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Sunnybunny's avatar

Can you tell if someone is cheating at Words With Friends?

Asked by Sunnybunny (469 points ) April 20th, 2012

I play Words with Friends on Facebook pretty often and sometimes win, sometimes lose. I’d say I’m not half bad at the game and I’m pretty well educated.

Now someone started a game with me (we are on our second game now) and I am really thinking he is cheating. I looked it up and found out there are apps for that, of course, and I think he’s using one. Every single turn, he comes up with obscure words and manages to use them across all the extra point tiles. Or maybe his life as a trucker with no higher education from a small midwest town hides a deeper intellect.

Anyway, if you thought someone was cheating at a game but had no way to prove it would you say anything? Quit? Finish and not play again? Start cheating yourself?

I don’t get the point of playing if you’re going to cheat but that’s just me and I could totally be wrong and maybe he is some kind of word genius.

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17 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

You could ask him what these obscure words mean. If he never knows what any of them mean, he’s probably cheating.

Sunnybunny's avatar

Yeah but it’s so easy to look up definitions online. He could get back to me in less than a minute with a correct answer and it wouldn’t mean anything.

CWOTUS's avatar

Part of the skill of winning the game comes from memorizing and using some of those obscure words (especially the two-letter versions such as XI and QI, for example) and using strategy to be able to employ those Qs and Xs to best advantage.

Sunnybunny's avatar

I’m talking about words like fusels or begirts. Most people who play the game seem to pick up on those short words to use q and x. This is different, it’s a combination of crazy words and where they are placed, which is what a cheating app does. It shows you the words and where to put them to earn the most points possible.

And just to be clear, this isn’t consuming my life or causing me a lot of stress. I’m just going to finish the game and then not play him again. I was just wondering how others would respond to suspected cheating. I do have better things in life to get all riled up over.

FutureMemory's avatar

If he knows what they mean he should be able to answer in less than 10 seconds. If he takes longer than 15 seconds to even begin his reply, and you know he’s not suddenly occupied with something else, he’s looking up the definition.

john65pennington's avatar

Like I have always said. “the computer is the devil” and Words With Friends and cheating, is just another example. Some people I know play the game and there is no way in the world this person could have this much knowledge of words, unless they are cheating and they are.

Bill1939's avatar

The “dictionary” that Words with Friends uses seems to know words that my American Heritage Dictionary doesn’t recognize, and vice versa. Fortunately the game allows the user to try combinations of letters that the user never imagined might actually be a word without a penalty. For example, my opponent played a word with a Z. I had many E’s so I tried ZEE. What do you know, it’s a word. My dictionary (ibid.) says zee is “the letter z.” And I thought Z was the letter Z. Oh well.

zenvelo's avatar

@Bill1939 I would have thought “zed” was the letter “Z”.

The great thing about playing a game like that is you don’t have to play with them. Why play when it isn’t fun? And you can just say, “you’re too good at this for me.”

They must have a sad life to cheat at something like this.

elbanditoroso's avatar

If he is taking the game so seriously that he needs to cheat, then he has other problems.

If you are taking the game so seriously that it bothers you, then you need other activities. Games are supposed to be fun and entertaining. This compulsiveness (on both of you) cannot be healthy.

Bill1939's avatar

Just as “Angry Birds” defying the laws of gravity does not take away from the pleasure of playing, arbitrary declarations of acceptable “words” is part of the fun. Like crossword puzzles, with experience one learns obscure words that can be used. However, I am not familiar with a cheating application, other than using a paper, software or on-line dictionary. Can someone point me to them?

JLeslie's avatar

If they are odd words with Q, Z, X, and J, I would not be very suspicious. If they are long words with other letters that are very obscure, then I would be suspicious. If they win because they use the board well, I would not be suspicious at all.

Make sure you are not leaving triples open for high letter placement. Try to turn corners so your letters count twice in a turn.

jazmina88's avatar

I dont know any short words. If you learn something, is it really cheating??

It’s a game. there are cheaters, and there are those who dont. In all walks of life.

Ponderer983's avatar

You can’t prove he is cheating. So there! Just stop playing with him a you mentioned you would. But to expand on the words, I have to admit that I have thrown a word up there to see if it sticks and it does. I don’t know what the word it, but it just went through. I’ll place certain letters on the bonus spaces and try to form something around that if I am desperate enough. I usually don’t have to, but once I played whidah (which Fluther is telling me is spelled wrong) on a triple word and letters for decent points. My sister called me out on it and I just told her the letters stuck lol. She has done it to me a couple times as well. And once you’ve have these words played on you, you remember them and use them in the future.

downtide's avatar

I would say if it bothers you, don’t accept any further games with that person. But is it cheating or learning?

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I start a game with a new person I tell them up front that I don’t use a cheat and I hope they don’t either.

It becomes pretty obvious when they are cheating, like in your case. In the beginning I started a game with a fb friend who, to be honest, wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but she’d come up with these astounding words. That’s when I learned about the cheat, because she told me she used them. I let our last game finish, then never played her again.

I’m playing one person now who I am convinced is cheating, even though she said she isn’t. I’ve had my suspicions, then her sister verified them. :( That is just wrong on so many levels.

It’s cheating @downtide. If I wanted to play the computer I’d find a game that let me play a computer instead of a person.

Bill1939's avatar

Unfortunately not only are there cheats available on several websites, Word with Friends also sells cheat aps. Zynga obviously encourages this kind of cheating, at least as long as you buy their products. Could using a dictionary ap or trying a number of one’s letters in the hope that an accidental combination will create an acceptable word (something I do) be considered cheating?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not cheating is simply a matter of honor. Honor: Either ya got it or ya don’t.

There are some words they say aren’t words and I know they ARE, such as FOP. But they aren’t set up to field customer complaints.

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