Confessions of a Scrabble Lover-What's Your Best Score?

Scrabble, anyone?
Scrabble, anyone?
 

I'm extremely competitive when it comes to games, especially word games. Most specifically, I LOVE to play Scrabble. Here's the problem: no one ever wants to play with me. When my husband and I decide to pull out a board game and it's my turn to choose, I can see the dread in his face as I opt for that burgundy box of little wooden letters. During our last Scrabble duel, I used all of my letters on the first turn. For those of you who don't play Scrabble, using all of your seven letters is referred to as a "bingo" and earns a bonus of 50 points in addition to your actual score. So it's a big deal. Hats off to my husband who humored me and stuck with it the whole game, only losing by about 100 points. What a guy!

Why do I love word games so much? It's genetic, I'm sure. My paternal Grandfather was an avid puzzler and a fanatical word gamer. He taught me at a very young age to play Scrabble and Upwords. He wouldn't let me win just because I was a kid, and cheating was out of the question. I once tried turning a letter tile over and using it as a blank, but I couldn't put it past him. My Grandfather also showed me how to do crossword puzzles, which I still enjoy. We shared an enthusiasm for trivia, games, and wordplay. We were even born on the same day, 60 years apart. So I owe my passion for word games and puzzles to my Grandpa.

I recently watched a documentary about super Scrabble players called "Word Wars." A handful of Scrabble enthusiasts are profiled while preparing for and competing in the National Scrabble Championship held in Las Vegas. I'll be honest. These guys are crazy! Most of them are unemployed bachelors who spend everyday trying to improve their Scrabble game. They play countless matches with other Scrabblers, in hopes of winning first place at the Championship. One guy even claims he uses "brain enhancers" to improve his play.

The funny thing is the tournament champion only wins $25,000. I realize that's a lot of money, but these guys don't have jobs! They devote their lives to practicing for the ultimate Scrabble match, and chances are they'll go home empty handed. It's an entertaining documentary, simply because the characters are so quirky. The National Scrabble Association has over 10,000 members. I think they picked the cream of the crop for this documentary.

Word Wars trailer

Jimmy Kimmel Interviews National School Scrabble Champions

I can't wait until my kids are old enough to learn Scrabble. Then I'll have someone to play with! I think it will be a fun way to practice spelling and vocabulary. Playing Scrabble is a great way to exercise your brain. You can learn new words and definitions, improve your memory, and enhance your language skills. While you're stretching your memory to come up with a word using seven random letters, your neurons are firing on all burners. This type of intellectual stimulation will keep your brain young and healthy.

So what's a good Scrabble score? At the 2008 National Scrabble Championship, winner Nigel Richards' highest score was 530. In 2006, a Massachusetts carpenter earned 830 points, setting the record for the highest Scrabble score ever. My highest score earned so far in a game of Scrabble is 378. It doesn't compare to the scores of true Scrabble connoisseurs, but for a living room Scrabble player I'd say it's pretty good. What's your best score?

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Comments 47 comments

Phillip 8 years ago

I remember beating my wife twice at scrabble in all the times we played. Once when we were dating and once a few years ago after we were married. Sometimes I get close only to fall prey to a dreaded Q or Z word on a triple score. I have no idea of my highest score because it usually isn't the highest score in the game. :) But Thursday night it will be. I challenge you Mrs. Wilson to a Scrabble duel!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

You're on!


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

I have never won that game. My husband is mega-smart. Therefore, the best I do is come in second. lol. But, it's fun playing. I don't remember my best score. Just that it was second or third lol. Great hub!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

allshookup- It's wonderful that you have fun playing and spending time with your hubby! That's what I enjoy most too...but winning is also fun :) Thanks for reading!


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

I've never won so I'll take your word for it LOL! But, I keep trying. I'll beat him one day. I always beat him at Mad-Gab so I guess that makes us even. Keep up the great work! :)


Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I have never played it however I love words and playing with words and in fact I sometimes feel when I am writing, that words play with ME!...(they seem to like bounding around in my head, jumbling themselves up until something creates a pattern)...so that sounds like scrabble to me...conclusion?...I must have scrabble-brains. A good thing, I hope.

Thanks for the fun read! )


talented_ink profile image

talented_ink 8 years ago from USA

I've yet to meet the challenger I'm not willing to face in scrabble, text twist or any other game period. You up for a game of literati? lol


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Talented_ink-finally someone I can relate to! :) I haven't played literati, but I enjoy text twist, and I really like Word Racer.


talented_ink profile image

talented_ink 8 years ago from USA

Literati is yahoo's version of scrabble and it's hard for me not to find any mind challenging game slightly obsessive. Cryptograms usually hold my attention until I have them solved.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Woody-you should definitely learn to play Scrabble.  Sounds like you'd be really good at it! If you want to play online, you can play Scrabble through facebook, or like talented_ink informed me, you can play literati on yahoo, which is similar to Scrabble.  Have fun!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Talented_ink-I will definitely check out literati. Thanks for the fun tip!


