Some people are crazy about watching movies . . . some are crazy about playing fantasy football . . . some are crazy about cooking and eating . . . some are crazy about dancing . . . and some are crazy about playing board games! One board game that never seems to fade away is Scrabble. It is such a challenging game of strategy, creativity, wit, and even a little luck, and can be enjoyed by practically any age! The only thing more enjoyable than playing Scrabble is WINNING at Scrabble! If you have no strategies for winning Scrabble, then you are sure to get demolished every time you play! A Scrabble player with no strategy is like one of those fantasy football players with no pre-draft cheat sheets! You need to be prepared! If you want to start racking up some victories in your upcoming Scrabble battles with your friends and family, please refer to the tips listed below:
Keep in mind that you get a 50-point bonus whenever you lay down 7 of your tiles in one turn. One of the easiest ways to create 7- or 8-letter words is when you have “I,” “N” and “G” in your rack. You can throw “ING” to the end of pretty much any verb, so all you have to do with the remainder of your tiles is come up with a simple 4- or 5-letter word and connect it with one of the words already on the board. Coming up with a 4- or 5-letter word is MUCH easier than coming up with a 7-letter one! Utilize this “ING” technique whenever possible! It is sure to increase your 50-point bonus potential!
Do not set up your opponent for Triple Word scores. Unless you have a HUGE word that you insist on putting down and/or it’s at the end of the game and you can’t possibly wait any longer to get rid of that dang “Q,” then you should never put a word down that can be latched onto the Triple Word. If you do this, then your opponent will immediately pounce on the opportunity! This can be extremely costly, especially if your opponent has a “Z” or “J” waiting to be put down!
Keep track of the letter chart on the board. This chart tells you how many tiles of each letter are in the game. This can come in very handy at the end of games. One example would be this: You have a decent word that ends one space in front of a triple or double word square and know that IF your opponent has an “S,” then he can add on to your word and get twice or three times the points that you just got! This is a risky move, especially late in the game, so eliminate that risk by quickly skimming the board for the letter “S.” If you count 4 on the board, you should be safe . . . although, be sure to keep track of the blank tiles, too, as they can be used an “S,” as well!
Don’t kill yourself with a horrible rack! If your rack contains nothing but measly 1-point vowels, you are in for a long game! By the time you get rid of a portion of these vowels, your opponent will probably already have gained a substantial lead on you. To avoid this, you need to exchange your tiles. You have the option of clearing your tiles back into the bag and picking up a fresh set of letters. The drawback to utilizing this option is that you lose a turn if you do this; however, it is most likely worth your while, unless, of course, you end up with a rack full of vowels again when you pick your new letters!
Don’t leave high-value letters like “Z” and “J” wide open. Yes, you are happy when you create a word with your “Z” and spell the word “lazy,” but don’t share the happiness! When utilizing these letters, try to put them in spots that can not be easily created into new words for your opponent. Otherwise, your opponent will use the “Z” in your “lazy” to create a word like “zoo” or “haze.” An obvious exception to this rule is when your “Z” is on a Triple Letter score, or is part of a Triple Word.
DON’T WASTE YOUR “S”
Cherish your “S” and blank tile! For the love of God, please don’t waste the letter “S” on a simple, low-value word like “rose!” Even if a weak word like that is a double word, it only gets you about 8 points! Same goes for the blank tiles! A good rule of thumb to go by with these letters is this-if you can’t get a MINIMUM of 20 points with your “S” or blank tile, then don’t use it! Save it for later! Preferably, wait until you can add it onto a lengthy word that was already created beforehand, and then proceed to latch a new word that begins or ends with your “S.”
Good luck, Scrabble players! Keep that dictionary handy!