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Home > Popular Commercial Games > Board Games > Scrabble Board Game Rules & Strategy

Rules & Strategy

Scrabble is a board game marketed by Hasbro and Mattel. The game is played with square tiles, each representing a letter. The game is played by 2-4 players. Players are given 7 tiles and are awarded points for forming valid words on the game board. Special squares on the game board award extra points when used.

Scrabble first materialized in the 1930s and was inspired by crossword puzzles. Over its relatively short history, it has been made into a daytime game show (1984-1990, 1993).

Let's Play Scrabble!
Scrabble Logo

Tournaments are regularly held to determine the best Scrabble player.

In more recent times, Scrabble is played in 121 countries worldwide in 29 language versions. Scrabble is also known by other names: Alfapet, Funworder, Literati, Scramble, Skip-A-Cross, Spelofun, Word for Word.


The Scrabble Game Package:

* A Scrabble game board

* 100 pieces square tiles (2 of which are blank, while the rest have a letter of the alphabet and a score value printed on each)

* 4 tile stands (so each player can view his tiles in privacy)

* An opaque bag (wherein tiles are kept, and from where tiles are randomly drawn)

* 2 to 4 Players (sold separately)

In addition to the above, players are supposed to provide the following:

* Notepad for keeping score

* Clock Timer (optional)

The Scrabble Game Board:

The Scrabble game board is a 15x15 grid. Some squares serve as score multipliers and are imprinted as such: "Double Word Score" or "Triple Word Score". Players compete to use these squares in their bid to score the highest and therefore win the game.

How to Play Scrabble: Rules & Strategy:

Players start with 7 random tiles each and take turns spelling words on the game board with their tiles. The first player is supposed to use the center square on the game board. Each successive word should attach to the words already on the board, making use of 1 or more letters already on the board. In this manner, all words are supposed to intersect, in the same way that the words in a crossword puzzle intersect.

How to Score Points in Scrabble:

Rare Letters are Worth More in Scrabble: A player is awarded points based on the letters he uses. Some letters have higher values, seeing as how such letters are less often used in the english language (for example, Q and Z are worth 10 points each, while A and O are only worth 1 points each). An example: A player who spells "ZOO" on regular spaces (no score multipliers) earns 12 points.

Aim to get "Double" and "Triple" Points When you Score: Some squares on the game board award double or triple points to the player who uses these squares. For best results, a player should use his rare letters in conjunction with these squares.
* Double / Triple LETTER Score -- only the value of the letter is multiplied
* Double / Triple WORD Score -- the value of the entire word is multiplied

Scrabble Flash! Free Online Scrabble-Related GameFascinating Free Scrabble Game!

Scrabble Flash is a Free Online Flash Game related to Scrabble.
Your Challenge: Using 5 letters that are given you, you must form
as many 3- to 5- letter words as you can within the time limit allotted.

(Note: Wait for the Game to Load before you can Play)

How to Score Points in Scrabble: (continued)

Earn Bonus Points in Scrabble: A bonus of 50 points is given to a player who uses all 7 tiles during his turn.

Avoid Earning NO Points in Scrabble: A player earns no points where:
* The player passes his turn
* The player exchanges some or all of his tiles
* The player makes a move, and his word is successfully challenged by another player

Challenging an Opponent's Play in Scrabble:

Any player can challenge a play that has just been made. In so doing, the players refer to a dictionary to determine if the play is valid or not. Different penalties can be attached to the outcome of challenges.
In most cases, the penalty is to lose a turn: a valid word means the challenger loses his turn, while an invalid word means the play is scrapped and zero points are awarded to the player who spelled the word, and he takes back his tiles.

End of Game in Scrabble:

Running Out of Tiles: When all 100 tiles have been played, or, when all players agree that they can spell no more words, the game ends.
Penalty for Unused Tiles: The values of a player's unused tiles are deducted from his final score.


Scrabble Game Strategies:

Playing 2 Words in 1 Turn : This is possible by appending a letter to the head or tail of a word already on the board. An example: Suppose that the word "POT" is already on the board. A player can spell "STROLL" and at the same time spell "SPOT" or "POTS" by attaching the letter "S" to the head or tail of the word "POT". Note: The player gets points for spelling 2 words: "SPOT" AND "STROLL".

Abridging "Letter" and "Word" Multipliers: A player can spell a word that spans 2 multiplier squares on the gameboard. This can potentially earn the player an obscenely high score, especially when he uses rare letter on a "Letter Multiplier" in the process.

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More Scrabble Game Strategies:

It's All About the Score: The player who has accumulated the most points by the end of the game wins. For this reason, the winner does not necessarily have to score the most points in each round of play.

Looking for 7-word Plays: Because of the substantial 50-point bonus that is given for using all 7 tiles in one play, Championship Tournament players make a point of memorizing 7- and 8- letter words that make accumulating high scores possible. In such tournaments, scoring 100+ points on such moves win or lose the contest.


Rule Variations in Scrabble:

Penalty for Unsuccessful Challenges: Players can choose to impose light penalty (none), medium penalty (fixed amount of points to be deducted), or high penalty (challenger loses his turn) for unsuccessful challenges. Each scenario can be exploited by the players to some advantage, so it is necessary to choose one set of rules before playing.

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