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# Video:Scrabble Strategy Tips

with John Williams and Matt Silver

Face your next game night with confidence. These Scrabble strategy tips will help you win big.See Transcript

## Transcript:Scrabble Strategy Tips

Hello I am John Williams. I am the executive director of the National Scrabble Association. I am Matt Silver. I am two-time national school Scrabble champion. And we are going to show you some moves to get a lot better in Scrabble, so if you are wiling to follow us for a few minutes we guarantee you will become a much better player.

### What Makes a Good Scrabble Move?

We are each going to draw a rack of tiles. We are going to show them to you. We are going to see each others tiles and we are going to explain the thought process we go through in determining our next move.

A good Scrabble move is comprised of two elements: what you put on the board to score with, and what you leave on your rack to work with. Let us say I am thinking I will play the word YO as in what's up? and OY as in oy vey. That would score 19 points, not bad, but look at the tiles I have. I have 4 consonants, 2 Rs. It is kind of clunky. I probably will not have very good tiles after this, and I will not be able to form a good word. Now, lets suppose I am thinking more about the tiles I leave on my rack. I might play the word VARY. It only scores 10 points, a full 9 points less that YO, but at the same time I have much better tiles here. I can tell that if I draw three tiles I am more likely to have a better set of seven tiles than if I played YO. While you might not score as many points in the short run, in the long run you will benefit a lot more.

### Using Common Letter Variations

Now as you can see my rack is a veritable eye chart of disconnected letters. The first thing I do is I use common letter variations. I see that I could play CHIN here, and I am burning off a couple of the unworkable tiles, so that could have been one I could have played. Arguably the most valuable word in Scrabble is QI. this is a variation on CHI in TAI CHI, which is also a word.

I think my very best play is probably going to be QI right here. And this, I still have the CH to work with, and I have scored myself a ton of points.

I have this rack here. It does not look too bad when considering the play I make and the leave I have all I want to do is make sure I do not leave myself with, say two Is. Now, lets say I play the word OK here. It looks pretty good. I score 21 points, but look at the tiles I have. Two Is could be very bad, especially if I draw another I or an U. If I think about my leave, I could play NIX. Here again I have a better leave. This is a much better leave. The rule Scrabble players like to use is, if its in the word CANISTER it is good on your rack. The word a lot of people follow as well is the perfect rack is comprised of 4 consonants and three vowels.