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How to Improve Your Scrabble Game

Author:

Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!

Scrabble: A great game for all ages...

how-to-play-scrabble-like-a-pro

Enjoy a good game of Scrabble?

If you like millions of other people out there that currently enjoy playing a good game of Scrabble you are in the right place! Are you seeking ways to improve your game? Pretty sure any one of us who love the game are!

After personally playing thousands and thousands of games of Scrabble I've built up my player ranking. Now, two plus decades into my addiction with this game, I have managed to keep a 400+ game point average and now I am ready to share some of my tips to success with other Scrabble players out there!

Winning words...

how-to-play-scrabble-like-a-pro

Knowing the little things, like 2 letter words, can have you scoring big!

Digging into the world of 2-letter words is like the foundation of every good player.

One of the most important guidelines to follow if you want to play Scrabble like a pro is to know your two letter words. They may seem like small and insignificant little thing, but they will give you great power when you are trying to butt up against other words up against a really tough board!

Quite often you will find yourself with excess vowels, this is where memorizing the list of 2-letter vowel words will come in quite handy if you need to dump them out of your deck:

  • A: Aa, Ae, Ai
  • O: Oe, Oi

Have one of those, high-value, sometimes hard to place tiles? If you can get them placed on a 2X or 3X square you can potentially be in for big points!

  • J: Jo
  • Q: Qi
  • X: Ax, Ex, Ox, Xi, Xu
  • Z: Za

Key tip: Play the board in your favor!

Make the most of your board! Have a great word that will get you some pretty sweet points? Before you play it make sure that it won't backfire on you!

  • If it is going to leave easy access to a vowel for your opponent (especially a vowel that is on a bonus square) DON'T DO IT! It is better to take less points for yourself than to set up your opponent!
  • If it is going to leave your opponent open access to bonus squares, like a triple letter bonus, a double word score, or well... anything that will give them a boost is something that you need to walk away from! If you chose not to set them up, odds are that they will end up opening up the big bonus squares for you!

Avoid this first play key error at all costs!

NEVER, EVER make your first play to open up a vowel to your opponent that is on the double letter score. Doing this would give them an advantage right out of the gate.

NEVER, EVER make your first play to open up a vowel to your opponent that is on the double letter score. Doing this would give them an advantage right out of the gate.

Hold onto the right tiles to win the game!

Find yourself drawing a really good tile? Like a 'S' or a 'blank'? Don't carelessly toss them on the board for a low scoring turn. Just because you have them, does not by any means require you to play them ASAP. Holding onto them for a turn or two, can really work in your favor. If you can set yourself up for word that ends in 'ERS' and 'ING' can have you seeing the world of seven letter words and a sweet fifty point, seven letter bonus!

Other tiles to hoard include:

  • U: If the 'Q' is still out there, you do not want to leave yourself unprepared!
  • And of course, anything that will set you up for a seven letter word: 'ERS' and 'ING' are the top two combinations that I look for.

Golden Rules of Advanced Scrabble Players

Yes I know, a couple items in this list will be repeats of things that you have already learned from earlier in this article, for good cause, they are worth engraving in your mid!

  • Don't hold onto a 7-letter word that would be impossible to place. You will end up losing more points than that fifty point bonus would get you.
  • Never set your opponent up to receive a bonus square on the board. By doing this you may as well hand them the win (harsh, but true!)
  • Try and set your opponent up to sneak a quick point. Do this if it will means you can save a spot on the board open that you are eyeing up for something really fantastic. Your opponent will often take the bate, leaving your place on the board alone
  • Always ditch troublesome letters as soon as possible, even if it means getting a low-point word (V & U's are often the most damaging and difficult to get rid of at the end of a game)
  • Avoid missing turns! Each turn that you miss, be it passing, exchanging or calling your opponent on a word, are points in your favor flushed right down the toilet!
  • Keep your 'ERS' and your 'INGS' stockpiled for a seven letter success!

The BEST Scrabble board ON THE EARTH! (In my personal opinion!)

It's not dirty play, if it's in the Scrabble dictionary!

More advanced players will smartly try and place words that in reality, don't really look like 'real words'. Having your opponent calling you on what they think is a fabricated word can really trip them up and have them missing a turn when they flip to the word in the dictionary!

Some of my favorite words (that I have been called on many times) include:

  • J: Jato, Jeu, Jun
  • M: Mm
  • Q: Qadi, Qaid, Qat
  • S: Sh
  • K: Ka, Ki
  • Z: Za, Zax, Zek, Zep, Zin, Zoa, Zoea


A few fun fact about Scrabble

Did you know:

  1. There are 100 letter tiles
  2. The Scrabble board consists of 225 squares
  3. The Scrabble board contains 8-tripple word bonus squares
  4. When you challenge someone (claiming a false word) you in fact are not challenging one word, but the entire play and all of the words that your opponent has played in that turn
  5. You can arrange the tiles that you have placed, rearrange them and repeat as often and many times as you wish, until the timer goes off or the score for you turn is logged

Traditional Scrabble... How does it rate with you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for your interest in being better competition! Look for further articles that I will be publishing to further tune your Scrabble game!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2015 Lou Cannon

Comments

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 07, 2015:

Love it!

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 06, 2015:

nice scrabble hub, now i think i will go scramble up some scrabble:)