Interesting Facts About Scrabble


Scrabble is an interesting word game involving two or four players.The players earn points by putting tiles on a game board divided into a 15-15 grid of squares, each carrying a single letter.. These tiles must form words that could read from left to right or from right to left and be included in any standard dictionary or lexicon. This name Scrabble is a trademark of Mattel in most of the world, except the USA and Canada where it is a trademark of Hasbro. This game is quite famous as it is sold worldwide in over 120 countries in different languages. Roughly one-third of American homes have this game. This game was designed in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts who was an American architect. Butts was born on April 13, 1899, in New York and breathed his last on April 4, 1993, in Rhinebeck. In the early 1930s after spending a considerable tenure as a successful architect, Butts set out to develop this board game when he was unemployed. At the time, he closely studied the various games available and noticed that existing games fell into three categories: multiple games such as dice and bingo, moving games such as checks and checkers, and anagrams-like word games.

There is a street sign at 35th Avenue and 81st Street in Jackson Heights that is stylized to memorialize Butts’ invention. Butts came up with a brilliant idea to built a game that would use the skills of combining elements of puzzles and anagrams. Initially, this game was named Lexico and later this was changed into Criss Cross Words. This famous game got trademarked in 1948 by one James Burnot and his wife. This couple turned an abandoned schoolhouse into a Scrabble factory. Butts had also invented another game called ‘Alfred’s other game’ but this game did not gain as much publicity as Scrabble.

In an English-language set, the game has 100 tiles, 98 of which are labeled with a letter and a point value ranging from 1 to 10. The number of points for each lettered tile depends on the frequency of the letter in standard English, with commonly used letters such as vowels being worth one point, while less common letters rank higher with Q and Z values of 10 points each. The game also has two blank tiles. Q is considered the most problematic letter, since almost all words contain U with it also, in other languages such as French, Dutch, Italian, and German, a similar problem occurs. Due to its low frequency and a lack of words that have it at the end, J is also hard to play.

In 1984, Scrabble was turned into a daytime game show on NBC. This show ran from July 1984 to March 1990. The second season of this show was aired from January to June 1993. In 2004, Scrabble was also named to the National Toy Hall of Fame. The National Toy Hall of Fame is an American hall of fame that acknowledges the contributions that have gained popularity over the years from toys or games. Icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation are the criteria for inclusion in the list. Overall seventy-two games are included in the famous list in the Hall of Fame.

1.Scrabble as a tournament game

Scrabble is also played worldwide as a tournament game with a game clock and set of time control. Although casual games are played at the relaxation of time, this is not the case for competitive games. Almost all tournament games typically involve the players where each one has 25 minutes to finish the game. Players are allowed “tracking sheets”, pre-printed with the letters in the initial pool, from which tiles can be crossed off as they are played. Tracking tiles is an important strategy in this game, especially during the endgame. An introduction to how to play professional Scrabble game can be found in Stefan Fatsis’ book “Word Freak”. In his process of compiling this book, Fatsi himself became a highly rated player. In the World Scrabble Championship held in 2019, the two finalists were New Zealander Nigel Richards and Australian poker player and real estate agent David Eldar. Nigel born in 1967 and Elfdar born in 1990, both were former world champions Richards won the world championship in 2007, 2011, and 2013, and was also the defending champion while Eldar clinched the title in 2017. Richards triumphed 3-1.

Image: Nigel Richards. Source: Google

Scrabble Trivia

# Jodi and Eric have found out that the highest-scoring legal play is to make Oxyphenbutazone across the left side of the board, hitting three Triple Word Score squares while making seven crosswords downward, for a total of 1,784 points.

# A New Zealander based in Malaysia, Nigel Richards is the strongest professional Scrabble player in the world.

# The NASPA word list consists of words that cannot be played with a regulation set. Words like Pizzaz or Stresslessness are included in the case is accidentally started with extra tiles in the bag. The NASPA word list has been declared the official word reference list since March 1, 2019, and is adopted in the United States and Canada. The currently effective edition is the 2018 edition.

