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Looking to improve your Scrabble game? Check out our list of 30 tips to help you win. From high-scoring two-letter words to board multipliers, these tips will give you the edge you need to dominate your opponents. Plus, learn about valuable words like “QI” and “ZA”, and discover the benefits of using a Scrabble word finder. Whether you're a seasoned Scrabble player or just starting out, these tips are sure to up your game.

Scrabble tips and tricks
Scrabble tips. Credit: Scrabble Checker.

Read our ultimate list of tips below:

1. Learn High-Scoring Two-Letter Words

Learning high-scoring two-letter words can give you a significant advantage in Scrabble. These short words such as “ZA”, “QI”, “ZO”, and “XI” can help you score big points on a tight board and are a great way to get rid of difficult-to-play tiles with minimal letters. By memorizing these words, you'll open loads of opportunities to bag some points.

2. Utilize Board Multipliers

Board multipliers, also known as double letters, triple letters, double words, and triple words can take any mediocre word and turn it into a winning score. Aim to play strategically to hit these multipliers at all costs.

Fun fact:Did you know Scrabble bonus squares stack? For example, getting a double letter and triple word will first multiple the letter points by two and then triple the word score. This stacking of multipliers can lead to some extraordinarily big scores so watch out for these opportunities.

3. Block Your Opponent's Moves

As we stated above, board multipliers are very powerful for increasing your score. Hence, you should try to block your opponent(s) from landing on these squares if possible. Always play 2-3 moves ahead and think about what they might be trying to achieve to prevent them getting ahead of you.

The end game in Scrabble can be very important if the points are close. At this stage, it's possible to devise what letters your opponent(s) may hold - enabling you to outplay them and stop any game changing moves from occurring late on.

4. Learn to Hook Words

Hooking in Scrabble refers to joining words onto the end of existing words that have been played on the board. For example, if your opponent played “QI” you could hook a single letter onto the end of the word such as “N” to make the new word “QIN” or even just add an “S” to instead make “QIS”. Hooks become very powerful if they extend words onto double- or triple-word squares - meaning your turn scores much higher than the originally played word.

Hooking can also refer to playing completely new words which go through or extend an existing word. Keeping with the “QI” example - instead of simply adding an “N” to the end of the word, you could instead (if you had the letters) play a word like “ZONE” horizontally off the end of “QI”. In this example, as you've played the words “QIN” and “ZONE” simultaneously by hooking onto the end of “QI” the score would be at minimum 25 points excluding any multipliers.

As you can see, hooking is an excellent opportunity to make some great words and rack up points using existing letters and words already played by either yourself or your opponent(s).

5. Go for Scrabble Bingos

A bingo in Scrabble refers to playing all 7 of your tiles in a single turn. What makes Bingos so powerful is that you get a bonus 50 points during that turn if you can successfully play one. Pretty impressive right?

6. Read the Scrabble Dictionary

Reading a Scrabble dictionary is a go-to method to check and understand which words are valid from a source you can trust. Additionally, most dictionaries will list the definitions of words allowing you to dive into their meaning. We find that knowing the meanings of words often helps you to remember them for the future. Plus, it's a great way of expanding your vocabulary for everyday life too.

7. Use Word Finders

Scrabble word finders are tools created for players to find new Scrabble words or check words against the official dictionary. These are of course very powerful at helping you win your Scrabble games as they do the work for you in finding valid words. We've built a Scrabble word finder that players can use for free to enhance their game.

We'd always recommend that if you choose to use a word finder within your Scrabble game to let your opponent(s) know - as otherwise it could be seen as cheating.

8. Know the Tile Distribution

The tile distribution in Scrabble refers to how many of each tile is in the bag to be drawn out. Simply knowing how many of each tile there are to play and the points value of each is key in planning your game play. This will help you understand how the game is scored and what opportunities you have to get specific words. There is nothing worse than waiting for a specific letter to be drawn to make your perfect word, only to find out all those letters have already been played. We've written specifically about the tile distribution in Scrabble to break this down for you.

9. Blank Tiles

Blank tiles in Scrabble represent a physically “blank” tile that can be swapped out for any letter in the alphabet of the player's choice. When played, the points value of a blank tile remains zero regardless of the letter chosen, but blanks are a highly flexible tile that's great for getting out of sticky situations and playing Scrabble bingos. The trick to winning with blank tiles is to find ways of slotting them in between your other tiles to make those killer words.

10. Understand the Game Rules

The Scrabble game rules set out at a basic level exactly how you should play the game and what is allowed. Knowing the rules will be beneficial to not only playing correctly, but knowing what opportunities you can take advantage of to win. For example, did you know you can challenge your opponents' words to be officially checked against a dictionary whilst playing?

