How to Win at Scrabble Without Cheating

Yes, you can win every Scrabble game – without cheating. These five tips on how to win at Scrabble will make you a better player of this word game that everyone loves. You’ll be the Scrabble player everyone hates to play!

how to win at scrabbleIf you don’t have the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition), it’s time to get it. You’ll never learn how to win at Scrabble if you don’t know what the best Scrabble words are. This edition contains 5,000 new words!

Before the tips, a quip: “When you don’t know what to do, it never hurts to play Scrabble. It’s like reading the I Ching or tea leaves.” ~ Kelly Link, author.

If you’re new to playing Scrabble, read the instructions that come with the board game — it’s a good guide to getting started. However, if you want to win every Scrabble game you play, you’ll need to do a bit more work.

If you’re bored with the “same old” Scrabble board game, check out Bananagrams. No board necessary; it’s good for travel and for improving your skills.

Here are some tips on winget ning Scrabble games.

How to Win at Scrabble Without Cheating

Scrabble’s been around since the early 20th century and it’s a perennial favorite family board game, but how do you develop expertise in this challenging but fun word game? By dedicating yourself to the craft of Scrabble…

Buy a Dictionary – But Not Just Any Dictionary

To win Scrabble games, you will need to improve your vocabulary. This is not just about knowing ordinary, every day words but about having arcane words with strange letter combinations at your fingertips.  The best way to learn these is to buy a Scrabble dictionary – the more you refer to it, the sooner you will learn the best Scrabble words.

tips for winning at scrabble

tips for winning at scrabble

Everything Scrabble: Third Edition by Joe Edley and John Williams offers relevant game tips for both the beginner and the seasoned pro Scrabble player. It includes basic board strategies, tips for utilizing the letter “Q” (with and without the letter “U”), the latest in high scoring words, a complete list of two-letter words that can to increase players’ scoring averages by thirty to forty points – and much more. Featuring a complete history of the game, this extensively illustrated guidebook covers all facets of the game and worldwide Scrabble culture – including tournaments, champions, and rules. If you want to learn how to win at Scrabble, this book will show you the way!

Two of the best Scrabble dictionaries are Official Scrabble Words and the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Both are regularly updated and include lists of all 2 to 8 letter words permitted in competitive Scrabble. While playing all 7 letters is an important part of Scrabble strategy for winning every game without cheating (because of the extra 50 points you gain), the tiny words are equally important.

Learn 2 and 3 Letter Word Combos

The players who do best at Scrabble have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of 2 and 3 letter words. This is crucial for two reasons. When you have high value letters such as J, K, Q, X and Z, it can be a struggle to find long words. Knowing the vowels that go with those letters can help you to squeeze in high value plays while denying your opponent the opportunity to capitalize on those letters. Near the end of the game, when board space is limited, knowing those small word combos will help you keep playing while your opponents struggle. Scrabble dictionaries usually include these combinations in a separate section, or you can find them on the Hasbro Scrabble site.

how to win scrabble without cheating

How to Win Scrabble Games

Have you heard of the Scrabble Deluxe Game? This classic work game features a sleek folding carrying case with a handle and two slide-and-store trays. Its colorful game board features recessed game spaces, and the Scrabble game board rotates with ease on six soft rubber wheels. Of course, getting the deluxe Scrabble game won’t teach you how to win at Scrabble…but it might inspire you to keep practicing!

The more you practice, the more you’ll win at Scrabble.

Join a Scrabble Club

There are Scrabble clubs everywhere from small towns to large cities – or you could form your own. If you join a Scrabble club you will learn the game even faster, because there’s nothing to make a word stick in your brain like having an opponent use it to beat you! Like your “real” brain, your Scrabble brain is a muscle that needs exercise – and competitive play in a club setting will give it just that.

When you’re new to the club your ego might be bruised by a few defeats, but it won’t be long till newer club members are looking at your Scrabble winning techniques with awe.

Play Computer and Online Scrabble

How to Win at Scrabble Without Cheating

How to Win at Scrabble Without Cheating

If you don’t have time to go to a club, you can still sharpen your Scrabble skills at home.  Get a board out and practice your plays (let’s face it, you can’t lose at Scrabble if you play against yourself) or play on your PC or Mac. Computer Scrabble games allow you to choose your skill level and the desired skill level of your opponent so that you are evenly matched. When you’re ready for a challenge, play the built-in computer Scrabble genius – you’ll learn a thing or two.

You can also play Scrabble online. There are two official Scrabble games on Facebook (one for the US and the other for international players) where you can play against your friends or complete strangers in games lasting anywhere from an hour to a week. These games are different than playing on the Scrabble board because you are allowed to look up words, but you get to experience the cut and thrust of online word play. Use online Scrabble for practice and you will soon win every Scrabble game.

One of the best things about playing Scrabble is that it it’s good for your brain. For more games like that, read 5 Puzzle Games for Couples to Play Together.

If you have any thoughts how to win at Scrabble, please comment below…

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional web content writer and blogger. She runs Get Paid to Write Online, which offers tips and advice for freelance writers. 


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8 thoughts on “How to Win at Scrabble Without Cheating”

  1. Waiting for others is the worst part, Laurie, but I still enjoy it. I actually enjoy the more competitive games more. Even though I don’t like losing, I learn a lot of words. :)

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I actually don’t like playing Scrabble, even though I’m a writer (shouldn’t I love all word games?!). I find it boring to wait for people to figure out what words they should spell out – and I love to win so much, it stresses me out.

    Plus my husband usually wins at Scrabble…it’s so annoying!!

  3. My trouble is that I know a lot of words, but I suck at anagrams! I do try to make several words at a time whenever possible; it really adds up.

  4. Sharon Hurley Hall

    Thanks for adding your input, Mitch. I also learned to play as a child. My grandfather was a competitive player and taught me everything he knew. I agree, playing someone who’s better than you is the best way to improve. It’s really a shame you and I can’t play the same version of Facebook Scrabble – I’d love to challenge you to a game. I have a feeling it would be a game to remember! :)

  5. Sharon, these are all good tips. In addition to, or in lieu of playing in a club, find a really good player who loves playing two or three games per session. It is important that this player is competitive, otherwise, you won’t improve. Playing someone weak is futile, because you’ll get away with inferior strategies that will get you crushed in a club.

    I learned to play Scrabble as a child. My father couldn’t get enough of the game. I never won until I was nearly grown. But, over the years, he beat those lazy strategies out of me (not literally, never fear, LOL).

    He actually wrote the two-letter combos on the inside front cover of our dictionary and he always allowed me to consult that list.

    Another tip: remember SATIRE and RETINA, and Google “Scrabble Bingo Word Lists”. This also leads to the next tip:

    Learn to love anagrams. Sometimes, I can’t even read a page of text without playfully scrambling some of the words. If you want to keep from boring your Scrabble partners, it helps to be able to see possibilities quickly.

    The biggest lesson I ever learned is also good poker advice: “Never draw to a seven letter word.” Even though bingo lists are good, it’s probably better to just play RETINA rather than trading that Q for something better. :)