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10 Scrabble Strategy Tips

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For the record, although success is what you're aiming for, we don't recommend actually playing the word. Save your S tiles for bigger and better things.
For the record, although success is what you're aiming for, we don't recommend actually playing the word. Save your S tiles for bigger and better things.
©iStockphoto.com/JulNichols

If you want to learn how to be the best, it makes sense to learn from the best. That's why you'll want to develop a Scrabble dream team. This fantasy roster will be your go-to source for information, tools and strategies to improve your game. And even if you can't attend the same Scrabble club or watch these players in tournament action, you can still follow along by reading their blogs and books.

One strategy that stands out among many Scrabble experts is the homework they complete on a regular basis. For example, the Australian Scrabble Players Association recommends studying word lists 20 minutes a day for a year to ready yourself for competitive play. And this is in addition to actually playing the game. However, when you consider that Scrabble players vying for a world championship spend 12 hours a day reviewing word lists, it's likely to put it all in perspective [source: Holgate]. In the end, there's nothing like the dream of snapping down a seven-word bingo containing the letter Q over a triple-word score square to motivate a learning quest.

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10 Scrabble Strategy Tips: Author's Note

During a typical day, I research everything from serial killers to sweaty armpits, so learning more about Scrabble strategies seemed like a simple request. Scrabble has a permanent home in my game cabinet, so I invited a colleague over for a some friendly competition -- and quickly learned two potentially painful lessons: 1) I am not a master Scrabble player, and 2) this game really does require strategy.

I'd imagined that becoming the reigning interoffice Scrabble champ would bestow certain niceties. After all, there's really no better context to introduce oneself as a former spelling bee champion than when discussing a game built on the mastery of words.

Unfortunately, my plan took a dark turn as I discovered multiple sources insisting that Scrabble is a game of mathematical prowess and statistical probabilities as much as it is a game about vast vocabularies. This is rarely good news for a journalism major.

Several days, much research and one Scrabble iPad app later, I came to understand the competitive appeal of continual adaptation and mental mathematics. As for Scrabble champ? That challenge is still on the table.

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Sources

  • Hasbro. "About Scrabble." (Feb. 14, 2012) http://www.hasbro.com/scrabble/en_US/glossary.cfm
  • Holgate, John. "Lists and Lexicons." Australian Scrabble Players Association. (Feb. 21, 2012) http://www.scrabble.org.au/strategy/lists.htm
  • Holgate, John. "Strategy." Australian Scrabble Players Association. (Feb. 14, 2012) http://www.scrabble.org.au/strategy/strategy.htm
  • Lawrence, Anthony. "How to Win at Scrabble: Basic Scrabble Strategy." (Feb. 14, 2012) http://pcunix.hubpages.com/hub/Basic-Scrabble-Strategy
  • Meyers, Justin. "How to Master Scrabble and Win Every Game." Wonder How To. (Feb. 14, 2012) http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-master-scrabble-win-every-game-0115054/
  • Scrabble Solver. "Scrabble Solver." (Feb. 14, 2012) http://www.scrabble-solver.com/?blanks=0&type=2&word=jckwaab&gametype=scrabble&dict=TWL
  • Word Buff. "Four Letter Words." (Feb. 14, 2012) http://www.word-buff.com/four-letter-words.html

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