How to Play Scrabble ?

Scrabble Rules

The rules of Scrabble are easy to learn, so learn how to play Scrabble and improve your vocabulary, word skills and spelling. Playing Scrabble can be challenging for the new player, but whether you are 8 or 80, Scrabble and other word games can improve your word recognition and language skills. So I’ll give a quick tutorial on the rules of Scrabble, so you can teach your friends and family how to play.

Scrabble Basics

Scrabble is played on a board that is 15 spaces x 15 spaces, for a total of 225 spaces on the Scrabble board. There are 100 single letter tiles in the game of Scrabble. Each player will start game play with 7 individual letter tiles on their letter rack, and continue to replenish their rack up to 7 letters, until there are no more letters in play.

The premise of Scrabble is to play your individual letter tiles on the board to build words off of the words already on the board. You cannot place a word that is not connected to the other letters already played on the board. Anything letter combination you place on the Scrabble board must make a word in an English dictionary. There are actually official Scrabble dictionaries (TWL, SOWPODS), but most families simply use whatever dictionary is handy in their house.

Scrabble Scores

Each letter tile has one letter and one number on it. The letter is, of course, the letter to be played. The number is the number value scored by playing that letter. Your Scrabble score is determined by the sum of all the letter scores you play on the board. For a list of the point value of each letter and the number of each letter is represented in the game, see our post on “How to Score in Scrabble“.

To add to the strategy of the game, certain spaces on the Scrabble board have double letter, triple letter, double word and triple word scores. Tiles played on those spaces let you score bonus points and are a large part of the strategy of Scrabble: trying to play good words on bonus spaces, while not allowing opponents from doing the same. In this way, you might forego a large score, in order to avoid setting up your opponent to score an even larger amount.

There are other scoring rules in Scrabble. For instance, once a space has been used for a bonus, it no longer offers that bonus. You get 50 points if, at any time in the game, you play all 7 letter tiles on your rack at once. The player who gets rid of their tiles the quickest at the of the game (“goes out”) is given bonus points, while those who didn’t lose points – all based on the point value of the tiles still left on your letter rack. If you have to pass, you lose the opportunity to score.

Playing a Game of Scrabble

Scrabble starts when one player gets to go first, usually determined by drawing one letter tile from the pile and seeing who has the letter closest to “A” in the alphabet. That player plays off the space in the exact center of the board, which is a double word space. From there, play goes in a clockwise fashion, with players playing off the first word played, their either of the first two words, then any of the first three words and so on.

You can place a letters in such a fashion that creates two words, getting extra points. At the same time, if you place a word, you cannot have it touch other letters if they do not themselves for a word. In this way, you options for word building can be limited at times. This is why players improve their Scrabble ability so much, simply by learning all the possible 2-letter and 3-letter words in the English language: you can play words in tighter spots.

Winning Scrabble

The player with the most points at the end of the Scrabble game wins. The game is over when all the 100 letter tiles have been placed on the racks by a player. Once all letter tiles are out of the bonepile of letters, the person who gets rid of all the letters on their rack first “goes out”. Whoever goes out gets the aforementioned bonus points, while all the other teams are forced to yield points equal to the point value sum of the letter tiles on their rack.

That’s pretty much how you play Scrabble. The game sounds easy, but you can spend a lifetime mastering Scrabble. That’s because, to master Scrabble, you have to master your native language. That very point makes Scrabble so worthwhile to play.


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