Scrabble Help: 10 Tips to Improve Your Game Fast

10 Top Tips to Better Scrabble

If you're looking to improve your game of Scrabble I have compiled a list of ideas which will help you. Maybe it has been many years since you've played or you just want a few pointers on how to squeeze a few extra points out of each tray.

I play daily online against my family and friends. It is easy to think the games would be repetitive but my family also play with a larger circle of friends all using different strategies and different words. This helps to expand our Scrabble knowledge as this is then replayed in games with each other.

Scrabble Mug

Q words without the U Scrabble Mug
Q words without the U Scrabble Mug | Source

1. The letter Q

Sometimes you can tell when someone sitting across the table from you draws the Q. It either brings a smile to their face or a look of dread. The difference between those two players is the one who is smiling knows their list of Q words which don't need a U following. Even if you don't remember all of them, a Q should never be a reason to worry because the word "QI" can be played almost anywhere. If you are lucky you will be able to place it on a triple letter going both ways.

That would be a resulting score of at least 74 points for just two letters. Not bad eh?

2. Prefixes and Suffixes in Scrabble

It is often easy to overlook the use of prefixes when we play Scrabble. Developing an eye for looking for prefixes 'such as dis, un, re, anti will advance your game immensely. It is a good idea to move potential prefixes to the left of your tray. This will assist you in training your brain to look at the possible plays.

Likewise keep alert to the potential for suffixes as well, est, er, ing or ly .These tiles should be moved to the right of your tray.

These are just a few examples of both. Still hungry for more prefixes and suffixes?

3. Two letter words

Do you play against someone who uses two letter words? They probably use these as hooks which help them connect to another word. Mastering these words will open up many possibilities as they allow you to form words on your tray, not just on the board.


Of course there are those words you use everyday such as To, Do, Be and My but there are a host of more obscure words which you should keep in your arsenal of potential hooks. You don't need to know the meanings of them unless you want to.

These can be useful for hooking on to the beginning or the end of a word or ideal as a parallel play.



American or British English Dictionary

Which dictionary do you use when you play Scrabble? It is necessary that everyone agrees from the outset which one will be used. This eliminates any confusion during the game. American English is also used in Canada, Thailand and Israel.

For the rest of the English speaking world and for tournament play, British or UK English is used. If you are going to take your game to the next level and play in official tournaments, it is good to begin familiarizing yourself with the new word lists.

On many online website you are asked to choose which dictionary you will be using at the beginning of each game.

Scrabble Game
Scrabble Game | Source
Source

4. Compound Words

Do you remember what a compound word is? These are words such as foreground, tabletop, and doorway. Two words which are combined together to make one. Keep your eyes open for potential compound words on the board. When someone plays a word, do a quick mental vocabulary run through and see if there are any words you could add to the beginning or the end of that word to make another word. These don't even need to be associated with what is on your tray, use it as a training exercise.

Depending on who you are playing against, they may think they have played strategically, thinking you could only add a D, S, or R as the end letter or, in the example, an s at the beginning.

If you can make their word into a compound word, you could extend over a triple play without them realizing they have left you open to such a move. The look on their face when you do this will be priceless.



5. Play Defensively

Play defensively, getting a great score and leaving your opponent with a potential better score is pointless. And yes the pun was intended.

To the right is a link which has examples of plays depending on who you are playing against.

Do you swap letters in Scrabble?

See results without voting

6. Swapping Your Letters

Don't be afraid to swap tiles. If you are lumbered with a tray full of vowels or consonants and can score no more than 10 points a turn, it is time to swap. Many people, even those that have played for many years, resist doing this and as such score less. Below you will see a list of words that use mainly consonants or vowels. I can't urge this strongly enough, don't waste too many turns trying to play out of a bad hand. Your opponent will be pulling ahead of you.

Look at this example below.

Susan
Jeff
Liz
30
27
15
37
52
45
46
84
73
56
126
118
You can see from Susan's score, she should have swapped earlier. Now the gap is at least 50 points.

Tray full of Vowels


If you have a tray filled with all or nearly all vowels you may be able to play out of them. Words such as ALOE, BEAU, UREA, IOTA, AUDIO, ADIEU. These all are great words to use up vowels.

