Making a play The first played word must be at least two letters long, and cover H8 (the center square).
A proper play uses one or more of the player’s tiles to form a continuous string of letters that make a word (the play’s “main word”) on the board, reading either left-to-right
In tournament play, a challenge may be to the entire play or any one or more words formed in the play, and judges (human or computer) are used, so players are not entitled
to know which word(s) are invalid.
Plays covering a DWS and a TWS simultaneously (6× the word value, or 18× if a DWS and two TWS squares are covered) are only possible if a player misses the center star on
the first turn, and the play goes unchallenged (this is valid under North American tournament rules).
• It was made clear that: o words could be played through single letters already on the board, o a player could play a word parallel and immediately adjacent to an existing
word provided all crossing words formed were valid, o the effect of two premium squares was to be compounded multiplicatively.
CON played under (JACK) simultaneously forming (J)O and (A)N. Any combination of these is allowed in a play, as long as all the letters placed on the board in one play lie
in one row or column and are connected by a main word, and any run of tiles on two or more consecutive squares along a row or column constitutes a valid word.
(For several years, a game could not end with a cumulative score of 0–0, but that is no longer the case, and such games have since occurred a number of times in tournament
play, the winner being the player with the lower total point value on their rack and thus a score less negative than the opponent’s.
The player challenged must then look up the words in question using a specified word source (such as the NASPA Word List, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, or Collins
Scrabble Words), and if one or more of them is found to be unacceptable, the play is removed from the board, the player returns the newly played tiles to their rack, and the turn is forfeited.
• Play at least one tile on the board, adding the value of all words formed to the player’s cumulative score.
End of game A game of magnetic Pocket Scrabble approaching its end, where players have fewer than seven tiles remaining Under North American tournament rules, the game
ends when either: 1.
If a player has made a play and has not yet drawn a tile, the opponent may choose to challenge any or all words formed by the play.
• Finally, if seven tiles have been laid on the board in one turn, known as a “bingo” in North America and as a “bonus” elsewhere, after all of the words formed have been
scored, 50 bonus points are added.
Although he left most of the game (including the distribution of letters) unchanged, Brunot slightly rearranged the “premium” squares of the board and simplified the rules;
he also renamed the game Scrabble, a real word which means “to scratch frantically”.
Examples Plays can be made in several ways (in what follows, it is assumed that the word JACK has been played on a previous turn; letters in parentheses represent tiles
already on the board): • Adding one or more letters to an existing word, e.g.
• A change in the wording of the rules could have been interpreted as meaning that a player may form more than one word on one row on a single turn.
• It was made clear that: o a tile can be shifted or replaced until the play has been scored, o a challenge applies to all the words made in the given play.
SOWPODS, the combined OTCWL+OSW list now used in much of the world, known today as Collins Scrabble Words.
) When the game ends, each player’s score is reduced by the sum of their unused letters; in addition, if a player has used all of their letters (known as “going out” or
“playing out”), the sum of all other players’ unused letters is added to that player’s score.
The main word must either use the letters of one or more previously played words or else have at least one of its tiles horizontally or vertically adjacent to an already played
This is common for “parallel” plays that make up to eight words in one turn.
If player A holds, player A’s clock still runs, and player B may not draw provisional replacement tiles until 15 seconds after the hold was announced (which tiles must then
be kept separate).
 Game details The game is played by two to four players on a square game board imprinted with a 15×15 grid of cells (individually known as “squares”), each of which accommodates
a single letter tile.
Thereafter, any move is made by using one or more tiles to place a word on the board.
• If a player makes a play where the main word covers two DWS squares, the value of that word is doubled, then redoubled (i.e.
In most North American tournaments, the rules of the NASPA Games organization stipulate instead that players who have gone first in the fewest previous games in the tournament
go first, and when that rule yields a tie, those who have gone second the most go first.
Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a game board divided into a 15×15 grid of squares.
Each tile is marked with its point value, with a blank tile — the game’s equivalent of a wild card — played as the word’s first letter.
If any words other than the main word are formed by the play, they are scored as well and are subject to the same criteria of acceptability.
This is particularly the case in close games with more than two players.
S is one of the most versatile tiles in English-language Scrabble because it can be appended to many words to pluralize them (or in the case of most verbs, convert them to
the third person singular present tense, as in the word PLUMMETS), Alfred Butts included only four S tiles to avoid making the game “too easy”.
The two games had the same set of letter tiles, whose distributions and point values Butts worked out by performing a frequency analysis of letters from various sources, including
The New York Times.
Clubs also typically hold at least one open tournament per year.
Almost all tournament games involve only two players; typically, each has 25 minutes in which to make all of their plays.
