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Updated on October 8, 2010

Scrabble is a trademarked and copyrighted word game in which letter tiles marked with various score values are used to form interlocking words, crossword fashion, on a playing board. Two to four players compete by counting score values of 1 to 10 marked on the letter tiles vised, and by placing words to cover places, including premium places, on the board. Each player starts with seven tiles, and play continues until all tiles have been drawn and one of the players has used all his letters, or until all possible plays have been made. The values of letters not used when play ends are deducted from a player's score. If one player has used all his letters, his score is increased by the total of the unplayed letters of all the other players.

Scrabble, a game based on ideas developed by Alfred M. Butts, New York City architect, was introduced in 1948 by the Production & Marketing Company of Newtown, Conn., and is manufactured by the Selchow & Righter Company, New York City. It is related to anagrams, a traditional game employing letter tiles that is said to have been played since the Middle Ages. Scrabble became widely popular among English-speaking peoples, and was adapted to other languages including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Russian, and Afrikaans. The distribution of letters and score values is varied in accordance with frequencies of letter use in each language.

Scrabble for Juniors, a simplified version designed for children 5 to 10 years old, was introduced in 1958. A braille edition of the game is distributed noncommercially by the American Foundation for the Blind.


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