
- ZONK (an unfavorable card or token)
- ZOOM (to move quickly)
- ZOON (an animal; the sole product of a single egg)
- ZOOS (plural of zoo)
Vowel rich words with A,B,C,D and E
An “A” tile or two can be your best chance of getting rid of some vowels. This is one of the longest lists you’ll find. Use words like AALIIS, ABASIA, ACACIA, ACULEI.
Having a “B” can come in handy. BAILEE, BEANIE, BOOBOO,BOOHOO, BOUGIE are some of the words that can be used.
You may be able to “C” some of these words in your rack if you look closely!
CAEOMA, COOCOO, COOEED, COOTIE or CURIAE.
Some words with ‘D’, DAIMIO, DOOLEE, DOOZIE.
An “E” or two will make it far “easier” to score some points by using words like EELIER, ELODEA, EKUELE, EPIZOA, or EUREKA
6 life lessons I picked up during my Quarantine playing
Being patient -It can be tempting to put down a good letter the second you get it, but waiting for the perfect time can increase your chances of scoring even more.
Good defense- Even if you don’t have the best letters, it’s important to put yourself out there and get the spot before someone else does.
Luck matters- Sometimes it really is about luck. You can get the worst letters and no matter what you do, there is no winning score to be made.
Make the most out of the letter you have- No matter what your letters are, you have to make the most of them. Just like real life situations, in this game too you will find yourself in good letter days and bad letter days.
Don’t be afraid to make the risky move- If you want to win, learn to take risks. You don’t know what letters your opponent has and you never will if you don’t take a chance.That’s okay.Just be brave.
A good game- Whether it is a win or a loss for you, the matter that you have let out all your strategies and played well against your opponent - is a good game. Keep the gaming practice up and keep challenging yourself to be better at it next time.
Coming across this game, playing it and thinking about it in a different perspective has served as a reminder to me that anything can serve as wisdom if you look for it. Inspiration is everywhere.