When the letters to be drawn have run out, the final play can often determine the winner.
Although it is unnecessary, additional words formed by the play are sometimes listed after the main word and a slash.
In an English-language set, the game contains 100 tiles, 98 of which are marked with a letter and a point value ranging from 1 to 10.
The key difference between the OSPD and the NWL is that the OSPD is marketed for “home and school” use, without words which their source dictionaries judged offensive, rendering
the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary less fit for official Scrabble play.
The penalty for an unsuccessful challenge (where all words formed by the play are deemed valid) varies considerably, including: • “Double Challenge”, in which an unsuccessfully
challenging player must forfeit the next turn.
Although casual games are often played with unlimited time, this is problematic in competitive play among players for whom the number of evident legal plays is immense.
There is no limit on how long player A may hold the play.
He placed a large order, and within a year, “everyone had to have one”.
• Playing all seven tiles is officially called a “bingo” in North America and a “bonus” elsewhere.
Scoring The score for any play is determined this way: • Each new word formed in a play is scored separately, and then those scores are added up.
The score for this play would be (2 × 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) × 2 = 48 (following the order of operations).
 There are two popular competition word lists for English-language Scrabble: • NASPA Word List (NWL, also known as OTCWL, OWL, or TWL) • Collins Scrabble Words (CSW, also
called “Collins” or “SOWPODS”) The first predominates in the U.S., Canada, Israel and Thailand, and the second in English Scrabble in the rest of the world.
The normal approach is for players to each draw one tile.
The player is then required to make another play, with no penalty applied.)
• The main word (defined as the word containing every played letter) is scored.
Under NASPA tournament rules, a player may request to “hold” the opponent’s play to consider whether to challenge it, provided that the opponent has not yet drawn replacement
 Challenges Main article: Challenge (Scrabble) The penalty for a successfully challenged play is nearly universal: the offending player removes the tiles played
and forfeits their turn.
An example of a Scrabble game in progress using Quackle, an open-source program.
If player A successfully challenges after player B drew provisional replacement tiles, player B must show the drawn tiles before returning them to the bag.
• Exchange one or more tiles for an equal number from the bag, scoring nothing, an option available only if at least seven tiles remain in the bag.
In official club and tournament games, play is between two players or, occasionally, between two teams, each of which collaborates on a single rack.
A scoreless turn can also theoretically occur if a play consists of only blank tiles, but this is extremely unlikely in actual play.
Clubs in North America typically meet one day a week for three or four hours and some charge a small admission fee to cover their expenses and prizes.
A play is usually identified in the format xy WORD score or WORD xy score, where x denotes the column or row on which the play’s main word extends, y denotes the second coordinate
of the main word’s first letter, and WORD is the main word.
It is theoretically possible to achieve a play covering three TWS squares (a 27× word score), although this is extremely improbable without constructive setup and collaboration.
Or a player can put down a legal word that appears to be a phony hoping the other player will incorrectly challenge it and lose their turn.
Tournaments are also played using CSW in North America, particularly since Hasbro ceased to control tournament play in 2009.
Words must read either left-to-right or top-to-bottom.
(In some online games, an option known as “void” may be used, wherein unacceptable words are automatically rejected by the program.
When the play of a single tile forms words in each direction, one of the words is arbitrarily chosen to serve as the main word for purposes of notation.
The game also has two blank tiles that are unmarked and carry no point value.
• Modified “Single Challenge”, in which an unsuccessful challenge does not result in the loss of the challenging player’s turn, but is penalized by the loss of a specified
number of points.
The game is sold in 121 countries and is available in more than 30 languages; approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide, and roughly one-third of American and
half of British homes have a Scrabble set.
Competitive play Club and tournament play Main article: English-language Scrabble See also: Category:Scrabble competitions Tens of thousands play club and tournament
The player who picks the letter closest to the beginning of the alphabet goes first, with blank tiles taking precedence over the letter A.
He manufactured a few sets himself but was not successful in selling the game to any major game manufacturers of the day.
All tournament (and most club) games are played with a game clock and a set time control.
• The previously unspecified penalty for having one’s play successfully challenged was stated: withdrawal of tiles and loss of turn.
The Scrabble Players Championship (formerly North American Scrabble Championship): organized by NASPA Games, an open event attracting several hundred players, held around
July–August every year in the United States.
A game of Scrabble in French Next, players decide the order in which they play.
J is also difficult to play due to its low frequency and a scarcity of words having it at the end.
 Evolution of the rules The “box rules” included in each copy of the North American edition have been edited four times: in 1953, 1976, 1989, and 1999.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/istolethetv/2470177960/’]