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The Internet Scrabble Club: The Best Online Scrabble Site
The Internet Scrabble Club really is the best online Scrabble site. The popular Scrabble crossword game has been a favorite board game for over 50 years. This online version makes a good thing even better.
The board game was created by New York architect, Alfred Mosher Butts, in 1938. He started working on the game when he was out of work during the Great Depression. The game was originally called “Criss Cross Words” and emerged as a variation of another game he invented called Lexiko.
Butts used architectural tools and blue prints to design the game board and tiles. The original game boards were blue prints glued on to folding cardboard checkerboards. The tiles were made of plywood and cut to fit the squares on the game board.
Butts used frequency analysis to assign point values to the lettered game tiles and to design the scoring system. Frequency analysis, or cryptoanalysis, is a study of the frequency of letters that occur in written language. Cryptoanalysis has been used to decipher cryptographic messages since the 9th Century.
Butts studied the front page of The New York Times and kept detailed charts showing how many times each letter appeared. Vowels, especially the letter E were used much more frequently than consonants. Some consonants were rarely used. In a Scrabble game, there are 12 letter E tiles that are assigned a point value of 1. There is only one Z, and it is worth 10 points.
Butts manufactured a few game sets, but was not successful at marketing the game. He sold rights to the game in 1948. According to Scrabble legend, Jack Straus, owner of Macy’s Department Stores, played a game of Scrabble while on vacation in 1952. When he returned home he found that his store didn’t carry the game. He placed a large order and within a year everyone owned the game of Scrabble.
The scoring system in Scrabble, with double word scores and triple letter scores along with the point values of each letter, is fascinating, but complicated. And that is one of the reasons why The Internet Scrabble Club is the best online Scrabble site. The scoring is done by computer! Of course, there are other computer Scrabble games that keep score. Another great feature of The Internet Scrabble Club is the social component. You are able to play with other online players. You can chat while you play or turn the chat off. You can add players to your buddy list and invite your buddies to play when they are online.
Some other features of the site that make it so appealing are its player rating system, player statistics, game preference settings and word lists. After a preliminary period, players receive ratings based on their scores in the games they’ve played. Once rated, a player’s rating increases or decreases when they win or lose games. Statistics are kept for each player that includes the number of wins/ losses and game scores. Game preferences can be set that include time limits for games (between 3 and 60 minutes), the way word challenges are handled, and opponent rating scores - so a player can be matched with opponents within a range of rating scores if desired. The help section contains some handy word lists for 2, 3, 4 or 5 letter words in alphabetical order.
To get started on The Internet Scrabble Club go to www.isc.ro and follow the prompts given. You will be prompted to provide a username and to download wordbiz, which is the free software needed to play. Once downloaded, a wordbiz icon will appear on your desktop and start menu. When you click the icon, a sign on screen appears that will connect you to the ISC server. Once you are signed on and connected to the site you can “seek” a game by pressing the “seek” key with your preferences. You can wait for a player to request a game with you or go to the seek graph and find a player with similar preferences. You can add players to a buddy list and request games with buddies.
Once you get oriented and quickly sharpen your Scrabble skills with practice, you’ll want to equip yourself with an Official Scrabble Players Dictionary and the latest edition of Everything Scrabble where you’ll learn competitive strategies for improving your game and increasing your score. You’ll also learn about worldwide Scrabble clubs and tournaments for organized competitive play, and a little about Children’s Scrabble and the National School Scrabble Program.
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