The NWL is the first-word list that NASPA has made available to software developers through a licensing process. The first edition of NWL was released in an electronic version in December 2018 and took effect in March 2019. The second edition of NWL was released in October 2020 and it will go live in January 2021.

#Only two players have won the National Scrabble Championship, the Canadian National Scrabble Championship, and the World Scrabble Championship. These two incredible players are Adam Logan and Joel Wapnick.

# High scoring record tournament game was set in 2011 by former World Champion Joel Sherman when he scored 803 points at an event in Stamford.

# The highest-scoring play is Muzjiks for 128 points. This was done in 2008 by Jesse Inman at the National Scrabble Championship.

#In an expert play a player has 12-14 runs and averages about 30 points per turn. The player who goes first has an added advantage of 13.5 points.

# A rated player 500 has one chance in 120 chances to beat a 2000 rated world-class player.

# John O Laughlin and Jason Katz Brown have developed a top-rated player program called Quackle. Its 2224 rating places it 30-50 points above the top human players in this game.

# About 1,92,111 words are included in the 2018 edition of NASPA Word List. The most common word length in the dictionary is eight letters and there are approximately 31,557 words of this length.

# Nigel Peltier in Reno, NV 2010, and Joel Sherman are the two players who have managed to play seven bingos in one game.


#Kevin Fraeley in 2006 set a record by playing six consecutive bingos.

# At the 2013 Scrabble Championship players collectively averaged 402 scores per game. The 2013 National Scrabble Championship took place between July 19-24 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

# The National Scrabble Championship is overseen by 10 officials wearing black and white striped referee shirts.

#Scrabble was not always called scrabble Initially it was named Lexico followed by Criss Crosswords and later Butts’ (inventor of Scrabble) James Burnot came up with the name Scrabble.

#Despite its long history this game has not changed much.

# You can use the word Bingo while playing this game. When players use all seven of their tiles it is called a Bingo. Yell it out to confuse your opponent.

# NASPA uses different tiles for competition. There are also tiles in Braille.

# There are different word lists for different types of competition be it a school tournament,m a national, or a world championship.

# This game is played equally competitive in other languages as well.

# NASPA’s rule book is 50pages long!

# Tons of new words were added to the dictionary in 2014. They included geocache, chillax, beatbox, frenemy, hashtag, joypad, mojito, selfie, soju, texter, vodcast, vlog, and yuzu, among others.

# It was impossible to score 1782 points on a single word, but the word Oxyphenbutazone changed this.

# Each passing hour, at least 30,00 Scrabble games a restarted.

# Celebs who play this game include John Travolta, Carol Burnett, Jimmy Kimmel, Kylie Minogue, Mel Gibson, Joan Collins, Tom Cruise, Kate Hudson, Richard Nixon, and Queen Elizabeth II.

# English Scrabble has 100 tiles and Portuguese and Italian have 120 tiles.

# In 1992, Franklin Mint commissioned and produced a version of Scrabble featuring 24k gold-plated tiles.

# The name Scrabble comes from the words Scrabbling, Scrabbled, and Scrabbles, and these are derived from the Dutch word ‘Schrabbelan’.

# ‘Clabbers’ is another variation of Scrabble. This is an anagram of Scrabble, in which players play their words in any order they want to and play the letters in any order so long as the letters can make an anagram of a word.

# There is a daily newspaper column in Thailand devoted solely to Scrabble!.

#Macy’s placed the first big Scrabble order.

#Qi is one of the top words to win at Scrabble.

# Men and women play Scrabble for different reasons. A study in Psychological Research showed that men focus their energy on practicing anagrams and evaluating the game while women are more apt to play Scrabble as a hobby.

# There have been a few scandals in Scrabble championships over the years like player smuggling in a pocket full of blank tiles and another hiding a “G” in another player’s pocket