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10 Scrabble Strategy Tips


4
Know When to Open and Close the Board
This is part of the winning board from the 2003 National School Scrabble Championships. Check out how many words are placed parallel to (that is, right on top of) each other, reaching out only to hit bonus squares.
This is part of the winning board from the 2003 National School Scrabble Championships. Check out how many words are placed parallel to (that is, right on top of) each other, reaching out only to hit bonus squares.
William B. Plowman/Getty Images

If you're ready to take your Scrabble skills to the next level, then prepare to maximize the board's potential -- and thwart your opponent in the process. You'll want to start this strategy by learning to open or close the board at the right times.

According to Hasbro, the makers of Scrabble, "an arrangement of words on the Scrabble game board is said to be 'open' when there are many places to play high-scoring words." As you strategically place longer words on the board to score more points and reach bonus squares -- or as you play a seven-letter word and score a bingo -- you'll also provide more ways for your opponent to make masterful plays. However, there are certain instances when this is still a good strategy, like when you have a sizeable lead or excellent point-scoring opportunity [source: Hasbro].

If your score is lagging, switch to a defensive strategy and close the board. Use this approach when you want to make it more difficult for your opponent to make high-scoring plays. Again, remember all those short words you've been learning, and play new words parallel to (that is, right on top of or right beside) words that are already on the board [source: Holgate].