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elbanditoroso's avatar

What is your scrabble strategy? Points or word quality?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15107 points ) May 27th, 2014

Dinnertime discussion tonight.

We were talking about Scrabble. Tony was saying that he goes for points, no matter what. Maximizing the score at all costs.

I like to win as much as the next person, but I think that there should be some place in the game for quality words. You might not get as many points as a different word, but who can not enjoy a word like ORYX or MUCKLE?

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41 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

I like to coax people into giving me tons of points. By this I mean I’ll intentionally play small low point value words that are easy to play off of so I can use my opponents word for 2x or 3x word score tiles. :P

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I simply cannot beat my wife so I focus on making funny/dirty words.

kevbo's avatar

I play for points unless it’s for love, sex or a relationship that warrants mercy.

One girlfriend wasn’t really interested in playing for points, so we played what I called “pretty Scrabble.”

Coloma's avatar

Both. I just got a 52 point word the other day, trying to remember what it was, but it was a triple word score and, what I really love, it tied into another good sized word. Damn, my memory fails me now. haha
I scope out potential words and spaces in advance and sometimes it all comes together perfectly, a great word on a double or triple word score. I love Scrabble!

JLeslie's avatar

Points. The most important words are the two letter ones, and words that use X, J, Q and Z. Strategy in using the board is way more important than fancy complicated words, unless you truly are a dictionary and have one after another of fancy schmancy words. Using a big point letter on a triple or turning corners with words so you form two is the name of the game in my book.

gailcalled's avatar

My daughter has memorized every legal two-letter word in English, not that that has anything to do with the question.

I had a buddy once who skipped turn after turn and swapped letters until whammo he used his z’s and q’s and j’s on a triple word and got like 100 points. He beat everyone.

Seek's avatar

People that play only 2-letter words and screw up any opportunity for anyone to build up a decent board really tick me off.

gailcalled's avatar

That is her last line of defense, believe me. She has an enormous bag of linguistic tricks and her vocabulary puts mine to shame.

Seek's avatar

I’m sure A is a worthy and honourable Scrabble opponent.

Pachy's avatar

Both in each play when I’m up against a Scrabble pro who appreciates great words that produce big points, but usually only points when I’m playing with a novice.

Coloma's avatar

@Pachy I;d love to play with you! :-)

Seek's avatar

They have Scrabble on Facebook…

https://apps.facebook.com/ea_scrabble_closed/

Coloma's avatar

I played with someone once that tried to count the scores under already used tiles!
What the….?
Uh, no…you don’t get to count the triple letter score or double word scores if they have already been used!
I am stickler for game rules, no cheating! Bah!

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I just try to make a damn word with the stupid tiles I get.
I never get good tiles. I hate that stupid game.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek Two letter words are to get rid of letters more than anything when nothing else is working.

Coloma's avatar

ZYGOTE on a triple word score with the “Z” on a double letter score, Yeah baby!

CWOTUS's avatar

I always play for points, but as the board fills with words the game’s optimal strategy evolves. The first play, of course, can only be a single word (doubled, of course). But the next play does not have to be at right angles to the first word. So I try – when I can – to play long and interesting words that run parallel to others already on the board, so that I can pick up the points for my own word, and a series of two-letter (or more!) words that are created by the juxtaposition. I also go for bridge words that might add an “S” to an existing word, then as my word progresses it might add a “D” or another “S” to another word (for example, JOIN can become ENJOINS, with the E and the S parts of other words), so I get points for three words – or more.

Late in the game, when the object is to run out of tiles first – and the easy words and chances are all gone because of the letters so closely packed that no new long words can be easily formed, then it’s time to go for the simple (and sometimes very lucrative) two-letter combinations that can eat up one’s last remaining tiles, make the board harder for the opponent to play onto, and cause her (it’s usually a “her” with me: either my daughter or my sister, at Thanksgiving, after the pie) to have to skip a turn.

Coloma's avatar

@CWOTUS Yes, I always look for ways to add on to existing words too.
“Park” becomes “Spark”, “Rain” becomes “Brain” “Grip” becomes ” Gripe” ” Long” becomes ” Belong”...on and on. When you’re down to the wire add ons become a strategy. haha

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Coloma They tried doing that because that’s the retarded way words with friends counts scores. It’s bullshit. I can throw down an awesome word on a triple word tile in that game and then you can throw an S on it and get more points then me. Infuriating. lol

Seek's avatar

And that’s why I don’t play Words with Friends.

Coloma's avatar

Well…as long as they aren’t hijacking your every word.
I only employ that tactic when I am desperate. lol

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, I quit WWF when someone played the word for “Nigerian prince”, which is not an English word at all… and in the same game “FID” was disallowed for me. Fid, not an English word? Fie on them.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ LOL…funny!

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma Butts… Hahaha.

Coloma's avatar

@GloPro Eat a bag of dicks. LMAO!

GloPro's avatar

@Coloma Are you from a Scrabble-Philic family?

Coloma's avatar

@GloPro I don’t know…but that video made me wet myself a little. ;-p

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes I do a move that is less points than I could do to open up the board if the board is impossible. It helps the other player too, but it has to be done. I don’t know if other people take that sort of risk? Or, even think about doing it.

Stinley's avatar

Points. Every time. If the other person plays a good word with not very many points I’ll comment on how good the word is. But we both know it’s hollow praise…

elbanditoroso's avatar

this has turned into a fascinating discussion.

I should have expected that this Fluther crowd would be avid players.

CWOTUS's avatar

Yeah, there are times when I’ll play a word that nets me fewer points than another choice might, as a blocking move to prevent my opponent from picking up a points bonus that has been left open and inviting. That’s another strategy. (My favorite strategies involve playing uncommon or obscure real words but which might provoke an unsuccessful challenge, especially after I have made a successful challenge of another’s non-word. Even better, sometimes, is bluffing with a fake word, but if someone has failed with a challenge or two in the past they get skittish about raising another challenge. Some of my family members probably still use fake words in conversation sometimes after I have explained to them what this or that nonsense word means during the course of a game. I should feel bad, but it’s not cheating; it’s gamesmanship.)

elbanditoroso's avatar

@CWOTUS – I’m with you. I’ll do strategic mischief (blocking) to prevent the other guy from getting a double/triple word, even at the cost of a few points to myself. It is usually – not always – a good investment.

Seek's avatar

@CWOTUS is my new hero.

Coloma's avatar

@JLeslie Oh yes, sometimes you have to go for the greater good, open up opportunities.
@CWOTUS @CWOTUS Haha…. it always is so annoying when you have a space all scoped out for the perfect word and your opponent takes it first.

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] This question has been relocated to Social.

JLeslie's avatar

Also, a great point made above, blocking the other person from using a great opportunity like a triple when your letters don’t allow you to utilize it yourself.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@CWOTUS I imagine you’re also pretty good at Balderdash.

downtide's avatar

My partner plays for points and making the shortest words possible, which makes it much harder to build on them. He always wins, the bastard. But the games are not fun. So, if you want the game to be fun, make longer words and to hell with the points.

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