If the reason you have never wanted to play Scrabble before is that you feel like you aren’t “smart enough” or “you don’t know enough words,” there is an easy solution. You don’t need to know thousands of words to become an expert player. Scrabble is about strategy and learning how to properly use the board and tiles in your rack, than about the words you know. For this week’s #TileTipThursday, we have put together a list of our most useful tips to help you become the best Scrabble player possible.
Start off right
If you are entirely new to Scrabble, here is a quick rundown of how the game starts. The game begins with all players randomly drawing a tile before they pick their racks. The player with the letter closest to “A” goes first, and they get the added bonus of using the center star, which is a double-word score. To take full advantage of this and start the game off right with a nice bonus, don’t place a letter that is worth only one or two points there; try and use one of your tiles with the highest points in this square to get the biggest bonus.
Know the small words
Scrabble isn’t all about those huge and obscure words you know, often it’s just about knowing enough two or three letter words. Words like “ay, yo, xi, ki, amu, ani, and nee” can help boost your score by 50 points.
Use your tiles wisely
Try to use as many tiles per hand as possible. Since there are only 100 letter tiles in each bag, the more you are able to use, the less your opponents will have. This means potentially more points to you.
However, sometimes it can be smarter to save high-point tiles if they don’t combine well together. You might be able to score the Bingo bonus (when you play all 7 tiles at once) if you are smart about what you have in your hand. Sometimes, playing just a few tiles might be the better move. Other times, playing a long word for low points can help clear out your rack, allowing you to get a fresh set of tiles.
Look for bonuses
Often, the difference between the winner and the loser isn’t who knows more words, but who can take advantage of the double and triple word scores. Head to these squares and always be on the lookout to take advantage of these bonus squares. If you can combine it with a high-value tile like the elusive Q, Z, or J, your score can get a nice boost to put you ahead.
The official Scrabble lingo for adding tiles to an existing word on the board to spell a new word is called “hooks.” This is when you change “Lush” into “Blush” or “Host” becomes “Ghost.” By just adding one or two letters to an existing word on the board, you can score some serious points for yourself.
Trade in tiles
Sometimes, trading in your tiles can be the smartest move. If you are only getting tiles with low points and therefore are making low scoring words, you should consider changing your tiles. Of course, carefully check the board before you do this, so you aren’t leaving points behind.
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