Kim 8 years ago

Hey Shawna, Great article! I've had a lot of fun going through all of them actually! Good Job!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks Kim! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my hubs :)


Mom 8 years ago

I must admit, you have always been the best Scrabble player in our family. It was nice to read your memories of your beloved grandfather. He loved you so much.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks Mom :)


odd world profile image

odd world 8 years ago from Oddsville

Very interesting. I wished the documentary had been little longer with more detail but it's still a great read. And even your mom vouched for your skills. Maybe you should try getting into one of those competition. :)


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Odd World-Did you actually watch the documentary or just the trailer I posted in the article? I can always rely on my mom to leave nice comments on my hubs :) Thanks for reading!


me 7 years ago

448


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Wow, 448 is impressive! Do you ever compete in tournaments?


Wilson 7 years ago

490 for me, but I can't quite put that up consistently enough to enter tournaments yet. I'm averaging about 385 these days.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Wow, that's awesome, Wilson. How often do you practice?


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 7 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse

My highest score in facebook scrabble is 402 but does it really count since you get to validate words in the dictionary. See my hub http://hubpages.com/games-hobbies/Facebook-Scrabbl


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

I have never played facebook scrabble...I will try it sometime. Thanks for reading!


Abhishek 7 years ago

Hi.

Mine is 389.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Sounds like we'd be a pretty even match, Abhishek. I'll admit I haven't played in months though, so I'm probably very rusty. Thanks for stopping by!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Well, I played last night with my husband for the first time in a VERY LONG time and I only scored 318. I guess I need to practice more often!


Wiggy 7 years ago

Hi there, I just finished a game with my partner today and I won. I scored 305 which I was really proud of!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Great job, Wiggy!


svfox69 7 years ago

I will win the $25,000 prize easy, http://scrabblecheat.com


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Hmmmm...somehow I think that would be against the rules :)


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

what a fun read!! my siblings and I loved scrabble and it always ended by finding the silliest words of all...in fact, the last time we were all happily together was 1993 and the five of us plus our kids played until dawn and then kept on with the day but without the giggles that the game induced by 0400 hours :) but hubby will NOT play with me...he prefers gin rummy and other card games which is fun too but words...man, I think hubbers are just addicted dont you guys?


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

I agree that word games are the most fun! My husband does play with me on occasion, just to humor me I think, but he really prefers other games. Thanks for reading RNMSN!


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Excellent hub, this is definitely my favorite game.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

One of my favorites too!


mcsquared65 7 years ago

It always feel like I've gotten a good brain workout after a Scrabblefest. :)


Todd 6 years ago

Just got my best score 410! Yeah! I got a board for christmas and played probably 5 games already, it's so addicting!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Wow, 410 is great! Enjoy :)


marsoult 6 years ago

My highest score against a computer is 663 (my opponent, the “Smart” level, got 270). No cheating (i.e. looking up words) or taking a long time to play. Got four bingos but only had one blank. I regularly beat the "Genius" level on my computer (though granted it beats me more often) and when I do I often get 500+. The highest combined score for a game that I won against the computer is 1002 (502 v. 500). I've only played half a dozen games on a physical board against a human opponent in recent years (compared to hundreds of games against the computer) and my highest score was just under 500.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

My latest addiction is "Words with Friends" on my iPod touch. It's also available on the iPhone. You can play a scrabble-like game against random opponents or people that you know. The board is arranged a little differently than the Scrabble board, but for the most part, it's the same game. I love it!


Dan 6 years ago

On the picture there are 2 non-words: "AR" and "WIP"!

I think the secret is to learn all the 2 and 3 letter words.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

This is a great hub. I just noticed it was written 2 yrs ago! I just published a hub on The Internet Scrabble Club and a little about the tournaments. I loved the video. They are extreme scrabblers!


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 5 years ago from Arizona Author

kim-yes, it's been a while since I wrote this! Now I've gotten totally addicted to Words with Friends on the iphone/pod/pad. So fun to play against other people I know :)


Mark 4 years ago

I've scored over 500 a few times against a computer on pogo scrabble, but i think it is easier to get high scores against the computer because it does not play defense (ie. it's easy to get triple and double word scores).


Avalon 3 years ago

My highest score in the last week was 478. No one I know will play me.


shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Avalon, do you play words with friends? If so, I'd love to play you. No one will play with me either :( lol


Michael Rhodes 2 years ago

I like your enthusiasm! My high score in a Scrabble tournament was between 560 and 570, I average between 390 and 410 per game. I have people who won't play Words with me either lol... I met several of the Word Wars players (Jim Geary, Marlon Hill, Joe Edley, Joel Sherman...) in various tournaments. Have fun with your Words!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 17 months ago from Brazil

I love it as well. I play on a site called Lexulous ( I use the free version). I live in Brazil but play against my family in the US and the UK. They have a 'live version ' or an email version. There is also the chance to play against robots but I tend to only play against my family.

I think it helps keep the brain young.

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