Drawbacks of Playing Scrabble too Fast

Drawbacks of Playing Scrabble too Fast

Last week, I wrote a post about Words With Friends, and some of the pros and cons and my overall experiences with it. I ended up deciding I didn’t like it as much as playing online Scrabble, and I also wasn’t as good at it.

But as I continued to play a bit of Words With Friends this week, I realized that I might be struggling because I’m so used to playing very quick games and not exploring every option. In Words With Friends, a game can often take hours or even days, as players wait for each other to complete a move throughout the day.  So this actually put me at a disadvantage, believe it or not, because I’m so used to playing quickly. There is one similar game called Wordfeud Cheat and Jumble solver which is being played these days.

Because of this, the game rewards those who try every possibility, until every possible option has been weighed and evaluated. The game also rewards a player for looking at every area of the board and considering every possibility before making a move, rather than focusing on one or two key areas of the board that seem to provide the best scoring opportunity at first glance.

I tend to play fast Scrabble games when I play online- usually between 5 and 7 minutes per side. Therefore I never really look at every possibility; I just look at as many as possible. So I still play with this style in Words With Friends, while my opponent plays a slower pace in which they look at every single possibility.

And through this I realized that playing faster isn’t necessarily better, or it doesn’t necessarily make me a better player than somebody who plays 20 minute Scrabble games. It just means I am forced to rush through the game and not consider every possible move.

Being able to play fast Scrabble games is still an acquired skill, and I’m glad that it’s a skill I’ve developed thoroughly in the last 6 months. But now that I’ve come to the realization that players that I consider less skilled than myself can still beat me if the game is slow enough, I need to focus on playing slower games and really exploring many possible moves before deciding on a play.

So my challenge to myself this week will be to play slower online Scrabble games, and try to score more points and win by being thorough and weighing my options, rather than rushing through the game. I think this will help me become a better overall Scrabble player, and will even help me when I go back to playing 5 or 6 minute games.

I’d encourage anyone that plays on particular way to try something different, like I discussed above. In terms of becoming a better overall Scrabble player, going outside of your comfort zone and changing things up for a week or two will only help you!

5 Tips to Play Scrabble Faster

5 Tips to Play Scrabble Faster

Not everyone plays timed Scrabble games or competitive Scrabble games where speed matters, but playing fast can be an added challenge even for the casual Scrabble players, and it can be essential for competitive players, online players, or anybody else that plays Scrabble with a time limit.

In a timed game, playing fast not only prevents you from being penalized or disqualified for running out of time, it also puts pressure on your opponent. Your opponent is looking for words to play during their turn, and during your turn as well. Let most of this time be on their turn!

You should be finding words during their turn, so you can play a word as soon as your turn comes up. That way, their timer continues to run and they run out of time or have to rush at the end of the game.

Of course, doing this while sacrificing tons of points is not smart. You should still be looking for good words and scoring as many points as possible as a general rule of thumb. If you’re playing so quickly that you’re not able to score a good amount of points, you need to slow down. You might score slightly lower in a 6 minute Scrabble game as opposed to a 20 minute game, but it shouldn’t be a drastic difference once you’ve practiced playing at that speed. Please note that for the first few timed games, you could see a huge drop in your point totals if you’re used to playing un-timed games or games with much higher time limits. But you’ll quickly adjust and find yourself bored in slower games. Your brain adapts quite quickly to the time constraints in a timed Scrabble game.

These tips should help any Scrabble player maintain a better pace and keep the pressure on their opponent:

1. Look for words on your opponent’s turn. As mentioned earlier, one player’s clock is always running, and it’s better that it is your opponent’s clock rather than yours. Use THEIR time to look for YOUR words. As soon as it gets to your turn, play the word you’ve found, and the pressure is right back on them. Of course, your opponent is trying to do the same thing, so this isn’t always possible. You should try to achieve this though.

2. Don’t be a perfectionist. If you’re in a game with a time limit, you shouldn’t worry that you might be missing out on a great play. If you have a very good play, then play it! Maybe it’s not the perfect play but usually you’ll end up spending a few extra minutes and not find anything better if you become obsessed with perfectionism. Scan the board, look for the best spots to score high points, and form a word in one of those spots. Use your best judgement- you’ll know when you’ve explored most of the possibilities available. You don’t need to analyze 100% of the possibilities. Often, analyzing 85% of the possibilities can take half as long and give you just as many points.

If it helps, narrow down the 1 or 2 best spots to use on the board, and then find the best word that you can place in one of those spots.  That way, you won’t have to explore every possible option in every part of the board.

3. Memorize the 2 letter Scrabble words. There are quite a few of them, and they’re definitely worth learning if you haven’t already. Knowing these words can help you dump 1 or 2 unwanted letters quickly or find spots for your Bingos or other high scoring words while saving you time.

4. Play defensively. By playing defensively and not giving your opponent easy word setups, you can force them to take longer on their turn. This works to your advantage because you’ll have more time to look for your own words during their turn, and you’ll be better prepared once they’ve made their move. Remember, the faster you can play your words, the sooner your opponent’s clock starts to run again.

5. Practice closing out. In a timed game, closing out can be essential. If you only have a few seconds left on the clock, you have to be able to get rid of your letters quickly to end the game. Having a good vocabulary can help in this phase of the game (even more than in other stages of the Scrabble match). Also, learning some words that don’t require vowels or don’t require consonants are helpful too. If you’re left with just vowels, do you know all of the words you can create? Better learn!…

Play Scrabble Online free – Wordmeister & Outspell Scrabble

Play Scrabble Online free – Wordmeister & Outspell Scrabble

One of the easiest ways you can improve your Scrabble skills is by playing Scrabble Online for Free.  There are many sites to do this.  In case you missed it, here’s a link to our homepage with a full list of places where you can play scrabble online against computer. And most of the websites listed are completely free of charge!

When playing online, it’s important to play opponents that are near your skill level.  That’s why we try to recommend websites that have a ratings system so that you won’t get matched up against somebody way better or way worse than yourself.  As you improve, you can get matched up with better and better players to keep improving.  If you’re able to beat all your friends and it isn’t much of a challenge, then going online is a great place to find new opponents.


If you become very serious about playing online, there are a few websites we’ve listed that actually charge money, but most of what we recommend allows you to play scrabble online for free without any charges.  Only the most serious of players would consider paying to play online most likely.


When playing online, you’ll find it a little bit different than playing on an actual board.  For one, the game will calculate your score for you so that you don’t have to add up your points.  This makes the game go a bit faster.  Also, some programs online will tell you which tiles are left.  Again, this is a huge time saver and is very helpful for strategy.  It’s possible to know which tiles are left in the bag in a regular Scrabble game, but it is very time consuming to count the letters on the board, and then compare it to the total amount of each letter that exists at the start.  This online feature can help out a lot.


There are also a couple of negative aspects to playing online.  One is cheating.  Assuming you’re trying to play a fair game, it’s always possible to cheat online because you can’t see the other opponent.  To avoid this, try to meet a few online players that you can trust, or try playing timed games.  With a time limit, it’s harder to find a secondary website or check a dictionary for words.


Overall, the positives of playing Scrabble online for free far outweigh the negatives.  This is a great way to have tons of fun while improving your skills, and even meeting new people with similar interests.…