I love Scrabble. I’m a so-so player by competitive standards- when I succumb to my online addiction, I can’t seem to keep my TWL rating over 1600 for more than a few games at a time. But I love the game and nobody was sadder than me when Facebook Scrabble dissolved. (Don’t talk to me about that Wordscraper crap, either. It’s just not the same. Round tiles, PAH.)
Anyway, hot and fresh from the internet, here is a great compendium of Scrabble tips. What’s good about this page is that the tips come from many players at many different skill levels, and many are specifically geared to a method of playing the game that will impress a new girlfriend- in other words, play flirtily, not nerdily.
To play for real, here are my personal top 5 Scrabble tips:
Remember that Scrabble is a math game masquerading as a word game. Don’t look at the letters in your rack to try to make an impressive word: instead look at the available spaces on the board and try to create ways to get your highest-valued consonants on the colourful squares.
Never play a word with an S unless using the S adds at least 12 points.
Aim for 20 points per play. Keep looking until you find that 20+ point word.
Play parallel to a word already on the board, not intersecting it. Parallel plays mean many more points.
M I L E
Playing the word ED in the above example gives you points for ED, ME, and ID– more than triple the points the letters are worth.
If you do choose to play your word at right-angles to an existing word, try to “hook” onto it to get more points. So if the word RAIN is on the board, and you want to play a word like AYE, don’t play it like this:
A Y E
instead, use the Y to “hook” onto the end of RAIN, and play it like this:
A Y E
Hooking the Y onto the end of RAIN gives you points for AYE as well as points for RAINY, and will more than double your play. This is why you save your S tiles- they can hook onto the end of almost any word. When your opponent plays ZIGGURAT, you whip out that S and hook it right on there with a new word, and watch the points pour in. It’s the Scrabble equivalent of that Price Is Right strategy where you guess a price just $1 above the sucker who had to guess first.
And oh hey, did you know you can play Scrabble online in real-time with other
obsessives people online? At Scrabulous. Some of us would rather do that than write our screenplays, but that’s totally okay and it’s a personal life choice so stop judging me those people.