11. Memorize Easy Q Words

“Q” can be a very tricky letter to play and often needs to be accompanied by a “U” to form a valid word. That's why memorizing these powerful, two- to three-letter Scrabble Q words will ensure you never get stuck playing a Q again.

We've listed our top picks of the easy Q words you must remember for any Scrabble match:

  • QI - a Chinese word that refers to the life force or energy that flows throughout all living things.
  • SUQ - a type of street market, particularly in Arabic- and Somali-speaking countries, where people buy and sell goods.
  • QIN - a Chinese dynasty that ruled China 221-206 BC.
  • QAT - a shrub whose leaves are used as a mild stimulant when chewed or brewed.
  • QIS - is the plural of Qi (see above).
  • QUA - meaning in the capacity of.

12. Find a Scrabble Word List

Scrabble word lists are pre-prepared lists online that make finding words matching a certain criterion extremely simple. For example, word lists are perfect if you wanted to find 2-letter words containing a Z or even 7-letter words with an S. These styles of lists are a powerful winning strategy as you can study the words before or even during a game, maximizing the chances you'll be able to play a tricky letter effectively. Discover all the Scrabble word lists we have prepared for players on our dedicated word list page.

13. Remember These Prefixes

A prefix is a letter or combination of letters that can be added to the front of a word to change its meaning. In Scrabble, prefixes are perfect for extending off existing words to make them longer or maybe even hit some bonus squares.

Some of the common prefixes in the English language include: “un-”, “re-”, “pre-”, “dis-”, “mis-”, “in-”, “en-”, “over-”, and “post-” to name a few you can try to use in your next Scrabble game.

You can read more about Scrabble word prefixes here.

14. …And These Suffixes

Suffixes are common letters that can be added to the end of words. Most words in the English language can be extended with a suffix in some way, even if this is just adding an “s” to make the word plural. This is great for Scrabble players as you can use common suffixes to either extend existing words played on the board or keep them in your rack to save letters for a bingo.

For example, if you have the letters “E” and “R” you can make the common suffix “-er”. This means you would only need a valid 5-letter word that can be extended with “-er” to score a Scrabble bingo.

We've written a more in-depth article about Scrabble suffixes if you're looking to find out more and learn a range of the most common suffixes to use.

15. Win with the S Tile

S despite being only worth 1 point is often considered the most powerful tile in Scrabble. This is because it makes a great suffix to add to words as we discussed above. There are thousands of words in Scrabble that be extended with either an “s” or “es” to form a plural of the existing word. This easy method of scoring points can be very beneficial for players to utilize as part of their game plan.

16. Handy Z Words

The letter “Z” is the highest scoring in the game, along with the letter “Q”. However, unlike Q words Z words are often more versatile and easier to play as they don't commonly require the letter “U” like many Q words do. As a result, there are hundreds of Z words under 5 characters long that are possible to play.

These are some of our favourite short “Z” words you should remember off by heart:

  • ZE - a gender-neutral pronoun.
  • ZO - a Tibetan breed of cattle.
  • ZA - is a shortened word for pizza.
  • ZAX - a tool for cutting roofing slates.
  • ZEK - a prisoner at a former soviet era labour camp.
  • FIZ - an alternative spelling for “fizz” - to make a hissing or sputtering sound.

17. Join an Online Scrabble Community

Scrabble online communities are groups of people who share a common interest in playing the game. This includes examples such as online forums, social media like Reddit pages & Facebook groups, or specialized gaming websites dedicated to Scrabble. These communities provide a fun and friendly space for players to connect with each other, share tips and strategies, and participate in competitions. Because of this, they're a great way to learn from others, collect valuable resources and information, and improve your game.

18. Master these Tricky Letters (J, K, V, C)

Playing tricky letters like “J”, “K”, “V”, and “C” in Scrabble can be challenging, but also highly rewarding when played effectively. These letters have higher points value but are also more difficult to form words with due to their relative rarity in the English language. To master these words, it's important to expand your vocabulary as wide as possible so you know where they can be effectively used.

19. Download some Online Resources

A quick search online will reveal there are many resources available for Scrabble players like downloadable and printable cheat sheets and word lists. If you're new to the game, it might be a good idea to have one of these handy whilst you play to refer to with your playing partner.

20. Word Cheat Tools

Scrabble word cheats are advanced word-finding tools that let you easily search the dictionary to find matching words. These are powerful tools that can be used to find words based on your letter tiles or filter words (such as “Q words that end with S” or “Z words with an E”). Some will even unscramble your letters to find every matching possible word.

