Some games are just fun for the whole family and the joy comes from just playing them and spending time together with your family. However, some people just like winning. There’s something special in that sweet, sweet victory. And while some games rely heavily on luck or chance, others require wits and precise calculations. Scrabble is one of them, so let’s go over some strategies that will help you win every scrabble match you enter. And no – none of them will be “read more books to improve your vocabulary”!
Memorize your Short Words
Sure, you get more points for longer words, but the thing is you just can’t always have longer words fit in. So if you memorize enough short words – two or three letters long – you will always be able to get at least a couple of points out of around and you’ll end up boosting your final score up to 50 points per game! And you know that it’s those crucial few points that determine who the winner will be, so make sure you memorize those short words so you can always place something on the board and get a fresh addition to your ammunition.
Arrange your Tiles
When looking at all the tiles on your rack, it can get pretty hard to visualize all of the options you might have. This is why you should set yourself up for success by learning the most common endings of words ( -ed, -er, -ing, etc…) and putting those letters on the right side of the rack, and the letters more likely to be at the beginning of a word to the left. This way it will be easier for your mind to mix and match all of the remaining tiles in the middle to create word options.
Look up Words
Sometimes you just can’t piece together a word on the rack or on the board, so you need some outside help. It’s always handy to have a dictionary by your side if you’re playing scrabble because you can look up words to make sure you’re not just making them up as you go along. But you can also use this site to help you put together words out of the letters you have. Sure, in a competitive setting that might be cheating, but if you’re just playing for fun, or with kids, it’s a great way to keep the game going and level the playing field. This is also a great way to learn new words if you’re not playing in your native language.
Mind your S’s
S is such a versatile letter in the English language, however, there are only four “S” tiles in the kit, so you have to be very careful. Every S you use should both be a part of a new word you lay down and at the same time spell out a new word by becoming a plural of something already on the board. Keep a very sharp eye out for this because it can bring you so many points in just one careful move.
Look for Hooks
Speaking of extending words, you want to always be looking out for hooks. Hooks are words that can easily be transformed into something different if you just add one or two letters at the end. The most common examples are -y (handy, sleepy), -d (axed, fazed, amazed), and -r/-er (joker, faster, greener). We already talked about remembering short words, but by looking for hooks you’ll be able to get a lot more points than with short words.
Use the Board
You can have the best words in the game and still lose if you don’t utilize the board and all the bonus points that you can. You want to make use of the hot spots and clusters of bonuses – even if you don’t have the best word or letter to place there! This is because some points are better than no points, and if you don’t get to that location – you’re leaving it open for your competitors to grab those points instead of you. So don’t be afraid to snatch them up and don’t feel bad if they’re not the best-ranking words on the board.
Play the Scrabble Bingo
Never heard of this? Probably because it’s so rare, most people don’t even know it’s a thing. However, Scrabble bingo is very real, and it will make you rise to the top. It happens when you use all of the words from your rack in a single move to spell out one word. It can add 50 points to your score and the feeling you get if you manage to clear your rack will be a victory all within itself!
Don’t Hang Onto Q’s
Sure, the Q’s are worth a lot of points, and you might want to save them for a specific word or to place on a bonus field, but the fact is that Q’s are notoriously hard to place in words, so the moment you see the opportunity to use the letter – use it! Don’t hang onto it because you might just end up finishing the game with that tile still on your rack. It’s not a bad idea to memorize a couple of simple four-letter words that incorporate Q so that you can use it in the future.
There you have it, a bunch of tips that will make you a scrabble master. But above all, the biggest tip you can get is to play a lot. Because there is nothing that will make you better at the game than if you play it often, play it with your head in the game and especially play it with a dictionary on-hand, and check every word you might think is real, because not only will you win – you’ll learn a bunch of new words you can use in life in the future. And whether you want to become better at the game so you can win championships or so you can prove to your friends that you’re the best wordsmith in the bunch – don’t forget that the main point of the game is to have fun and enjoy your time. It’s not always about winning.