Words with Friends Guide: Advanced Tips

These tips are geared towards players who are avid Words with Friends players looking for more advanced tips to help them improve their game! For beginners tips, please check out this page.


 

1. Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing some points for positioning.

There are some cases when it is worth sacrificing a few points, especially when doing so will prevent your opponent from scoring a LOT of points on their next turn. Sometimes the best play is not the highest scoring play.

DefendWithhold
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In Diagram 1, you can play the bingo TROUBLE in row 10 for 65 (hooking NEVER) but you should instead block the TW-TL-TL and DW-DW combination by playing TUMBLER 1c (63). It is easily worth the sacrifice in points to block this dangerous opening: even if you needed to sacrifice 10 points, you should do so.

In Diagram 2, you have several bingos to choose from, but you should select a bingo that does not open too much. AERATION 6h and ORIENTAL j1 score the most points, but create very dangerous TW-TL openings. ANTERIOR is also a dangerous option. However, by playing AERATION at 6e and sacrificing points, you significantly limit your opponent’s ability to score next turn.

 


 

2. Learn the art of the setup.

Create openings that are hard to use for random tiles, but easy for the tiles remaining in your leave. Use the Tiles remaining function to examine how many tiles are left that can use your setup (for example, how many S remain to pluralize your word, or how many C, P, or T remain to go in front of your _RICK hook)

Setup
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Here, you can play CAPSULE for 60 on row 14, or you can play LUCKS on row 10 for 48, keeping a P-hook. By looking at the tile bag, you’re notice there is only one C left to hook LUCKS next turn, making LUCKS a superior play.

 

3. Keep strong tiles!

Your strategy with the X and Z should be to score 30+ points by using bonus square multipliers, while your strategy with the S and blank should be to use them either in 30+ point scoring plays or bingos. If these tiles don’t achieve these goals, you should usually save them until they do.

ADEINNZRack3

In this position, you should play INDENT l1, scoring well and blocking the T while saving the Z for a future scoring play next turn.

 


 

4. Use the Tile Bag, especially towards the end of the game.

(The Tile Bag is located behind the box with 3 horizontal lines in the lower left line.)  Doing so can provide you with key strategic information that can help you win more games. Pay special attention to high point tiles, S, and blanks as well as consonant/vowel ratio and severe duplication. Reviewing this box will allow you to make subtle strategic adjustments such as setups and inform you about which scoring spots are the most dangerous.

Pool Strategy Words with FriendsPool
Pool Diagram Strategy

By observing the Tile Bag, you can notice tiles that don’t remain.  For example, you might consider playing VEIN 10k, setting up your Y, but there are two S remaining, making such a play extremely dangerous.  However, you *can* play VINY at 10k, setting up your L, since no Ls or blanks remain in the tile bag.


6. Play towards the center, and away from the Triples.

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Playing towards the center ensures that you don’t give your opponent lucrative scoring opportunities in the outer 4 columns or rows on the board where they can score extremely lucratively with scoring combinations, such as the TL/TW combination.

9. Make strategy decisions one at a time.

If you have several options to choose from, use the process of elimination by first comparing similar plays and then comparing plays with different strengths and weaknesses. Strategic choices are not preferences: they are deductions.

Strategy Decisions
Decisions Rack

Choices: rESIZED k8 (72), rESEIZED 12g (72), ZIpPED b6 (72), ZEIN 1i (34), ZEK 6b (32)

In this position, comparing all these options is very difficult.  However, this becomes simpler by comparing ZEIN and ZEK (similar plays) and rESIZED and rESEIZED (similar plays), then comparing ZIPPED to the bingos before finally comparing the scoring plays to ZEIN/ZEK.

 


10. When behind, consider making a double opening.

Double openings are plays that open two major hot spots at one time, allowing your opponent to grab one opening while allowing you to grab the other. While this is usually a net negative (since your opponent gets first dibs), this is a strong play when losing, especially if you have high point tiles in your rack.

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