New Srabble players can easily improve their score by using these simple tricks and strategies.

The best first move is going first. Starting the game will give you a slight advantage. This is probably the easiest thing you can do to score some extra points. The opening move gives you control over the board(horizontal word, vertical word, open or closed board).
  • 1. The best Scrabble words are short words. Actively use 2 letter words and 3 letter words to score points on every turn. Short words will help you get rid of hard to use tiles and duplicate letters.
  • 2. Playing defensively does not work. Play to win and actively use your tiles if you see a good move. Score big on every turn. The more tiles you use the bigger the possibility to get a new high value tile.
  • 3. High value tiles (J, Q, X, Z) and medium value tiles (K, F, H, V, W, Y) should be used as soon as possible. This leaves more lower point tiles in your rack. Most bonus words use lower point tiles.
  • 4. Sometimes it makes sense to exchange all of your tiles. Be decisive about it. Hopeless situations will not become better by themselves. Missed turns add up fast.
  • 5. Open up the board if you are behind in score. Keep the board closed if you are ahead. Short words will close the board while long words will open it up. Overlapping words is better than intersecting them. This is an easy way to earn more points.
  • 6. Make words plural by adding an "S" to the end. If possible create your own new word when adding an "S" to you opponents word. Never waste an "S" on your own words(the game only has 4 tiles with this letter). Remember to use hooks. Each S is worth about 10 points.
  • 7. Know the most common prefixes and most common suffixes. This will help you get wins from your opponents words.
  • 8. It is hard to win without getting a bingo. Bingos use seven tiles from your rack. Save your tiles for bingos. Collect letters as prefixes or suffixes in order. Bingos need planning and saving of tiles. Gaining 50 points with a bingo can be the difference between winning and losing. Blank tiles should mostly be saved and used for bingos(unless you can get at least 20 points for it). Blanks are worth an additional 30 points. A bingo requires preparation and observation.
  • 9. Look at the board first. Whenever possible always use bonus squares on the board. Double or triple spaces will rise your score and essentially take the same possibility away from your opponent. There are eight triple word squares on a Scrabble board. Never give your opponent the opportunity to use one of the triple word squares. You need to strategically plan ahead and use them for yourself or block them for others. Always use the opportunity to get the triple point bonus even if you can only use a short word. This is both a defensive and an offensive tactic.
  • 10. Learn Q words without U like "Qi". The game has only four "U" tiles. Most words with the letter "Q" have "U" as the next letter. If you don't know any "Q" words not followed by "U" then you will be stuck with a "Q" for the rest of the game.
The only way to become better at Scrabble is by playing the game. You need to use these new tips in real Scrabble games so that they become ingrained.

Scrabble Tips Infographic

Click to view the full-size infographic of Scrabble tips and tricks for beginners:

Scrabble Tips for Beginners - - Infographic

How to win at Scrabble

First and foremost you need to stop making common Scrabble mistakes that allow your opponent to score big. The next step is to improve your skills by practicing this list of Scrabble tips. Last but not least is to ask advice from experts. We asked experienced players(people who have world rankings) from around the world: "What is your advice or tip for beginners who are tired of losing?".

Enjoy the insights:

Opening move tips for Scrabble

  • Many beginners look at their letters, find a word, then try to fit that word on the board. That's actually the reverse of what you should do most of the time. Instead, look for spots on the board that might generate points, such as open letters in a Triple Word Score lane, a vowel next to a Triple Letter Score, or a chance to play a word that hits both a Triple Letter Score and a Double Word Score. Then see if your tiles can score a lot in the area(s) you've spotted. Scott Appel
  • I always repeat 'Spots before words', which just means to learn to identify the squares with the highest scoring potential on the board first before we think about what words we can make. Most beginners spend a lot of time looking at their own tiles and think of a few words and then get focused on trying to find a place on the board to fit it, and often get frustrated that their word doesn't fit or doesn't score much. So, they need to reverse their thinking and spend time to study the board first. Shan Abbasi

Balance vowels and consonants to get more bingos

  • Here's a big thing I see beginners struggle with: it's about balance. The letters left over from one play are the ones you'll have to work with on the next play. Make sure that the letters left over are balanced between vowels and consonants, with slightly more consonants, if possible. This gives you more flexibility on your next turn, even if you draw all vowels or all consonants. It's even worth scoring fewer points this turn to make sure you have better options next turn. Chris Lipe
  • One tip is rack management. When I have 5 vowels and 2 consonants, all else equal I'll try in my next play to lay more vowels than consonants so that I get back to a rack with more options and more bingo potential. Cameron Brick
  • The first thing that comes to mind is to play off duplicates when possible - for instance, if my rack is AADDENN, I'll be looking to drop an A, D and N if at all possible. Jesse Day

Scrabble tips for board control

  • What Scrabble players tend to neglect most is the board geometry. It's easy to talk about opening and closing the board, but a lot of people don't understand what that actually means. Generally a good strategy for opening the board tends to be playing through the center of an existing word, while an effective strategy for closing it is playing words at right angles to words on the board. Board control and making the geometry of the board suit you is what weaker plays don't think about enough.

    Also, ideally, you want to leave the same number of vowels and consonants on your rack after making a play because that will increase the probability of being able to make a high-scoring play on the next turn; your highest-scoring play might be a bad play if you end up with three vowels and no consonants on your rack after making it. Sean Wrona

Useful Scrabble tricks

  • 1. Words that are 2 and 3 letters long are building blocks of Scrabble. There are just over 100 twos and over 1,000 threes; you know many of them already. Learn those words; knowing them solidly will help you score better with parallel plays.

    2. Look for words that can be played parallel to existing words on the board. You score for each word you create, so if the 'main word' you play forms 3 new perpendicular words using letters already on the board, you get to score all 4 words. If you cover a bonus square with such a play, you get the bonus count in both directions. Sometimes, a 7-letter bingo or bonus word can only be played by attaching it parallel to another word; having the vision not only to see the word, but also to place it on the board, can make a difference of 50 points or more.

    3. While these are insufficient reasons to play them in a competitive setting, parallel plays can not only be aesthetically satisfying, but can also signal to observing players that you've learned a bit about how to play. Barry Keith

How do I improve my Scrabble skills?

  • 1. Don't be afraid of your opponent. 2. Don't challenge a bingo if there's an easy alternate playable bingo. 3. If in doubt, go for the points. 4. Don't do the one thing that can cost you the game. 5. If you can't take the opening, create another. 6. Don't take your weaker opponents lightly. 7. Don't overdraw. 8. Look for high scoring spot first, then think of a word. 9. Don't spend lots of time on a minor decision. 10. Play the bingo you know. 11. Making two openings is better than making one. 12. Especially in the end game, check what opportunities your play will create. 13. When you know your opponents rack at the end, find their play. Christopher Sykes

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