Scrabble Rules: How to Play, Score More, and Enhance Your Skills

Scrabble Rules
If you want to build vocabulary and word skills, you can do it in the best way by playing scrabble. If you are interested in learning how this board game, this article will help you out.
Scrabble helps build language skills. Of course, it is a mental exercise, but playing scrabble can be enjoyable too! For me, scrabble is relaxing. I forget my everyday concerns, as it acts like a pleasant mental stimulant for me.

Scrabble is a social game, and it can be a fun family activity. Two to four players can play this game together. If you play scrabble online, you will enjoy having friends from different parts of the world. There are online scrabble competitions too. If children are taught to play scrabble by using words from everyday vocabulary, it can be the best way to get them interested in the English language.

Scrabble Board and Tiles
  • A square board, made up of 15 rows of 15 cells each is used to play this game. You are supposed to place the alphabet tiles within these cells, one to a cell.
  • Exactly 100 tiles are available for players. There are alphabets on 98 tiles, while 2 tiles are blank which can be used as a wild-card, that is, you can use them for any letter in the alphabet. According to the scrabble rules, if a blank tile is used to substitute an 'o', it will be considered an 'o' till the end of the game.
  • Different alphabets are allotted different point values. These values depend on the rarity of the alphabet occurring in day-to-day words, and the difficulty in playing it. Blank tiles have zero point value.
Point Values of Tiles
  • 0 Points - Blank Tile
  • 1 Point - A, E, I, O, U and L, N, R, S, T
  • 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
How to Get Extra Points
  • Double Letter Scores: When you place a tile on a light-blue colored cell, you get points equal to 'that tile's point value multiplied by two'.
  • Triple Letter Scores: When you place a tile on a dark-blue colored cell, then you get points equal to 'that tile's point value multiplied by three'.
  • Double Word Scores: Light-red colored cells run diagonally towards the four corners of the board. If your word covers one of these tiles, then the point value of the entire word is multiplied by two.
  • Triple Word Scores: The dark red cells on the four sides of the board equidistant from the four corners of the board offer you triple word points. If your word covers one of these tiles, then the point value of the entire word is multiplied by three.
These special cells offer you extra points only once. If you play a word using these cells, you will get the extra points, but the next time that space (or letter placed by you) is used to make a word, the point value will not be multiplied. Scrabble can be called a multiple intelligence activity as you have to consider so many things at a time, like the best word, correct spellings, maximum letters, maximum points, the best place for the word, etc. If you are looking for some simple but good family activity ideas, you will definitely enjoy this word game.

How to Play Scrabble
  • The tile bag contains all the tiles. Don't look into the bag, just take a tile out of it. A player can take out only one tile at a time. The one who gets the letter closest to 'A' goes first. A blank tile is considered to be better than an 'A'. Place all these tiles into the bag again.
  • Then, each player can draw seven tiles from the bag. After looking at the tiles, the player can place a word, exchange the tiles, or pass. Obviously, playing a word would be a good option.
  • A player can replace one, two, or any number of tiles from the seven he has. He can replace all the seven tiles also. If he decides to exchange, then he forfeits his turn. If the player places a word on the board, he cannot exchange the tiles.
  • You may pass at any time. The game is supposed to continue in a clockwise direction around the board, and if all players pass twice in a row, the game ends.
  • If the first player should place a word on the star square at the center of the board, he gets points equal to the entire point value of the word, multiplied by two. Remember, the star cell will not act as a double word score for the subsequent players. After placing the word, the player can draw new tiles from the tile bag, without looking, until he has seven tiles.
  • The second player can place a word on the board in such a manner, that his word will include one letter from the existing word on the board. The players go on placing words on the board, connecting the new words with the already placed words.
  • If you can construct a word and place all seven tiles from the tile rack on the board at the same time, it is called a 'BINGO', and you get a 50 point bonus.
  • Turn by turn, players go on taking out the tiles from the bag. When there is no tile left, the play ends when any one player has used up all the tiles on his rack.
  • The points left on the racks of all the remaining players should be counted. This count should be deducted from their final scores.
  • The same count should be added to the score of the player who has no tiles left. The player with the highest score wins.
  • Official scrabble dictionaries are available in bookstores and online as well, but players may place any word which can be found in a standard English language dictionary.
  • Abbreviations, prefixes, suffixes, hyphenated words, words that require an apostrophe, and proper nouns cannot be used. Plurals are allowed.
Don't get upset because of the long list of rules, as it is actually fun to play. In fact, these rules make it a more enjoyable. Just start playing it with your friends. You will understand the rules better as you keep on playing regularly. As you place the perfect word in the perfect place, you will come to know the satisfaction this game offers. I have no words to express the joy of scoring a bingo. It's like hitting a century in cricket or a home run in baseball. Scrabble is also a good family game. Enjoy it!
Advertisement