Scrabble is a game that has been enjoyed by many people for decades. It’s not too hard, but it does take a few tricks of the trade. So, let’s see some of them, recommended by the Scrabble experts!
One of the most important things to remember when playing Scrabble is to think ahead. If you can, try and plan your moves a few turns in advance so that you can make the most of your tiles. This is especially important towards the end of the game when there are fewer tiles left to use.
Or you can have a little bit of technology on your side. Just as you can use a dictionary, anagram solvers like unscramble.me, can help you find the best words given the letters at hand. These programs are fast, have great results, and are easy to use, and are available at the palm of your hand.
The Tiles You’ve Already Used
It’s important to keep track of the tiles you have played throughout the game so that you do not waste valuable time trying to find your remaining letters. Forgetting about these tiles will make it difficult for you to know how many points each letter is worth or what letters are available. To avoid this issue, keep a running list of the remaining letters in order on paper or on your phone whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Why shouldn’t you forget about the tiles used? Because you only have so many tiles in the game and time is running out, you need to make sure that you’re not wasting any of your letters. Planning is always helpful, but here’s a tip – try making words backward too! Reversals can help you score big points and experts make word reversals whenever possible, such as “sox” for “xos.” You can also play words in reverse or backward at any point throughout the game if you have a good reason to.
Two For One Special
Trying to play words backward when possible. When creating a word score, both words need to be part of the Scrabble dictionary but only one needs to be placed onboard through re-arrangement of tiles on the gameboard. So, if you have the “Z” tile but are missing the “S”, try and play “ZOO” as your word. If the opponent has played “CAB” on a triple letter score (T), try and play “BAZ” as your word, taking the points from their word.
These tiles can come in especially handy towards the end of a game where there are few left to use. If you have three tiles and want to play a word backward, do not place all three on the board as this will give your opponent more points than necessary and virtually guarantee them victory.
Take Advantage of Blank Tiles
Blank tiles can be very valuable in Scrabble, as they can be used as any letter. Try and use them as wisely as possible to get the most out of each turn. For example, if you have a “Q” and an “X” but need a “Z” for your word, try and place the “Q” on a triple letter score (T) spot. This will give you two chances of using the “X” for the “Z”.
Blank tiles are also helpful when you have a word but do not have the correct letters to spell it. In this case, you can use the blank tile to represent any letter in the word.
Double Letter and Triple Letter Spots
Double letter spots are worth more points than single letter spots, so it’s important to make good use of them. Similarly, triple letter spots are worth even more points so try and play longer words whenever possible.
What you can do is, with the help of anagram solvers, play words backward to achieve this. For example, if you have a “J” tile but are missing the “N”, try and play “JAN” as your word to take advantage of the double letter score (D).
On the other hand, watch out for blank tiles following triple letter or double word scores (DW). If there are no other tiles in the bag that can follow these scores, use a blank tile to fill out your word. This will help avoid putting your opponents in an excellent position for future moves.
Use “Z” or “X” Tiles Wisely
The Z and X letters are very powerful when used correctly in Scrabble. These tiles can be used as either a vowel or a consonant and count for three-letter scores (TL). Since they are worth more points than single letters, you need to be very aware of when these tiles are available.
Your best chance of using these tiles is at the end of your opponent’s word since it will allow you to claim double scores. Try and use them in this way whenever possible. For example, if your opponent uses “REAL” on their turn, try to play “ZEAL” or “ZOLE” on your next turn to get six points instead of just one point for using another single letter tile. Using these types of high-value letter combinations is an excellent way to boost your score and gain an advantage over your opponent.
Just because you have a good offensive move doesn’t mean you should always use it. Sometimes playing defensively is a better strategy, especially if your opponent has more points than you. This way you can prevent them from scoring more points and make sure that they don’t get too far ahead. What does it mean? Let’s say you have a “B” but only one open spot left on the board. The open spot is close to your opponent’s “A”, allowing them to use an “S” or maybe even another “B”. Since there are no other words you can play with just one letter, it might be better to simply hold this tile until your next turn.
This way, your opponent won’t be able to use the “A” and will have to use a different letter, giving you an advantage for the next turn. Sometimes taking a step back is the best way to ensure that you make forward progress.