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The Complete Guide to Scrabble

Word lists, strategy tips, and more to help you become a better Scrabble player.


Scrabble, designed by Alfred Mosher Butts when he was a jobless architect in the Depression, was first published commercially in 1948 by James Brunot, one of Butts' friends. Eventually, Scrabble became the world's most popular word game, and it has now sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

Scrabble Profile

Scrabble Diamond Edition
Image courtesy of Hasbro
I believe that Scrabble is one of the 50 most culturally and historically significant games published since 1800. This profile explains why.

How to Win at Scrabble

Scrabble Deluxe
Image courtesy of Hasbro
This word game presents a number of unique challenges to its players. Memorizing the entire Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary would be great, but it's also unrealistic. Start with these basics first.

Scrabble Word Lists

Scrabble Dictionary
Image courtesy of Merriam-Webster
Becoming a world-class Scrabble player requires years of study and practice. But casual Scrabble players can become significantly better with a relatively modest investment of time. One of the best ways is to learn some of the key words every great player knows, and these Scrabble word lists are a great place to start.

How to Challenge a Word in Scrabble

When playing a game of Scrabble, your opponent might play a word that you think is illegal. If so, you will want to "challenge" the word to prevent your opponent from gaining points with it. Here's how to challenge a word in Scrabble.

Play Scrabble Online

Scrabble Online at Pogo.com
Image courtesy of Pogo.com
There are several ways to play Scrabble online, including some officially sanctioned sites and some unofficial sites where you can play Scrabble-like crossword games. This article links to my picks for the best places to play Scrabble online.

Scrabble Video Tips

Scrabble Video Tips
From a video by John Williams and Matt Silver
In these videos, John Williams, executive director of the National Scrabble Association, and Matt Silver, two-time national school Scrabble champion, present tips and strategies to help you become a better Scrabble player. Although they are brief, these Scrabble videos are packed with ways to improve your game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Scrabble Basic Edition
Image courtesy of Hasbro
This set of frequently asked questions about the board game Scrabble covers gameplay, scoring, related games, and more. When a question involves the rules of Scrabble, the answer refers to the official Scrabble rules. Some people use and love playing with unofficial house rules, but this FAQ does not attempt to address those situations.

Tile Distrbution

One of the first thing that beginner Scrabble players should learn is the game's tile distribution. It's vital to know that, for example, only one J, K, Q, X and Z are in the bag -- and that they provide the best opportunities for high scores.

Best Scrabble Books

Scrabble is, hands down, the most popular word game in the world. It's played even by people who can't speak English -- and some players devote as much time to its study as do the grandest of Chess grandmasters. Most of the books on this list can help improve your Scrabble skills; one puts you inside the minds of the top Scrabble players.

Book Review: Word Freak

Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
Image courtesy of Penguin
Stefan Fatsis' Word Freak is a well-written, first-person dive into competitive Scrabble. If you've ever become obsessed with a game, you'll recognize yourself in the many interesting personalities found in Word Freak.
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