Language Arts Board Games Scrabble Rules

Language Arts Board Games Scrabble Rules

We’ve received a couple of emails lately asking about some confusion and disagreement with Scrabble scoring rules. We won’t cover everything in here, but there are a couple areas we commonly see confusion with, so that’s what we’ll address.

The first question we’re commonly asked, is whether the first play of the game is doubled or not. The answer is Yes. According to official Scrabble scoring rules, the middle tile of the board with a pink star picture on it, does count as a Double Word Score. This is denoted by the pink color that all double word score tiles have.

The next issue we sometimes have to address is the point bonus for a bingo, or for using all 7 of your letters. The answer to this one is quite simple: if you use all 7 of your letters to make a word, you score the word normally and then add 50 to that score. The 50 points is a bonus for using all 7 tiles. If your word scored 30 for example, your score would be 80.

The third question we receive very frequently is about what order to score your words in. If you land a letter on a Double Letter Score tile, and then the word extends out to a Triple Word Score tile, what order do you do all of the multiplying? It’s quite simple once you learn the basic scoring rules and the official order of adding up points. As a rule of thumb, you always want to count letter scores before word scores. So if a letter is doubled, you double that letter and count that amount toward the word score. You do not double or triple your word score until the entire word score has been calculated. So in the example above, you would double the tile, and then triple your entire score after calculating the value of all letters in your word.

Those are the 3 most common questions we hear when it comes to Scrabble scoring.  If you follow those basics, you should be able to avoid confusion and have an enjoyable game without disagreements.  For more complicated instances, where a letter lands on a Double Letter or Triple Letter tile going in two directions, simply double or triple it twice for a total of x4 or x6.  If you manage to extend a word onto two Double Word Score tiles (this is possible with a 8-letter word that also uses one of your opponents tiles), you need to double the word twice, for a total of x4.  Of course, none of this should be done before calculating all of the letter scores first.  Remember, always calculate the letter scores before doing any word score adjustments.  That’s the key to remembering the Scrabble scoring rules.…

Make a Scrabble Letter Board

Make a Scrabble Letter Board

The scrabble board is a 15×15 square, with a star in the middle. Some people don’t realize, but the start that you must play your first word on, does count as a double word score.

Aside from the middle tile, there are 16 other double word score tiles. There are also triple word scores, which are the best spaces in the game. They are evenly spread out on the outside edge of the board, exactly 8 tiles apart so that you cannot hit two of these spaces with a single word, unless you use at least 1 letter than has already been played. If you can manage to pull this off, and create an 8 letter word that touches two of these tiles, your score for that play will likely be 150+. This is because your word score is getting tripled twice, and if you used all 7 of your tiles, you also get 50 points for the bingo.

The next best spaces in the game are triple letter score tiles. There are 12 triple letter score tiles, spread throughout the scrabble board. These spaces are best used by creating cross-word plays with very powerful tiles like X and Z. By placing an X, J, Z, or Q on one of these spaces, you can easily score 50-60+ points if you create a word going in both directions. The other great way to play a triple word score space is by placing a high value tile on that square, and then extending the word to reach a double letter score space. This would triple your letter, and then double the entire word. It is quite possible to score 60-70+ with a 5-letter word by doing this. Even with tiles that aren’t worth quite as much, like H or W, it is still possible to score a lot of points by using these two strategies for triple letter score tiles.

The last type of space on the scrabble board is the double letter score square. This is used similarly to the triple letter score, but obviously yields less points overall. The two strategies mentioned above for triple letter score spaces are the best approach to these spaces as well. Either create two words going in different directions, with a high value tile on the double letter score, or else try to place a high scoring tile on the double letter score space, and then extend the word into a triple word score or double word score square.

Because of the way the scrabble board is set up, it is not possible to get a triple letter score and triple word score in a single play. But it is possible to get a double letter score and then a triple word score. If a triple word score space is opened up on the board, try to place your highest value tile on the double word score, and then make sure to extend your word to hit the triple word score. Remember- your letter will be doubled first, and then the entire word will be tripled. It’s a very powerful way to score a lot of points.…