Tray full of consonants

Sometimes you can be staring at a tray with only consonants on it. Don't despair, there are ways to play out of it. Consider these words.HYMN, RHYTHMS, MYRRHS, NYMPHS, PYGMY, CYST, SPRY and GYPSY.

7. How to Get a Bingo

Everyone wants a bingo, a seven letter word that increases your score dramatically. They are usually made from low point value tiles. If there is nowhere to play your seven letter word, rearrange the letters and move on. It is easy to get blinded and not see other words. Keep shuffling your letters to see possible words. These 7 letter words are best played early in the game because as the game progresses, there is less space to play a long word.

The letters below are considered the best for being able to get a Bingo.

8. Problem Letters

If you struggle with a certain letter, learn words that use that letter both as a beginning letter and contained within the word. Think of other letters that are often used next to it. Build a bank of these words in your memory and it will soon become less daunting when you draw it. For me, it was the letter V;. Now I have certain 'go to V words ' I use when I draw it.

9. Never Swap These Letters

The S, D, R and blank are great letters for hooking onto the end of words, if you are swapping tiles, it is advisable to never swap these.

10. Learn From Better Players

Play against and learn from better players. If you are playing someone who is consistently scoring more than you, where are their points coming from? It is likely their tiles were no better than yours, they just used them more effectively.

Increase your Scrabble vocabulary. Practice these new skills and watch your score increase. Over time, people will be watching how you play and learning from you.

Good luck and happy Scrabbling.

More by this Author


Are you a fan of Scrabble? 16 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Oh yeah, these are great tips! Now you've got me wanting to play Scrabble this late at night. The best I can do right now is link it to my Scrabble recipe hub and pin it to my Children's…Games board, but I'll be keeping the tips in mind!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

A Scrabble recipe, I have got to take a look at that.

Thanks for visting and linking.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

There is a Facebook game called "Words with Friends." Same game as Scrabble, and it is my way to unwind at the end of the day. Love this game. Thanks for the tips my friend, and have a wonderful weekend.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Hi Bill,

I have never played the version on Facebook but it is a wonderful game which has stood the test of time. Hope you can use the tips to good effect in your upcoming games.

Thanks for visiting and have a great Sunday.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

You have covered everything here! What a great resource.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Thanks, I am glad you liked it.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I never swap out an S. Someone would have to fight me for it. My mother and I used to play all the time when I lived with my parents. She is very good at it since she practices with crossword puzzles. Very helpful advice here... I might use some of it against my mother one day!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Yes you should. My mother too was very good at it and most games. I love the way games can pull a family together.

Have a great week and thanks for reading.


Trisha Roberts profile image

Trisha Roberts 2 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

Great hub! I am always finding ways to better myself in word games (Words with Friends) and I feel this has truly gave me a different eye. Thanks!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Hi Trisha,

You're welcome, glad you found it useful. Enjoy your games.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

I enjoy scrabble but don't play it too often. I do appreciate your tips, as they will help when I get a chance to play. Thanks.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Hi Pamela,

I use to be the same until I started playing online. You should give it a try. If you don't have time for a full game, you can play by email. I play free on a site called Lexulous.

I think it is a great game and keeps the brain young.

Thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked the tips.


integrater profile image

integrater 14 months ago

Thank you for excellent scrabble tips. I used to play scrabble as a kid and would score heavily most of the times. But never played online scrabble. May be l will start scrabble again and this time online version. If you play Sudoku it would be nice you write something helpful about that too .


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 14 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi integrater,

I think you would enjoy online Scrabble. I also like Sudoku but wouldn't be the best person to write about it as I find it frustrating!!

Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Thanks for reading


Vganassa 11 months ago

Best way to use the letter Z


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 11 months ago from Brazil Author

The letter Z always divides people. I personally love getting it but I know other people who feel it is as bothersome as drawing the Q. To me the Z is easier to use because it fits nicely at the front or the middle of a word. Plus there is always the ZA, ZO (not US) and then Zee, Zip etc. Much more flexible than a Q.

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