Scrabble is a fun word game played between two to four players. This word game was first published 82 years ago in 1938 by James Brunot. Available in 29 languages in 121 countries, approximately 150 million sets of Scrabble board finder has been sold worldwide till now. Scrabble requires skills in vocabulary, spelling, strategy, and counting to play. These skills are also improved by playing this game.
Scrabble can be played by forming a valid word on the board by placing the tiles. The objective of the game is to score more points than other players by forming more valid words. Each player gets points as the words are placed on the game board. The main twist with the Scrabble is that each letter has a different point value, so the game becomes unpredictable real soon. Let’s see in detail about things to know, how to play, and tips & tricks in playing Scrabble.
Things to Know before playing Scrabble
Scrabble requires some knowledge about the game in order to play it successfully.
The Scrabble board is the centrepiece of the game. It is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. 15 cells of height and 15 cells of width. These squares are able to fit the tiles used on this game to form a word.
The tiles are an important part of the game. There are 1oo tiles present in this game that are used to form the words on the board. 98 tiles contain letters on them while 2 tiles are left blank. The tiles that contain the letters have different point values based on the letter. The two blank tiles are used as a wild tile. The blank tiles get substituted with other letters. Blank tiles have no point values. But different letter tiles have different point values based on the rarity of the letter and the difficulty in placing the letter. Let us see the different point values of different letters.
The Letter values
- A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, and U tile have one point.
- D and G tile have two points.
- B, C, M, and P tile have three points.
- F, H, V, W, and Y tile have four points.
- K has five points.
- J and X have eight points.
- Q and Z have ten points.
- Blank tile has no points.
Some of the squares on the board offer multiplier values. You get 2x or 3x the points if the tiles are placed on the specific squares. So some square will multiply the total value of the word.
Double Word Score – When a word is placed on the cell that is light red in colour, the entire value of the word is doubled. This square is a double word cell that runs diagonally towards four corners.
Triple Word Score – When a word is placed on the cell that is dark red in colour, the entire value of the word is tripled. This square is found on all four sides of the board.
Double Letter Score – When a letter is placed on the light blue cell of the board, then the value of that letter is doubled.
Triple Letter Score – The dark blue cells on the board represents the 3x multiplier. You get thrice the points when you place a letter on this cell.
How to play the game?
How does the game start?
The game starts with the player who picks a tile with letter closest to “A” from the Scrabble bag. Picking blank tile will also win the start of the game for the player. This is how the player who should start the game is selected. After selecting the starting player, each player can pick sever tiles at a random from the Scrabble bag. Then each player tries to form a word by placing their tiles on the Scrabble board. If the player can’t form a word, he/she can choose to exchange their tile or pass the game.
Exchanging tiles and Passing the turn
A player can exchange a single or all their tiles. After the exchange, the players have to wait until their next turn to place their tile. If they choose to pass, they will forfeit their current turn and can play the next time. Exchanging tiles, or passing the turn doesn’t give you any point, so try to avoid it as much as possible. No player should pass two times in a row as it will end the game and the player with the highest score will win.
As the players begin to place their tile to form a word, they get points based on the letter and where they have placed. Placing a word on the star will offer double the total word points. Each player will try to place the tile in a clockwise direction to form a word to get the most points. A player who places all their seven tiles on the board to create a word gets 50 point bonus along with the point of that word.
After all the tiles are placed on the board by the players, they can now replace the tile with a new one. At all the time every player must have at least seven tiles during the game. So they should take a new tile from the bag as they continue to place the tiles on the board.
Rules for placing the words
The words that are placed on the Scrabble board should be found in the English dictionary. There is also an official Scrabble dictionary that player can use to check for the validity of the words placed. The words that shouldn’t be placed on the board are suffixes, prefixes, and abbreviations. Also, words that require hyphen or apostrophe should not be used along with the words that use capital letters. Foreign words that are not found in the English dictionary should not be used in the game.
Choosing the winner
The game ends when all the tiles from the bag are gone and a single-player has placed all their tiles on the board. The player that ends the game gets an added bonus. The added bonus is the total points of the tiles that are unplayed by the remaining players. Before choosing the winner, the final points of all the players are deducted with the total point of the tiles that they have not played. Now the player with the highest number of point wins the game.
Tips and Tricks to enhance your gameplay
Scoring points on Scrabble is not easy. You need to have good proficiency in English language, strategy, and board games. But certain action and tips can help you boost your point. So let us see some of the tips and tricks to score high.
Add ‘s’ word to create two words
You can add ‘s’ to an existing word on the board to pluralize it. It quickly creates a new word and boosts your score by at least 10 points.
Form a word by creating common endings or beginnings
You can add words like “-er”, “-ed”, and, “-ing” to the end of the existing word on the board to create a new word. Also words like “un-“, “in-“, and “re-” can be added to the start of a word to create a new word to boost your points.
Change a letter to create a new word
You can create a new word by just replacing a word. For eg: “Lush” can be converted to “blush” by simply replacing a word. This method creates a new word thus boosting your point. But you have to look for these words to create a new word.
Try to place the word on multiplier squares
Some squares on the board doubles or triples your total score of the tile that you place on it. So try to place your word or letter on these squares to increase your points.
Learn words with letter “q”, “z”, “j”, “x”
These letters have the highest points in the game when compared to other letters. So learn words with these letters to increase your chance at winning.
Try to go for some combination of letters
On the board, try to get some combination of the given tiles to get points. Though a word with seven tiles will get you 50 bonus points, it is difficult. So try to place a word with any combination if you cannot get a seven-word combination.
Learn two and three-letter words
Learning two and three-letter words are easy and can boost your point while playing the game.
Scrabble is one of the popular board games that has been played over for 80 years. It doesn’t only bring fun to those who are playing but also improves their vocabulary skills among others. So you can surely give this game a try or give it to your kids to improve their proficiency in the English language. We hope our detailed post gave you an idea to play the game of Scrabble.