The ultimate guide to winning at Scrabble and Words with Friends
A comprehensive guide to play like a master!
Learn from the people that literally wrote the book on Scrabble!
One of the most well-known board games in existence, Scrabble is sold in 121 countries and comes in over 30 different languages. So, while many people may think traditional board games are a thing of the past, the long-term success of Scrabble has shown that this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, while Scrabble is still being played in board form, there are also various virtual versions of this game that people of all ages enjoy as well.
No matter if you are young or old, or if you are a wordsmith or simply someone who is still learning, Scrabble can be a fun, challenging game that allows you to be entertained all while improving your vocabulary. Nevertheless, how much fun can any game really be if you never win?
No matter what level of Scrabble you are presently playing, here is a list of tips and tricks to help you start winning across the board.
How to Create High-Scoring Words
When it comes to winning at Scrabble, there are few things more important than creating high-scoring words. While many of us may feel we are limited only to words that are already in our vocabularies, there are plenty of ways to find big words that can help you get a high score and win the game.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but shuffling your tiles often is one of the best ways to find and create bigger words. This is because you most likely know more big words than you realize. So, by rearranging your tiles, you are likely to recognize words you didn't see before. Moreover, whether you know a word or not is sometimes secondary. If you have a strong enough grasp of the English language, you will be able to recognize words... even when you don't. Over time, this will make you a more confident and capable Scrabble player as you will learn to find bigger and more complex words, sight unseen.
Also, be sure to keep a piece of paper handy for the entirety of the game. By jotting down different combinations and configurations, you are bound to find bigger and better words to place on the board. However, be sure to let things flow without getting stuck on any one idea or configuration. The purpose is to explore and allow your mind to wander until you find words you may not have known were there. Over time, you will begin to recognize these larger words without effort.
Scrabble Prefixes and Suffixes
Next, you will want to take the time to separate the common word prefixes and suffixes, or the most common beginnings and endings to various words. Some of the most common prefixes are:
Some of the most common suffixes are:
By setting these tiles aside, you will be able to focus on the tiles you have left. If you can create a word out of those, odds are, you will be able to create a bigger word using a prefix, suffix, or both.
One important thing to note is that these common prefixes and suffixes are often tied to verbs, though that is not always the case. Either way, taking time to think about how to use them, you may want to start reviewing verbs in your head or jotting them down. As you continue to practice, this will become a great method of lengthening your words.
Word List Memorization
One of the best parts about Scrabble being a classic game is that enthusiasts have had many collective years to uncover the best methods of winning. This method is much more difficult than the others. However, if you are an avid Scrabble player, it's more than worth it. Memorizing word lists can be one of the best ways to win at Scrabble regularly. What lists? Well, you have some options. For instance, using the Scrabble Word Finder is one of the best ways to uncover new words that you may not have considered.
Alternatively, you can also try Scrabble Bingo Words. If you begin with stems, the six-letter word combinations that can be turned into seven-letter words by adding one more letter. They allow you to use all seven tiles at once, which also earns you a 50-point bonus. For example, the word LADIES can make 30 seven letter words by adding just one more letter (Add T to make 'DETAILS', add B to make 'DISABLE' and on, and on!).
By learning these words, you are definitely tipping the Scrabble scales in your favor. This will allow you to turn smaller words into six or seven-letter words with ease. It will also allow you to better understand which combinations create the highest scoring words. For instance, some of the highest-scoring bingo words are:
- QUARTZY: By playing this across a triple word score, and with Z as a double letter, you will earn 164 points.
- MUZJIKS: By playing this word with Z on the double letter score and getting a bingo bonus, you can earn 128 points.
- CAZIQUES: By playing this lesser-known word, you can earn up to 392 points, depending on the configuration.
Using Bonus Tiles
As we all know, bonus tiles can offer us a major advantage, provided that we know how to use them. For instance, be mindful not to use a vowel next to a triple word score tile (or even double, if you can help it). This makes it far easier for your opponent to get some major points with very little work.
Imagine leaving an A or an E next to the triple letter score, and by using just two letters your opponent plays OX while also making AX (or EX) using your tile. You just gave away 50 points, and they only used two letters!
Common Two-Letter Words
Using Two-letter words can be a great way to boost your score. Some of the most common two-letter words are:
- QI: Chinese life-force
- AD: An Advertisement
- AM: The present tense of "be"
- BY: Beside
- DO: To perform an action
- HE: A male person
- HI: A greeting
There are plenty more two-word letters. The point is to use these when you can't find larger words or when you can use them for parallel plays (playing two words at the same time) or to get a double or triple word score.
It's easy to waste them, but blank tiles can add an extra 50 points to your score when you are thinking of playing strategy. This is because they can allow you to extend words, overlap them, create longer words, land on double/triple word score tiles, and more. Always consider using the blank tile at the end of a word, while starting a second one as a first play.
Overall, there are plenty of ways to win at Scrabble. By using these expert-level tips, you are well on your way to doing just that. If you need additional tips or information, read more of our articles!