Because of their power, we'd always recommend disclosing to your opponents if you wish to incorporate a cheat tool into your game, as otherwise it could be seen as, you know, cheating.

21. Formulate a Winning Strategy

Scrabble, like any other game, has certain strategies that can be used to increase your chance of winning. It's important to have a clear plan in place, as well as a good understanding of the game's rules and scoring system. This will help you to maximize the points you earn and make the most of the tiles dealt to you.

A successful strategy often involves balancing between offence and defence, playing tiles in a way that creates high-scoring words whilst also limiting the opportunities for your opponent to score. Using the bonus squares on the board strategically can be considered to be just as important as the words you play!

22. Practice Makes Perfect

As the old saying goes; practice makes perfect. Playing Scrabble regularly will be one of the best ways to get better at the game in the long run and ensure you become a Scrabble champion for years to come.

23. Explore Other Ways of Playing

Another way to improve your playing abilities is to try a different version of the game to expose yourself to new opportunities and playing styles.

There are many alternative versions of Scrabble, but one we'd suggest is Scrabble Go as it has a great feature for playing with random players. This means you can experience and learn from other people from across the world who you wouldn't normally play against. Exposing yourself to an alternative way of playing with different people will allow you to perfect your winning strategy.

24. Practice with Other Word Games

Becoming a winning player in Scrabble fundamentally comes down to your understanding of words and the ability to create words from letters (regardless of which language you play the game in). Because of this, playing other word games will likely lead to improvements in your Scrabble abilities.

So, why not try a crossword, word search, or even the latest hit game Wordle?

25. Winning X Words

“X” is another great letter in Scrabble due to its high points value.

Here are our top short “X” words to remember:

  • AX - a tool for chopping wood, traditionally consisting of a heavy metal head and wooden handle.
  • XU - a minor unit of currency in Vietnam.
  • XI - the 14th letter of Classical and Modern Greek.
  • OX - an adult castrated male of cattle.
  • EX - has multiple meanings, most commonly used to represent a former partner or spouse, e.g., ex-girlfriend.

26. No Vowel Words

Although uncommon due to the distribution of tiles in Scrabble favouring vowels, it is possible to be stuck completely without any vowels on your tile rack during a game. If this occurs there are three main strategies to choose from to help you get out of this difficult situation.

Firstly, play the board. By this, we mean instead of trying to create a brand-new word from your tiles, simply just use a consonant to extend off vowels already played.

Alternatively, there are words valid in Scrabble that don't use any vowels at all. These might be short words like “CH” or “ST”, and even sounds like “HMM” which are all valid.

As a final option, if truly stuck you could choose to forfeit a turn and draw new tiles out of the bag to hopefully gain some vowels for the next round.

27. Read About Scrabble

Simply reading about Scrabble, whether it be on official sites, new articles, or blogs is a great way to find out more about the game and keep up to date with what's happening in the community. Putting your newfound knowledge to use in your next game may give you a winning edge.

28. Know your Game Score

If you're looking to win against your opponent, it's important to keep track of the game score throughout the match. This means they'll be no nasty surprises at the end of the round when you think you've won, but it turns out you haven't. Moreover, knowing your own and your opponent's score throughout the game will enable you to apply a tailored strategy of offensive and defensive play.

Why not try our game tracker for your next round to see how easy it makes keeping track of your words.

29. Play a Strong First Word

If you're lucky enough to play first, use the opportunity wisely! As you may know from the Scrabble rules, the game starts on the middle square which is an instant double points word. Don't rush into playing straight away and consider all possibilities from your first pick of tiles. Plus, don't forget it is very possible to draw a 7-letter bingo on your first turn too!

Our top tip for playing your first word: can you use any of the four available double letter tiles located horizontally and vertically from the starting square? If so, ensure your highest-scoring letter is placed here instead of just placing your tiles down anywhere.

30. Enjoy the Game!

Finally, our last tip to winning at Scrabble is to simply have fun and enjoy the game. Although Scrabble can be competitive, it should be an enjoyable and sociable experience. The chances are if you're enjoying what you're doing, you'll make a better player and get more out of the game in the long run.

We hope after having read through our top tips you're now equipped with newfound knowledge to apply to your next game and hopefully produce some winning scores as a result. Happy playing!

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Tips to Help You Win at Scrabble

Article Category: Scrabble Strategy

First Published: 11 April 2023

Last Updated: 04 August 2023

Author: Stephen