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FAQ

Because Smart People Ask Questions

General
Game Play
Scoring
Tournament Play
Replacement Parts
You'll find here many of the most commonly asked SCRABBLE questions. If you don't find the answer to your particular SCRABBLE question here, visit the customer service area for SCRABBLE.

How can I improve my SCRABBLE game skills?

Learn the 101 two-letter words, as well as the three-letter words that can be formed from these two-letter words by adding a letter either to the front or back (ex: ya, pya, rya, yah, yak, yam, yap, yar, yaw, yay). By learning and taking advantage of these few hundred words you will probably increase your scores at least 50 points per game. Also, read Everything SCRABBLE®, published by pocket books, isbn 0-671-86686-9, written by Joe Edley, three-time national SCRABBLE champion, and John D. Williams, Jr., executive director of the National SCRABBLE Association. This is the only current all-purpose book that can take a novice or intermediate player to a higher plateau of skills. This book has many strategy hints, word lists, puzzles, methods for finding seven- and eight -letter words quickly, examples of master Scrabble® play and more!

My wife scores 400-450 points per game. Would she be considered an expert?

Not necessarily. At SCRABBLE clubs and tournaments, experts average between 330-450 points per game. However, the competition is probably much stiffer than your wife encounters, and she may have to adjust her thinking to adapt to the typical 25 minute time limit per person per game when using a chess clock. A better measure of skill is determining the "average points per turn" score. If your wife averages 30 or more points per turn, not counting tile exchanges, then she may very well be a SCRABBLE expert. The very top SCRABBLE players average 35 or more points per turn, not counting exchanges. We suggest she visit and play at a SCRABBLE club or tournament and see how she fares.

Everyone who plays in a National Scrabble® Association sanctioned tournament earns a rating. Anyone with a rating above 1600 is considered an expert in SCRABBLE. The National Scrabble® Association recognizes over 300 SCRABBLE experts.

Is there an "official" dictionary for SCRABBLE Players?

Yes, Merriam-Webster's Official Scrabble® Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition (OSPD4). For club and tournament play, it is the Official Tournament and Club Word List, Second Edition (OWL2), also published by Merriam-Webster, Inc., and sold exclusively through www.wordgear.com. It is derived from the Official Scrabble® Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition, supplemented with nine-letter words and their inflected forms taken from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (MW11). This book contains words only, no definitions or part-of-speech labels, and includes all inflected forms spelled out in full.

Do you make games for people with special needs?

You may wish to contact Maxi Aid at 1-800-522-6294 or visit their website at: www.maxiaids.com for information regarding games designed for people with special needs. They have thousands of products designed especially for the blind, low vision, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, arthritic, and the physically challenged. Some of our games that they produce and are available in their catalog are: Monopoly, Talking Battleship, Scrabble, Checkers, Connect Four, Aggravation, Perfection, and Upwords.

How many of each letter tile is included in a Scrabble game?

Scrabble tile letter distribution is as follows:

A-9, B-2, C-2, D-4, E-12, F-2, G-3, H-2, I-9, J-1, K-1, L-4, M-2, N-6, O-8, P-2, Q-1, R-6, S-4, T-6, U-4, V-2, W-2, X-1, Y-2, Z-1 and Blanks-2.

What is the total face value of all the Scrabble tiles?

Total face point value is 187.
There are 225 squares on a Scrabble board.
Point value is as follows:

  • (1 point)-A, E, I, O, U, L, N, S, T, R
  • (2 points)-D, G
  • (3 points)-B, C, M, P
  • (4 points)-F, H, V, W, Y
  • (5 points)-K
  • (8 points)- J, X
  • (10 points)-Q, Z

I looked up a legitimate word using the SCRABBLE online dictionary and it wasn't there. Why not?

The SCRABBLE online dictionary offers only words found in the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition which lists over 100,000 playable two- to eight-letter words. For a word to be included in The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, it must be found in two of the five most popular American dictionaries.

Additionally, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary lists shorter words and longer words are included as inflections of the shorter word. The SCRABBLE online dictionary is only able to search the shorter listings. For example, searching for FOCUS in our online dictionary will also turn up FOCUSED and FOCUSING, but searching for either of the longer words will turn up no results.

What are acceptable plays in SCRABBLE?

  • In SCRABBLE, it is acceptable to simply add one or more letters to a word, to either the front or back or to both the front and back.
  • If you want, you can add just an S to a word already on the board.
  • You may play at right angles to a word.
  • You may play parallel to a word as long as adjacent letters form words horizontally and vertically.

What is an unacceptable play in SCRABBLE?

  • You may not play tiles diagonally across the board in SCRABBLE.
  • Note: The tiles you play must be contained in one word or played in a straight line.

Can you extend a word in two directions simultaneously in one turn? For instance, ARM is on the board, and I'd like to extend it to CHARMED in one turn? Is that within the rules of SCRABBLE?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to extend in front of and/or at the end of a word in one turn, as long as all the letters are played in the same turn. So, in this case, since the C, H, E and D are all used to spell CHARMED, it's well within the rules of SCRABBLE to do so.

Can I exchange tiles whenever I want?

A player may exchange tiles (from one to seven) as long as there are at least seven tiles still in the bag. Decide which tiles you want to exchange first. Then remove them from your rack and place them facedown on the table. Only then may you draw your new tiles, place them on your rack, and replace the exchanged tiles back into the pool.

When playing Scrabble, how do I challenge a word played by another player? When can I challenge? What is the outcome if the challenge is incorrect?

Any play may be challenged before the next player starts a turn. If the play challenged is unacceptable, the challenged player takes back his/her tiles and loses that turn (and any score.) If the play challenged is acceptable, the challenger loses his/her next turn. All words (not just one) made in one play are challenged simultaneously. If any word is unacceptable, the entire play is unacceptable. Only one turn is lost on any challenge.

When do bonus squares increase the score of a play in SCRABBLE?

The bonus is only scored for the player who originally covers the bonus square, and only for the one turn. Subsequent turns that use a letter already covering a bonus square don’t score the bonus points. For example, suppose FAZE is placed with the Z on the Double Word Score square and scores a total of 32 pt. If someone later adds an S to form FAZES, the Double Word Score is NOT counted.

How do the remaining or unplayed tiles in SCRABBLE affect scoring?

When the game of SCRABBLE ends, each players' total is reduced by the sum of his or her unplayed letters. In addition, if a player used all letters, the sum of the other players' unplayed letters is added to that player's score.

Where can I find a copy of the Official Scrabble Tournament rules?

The Official SCRABBLE Tournament rules are available on the SCRABBLE Tournaments page.

How much time do players have to make a play during a SCRABBLE game at a club or tournament?

There are two commonly accepted methods for controlling the time of a SCRABBLE game. First, a three-minute hourglass may be used to time each play. After 54 minutes the game is over and both players now have one more play before totaling the final scores. Second, chess clocks are set up so that each person is given 25 minutes to complete all his/her turns. That way, a player may play quickly for easy plays and save up time in order to take five or more minutes for the difficult plays. If a player uses more than 25 minutes, then s/he is penalized 10 pt. every minute or fraction of a minute used more than the original 25.

Can I purchase a new set of tiles or other replacement parts for my SCRABBLE game?

SCRABBLE replacement parts order forms for both Standard SCRABBLE and SCRABBLE Deluxe Edition for U.S. customers can be found on the Hasbro Customer Care web page. Canadian customers may contact our offices in Canada at 450-670-9820 to discuss the availability and cost of replacement parts.

How can I purchase SCRABBLE replacement score pads in the United States and Canada?

SCRABBLE replacement score pads can be ordered through Hasbro Customer Care.