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Rules for Playing the Boggle Word Game

Rules for Playing the Boggle Word Game

Boggle is a word game that pushes players to use their knowledge of the English language to the maximum. There are various rules that all players need to adhere to when playing this game. Let's have a look...
Anup Patwardhan
The Nerd Kings

In the opening scene of season 2, episode 7, of the famous television sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj are shown playing the Klingon version of the Boggle game.

Children, in general, have a tendency to ignore their studies in favor of, well, 'whiling away' their time playing different games, and nowadays it's all about gadgets. To keep them interested in their academic endeavors, there have been various attempts to integrate some educative elements in various games. Games like Scrabble, Hangman, and Crossword puzzles are examples of the efforts taken in this direction.
Boggle is a word game that was designed by Alan Turoff, and was published in the year 1972, well over 40 years ago. Parker Brothers, now a Hasbro Inc. subsidiary, are the manufacturers of this game, which has encouraged gamers to optimize their knowledge and command over the English language. Let's have a look at the various rules for playing the Boggle word game.

The elements that are required for this game are,

  • A 4 × 4 cube grid with a dome.
  • 16 cubes with different alphabets printed on each of their faces.
  • A pen/pencil and a piece of paper.
  • A 3 minute timer.

How to Play Boggle

  • Place all the letter cubes in the cube grid.
  • Scramble the cubes in the cube grid before allowing them to settle in the tray. Only one face of the letter cubes will be visible.
  • Start the timer.
  • As the timer begins, all players have to simultaneously begin writing all the words that can be formed from the 16 letters that show up in the tray of the cube grid.
  • Players must stop as soon as the timer counts down to zero.

Boggle Rules

  • Words need to be constructed from alphabets that appear on the faces of connecting adjacent cubes. This neighboring cube can be present horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
  • From the first cube-face a player choose, no tiles can be skipped to jump to another one when forming a particular word.
  • No cube can be used more than once in the same word.
  • The direction of sequence of the letters appearing on the cubes is not specific.
  • Only the words that can be found in an English dictionary are allowed.
  • Slang or abbreviations are not allowed.
  • No proper nouns are allowed.
  • The created words must have a minimum of 3 letters. Words with less than three letters are not awarded any points.
  • Variations of a word with addition of prefix, suffix, or plurals are allowed.

Scoring System

  • Words with 3 and 4 letters are awarded 1 point each.
  • Words made up of 5 letters are awarded 2 points each.
  • Each 6-letter word will add 3 points to the score.
  • Each 7-letter word will increment the points tally by 5.
  • Words that have 8 or more letters will add 11 points each to the total.

Few Instructions to Remember

  • Be sure to use only valid words. Claiming any invalid word will deduct the score by the points that the claimed word would have gained.
  • If a player merely write down a wrong word and not declare it to claim points, there will be no deductions from the score of that player.
  • If a word appears in the list of two or more players, then the word is struck off and is not considered for scoring.
  • The alphabets 'q' and 'u' are printed on a single face, and the use of this tile counts as two letters.

Some variants of the game include a cube grid of 6 × 6, i.e., 36 letters. Here, the scoring system remains the same as above up to 8-letter words. For words that are made up of 9 or more letters, every letter in the word is awarded two points.
This game provides an excellent opportunity for players to enhance their vocabulary. No restriction on the number of players as well as the age limit allows players to experience 'the more the merrier' philosophy. So get your gang together and have a gala time with Boggle.