Article by Narayguy, founder — Here comes maybe my nerdiest post ever. It’s on dominating Scrabble, getting ridiculous high scores, and getting them OFTEN. Mystifying and stomping opponents. That’s something we all like to do, right?
The key is getting 7 letter words, or “bingos”, worth +50 points in Scrabble rules. But these words don’t just show up in your rack of tiles. Sure, wake up with “VANIGAS” and you’ve got a nice score right in front of you 😉 But realistically, you’ve got to build towards high scores, dumping awkward letters and saving good ones. It’s all in the planning.
Now, I know this post isn’t our typical college advice, but it contains useful tips for winning at a game played in college, so. Shuck it, Trebbeck.
First off, lets address some basic strategies for high scores in Scrabble. These are more basic than the one I’m going to describe in the coming paragraphs, but to being just blow through the below list.
1) Placing valuable tiles on big bonus spaces, like putting Z or Q on triple letters. This strategy excites the game’s beginners, and when you got the good letters, hey. It works.
2) Two letter words. Like Jo, Qi, Xu, Za, etc. Or even well placed Fe, Me, Ki, etc, when building in multiple directions, will get you higher scores.
3) Effectively using S to mooch points off your opponents words.
Ok now that the basics are out of the way, and you know how to employ all of them into your strategy when the right time arises, lets step it up a bit.
Like these guys:
There are a few key questions that helped me arrive at this epic strategy for winning, and by the way, it does work. Say you beat someone about half the time you guys play. 11 out of 20 times. Playing my way will bring it up to more like 16 our 20 times. Why not 20/20? Because Scrabble also involves a lot of luck as well. But beating someone 16 out of 20 times might as well be everytime. That means you could beat them 8 times in a row before losing once. Not bad.
So the questions are as follows. And note, all good theories arise from well formed questions.
- What IS a bingo in scrabble? It’s an arrangement of 7 tiles the Scrabble accepts as a word. This is where some math comes in. Certain combos of letters are more likely to generate 7 letter words. Scrabble by definition only accepts words that are defined in a standard dictionary, so you want letters that when mixed around result in legit seven letter words. See point #3 for how blanks make this easier.
- What can you control in Scrabble? How you build the board, and how you use your own tiles. That’s about it. You can’t control the letters you get or the plays your opponent makes.
- When are you most likely to make a seven letter word? When the board is wide open, or lots of options, and when you have a BLANK. Why a blank? Because blanks open up the possible words you can create exponentially. Also, when your set of tiles has variety. Meaning, no letters in your set appear twice, and you have a balance of consonants and vowels.
So, here are the techniques for getting the job done, following on the questions we just outlined. Here comes the golden information folks.
When you get a blank, fucking save it. It’s more useful that your Z or even the X. I know, the X is seXy. When you have two or three of a letter, use it right away. Obviously many 7 letter words contain two of the same letter, but your changes of making them go down when you’ve got two or even three Ls, Ts, As, etc. Trust me on this one.
Keep patterns of words that look like they’d belong in a seven letter word. This is complicated, but slow your ADHD brain down and listen to this explanation:
ESANT, OULD, TRING, ATION, THEAN, PRANT, ORED
These are not words, but BELONG in seven letter words. When you look at your set of tiles, SEE these tiles formations in the set, and KEEP them. So say your set of tiles is the following:
ESFLANT you should see it as ESWFANT where W and F are unnecessary letters. Remember your goal is to get bingos.
Then, use the unnecessary letters, if possible, and it often is, in your next turn. But you’r only going to get 10 points for it? So what. You don’t win the game in one turn and sacrificing a few bad turns for an eventual 70+ point turn makes all the difference in the ending outcome of the game.
Along with good strings of letters, you must dump double letters or awkward combos. You must. Do it, and watch as fate sends you better letters. Even if their all one-pointers, you’re better off with a rack like REASONS, than one like KWCJXUB.
So essentially we have three major things to remember.
Save blanks, see good letter strings, and get awkward letters out of your rack.
WARNING: Playing this strategy requires good judgement. Using it the wrong way will leave you with scores too low and opponents thinking that maybe you just plain suck. But trust me, the joy that comes from bashing your opponent with a 70+ word when they think they’re owning you is great, and worth working a little bit for.
Reread twice for complete understanding.
Article by Narayguy