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How to Win at Scrabble without Cheating!

You might think that it is the person with the widest vocabulary who is bound to win at word games like Scrabble. Knowing lots of words does help but it is not so much how many words you know as much as what you do with them!

Here are our hints and tips which should help you improve your win rate at Scrabble or online rival Words with Friends:

  1. Learn your 2 letter words - the easiest way to connect a new word to the board is to make a cross, e.g. to put your word at right angles to another word. However if you learn your 2 letter words, you can run your word right alongside an existing word, potentially making lots of little words as well as the word you have composed.
  2. Make the most of your high scoring letters - your heart might sink when you pull out a selection of Q, J, Z and X but in fact the opposite should be the case. You do not necessarily need to play a long word to score well, the key to maximising your score is to play your high value (awkward) letters on the triple or double letter or word squares. Combine this with our first hint and learn JA, JO, XI, XU and ZO as a first step towards Scrabble mastery.
  3. Remember that Q does not always need a U - the words QI and QAT are likely to be familiar to all good Scrabble players, they are often the easiest way to play the tricky Q tile, as statistically you are unlikely to pick up a U at the same time.
  4. Don't waste your blanks and S tiles - either an S or a blank tile (which can be used like a joker to be any letter) are often the key to squeezing a new word onto a packed out board. Try not to waste either of these valuable tiles on a low scoring word, they are worth hanging onto until they can be used to their maximum advantage - ideally adding an S to an existing high scoring word at the same time as making a new clever word of your own.
  5. Work hard on 7 letter words - the bonus 50 points for playing all 7 tiles in one go are the way the top-class players make their 500 plus game scores regularly. The most useful letters for seven letter words can be found in the word RETAINS, so remember to retain RETAINS and you will find that 7 letter words pop up on your rack with increasing regularity.