ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Good Scrabble Words and Strategies for Beating Your Competition

Updated on July 13, 2013
A screen capture of Droid Words, a Scrabble-like game that I am addicted to.
A screen capture of Droid Words, a Scrabble-like game that I am addicted to. | Source

A favorite pastime of mine is playing word games. I also like Sudoku, but I more often gravitate towards Scrabble, Scrabble-like games and word scrambles. With practice at these games, I have found out that these are great ways to get better and win more often. Thus, I am sharing these strategies to help other word-game lovers get more enjoyment, win more games, and, in the meantime, increase their vocabulary.

Because of the available technology, specifically applications for computers, tablets and cell phones, we are in an era which can facilitate growing one's vocabulary and learning in general. Reading helps, but if you carry a smartphone with you wherever you go, you have an opportunity to learn and challenge yourself whenever you have an idle moment. And several of these applications are free for download from reliable sources. So getting them is easy, and when you practice these games on a regular basis, you have an opportunity to learn new words, what they mean and can remember them for use in your Scrabble game.

I use all of the strategies mentioned below to win against the computers on the Hasbro Scrabble-iPhone application, as well as the programmed opponent for Droid Words. (The Hasbro opponent is the better of the two, in my experience.) Read on and find out to improve your winning experience in Scrabble!

A screen shot of the board layout of a Words With Friends game, which can be played with your Facebook friends.
A screen shot of the board layout of a Words With Friends game, which can be played with your Facebook friends. | Source

Working on Your Scrabble Vocabulary

While I am not going to give you any specific lists of words (but there are references below) that will improve your Scrabble scores, I will give you a way of building a Scrabble vocabulary. If you want an exhaustive list, check out the resource section below.

It is important to know that you have to adapt your vocabulary to meet the frequent situations that call for two- and three-letter words. You can find a list of acceptable two-letter words in the Hub, Scrabble Two-Letter Words, although I did notice that the list was missing "ja." You may also want to study the corresponding list on Wiktionary.org. Put this list to memory. Competitive players also put three-letter words to memory. An excellent three-letter to remember is "qua," which means in so far as, in the capacity of, or in the character of.

Another way to work on your Scrabble Vocabulary is to use Scrabble knock-off games like Droid Word and play against the computer. As you are enjoying the game, you will, over time, learn new, valid words. That would include the full range of words, from those that are as small as two letters and upwards. The clones I use on my Android phone are Droid Words, Words Free and Classic Words Free. You can use the first two apps to play other people as well, making random or friend connects. I recommend Classic Words Free for advanced Scrabble players, because you can set the difficulty levels to challenge yourself. Both are fun to play as well as instructional.

Word Mix Lite screen shot of a successful session.
Word Mix Lite screen shot of a successful session. | Source

Working On Creating Words from Random Letters

Another strategy that I use is to create mental flexibility for making words out of those randomly picked seven letters. There are several games that challenges you to make different words from a virtual rack of letters. In this case, I use an Android application called Word Mix. You can get a free version called Word Mix Lite to get you going. This addictive game, at least in the lite version, has five letters. There is the possibility of making one or more five letter words in each combination. You are also challenged to make all combinations of three-letter words and up.

So, this game improves your ability to recognize patterns from randomly placed letters to make acceptable English words. If you practice this game once or twice a week, you can't but help to get better at making words from the seven letters that you have on your Scrabble slate.

SCRABBLE
SCRABBLE

The official Hasbro version of Scrabble. If you don't want to waste your time with cloned games. Spend a couple of bucks and buy this.

 

More on Scrabble Strategy

Make Words for Scoring. Being able to make long words is not the objective of this game. Rather, you need to make words that make high scores. So, shoot for making words that go on top of the tile spaces where you can double or triple the value of letters and/or words. Thus, in some cases, making a two- or three-letter word in the right spot is very successful. Stacking words often leads to high scores.

Keep Your Opponent from Using Score-Enhancing Tile Spaces. This is a weak point that I have noted with the computer opponents of some Android and iPad Scrabble games, especially so with the Android applications. If you can't use the surrounding spaces that enhance your score, plot to keep them unavailable to your opponent. Use different spaces to make words or make a shorter word if you have to, accepting a lower score, it will pay off in the long run.

Seven-Letter Words. This is the Holy Grail of scoring events. When it happens, it is called a bingo and you get a 50-point bonus for using all seven of the tiles on top of whatever the word score is. This opportunity doesn't come by often, but when it does, it's great!

Work on Word Endings, Prefixes and Compound Words. For existing words on the board, observe whether they can be added to with any of the letters you have on your rack. Some word endings that you can look for include -ed, -er, -ing, ier, -est, -ing or -iest. Prefixes to consider include re-, ex-, pre- and -un. Make a compound word from the word "lord" by adding "over" before it to make a much longer, and higher-scoring word. Look for all of these opportunities, they will sometimes be the best strategy for making the highest scoring word.

Sandbag. Don't play all of your tiles if you have word-ending tiles that can be used for the next move or later to connect to another word. Adding an S ending to a word and beginning another word with that S gives you two words and sometimes double the score!

More ideas. You can get more ideas from an experienced Scrabble player on HubPages by reading the article on basic Scrabble strategy. Below I have listed another article which lists methods used by pros if you really want to get serious about competition and winning.

Scrabble Strategy

Scrabble Cheats

I often run across people when I am using Words with Friends that obviously use a program to find words. These types of programs include Scrabble Helper and Word Breaker in Android OS, Word Cheats and Cheat Master 5000 in iOS, and WordSolver and Scrabble Cheats on the web.

This is a strategy for winning that I find appalling. But, perhaps it is okay for occasions when you are really stuck.

You can tell when people are using this because of the unusual words that are played. I also recently played someone who swap letters frequently so they can make 7-letter word bonuses. That really steamed me. I have learned quite a few words from people who use these types of programs, but if you are honest and want honest play from another person, it is best to quit games where these cheats are being used and look for another player.

More on Scrabble Strategies

More Resources on Making Good Scrabble Words

Anonymous. Scrabble Word Lists. (An exhaustive listing!)

Donald Sauter. How to use the Q in Scrabble.

S. E. Smith. 2012. What are some good Scrabble strategies? wiseGEEK.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brownella profile image

      brownella 

      3 years ago from New England

      Great hub. I come from a "word game family" so this was a fun read. I too have come across the infuriating words with friends cheaters, if you don't have to think about it what really is the point of playing? Thanks for sharing!

    • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy McLaughlin 

      5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Anthony, keep working on it and you will be recognizing bigger and bigger words. That being said, I sometimes get whipped by people who are more agile at placing small words in strategic places. Stacking words horizontally and vertically can lead to multiple words, and with bonus tiles you can create scores that exceed 30 points or more frequently.

    • Anthony Binks profile image

      Anthony Binks 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Great tips, I like yourself am addicted to Words but unlike you I can only come up with three or four letter words and I am always getting beat because of that.

    • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy McLaughlin 

      6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Happy scrabbling, RTalloni!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      You offer some super tips for Scrabble. Love to read up on this game!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)