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9 Tips to Win at Scrabble

Tips & Tricks to win at Scrabble. A simple how to guide for beginners, to help you score better at word games like Scrabble.

scrabble tiles

Scrabble may seem simple to most. The basic idea is to form words with provided letter tiles on a board. There are more strategies and tricks to be great at scrabble than you may think. Even if you are a bookworm with a massive vocabulary, you could still find yourself disappointed with your low scores while playing the game. Here are 9 tips that will give you an edge and raise your score every time!

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Rearrange Your Tiles for Visual Cues

Notice the common prefixes and suffixes on your tiles and rearrange them. This will give you visual cues you may not have noticed before while searching the board for your next move. You may get a word with a huge score just by adding -ED, -ES, -OR, after a word or DIS-, AUTO-, IM-, IN- before a word that is already on the board. This is a great way to extend a word that already exists on the board. It also gives you more jumping-off points and inspiration for new words, too.

Learn Q Words Without U

Q is the tile with the highest point value in the entire game along with Z. Most players get stuck with a Q tile because they don’t have a U to go along with it. There are dozens of playable words that don’t require the U, such as Qaid, Cinq, Qabalah, Qat, Qaf, Qi, and Qin. Make a list of these words and work to memorize them. Even better, plan for the Q to be a double or triple letter square and blow away your opponent with one short word.

List of Q Words without U

Bolster Your Vocabulary with Words Including X, Z, and J

Prepare yourself to strategize around the highest scoring tiles. Both X and J will earn you 8 points each, and Z will earn 10. There are thousands of words with these letters at various lengths, so be sure to study up. Similar to the Q without U words, make a list of X, J, and Z words at varying lengths. Study the list so you have a mental word bank to draw from the next time you play scrabble.

Plan Your Middle Square Letter

If you’re the first player, start strong with your first word. You can put any word with up to 5 letters down on the first move as long as it includes the center star tile. This is a chance to strategize from the start. The length and placement decide which bonus squares are immediately open for your opponent. You can place words both horizontally and vertically but horizontally is the popular choice because the vertical placement leaves a lot of bonus tile opportunities for your opponent.

Don’t Underestimate 2 and 3 Letter Words

Short words have far more value than many scrabble players assume. Especially towards the end of the game, you will need short words to increase your final score to win. Later in the game, you will need to get creative as the spaces for longer words becomes sparse. Short words are also useful to get double words by placing a single letter to create two different words and rack up more points.

Save Your S’s

S’s are infinitely useful, some argue the most important letter in the game. You can add an S to just about any noun to make it plural. This allows you to rack up points from your opponent’s high scoring words as well as your own. Make sure to reserve your S tiles and use them at the optimal time.

Plan for Parallels to Unload Vowels

Every so often, you may end up with an entire rack of vowel tiles. A great way to strategically unload these tiles is to use parallels. Look for opportunities to form multiple 2 letter words with another word layered on top of another word already on the board. You will rack up points from the new word along with all the points from the additional two-letter words formed by the parallel. You will also get rid of some vowels so you can draw some new tiles.

Words Without Vowels Exist, Use Them!

Contrary to the last tip, you may end up with a rack of consonants and be equally as stumped. There are a number of words without vowels that are good to have in your memory bank. Scrabble considers certain onomatopoeias to be words, which is useful for this occasion. You can unload your consonant tiles with words like Brr, Hmmm, Psst, Pfft, Shh, Tsk. There are also regular words to keep in mind that consist entirely of vowels such as By, Cry, Rhythm, Crypt, Glyph, Scry, and more.

The Most Important Tip of All: Have Fun!

Scrabble is, after all, a game! Make sure you enjoy yourself and remember, practice makes perfect. With time and these tips, you’ll be a Scrabble champion in no time.


Published on 30 Oct 2020
Author: Olivia Pasquarelli