So you’ve drawn a blank! You’re jumping up for joy and doing cartwheels in your head… (Okay, not really.) But now you have to figure out how to use it. While the blank is by far the best tile in Scrabble, it’s also one of the most difficult to use.
When you have a blank, the first thing to remember is that it’s just like finding bingos and other words without the blank: it’s just slightly more challenging. Like any rack, your goal with the blank is to try to fix problems: the blank is just a tool to solve problems.
Step 1: Fixing vowel-consonant ratio
When you are first looking for words with the blank, you should focus on balancing vowels and consonants. With 4 or more consonants and a blank, you should first seek to make the blank a vowel, while with 3 or more vowels, you should first seek to make the blank a consonant.
With this rack, you have 5 consonants, one vowel, and a blank, so it should only make sense to make the blank a vowel. By going through the AEIOU and noting the SH and FF combinations, you might be able to find the word SHuFFLE.
This rack is a bit harder, but since you already have 4 vowels, you should look to make the blank a consonant, and look for vowels to either begin or end words. Through some mental anagramming, you might be able to find the word EDUCATE.
Step 2: Completing synergies
Another objective you should have with a blank is to complete synergies. Finding combinations such as ING or CH will often help you find bingos, even with blanks. Identifying these synergies will make it a lot easier to identify and find words using the blank.
With the Y, you should immediately seek for synergies with the Y at the end of the word, with combinations such as RY, TY, LY, etc. Here, by putting the Y at the end of the word and looking at LY you can quickly find the word BRISKLY.
With OU, most people search for synergies like -OUS and OUT, allowing you to perhaps find the word OUtLIVE.
Step 3: Prefixes and Suffixes
The use of prefixes and suffixes can also be helpful in the quest to find bingos with blanks. Once you’ve identified a prefix or suffix, it makes it much easier for you to permute the blank, thus simplifying the process of trying to find a bingo.
Here, the -ED suffix can help you find the word FLOcKED.
Here, the EX- prefix can help you find the word EXHAuST.
Here, the RE- prefix can help you find the word REJOIcE.
Here, the -AGE suffix can help you find the word ViLLAGE.
Fill in the Blank #2 discusses various ways to use the blank not just as a bingo tile, but also as a scoring tile.