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Word Squares

The complete rules for this paper and pencil game


With just paper and pens or pencils, any number of players can enjoy Word Squares.


2 or more players.


Each player needs a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.


To score the most points by forming words horizontally and vertically in a 5x5 grid.


On each piece of paper, draw a 5x5 grid of squares.

Choose a player to go first.


The first player calls out a letter. Each player writes that letter into one of the 25 available squares.

Moving clockwise, the next player then calls out a letter (which may be the same as or different than any letter previously called out). Each player then writes that letter into one of the remaining squares.

Repeat this until 25 letters have been called. All 25 squares will be filled on every player's grid.


Words in each column and each row are scored. No points are awarded for diagonals. Proper names do not score points.

Five-letter word, 10
Four-letter word, 5
Three-letter word, 1

Only a single word is scored in each column and row.

Alternative Scoring

With this scoring method, multiple words may be scored in each column and row. For example, BENDS would score 21 points: 10 for BENDS, 5 for BEND, 5 for ENDS, and 1 for END.


The player with the highest total score wins.

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