Breaking the Game explores Scrabble strategy, providing tips to Scrabble players on any level. Whether you’re a Scrabble newcomer or a practiced expert, this site shows the various tactics used by the best players in the world and gives you the tools to master Scrabble strategy.
The goal is to win. This site isn’t just about playing Scrabble: it’s breaking the game.
This site covers Scrabble using the OWL (American) lexicon. If you are outside of North America, please switch to the CSW (World) lexicon on the right side of the menu.
To start, we’ve created a Scrabble guide: a list of Scrabble tips for new players who want to improve their game. This page should serve as a good one-page Scrabble guide for anyone who wants to learn Scrabble strategy and improve their Scrabble skills. For those interested, I’ve also written a comprehensive Scrabble book that includes a list of everything you need to win at Scrabble available here.
A guide to basic Scrabble Strategy
Twos and Threes
Look for bingos using all seven of the letters in your rack. Identify prefixes such as RE-, OUT-, and UN-, suffixes such as -ING, LY, and -ED, and other letter combinations such as CH, QU, and ST. Searching for bingos is especially when holding a blank or many one point tiles on your rack. Top Scrabble players average 2 or more bingos per game!
Using all seven of your tiles is an extremely important part of Scrabble, as doing so will give you a lucrative 50 point bonus. Besides the blank, the best bingo tiles are in the phrase ‘DARN TILES’ with the next best tiles coming in the word ‘CHOMP’, so save these tiles if your goal is to play a bingo.
For some bingo puzzles, click here.
The Blank and the S
Try to find at least three different options every play. In addition to helping you look for plays, this also ensures that you assess all of your options using every region of the board and keeps you constantly aware of the various opportunities available. Unless you are near certain that you’ve found the best play, searching for multiple options will maximize your chances of finding the best option available.
Remember to strategize. Scrabble might be perceived as primarily a word game, but as you improve and learn more words, you’ll quickly realize that it’s also a strategic game. To win, you need to choose the best candidate to achieve your strategic goals. While strategy is overlooked, it’s important if you want to win at Scrabble. For free Scrabble tips, take a look at my strategy section.
If you want a crash course in Scrabble strategy, check out my book Breaking the Game. I’ve spent over a thousand hours writing and editing this book, and it comes recommended by some of the strongest Scrabble players in the world. (For more information including a free sample chapter, click here.)
High probability Bingos
Learn some high probability bingos. Many players think that all good Scrabble players have an expansive vocabulary, but most good players merely know the words most likely to show up in a game of Scrabble.
Exchange bad tiles. Whether it’s 6 vowels or 5 high-point consonants or just a few really bad letters (i.e. QVG), if you can’t score well and/or keep a good leave, you should strongly consider an exchange. Good players exchange more than once every 20 turns. As a general rule, if you can’t score at least 20 points or keep a balanced, bingo-prone leave you should strongly consider making an exchange.
Look to set up the remaining tiles on your rack, especially if it is unlikely your opponent likely cannot use those openings. Consider creating hooks for your S or other tiles for bingos as well as creating spots for high point tiles such as the X can prove especially lucrative, especially if it’s unlikely that your opponent can use the spots that you have created.
With these Scrabble tips, you’re well on your way to Scrabble success! For more Scrabble tips, please browse through the other articles located in the strategy section. I also write articles for Instawordz: a Scrabble word finder.
Within no time, you too can become an expert Scrabble player!