Number of players: In America, Scrabble rules allows two to four players, though a tournament version is played in France allowing hundreds of players to play the same game
Recommended ages: 11 years old and over
Average playing time: 40 minutes for a two player game between reasonably accomplished players
Learning how to play Scrabble can be one of life’s great pleasures, as it allows you to build your vocabulary while making your brain think laterally at the same time. It has been a mainstay of the American board game scene since the 1930s and has millions of followers the world over. The Internet is full of places to get Scrabble help, from approved word lists to anagram solvers for tricky racks.
How to Play
The traditional American English version of Scrabble contains 100 tiles of which 98 have a letter and an associated points value, while two of them remain blank to be used as wildcards. The point value of each letter roughly equates to how common and easy they are to use, with E, R, S and T all worth just one point, and Z and Q worth a maximum 10. The whole list of letters and points are as follows:
- Blank tile - 0 Points
- A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T and U - 1 Point
- D and G - 2 Points
- B, C, M and P - 3 Points
- F, H, V, W and Y - 4 Points
- K - 5 Points
- J and X - 8 Points
- Q and Z - 10 Points
Scrabble rules say that the tiles need to be placed face down or hidden in a bag to introduce an element of chance. Each player in turn picks out seven tiles and puts them on a rack in front of them, hidden from the other players. The first player lays out letters from their rack on the board using the central pink square to make a legitimate word. They score the total points value of the letters they have played and make their rack back up to seven from the bag.
Bonus points can be gained through certain squares on the board that give a bonus to the first player that uses them, such as:
- Double word score – Typically pink, these are fairly easy to use to score.
- Double letter score – Typically light blue, these are the most populous bonus square.
- Triple letter score – Typically dark blue, only nine of these exist in a game but can turn a low score into a high one.
- Triple word score – Typically red, these are in the corners and can change a game completely even with a small word.
You can also make use of the Scrabble rules for making bonus points, that allows a player 50 bonus points by using all seven letters in their rack. The game continues until the spare tile set is empty and one player empties their rack. That player then scores the points value of their opponent’s remaining tiles.
Winning the Game
Winning a game of Scrabble is very simply to score more points than your opponents. When players of drastically different abilities play, such as a parent and their child, a head start or handicap can be given to make the game feel more competitive.
Scrabble Rules on Acceptable Words
According to scrabble rules if it is in the English dictionary it is an acceptable word.
Everyone will have their own set of strategies for Scrabble, which include:
- Know all the two letter words – Included in the Scrabble rules set is normally a list of all accepted two-letter words. These can be used to hook words on so you are not just playing at cross points.
- Avoid the edges – By playing close to the edge, you allow your opponent the opportunity to play on the triple word squares. Wait for your opponent to leave you a gap first.
- Use the tricky letters early – It is tempting to hold on to high points value letters to get the best place, but they become harder to place as the board fills up. To make your end game easier, play them as soon as you get them.
Other Scrabble Tips
Save your S’s!!!!! I always see people using S’s to spell low point words like SALT. What you should be doing is using them to make other words plural.
So if someone puts QUAKER on a triple word and receives 57 points then you can turn it into QUAKERS and receive 60 points with just 1 letter.
As an interesting side note if QUAKERS is spells horizontally you can use your S to spell SALT diagonally at the end of QUAKER. That way you get 60 points of spelling QUAKERS and additional points for spelling SALT.
Think outside the box and you'll really rack up those points!
Many people avoid Scrabble because they feel that they do not have a good vocabulary. While the Scrabble rules will allow you to challenge any word that you feel does not exist, you can allow your opponent to simply remove their word and start again rather than punishing them with a turn forfeit.
Return from Scrabble Rules
to the Best Family Board Games Page!
Return from Scrabble Rules
to the Best Family Games Home Page!