Scrabble is a fun and clever word-based board game for two to four players. Players are given a selection of tiles with letters on them that are laid out to form words in a grid pattern, crossword-style. Each letter tile has a different point value attached to it, and the board contains spaces that can multiply a letter or word's score. Scrabble is both fun and challenging: It's been proven to improve vocabulary and language skills for children and adults alike, so not only is the game a lot of fun, but it makes players smarter!
It's no surprise that a game like this is not always easy to win. Making great plays is easy in theory but can be much more difficult in practice. Players need to know the spellings of a vast assortment of words, and they need to think strategically to make the most of their letters on every turn. Scrabble may not appear that complicated at first glance, but a look at some tips and strategies reveals how much thought and planning goes into mastering this game and earning the highest scores possible. These tips are a good start for aspiring Scrabble masters who want to improve their scores.
- Learn to use two- and three-letter words effectively. The simplest words are the foundation of a good Scrabble score. Sometimes, letter options are limited and these short words are the only option; other times, short words can help you boost your score when playing a longer word by forming words in both directions at once. Used effectively, they can add around 50 points to the overall score by the end of a game.
- Remember to use prefixes and suffixes. Adding -ING, -ED, or -ER can help players form new words in a pinch and squeeze some more points out of them. It's a good idea to place these letters at the right side of the Scrabble rack as a tool to help you visualize the possibilities.
- Take full advantage of the letter S and blank tiles. The game only contains four S tiles, so they must be used carefully: Try to only use an S when it's going to add eight to ten points to a turn. The blank tiles can stand in as any letter, though they're not worth any points. They are best used when trying to form a word with seven letters and shouldn't be used unless they're going to help you earn an extra 25 points or more.
- Don't forget about bingos. A bingo in Scrabble means that all seven letters on the rack were used in one turn. This earns a whopping 50-point bonus that can make the difference between winning and losing a game.
- Use hooks when you need to. A hook is a single-letter play that can create a new word or make an existing word longer. Hook letters are often Y, E, R, or D.
- Plan to use bonus spaces on the board as soon as possible. From the very beginning of the game, players should start arranging words that will cross spaces like the triple word scores.
- Stockpile the most common and useful letters. Aim to have some combination of A, E, I, L, N, R, S, and T on your rack, as they're very common letters and offer many possibilities.
- Memorize words with a Q but no U. Q is the most valuable letter in Scrabble, but it's often followed by the letter U, and there are only four U tiles in the game. Learn to rack up points from the letter Q without depending on having a U by memorizing options like "quadi," "qaid," and "faqir."
- Keep practicing! Every great Scrabble player became great through practicing and by expanding their word knowledge.
Additional Scrabble Resources
These websites all contain tips for Scrabble players that can help improve their skills and understanding of the game.
- Scrabble FAQs: The first place anyone with Scrabble questions should visit is the FAQ page from game-maker Hasbro.
- How to Improve Your Score by 50 Points: Learn how to improve at Scrabble from this expert.
- Scrabble Secrets Revealed: The author of a Scrabble book lists the ten most valuable words in the game.
- 12 Secret Scrabble Strategies to Help You Win Any Game: Here are a few more tips for high-scoring play.
- What Makes Nigel Richards the Best Scrabble Player on Earth: Master the game by learning from the very best.
- The Highest-Scoring Scrabble Move Ever: Anyone lucky enough to make this play should definitely jump on the chance.
- Tips for Improving Your Game: These are some great Scrabble tips worth studying and memorizing.
- Ten Words That Will Win Any Game of Scrabble: Mental Floss reveals their picks for the best Scrabble words.
- Scrabble Strategy: Board Position, Leaves, and Bingos: Raise Your Game allows players to do just that with these helpful strategy suggestions.