Scrabble Tips for Beginners

Do you need some tips to get better at Scrabble?

No problem.

We made a whole infographic to help you close the gap between your opponent's score.

These tricks for new players are practical and easy to use.

After reading them you only need one word to win. That word is practice.
Click to view the full-size beginner's guide for playing Scrabble:
Scrabble Tips for Beginners - - Infographic

Strategy tips for Scrabble Beginners

Our beginner tricks are no longer enough and you are already wondering how to become a Scrabble pro?

We asked experienced Scrabble players(people who have world rankings) from around the world: "What is your best advice or tip for beginners who are tired of losing?".

Enjoy the insights:

Scrabble strategy opening move

  • 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 best 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 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 the best strategy for opening the board tends to be playing through the center of an existing word, while the best 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 not be your best play if you end up with three vowels and no consonants on your rack after making it. Sean Wrona

How to win at Scrabble?

  • 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

More useful resources

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 the best 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 best play. Christopher Sykes
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