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10 Scrabble Strategy Tips

Go First, and Choose Wisely

If you're really into Scrabble, you'll want to develop middle- and end-game strategies -- assuming you haven't already. But if you've got strong competition, it helps to get a mental advantage right from the very start.

The official Scrabble rules say the player who draws a tile closest in the alphabet to A goes first. Although you'll need to rely on the luck of the draw to employ this strategy, opening the game by making the first move is powerful: Although going first won't guarantee that you'll win the game, there's just something satisfying about being the first to play on a clean board -- and earning a double-word score for doing so.

When you make the first move, you'll initially control the board. You'll set the tone with the opportunities you open or avoid opening by exposing or blocking premium squares. You can play an up-to-five–letter word directly in the center of the board to avoid opening a double-word score to your opponent. Or, you can maneuver a high-scoring tile onto a double-letter space on your own. And sometimes, just playing a word vertically instead of horizontally can throw off your opponents. Whatever move you opt to make, it can instill a confidence you'll take with you throughout the game [source: Holgate].