Scrabble Rules Some Experts Don’t Even Know

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What does it take to win a game of Scrabble?

Intelligence, mastery of the English language, and a little luck certainly can’t hurt. There are, however, some little-known rules of the game that might give you an even stronger leg up when it comes to laying down those tiles and laying out all your opponents.

Here are eight Scrabble rules most people don’t know that may give you an advantage during your next game

1. Up for a challenge?

While there’s more than one way people handle challenges, the official rules state that if someone challenges a word, and the word isn’t found in the dictionary, then the person who played the bogus word must take back their tiles and lose their turn. If the word is found in the dictionary, then the player who challenged the word loses their next turn. For the player who played the word in question: Smug affirmation.

2. Bluff away

There’s no rule stating you can’t make up words and try to get away with it. If your opponent isn’t one to challenge things, this could work out well for you. If they are, however, watch out.

3. Polyglots rejoice

Polyglots may have an advantage when it comes to Scrabble, as foreign words are acceptable. The catch: They must appear in English dictionaries. For example, bonjour is fair game, but proper nouns and abbreviations are still off limits

4. B-I-N-G-O

Want a quick extra 50 points? Just use all seven of your tiles in one turn, and you’ve got yourself a Scrabble-style Bingo. You can yell it out if you want, but it’s not necessary and may irritate your opponents.

5. Pass out

When it’s your turn, you don’t have to play a word, whether you have one or not. Too many passes, however, and the game is over. When there are six scores of zeros in a row, the game is called, and the person with the most points wins.

6. Vowels aren’t everything

There are more words that don’t contain vowels than you think, especially because Y isn’t considered one in Scrabble. Words like zzz and hm
are fair game. Sh, don’t tell your opponent though.

7. Triple crown

For some serious points, try to cover two triple letter values. If you do this, you get nine, (count ‘em nine!) times the letter count.

8. Rules are made to be broken

If you enter a Scrabble tournament, know that the rules vary from regular game play. For example, “coffee-housing,” which is basically being too chatty with your opponent is prohibited in tournaments, but when you’re playing at your kitchen table, there’s no rule against chattering away.

Rules also vary by country.

Also, plenty of people adjust the rules to their own liking. As long as everyone is on the same page from the beginning, then there’s no harm in playing your way.

So, there you have it. Refer to these rules the next time you pull out that Scrabble board. Your new skills are sure to make your opponent go hmm (6 points).

And if you need more Scrabble help, check out our word finder for more clues!

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