ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Play Scrabble Competitively

Updated on February 28, 2013
Source
Source

Do you want to score higher in Scrabble? You can. Are you thinking that you need to know lots of words? Maybe, if you’re heading for Scrabble championships, but what’s just as important as widening your vocabulary, is to use particular Scrabble tactics. Scrabble is a competitive game, which is best played between two players, even though you can add up to two more players. Your overall strategy for Scrabble should include smart plays, power plays and defensive plays. Here are some basic tactics that you can use to dazzle your competitors.

Play Two-Letter Words

There are over 120 two-letter words in English which you could study. You don’t necessarily have to know what they mean -- even though that’s commendable -- but they are absolutely excellent for making smart plays. Sometimes two-letter words conjure some large scores too and they are commonly used to make two plays in one -- meaning that when you play one word, it forms another word in the opposite orientation. Two-letter word plays are at times your only way out from an apparently blocked game.

Play Three-Letter Words

Three-letter words are not as versatile as two-letter words, but they also are good for smart plays. There are several times when you can add a single tile to an already played two-letter word, such as adding ‘K’ to ‘AS’, or adding ‘D’ to ‘AND’. Just like two-letter words, you can also study a list of three-letter words that will boost your competitiveness.

Make Use of Prefixes and Suffixes

Adding to letters to already played words is clever, especially when you can get a multiple score. You can do this by adding prefixes such as ‘un’ or suffixes such as ‘ed’. Suffixes tend to be more commonly played though, as you can pluralize words by adding a valuable ‘s’ or transform a word to its past tense by adding an ‘ed’.


Make Power Plays With Rare Letters

You know these letters, and they can either be a source of headache, or they can bring you massive scores. There exists only one J, K, Q, X and Z in any Scrabble pack, and their value ranges from 5 to 10. They are great for power plays, particularly when you place tiles in multiple score zones. Study words that have each of these letters, as there are relatively few of them, and many of them aren't commonly used.


Unscramble Letters in Your Rack

See all possibilities. Keep shifting around tiles in your rack and see how many optional words you can come up with while keeping track with what’s taking place on the board. This is a tactic that will make it more likely for you to play the best play, and not just putting down tiles at the first sight of a play.

Can you make a BINGO word (using all seven letters) from these?
Can you make a BINGO word (using all seven letters) from these? | Source
Blank tiles have no numerical value, but they are extremely valuable 'ghost letters' especially when creating Bingo words.
Blank tiles have no numerical value, but they are extremely valuable 'ghost letters' especially when creating Bingo words. | Source

Use Blank Tiles Wisely

Blank tiles have no value numerically, but they are extremely useful ‘ghost letters’ that can be the letters that you don’t have in your rack. Use blank tiles to make bingo words, i.e. using all seven tiles in one power play. Also, you may need a blank tile when you’re out of vowels, which tends to happen when the game is winding down. Simply put, use blanks only in dire need or when you can make an awesome play.

Study and Practice

These Scrabble tactics discussed are certainly not exhaustive, but rather basic, so that you can start improving your game. There’s also the ingredient of foresight in your overall Scrabble strategy. This is not about predicting what words are going to be played, but about where they may be played. Sometimes, you may need to hold off from playing certain words that will give your competitor an open chance to make multiple scores, or even to block your next play. That's another thing, you need to make sure that you don’t block yourself from future plays, so for instance, try not to play all your vowels at once -- it may turn out to be Scrabble suicide. Practice is key, and while you do, try out these tactics. Oh, and remember to study those two-letter words -- they’ll come in handy to play Scrabble competitively. Guaranteed.

Have a comment? Got any Scrabble tactic you would like to share?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    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)