Created in the early 1930s, Scrabble has been defined as an attempt at combining the elements of anagrams and the classic crossword puzzle into a scoring word game. Any lover of word play will certainly be entertained with this classic game.

Set Up

  • Before the game commences, all players should agree upon which dictionary they will use, in case of a challenge.
  • Place all letter tiles in the bag or face down next to the board. Draw for first by having each player select one tile from the bag. The player with the letter closest to “A” goes first (a blank tile beats all). Return the tiles to the bag or pile.
  • All players draw seven new letters and add them to their rack.

Rules of Play

  • Using two or more letters, the first player forms a word and places it on the board to read either across or down. One letter must be on the center square. Diagonal words are not allowed.
  • Players complete their turn by adding up and announcing their score for that turn (see Scoring below). They then draw as many new letters as were played; always keeping seven letters on their rack, as long as there are enough tiles left in the bag.
  • Play passes to the left. The second player, and then each in turn, adds one or more letters to those already played to form new words. All letters played on a turn must be placed in one row across or down the board, to form at least one complete word. If, at the same time, they touch others letters in adjacent rows, those must also form complete words, crossword fashion, with all such letters. The player gets full credit for all words formed or modified on his or her turn.
  • The game ends when all letters have been drawn and one player uses his or her last letter; or when all possible plays have been made.

Special Rules

  • New words may be formed by adding one or more letters to a word or letters already on the board. Placing a word at right angles to a word already on the board. The new word must use one of the letters already on the board or must add a letter to it. Placing a complete word parallel to a word already played so that adjacent letters also form complete words.
  • No tile may be shifted or replaced after it has been played and scored.
  • Blank tiles: The two blank tiles may be used as any letters. When playing a blank, the player must state which letter it represents. It remains that letter for the rest of the game.
  • Sometimes a player may find themselves unable to create a word or place it on the Scrabble board. They have the option of using their turn to exchange all, some, or none of the letters. They place the tile(s) they want to exchange face down and draw the same number of letters from the pool. Then they mix the discarded tile(s) into the pool. Their turn is over and play moves to the next person.
  • Any word may be challenged before the next player starts a turn. Using the agreed upon dictionary, the challenger looks up the word. If no such word exists in that dictionary, the challenged player takes back his or her tiles and loses that turn. If the word challenged is found, the challenger loses his or her next turn. This is the only time during the game that the dictionary can be consulted.


  • Use the score pad or a piece of paper to keep track of scores. Enter and tally each player’s score at the end of their turn. Each letter is given a value marked at the lower right of the tile. Blank tiles have a value of zero.
  • Premium Letter Squares: A light blue square doubles the score of a letter placed on it; a dark blue square triples the letter score.
  • Premium Word Squares: The score for an entire word is doubled when one of its letters is placed on a pink square: it is tripled when one of its letters is placed on a red square. Include premiums for double or triple letter values, if any, before doubling or tripling the word score. If a word is formed that covers two premium word squares, the score is doubled and then re-doubled, or tripled and then re-tripled. (NOTE: When a blank tile is played on a pink or red square, the value of the word is doubled or tripled, even though the blank itself has no score value.) Attn! Once a premium letter or premium word space is covered, it is not applied to subsequent words using the letter on that space.
  • When a player creates two or more words in the same play, each word is scored. The common letter is counted for each word.
  • On their turn, if a player is able to create a word using all seven tiles on their rack, they are awarded an additional 50 points to the total scored for that round. When this occurs, it is called a BINGO!
  • Unplayed Letters: At the conclusion of the game, players add up any unplayed letters and deduct this amount from their total. Additionally, if a player has used all of their letters, the sum of the other players’ unplayed letters is added to their score as a bonus.

Winning the Game

Once scoring is completed, the player with the highest total score wins the game. In the case of a tie, the player with the highest score before the addition or subtraction of unplayed letters wins.

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