dictate that the game starts with all players randomly picking a tile before drawing their racks. The person with the letter closest to A goes first and gets the added bonus of using the center star, also a double-word score. Avoid using a vowel, S, D, R, or T there though, as it's then easy for the next player to reach the triple-word scores at the edges.
It sounds obvious but turnover is key for racking up points. With only 100 letter tiles in each bag, the more you use, the less your opponents will have at their disposal.
Expertly placed on a double- or triple-letter bonus, teeny words like QI, JO, XI, XU, AX, OX, EX, and ZA can net you 20-plus points. They also come in handy for getting rid of excess vowels or creating stepping stones for your next turn. Experts will memorize lists of them, but spelled-out English and Greek letters (like ZEE for Z and CHI) count, as well as expression sounds like UM and HMM.
Plan ahead and look for jumping-off points where you can hit "hot spots," a.k.a. the bonus squares. According to the , "One triple word score can make or break a game." Combine it with a high-value letter like Q, Z, J, X, or K for the ultimate boost.
This bit of refers to one-letter additions that create whole new words. For example, LUSH becomes BLUSH or COME becomes COMET. You'll get the new tile's points plus all of the other letters. (Any bonuses under the existing tiles don't apply though.)
Similarly, set aside any common word beginnings or endings to tack onto future plays. A few examples include ISH, ED, ING, ER, ANTI, UN, IN, RE, and CO.
S is the easiest add-on, but don't waste it. "Along with E, S is the joint best letter in the set and there are just four of them," top Scrabble player told the .
Drawing the Q can feel like a curse, but it's actually a blessing. Those 10 points go a long way! Make do without a U by forming one of or their plurals: QI, QAT, QADI, QAID, QOPH, FAQIR, QANAT, TRANQ, QABALA, QINDAR, QINTAR, QWERTY, QABALAH, and MBAQANGA.
With only two wildcards per bag, this is one freebie you do not want to waste, according to Scrabble enthusiast . His advice: Use them as a building block for a BINGO, a.k.a. a word that uses all seven of your tiles. Playing your entire rack at once earns you a sweet bonus of a 50 points, plus bragging rights of course!
Likewise, if you're just a letter off from a BINGO opportunity, playing that superfluous tile and waiting for the one you need could pay off — especially if you can hit a high-power two-letter word in the process.
A rack full of vowels makes it harder to pick up points unless you piggyback off of others already on the board. Try forming wordsadjacent to high-value tiles (on bonus squares especially) to get effectively double the payoff.
Playing long words opens the board up, creating more bonus-square opportunities. Just take care not to give your opponent the same advantage. Likewise, using parallels can shut other players off from building big words — a great strategy if you keep drawing low-value letters.
You can exchange tiles in Scrabble, but doing so forfeits your turn, and there's no guarantee you'll get anything better. Playing a two- or three-letter word is usually your best bet, so advises only using this extreme tactic only if you're really far ahead or losing by a lot.
While most of the English language is fair game in Scrabble, a bunch of foreign words have also made it into the . That includes spelled-out letters of the Greek alphabet, Anglicized French words like MOI, and Britishisms like COLOUR.
Yikes: You drew all consonants. You can either play off a vowel already on the board, but utterances like MM, SH, HMM, BRR, GRR, PFFT, and PSST also count.
Here's where familiarizing yourself with the list of acceptable two-letter words comes in handy. There's a whopping 101 of them! AA, AE, AI, OE, and OI can help out in pinch, as well as longer ones like EAU. Or, look for an open R on the board. It's a good jumping-off point for vowel-full plays such as ARIA, AREA, AERIE, EERIE, and UREA.
If you really want to advanced, keep a list of what tiles remain in play. This will allow you to strategize based on what's left, and give you an upper edge at the end of the game. The letter distribution is listed on the board, but the official also provides a handy printable. Just cross off the letters as they appear.
If the lead comes down to the wire, it's all about your end strategy. The game finishes once any one player uses his or her last letter. The finisher gets a major bonus: The sum of the other players' unused letters get added onto his or her final score, according to the .
This is important for creating turnover during the game, but it especially comes in handy at the end. If you don't finish first, your unplayed letters also get subtracted from your own final score. Yikes! As the draw pile gets smaller, get any big points off your rack just in case.
First things first: How do you spell "misspell?"