How To Get a Bingo in Scrabble
Bingos in Scrabble are the perfect opportunity to pick up bonus points for playing all 7 of your letter tiles in a single turn. Find out exactly how to increase your chances of scoring a bingo with our top strategies in this article.
In this article
- What is a Scrabble Bingo?
- Strategies for Finding Bingos
What is a Scrabble Bingo?
In Scrabble, players can score a “bingo” when they use all 7 of their letter tiles in one turn. A Bingo, as per the game rules, will score a player an additional 50 bonus points in that round.
This makes bingos extremely powerful in Scrabble as they can dramatically increase your score in just a single turn.
Not only that but bingos can be used strategically to control the play of the board and create new opportunities for future moves to hook new words.
However, great reward doesn't come without a downside. Unfortunately for Scrabble players, the reality of playing a bingo is rare, as these 7-letter words are sometimes extremely difficult to make and play on the board.
I'm going to share some of my top tips and strategies for crafting potential bingo words and advice for playing them on the board too.
Strategies for Finding Bingos
For those of you who regularly play Scrabble, you'll probably relate when I say bingos don't come around so often.
It's often a chore to find them and can leave you forever stuck with letter tiles as you go after that dream 7-letter word.
Follow along with some of my helpful strategies below that I use regularly to help me make those all-important bingos.
Prefixes and Suffixes
One strategy I personally love for creating bingos is to focus on common prefixes and word suffixes. These are common combinations of letters that can be added to either the front (prefix) or end (suffix) of a word to extend it.
For example, adding “re-”, “un-”, or “mis-” to the beginning of a word or adding “-er”, “-ing”, or “-ment” to the end of a word.
Why are these great for finding bingos? Once you have the letters to make one of the common prefixes or suffixes, place it to one side of your tile rack. If it's a suffix, place the letters to the left and a prefix goes to the right. This now acts as a handy aid in visualizing the word.
Consequently, you only need to find a word that fits with your prefix or suffix to make a bingo. For example, if you have the suffix “-ing” you'd only need a valid 4 letter to make a bingo such as “Playing” or “Posting”. Or if you have the prefix “mis-” you'd only need 4 additional letters for “Mislead” or “Mistake”.
This makes it significantly easier than going after all 7 letters at once and gives you a helping hand picturing the word on your tile rack before even playing it.
Plural Words (-s and -es)
Similarly, to what I've discussed above, creating plural words with “-s” or “-es” is a great bingo strategy.
The “s” and “es” letters act similarly as a suffix that can be added to the end of a word. As I mentioned above it's always handy to place these characters to the right-hand side of your letter rack to visualize your words better.
One advantage of the plural suffix over regular suffixes is that it's much more versatile. It can be somewhat difficult at times to find words ending in “ing” or “er”, whereas an “s” can be added onto most words to extend them.
However, do be careful to consult a dictionary if you're unsure of a specific word as not all words in Scrabble are valid in their plural form.
Hooking Words for Bingos
Another fantastic way to find bingos is to hook your word onto existing words played on the board.
Occasionally it can be easier to make an 8 or 9-letter word in total using existing letters rather than continuously relying on the luck of the tile bag for that one letter you need for a bingo.
On the downside, depending on what's already been played on your board, this strategy can be more complex. Nevertheless, we think it's a necessary one to learn. Let's face it, unless it's the first turn of the game, you'll need to hook your bingo onto another word anyway. This makes hooking an important Scrabble skill to master.
Furthermore, carrying out a successful hook can come with a high reward. The most fruitful bingo I ever scored was hooking “Monazite” onto an existing letter “T” on the board.
Using an Online Word Finder for Bingos
An additional strategy for scoring bingos is to take advantage of an online tool such as a word finder to search the dictionary for valid words.
This tip is more suited to those playing casually and not in a competitive setting, as it's important to let your opponents know if you're using any helper tools in your Scrabble game.
If you're a novice player and need a little extra helping hand a word finder is a great option to give you some inspiration. Over time your knowledge of the dictionary and common word/letter combinations will improve, and you'll be much more confident getting a bingo by yourself.
Some of the potential word-finding tools you could use include:
Use Probability to Your Advantage
The probability of Scrabble bingos is a topic that's been studied before and an area you can use to your advantage for getting a 7-letter word.
Essentially, certain letter combinations such as “AEIRST”, “AEINRT”, and “AEGINS” can be easily extended and rearranged in many ways to create a bingo word.
Moreover, the advantage of these letter combinations is that they are very common in the English language. Hence, it's highly probable if you have these letters on your tile rack, you'll be able to form a bingo.
Practice Solving Anagrams
My final piece of advice is to go away and practice outside of Scrabble solving anagrams, such as playing online anagram solver games and puzzles.
An anagram is a collection of jumbled letters that must be rearranged to make a word. And if you think about it, that's essentially exactly what Scrabble players must do to create a bingo.
As with anything, practice makes perfect and therefore the more time you invest in training your skills the better you'll become at solving a problem.
By practicing and applying the strategies I've listed above you'll hopefully be better equipped to tackle those difficult Scrabble bingos.
To get the most from the tips in this article it's best to put them all together as these are strategies that complement each other rather than work alone.
For example, you could combine a regular suffix like “-ing”, make it plural with an “s”, and then use the letters “sav” to create the word “savings” for a bingo. Did you know there are 1000s of combinations just following this pattern above?
So, the next time you come to try for a bingo, remember the chances aren't as slim as you may think.
We hope you've enjoyed this article and happy playing!
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