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!