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How to Win Every Game Playing Words with Friends

Updated on September 3, 2012

Scrabble the Real Way!

Strategies to win Words with Friends or Scrabble

We all live in the Facebook and smartphone world where interacting with others through online games is increasingly commonplace. You receive a notification from a co-worker or family member who wants to play scrabble with you? Seems innocent enough...until you lose. You realize that the days of casual word games are gone, and it's time to play for blood.

As a chronic victor in Words, let me share with you what I do to ensure a win.

1. Going first puts you at a slight advantage. If you are able to take a turn first, you have two options. Most people simply play a word across the red star, but consider this move; if you cannot play a solid word on your first play, consider passing or trading in some chips for your first turn. Once your opponent plays, you may find it's easy to build a good word off of theirs. It varies game by game whether it is advantageous to put a word down first, but at least when you offer the challenge, you are giving yourself the choice.

2. Try to use all seven tiles. In scrabble, this is called a bingo. In addition to all the points you amasse, you will get an additional 35 points. This gets increasingly difficult as the board fills up so if you are going to attempt a bingo, do so at the beginning of the game (within the first four or five moves).

3. Hang onto to those high point letters. Try not to freeze when you get a Z, X, or J. These letters while more difficult to make a word, can rack up some serious points, especially if you play them on a double or triple letter bonus. If you look at the screenshot included, you will see a two letter word at the bottom left hand of the picture using a Z (the word is Za). That Z was played on a double letter, and since it spelled Za both ways, the word received over 40 points.


4. Study your Two-Letter Scrabble words. Knowing these will save your game. Some two letter words that I use all the time are Za, Xi, Xu, Jo, Ka, and Qi. Try to find a nook where the two letter word works both ways.

5. Play defensively. This is an often forgotten strategy. When you are playing your turn, you see a great word and plop it down. What you don't realize it that it has rolled out a red carpet for your opponent to use a triple word bonus. This is where you must factor in that your amazing 26pt word won't really get you ahead all that much if you give your opponent the option to score a 30+ point word. Try to find the most difficult place to play a word that doesn't give your opponent any options.


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6. Stack words. This takes a little practice, but will help you significantly. Instead of playing off of one tile, try to form a three or four letter word that makes several two letter words in the process. You will rack up points for all the two letter words, as well as the main word. Study the word tenors in the screenshot. I received the points for that word PLUS At, En, and Do.

7. Pay attention to the tiles that are left. Words with Friends uses an inventory of 90 tiles. There is only on Z, Q, X, K, and 2 V's. You will want to keep that in mind if you play a word that opens up an opponent to play one of those super letters in a prime spot. If they have been played, then you can be a little more loose with your word placement.

8. Remember how the score racks up. When a player uses all their tiles, the game is over. Any remaining tiles on your rack will count against you. If you are at the game and you know that there is only one move left, it may be better to play a smaller word using high scoring letters, rather than a long word that doesn't use a high point letter.

9. Add a letter to an existing word. This strategy works really well if you have an S. In the screen shot above, my opponent played the word Autumn. I added the S to the word and played SCAPE going down. I received the points for both Autumns and Scape.

10. Don't hesitate to smack talk in the chat box. It can't hurt!

-Julie DeNeen

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    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I used to play Scrabble all the time--even entered a few tournaments didn't win though. :( Used to let friends use the Scrabble dictionary to find words. That was a long time ago--you helped me remember some fun times--thanks!

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 5 years ago from Midwest

      These are great suggestions! My current favorite strategy is to stack words for high points. But, I never thought about playing defensively.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Yep, these are all tips that my wife uses with expert skill, and only a few of which I have just begun to learn. Great hub, voted up and useful.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Love this game and many more word games...these tips are goods for many of them!

    • woothie profile image

      woothie 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      And if all else fails, you could always cheat. I have a friend who's words started out common and simple and then they suddenly turned into words I knew she couldn't use in a sentence. I bet websites like Anagrammer are to thank for that!

      Still, a fantastic game.

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Good tips. WWF is fun; especially when you win.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Wow I needed this information. I'm so competitve! LOL

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 5 years ago from Scotland

      Great tips ,I play this game every day on Fb and I love it.....jimmy

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great tips here. I haven't played that game yet because I know I will get hooked, but I will remember these tips. I LOVE competitive Scrabble so that game is a bit too tempting. Welcome to Hubpages!

    • michememe profile image

      Miche Wro 5 years ago

      I love this game I haven't played it in months now. It's so addicting. My new game is scramble with friends, call me a pro on that one. I also learned by playing words, to start with using words that with t or g's to build upward to a word.

    • profile image

      curiousgeorge77 5 years ago

      I will be sure to use these suggestions to beat you at one of these word games!!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you! I might finally be able to beat a couple of friends who continue to kick my ***!:)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      All of these I have used in games with my sister and she STILL seems to beat me all the time! Guess some of us just don't have the scrabble gene :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Scrabble is THE game. :) Neat post with great tips!