Elevate Your Game

Some people think that getting good at Scrabble takes many years in front of dictionaries and computer programs.  While Scrabble requires effort and dedication, it also requires self-awareness and reflection. You need to be aware of your study habits, strengths, and weaknesses: and then, set on a course to improve yourself.

For many, the struggle stems from not knowing when or how to improve their game efficiently. For those people, I’ve developed for you: 5 ways to elevate your game.

1. Study.

The biggest time and skill commitment between Scrabble and other games is that Scrabble requires knowing and being able to routinely find words. Even common every day words as well as short words that you’ve memorized can prove challenging to find during the course of a Scrabble game. It’s one thing to know that SH and DINOSAUR: it’s another thing to find SH as a parallel play or find ADINOS? through a U when there are several other open letters available.

Finding words largely requires a word study program such as Zyzzyva or practicing on an outlet such as Aerolith (www.aerolith.org) to improve your word knowledge. Simply finding the words isn’t enough: you want to be able to find words quickly and consistently.


2. Review your games.
Whether it’s just thinking back to key moves in your game or using a tool like Quackle to examine plays, you should think back from your games and ask yourself if there’s anything you can learn. If there’s a position that was strategically ambiguous, you should develop a strategy to deal with those awkward situations, while if you missed a better play, you should develop a technique that will help you find that missed play more consistently.

3.  Watch top players.

Websites like Cross Tables and NASPA live game coverage have large libraries of annotated games where you can see the best players in the world. A very useful way of elevating your game is to look at top players’ games, figuring out what you would do in their specific situation, and then compare your findings with the plays that top players make.

4. Develop a regimen that will fix your mistakes.

Once you identify your mistakes, you should perform exercises that will help you fix those mistakes. If you’re missing blank bingos, play games of Scrabble with yourself with every rack containing a blank. If you’re missing parallel racks, create a board heavy on parallel plays and then run through several racks trying to find the best parallel play options. If you’re not finding plays fast enough, play speed games until you can find plays much faster. Create exercises tailored towards improving your mistakes and you’ll see drastic improvement in no time.

5. Interact with your peer group.

Talking to your friends about Scrabble can introduce you to new perspectives and approaches to various strategies and tactics, as well as simplify and refine the approach that you already use. Peers can encourage you to study and are useful tools to help you discuss strategy, especially during the process of exercises such as consultation games and annotated game review.

And of course, buy my Scrabble strategy book here.🙂   (Sorry, couldn’t resist the cheap plug.)