Scrabble® Strategies To Maximize Score

The goal of Scrabble is simple: get the highest score at the end and you win the game.

Play the best word you can, using the letters you have drawn, in a position on the board that will get you the most points possible under the circumstances. Success in Scrabble® is a lot like success in school. If you do well on each assignment and test, you will do well on the final grade. If you can maximize each turn, you will have a good final score. The whole is the sum of the parts.

Scrabble: A Game Of Luck, Knowledge, and Strategy.

Word placement on the board has a dramatic effect on the ultimate word value in Scrabble. Adding up the scores of each letter does not reflect accurately on the true potential of a word in the game. It depends where you play it. Try to place your higher scoring letters on the letter-multiplier squares. This, combined with a word-multipler square can yield fantastic results. Playing all seven of your tiles in one move entitles you to a 50 point bonus. The word muzjiks can score 167 points if positioned well and played in one move. Check out the highest scoring 7 Letter Scrabble® Word Plays. They typically have high scoring letters placed on letter multiplier squares and they hit triple word squares, and the bonus.

Triple word plays are nice, but dont overlook the possibility of spanning 2 double word squares. This has the effect of quadrupling your word value. Play off existing words for more points, either by extending a word or playing immediately adjacent (parallel) to another word and making words in two directions.

Success in scrabble depends on many things.

  • Did you draw good letters? Do you have a nice mix of high value letters and common letters?
  • Can you make words from those letters?
  • Do they have seven letter word potential? Can you make words using all of the letters, and collect the 50 point bonus score?
  • Do you have a place to play the words?
  • Do you have a place to play the words where your higher value letters hit the letter-multiplier squares on the board.
  • Do you have a place to play the words where your word might hit a word-multiplier square.
  • Can you hit more than one of the multiplier squares?
  • Can you play your word so as to extend previously played words, so you can get points not only for your word, but for words that you happen to create or lengthen.
  • Can you play your word parallel and adjacent to previously played words?

Find The Best Word Play

A word play is a combination of word and board position.

The value of a word can vary dramatically depending where on the board you play it. The word quartzy can score 79 points at its low end (not bad) and it can score 164 points if it is well placed. See how quartzy scores at all possible board positions.

Word Analysis

You can look at the performance of any word at all possible board positions in our Word Analysis section. If there is a higher scoring word within a word, you will see that too. You can access this from the main menu at the top of our pages, or here. Best play information is available for Scrabble® and Words With Friends™. In the word analysis pages, you will also see definitions, quotations involving the word, sequences, all words you can make with your letters organized by length, and word growth extension patterns. What shorter words give a pathway to the word, and how can the word be extended?

Scrabbleable Best Plays Search Tool

Using our Scrabbleable Best Plays Search Tool, you can enter the letters on your rack and quickly find your highest scoring plays. It also provides Seven Letter Word Alerts. Bear in mind that Litscape does not have any official Scrabble® word lists, so whether or not a word is legal to play in the game is entirely up to you to decide.

Drawing Your Letters

Selecting letters basically comes down to the luck of the draw. You get what you get. There are a few general things we can say about your letter selection. It is easier to score big points if you get some higher value letters, but harder to play these high value letters without some lower value ones. This is somewhat alleviated if there are already low value letters on the board for you to play off of. It is easier to make words if you have a nice mix of vowels and consonants. Harder, but not impossible, if you have mostly vowels or mostly consonants. It is hard to play the "Q" without the "U", though not impossible. There are a handful of words that have "Q" and no "U", and the well-seasoned Scrabble player will know what they are. This includes words like faqir, faqirs, qabal, qabala, qabalah, qabalahs, qabalas, qabalism, qabalist, qabalistic, qaballed, qaballing, qabals, qabbal, qabbala, qabbalah, qabbalism, qabbalist, qabbalistic, qabballed, qabballing, qabbals, qadi, qadis, qaid, qaids, qanat, qanats, qat, qats, qi, qindar, qindarka, qindarkas, qindars, qintar, qintars, qis, qiviut, qiviuts, qof, qoph, qophs, sheqel, and sheqels. There are probably others. If you get a really crappy set of letters, don't be afraid to put them back and redraw, thereby skipping your turn. You might more than make up for it on the next round.

Play words that place your high value letters on the premium letter squares.

The ultimate score of a scrabble word depends on what letters you play and where you play them. The letter "Z" placed on a double-letter square will give you 20 points whereas an "A" in the same location will only give you 2 points. The letter "Z" placed on a triple-letter square will give you 30 points whereas an "A" in the same location will only give you 3 points. Huge difference. Word multiples are better than letter multiples. The word multiplier squares have the effect of multiplying not just one letter but every letter in your word. You can double or triple your word score. Double word beats double letter, triple word beats triple letter, unless you can land a high value letter on a letter multiplier and combine it with a word multiplier. If you play a word so that it spans two double word squares, than that is a quadruple word multiplier. Try to hit the multiplier squares. This has a big effect if you play high value letters.

Epic Play: Triple-Word To Triple-Word Play

Enhance it by playing a high value letter on the double-letter square in between.

This scrabble play shows the dramatic effect that word placement on the board can have on the score for a word. Imagine playing all of your letters so that your word spans two triple-word squares. (This would require an eight letter word, so you would have to play off of something already existing between these squares for this to work.) You would multiply your word score 9-fold, with a 50 point bonus if you played all 7 of your letters. If your "Z" were to land on the double-letter square between the triple-word squares, then this one letter would contribute 180 points towards your score. Quizzify scores 369 points at 2 different board positions. That is epic. This play you will never forget. This has been done before, but it is extremely rare. You have to be lucky enough to get the right letters at the right time, and having the setup on the board to play them. The highest scoring 8 letter word plays mostly span triple word to triple word squares.

Legendary Play: Triple-Word To Triple-Word To Triple-Word, spanning the whole length of the board

This is the stuff of Scrabble legend. What if there were words played between triple word squares but not touching them (highly unlikely) along the edge of the board. If you could use these and build a fifteen letter word hitting three triple word scores, you might be the first one ever. Three triple word squares in a single play would have a 27-times word multiplier on a 15 letter word. What would this word be and what would it score? Here are the highest scoring 15 letter word plays. Are they doable and what would the setup look like? Record this game. It might be the only one ever.