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10 Scrabble Strategy Tips


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Populate Your Plays with Power Tiles

If you don't know and love power tiles, then you're only playing half the game. In Scrabble, there are 10 power tiles -- two blanks, four Ss, and the J, Q, X and Z -- and it pays to use them to your advantage.

Whenever you play a J, Q, X or Z, you earn lots of points -- 10 each for the J, Q and X and eight for the X. The blank tiles are wild cards that can help you play an otherwise impossible word, but you score no points for using it, so avoid placing it over a double- or triple-letter square. The S tiles can turn a previously played word into a plural word and allow you to play a new, perpendicular word at the same time, earning you points for both. Sometimes an otherwise careful opponent will take a chance on playing a word that you could pluralize to perpendicularly reach a double- or triple-word space.

However, like many Scrabble up-and-comers, your excitement over power tiles may have waned when you realized the letters included in the power tile roundup. After all, Q, X, J and Z aren't always easy letters to play. Don't despair: If you make an effort to learn consonant-heavy words, you will open new avenues for power plays and do wonders for your game [source: Word Buff].