For some, Scrabble is a great way to pass a weekday night with friends and family. For others, it becomes a full-blown obsession that consumes way too many thoughts, and all you want to do is pop up the board and shake that bag of tiles. However, to switch it up every so often, you can try some of the more popular scrabble variants. These games were created with Scrabble as their inspiration, but have either changed the standard gameplay rules or the equipment altogether. For the Scrabble obsessed, using an alternative game can keep it fresh and exciting. Here are some of our favorite Scrabble Alternatives.
To play this game, you don’t need any new equipment. It gets its name from “anagram” (obviously” and grab (because you can grab an opponent’s tiles at any time). You play with the regular Scrabble tiles, but the rules add an extra little twist. The letter tiles are placed face down and turned over one by one. There are no turns, and at any time a player can call out a word of at least four letters. The word can be made up either from the pool of letters or by adding at least one new letter to an existing word.
What makes it a little bit more difficult is when you are making a new word, the root of the word must be changed. For example, you can’t add a D to MOVE to make MOVED. All the letters in the existing word have to be included, plus an additional one.
As soon as the new letter is turned over, the first person to say a valid word can take the tiles. If two people say a word at the same time, the longer word takes it. If the two words are the same length, then the word(s) are banned for the rest of the name, and no one gets the tiles.
Once the tiles are all used up, you add up the face value of the tiles multiplied by the number of letters in that word. Or you can just add up the total number of letters held or the face value of the tiles.
Anagrams is another fast-paced, non-turn-based Scrabble variant where you don’t need a board. Once again, the tiles are placed face-down, and players take turns flipping a tile at a time in clear view of all players. Since there are no turns, any player who sees a valid word can call it out, take the letters, and put the tiles in front of himself. You must make a word of 3 or more letters from the pool of remaining letters, or you can add letters to an existing word on the table, either your own or your opponents. If you add a letter to your opponents (ALE becomes SALE), then you get to steal the tiles from the opponent. At the end of the game, the face value of the tiles is counted up and scored.
Also called Speed Scrabble or Bananagrams, this game is once again fast-paced, non-turn based Scrabble alternative where the tiles are placed face-down in a pool and each player is given a small number of starting tiles. From their tiles, each player tries to build a valid Scrabble grid, which means you are not allowed to use any tiles from your opponent. When a player is able to use up all of his face-up tiles, she shouts “take two!” and each player takes two more tiles. The game ends when there are no longer any tiles left to play.
Scrabble Slam! follows an entirely different set of rules from everything else on this list. Instead of the traditional tiles, players throw down a card with a letter on it to change a four-letter word to another four-letter word by placing the card on top of one of the four piles of cards that form the word. An example, if the word on top shows BEAT, a player could put a K on the T to form BEAK, and the next player could place a P on the T to form PEAK and so on. Points are earned based on how many words you build.
Also known as Equable, this game is for those who love math. Instead of letters, Gosum users have to place sequences of numbers and equations by using the four main arithmetic operators (addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication) and the equal sign in a Scrabble-like placement.
If these Scrabble alternatives are not enough, then check out our line of handmade Scrabble gifts. Perfect for anyone who loves Scrabble, it can make a great addition to a game room or any room in the house!