I still love word games: Bananagrams, Boggle, Scrabble, Scramble (on our iPad), and others. I recently was cleaning out our game drawer, and found these tips that went with our Scrabble game. I hope it helps you play better in Scrabble and other similar word games!
10 WAYS TO BECOME AN INSTANT SCRABBLE GAME EXPERT
There's no doubt about it-- it takes a stellar vocabulary and super strategies to become a Scrabble expert. Looking for instant results? These tips from seasoned Scrabble players could help you rule the board!
1. TWO- and THREE-LETTER WORDS
Learn the 2- and 3- letter words. They are the building blocks of expert play and can boost your average score by as much as 50 points per game. (You can find the lists online here and here.)
2. SECRET OF THE "S"
Use an S to form two words at once. Pluralize one word while forming another word at the same time. Hint: Use your S wisely. Don't add it unless you can earn at least 8 points by doing so.
3. SHUFFLE TILES
Shuffle the tiles on your rack frequently. Look for some common ways that letters go together. Some of these are BR, CH, DLE, ED, ENT, EST, FUL, GHT, ING, NK, KLE, MIS, ISM, IUM, MB, ND, NT, PR, PL, RE, STR, TH, UN, IVE, and OUS. As you form these combinations, it may surprise you how words will often appear on your rack when you least expect them.
4. BONUS SQUARES
Always look for ways to play across premium squares. Check especially for premium squares next to vowels. (and try not to set up your opponent to get a big score!)
5. CONSIDER YOUR NEXT PLAY
Make your play with an eye toward your next play. You can do so simply by saving some good tiles on your rack. Your best odds of having a great next rack is to save some combination on the letters AEILNRST (hint: think "starline"), ideally saving either the same number of vowels and consonants, or just one extra consonant.
Always look for bingo's (using all 7 tiles at once). Optimism and know-how will mean more 50-point bonuses. Learn common word beginnings and endings, and know how to place them on your rack.
7. Q WITHOUT U
Learn the Q without U words. The official Scrabble Players dictionary (which is quite handy to own, and included the tow-letter word list) lists these: QAT(S), QAID(S), QOPH(S), FAQIR(S), QANAT(S), TRANQ(S), QINDAR(S), QINTAR(S), QWERTY(S), SHEQEL, QINDARKA and SHEQALIM.
8. LOOK FOR HOOKS
"Hooks" are single letters that you can add to existing words that form other words. We've already mentioned the "S hook," but also look for words that could end with a Y, E, R or D. Example: HANDY, PLAN(E), TAME(D, R).
9. CHOICE OF PLAYS
After you find a good play, if you have time, look for a better one. Always try to give yourself a choice of plays. By exercising your decision-making abilities, you'll likely develop keener strategy skills.
Keep in mind that anyone can beat anyone else with a certain amount of luck. Also remember that everyone draws poor combinations of tiles at times, so when you do, take pleasure in making the best play you can. Finally, don't dwell on your mistakes. Everyone makes them, so go easy on yourself and just enjoy playing!
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1 Samuel 8:10
Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.