What is Scrabble

The letter tiles for the word Scrabble
By Stephen Lunt 11 APR 2023

Scrabble is a timeless board game enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Find out more about Scrabble, how it’s played, the Scrabble dictionary, and the available Scrabble resources in this article.


In this article

Introduction to Scrabble

What is Scrabble? It’s a game that’s been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide for over 70 years. The objective is simple: use letter tiles to create words on a game board and earn points based on the letters used and the board squares occupied. But Scrabble is so much more than just a word game; it’s a mental workout that challenges your vocabulary, a game of strategy and creativity, and most importantly a fun way to socialize in your free time.

In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of Scrabble, from its game play and rules to its official dictionary, to why you would want to play Scrabble and the resources available to make you a Scrabble champion. Whether you’re a seasoned Scrabble pro or a newcomer to the game, this article will provide you with valuable information and tips to help you improve your skills and enjoy this classic game.

Scrabble Game Play

So, how do you play the game Scrabble you may be wondering? Scrabble is played on a board that consists of a 15x15 grid of squares. The game includes 100 letter tiles, each with a point value assigned to it based on its frequency in the English language. We have another article about the distribution of Scrabble tiles here if you’re interested further. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible by forming words using your letter tiles and placing them on the board.

Players take turns to form words on the board. Words can be formed horizontally or vertically and must be connected to at least one existing word on the board. Each word must be at least two letters long and must be a legal word in the Scrabble dictionary.

Scoring in Scrabble is based on the points value of the letters used in each word, multiplied by any of the board’s bonus squares that the word lands on. These bonus squares represent special multipliers, such as double letter score (DL), triple letter score (TL), double word score (DW), and triple word score (TW). These multipliers can significantly increase the score of a word and are strategically placed around the board. Use them wisely to help yourself score the maximum number of points and block your opponents.

Players in Scrabble must also manage their letter tiles and rack, which can hold up to seven tiles at a time. When the game first begins, players will draw randomly from the tile bag to have seven initial letters. At the end of each turn, the player must draw new tiles to replenish their rack, always keeping seven tiles.

Scrabble is a game of strategy and skill, and there are various techniques that players can use to increase their chances of winning. These include using high-scoring letters, playing words that can create new words (hooks), and blocking opponents from accessing high-scoring squares on the board. With practice and dedication, players can improve their Scrabble skills and become formidable opponents in this classic game.

In addition to the traditional board game Scrabble, there have been many spins offs since its launch which has introduced new and fun ways to enjoy the game. These include variants such as Scrabble Junior for children or Scrabble GO for playing on the move from your mobile phone. Whomever you are and regardless of your lifestyle, there is a version of Scrabble which exists for you!


Scrabble Dictionaries

The official Scrabble dictionary is a crucial part of game play. It contains all the legal words that can be played in the game, and it is used to verify the validity of words formed by players.

The most widely accepted Scrabble dictionary is the Official Tournament and Club Word List (OTCWL), formerly known as the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. The OTCWL is regularly updated to include new words and remove words that are no longer in use. The OTCWL contains over 279,000 words, ranging from common words like “cat” and “dog” to obscure terms like “zyzzyva”. Having a good understanding of the Scrabble dictionary, especially short high-scoring words like “qi”, “ze”, “zo”, “za”, and many more is a great strategy to improve your playing abilities and the chance of winning.

In addition to the OTCWL, there are other Scrabble dictionaries used in different parts of the world, such as the Collins Scrabble Words in the UK and the French-language ODS in France. Players should consult the appropriate dictionary for the region they are playing in to ensure they are using the correct set of legal words.

During the game, if a player forms a word that is not in the dictionary, it is challenged by the opponent. If the word is found to be invalid, the player forfeits their turn, and the tiles used to form the invalid word are removed from the board. Our top tip is to agree with your opponent(s) before the game on the dictionary you wish to use.

Players can improve their Scrabble skills by studying the Scrabble dictionary and learning new words that can be played in the game. There are various resources available to help players expand their vocabulary and improve their knowledge of legal words, such as Scrabble word lists, word finders, printed dictionaries and even flashcards or cheat sheets.

Benefits of playing Scrabble

Playing Scrabble offers many benefits beyond just being a fun and challenging game. Here are a few of the key benefits of playing Scrabble we’ve picked out for you:

Improves vocabulary

Playing Scrabble can help players improve their vocabulary by introducing them to new words and reinforcing the spelling of familiar words. Scrabble also teaches players about word structure and how words can be combined to create new words.

Helps you learn a new language

Playing Scrabble in your non-native language can be a great way to pick up a new language. We’d recommend playing with some aid, like a dictionary or online word finder, to learn the meaning of words whilst you play for maximum effect.

Promotes social interaction

Scrabble is a social game that can be played with friends, family, or strangers. Playing Scrabble can help people connect with others and foster relationships. It is a great way to spend time with loved ones and can be a fun activity at parties or social gatherings.

Enhances critical thinking skills

To play Scrabble successfully, players must use critical thinking skills to strategically place their tiles on the board to maximize their score and prevent their opponents from scoring big. Scrabble requires players to think creatively and flexibly to come up with high-scoring words.

Provides mental stimulation

Scrabble is a mentally stimulating game that can help keep the mind sharp and improve cognitive functions. Playing Scrabble requires concentration, memory, and mental agility. It can be a great way to exercise the brain and stave off cognitive decline.

Reduces stress

Playing Scrabble can be a great way to reduce stress and relax. The game requires players to focus their attention on the board and the tiles, which can help them forget about their worries and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Even competitive Scrabble can provide a break from the stresses of the real world.

In summary, playing Scrabble offers many benefits, including improving vocabulary, promoting social interaction and keeping your mind sharp. Scrabble is not just a game, but a fun and rewarding activity that can have positive effects on mental health and well-being.


Scrabble resources

One of the things that makes Scrabble so great is its community. Many players have created great resources, both online and offline, that help Scrabble players to improve their skills and enjoy the game.

Scrabble communities, forums, and blogs

There are many online communities, forums, and blogs where players can connect with other Scrabble enthusiasts, share tips and strategies, and participate in online tournaments and competitions. These communities provide a supportive and engaging environment for players to improve their skills and enjoy the game to the fullest. We’d recommend searching for communities on Facebook, Reddit, or Google to get started. The chances are your town or city might even have a Scrabble players club!

Blogs about Scrabble are a great way to read about the latest news in Scrabble and hear the opinions of those who enjoying writing about the game.

Online resources

Many Scrabble fans have made resources online to help other Scrabble players get the most from the game. These include tools such as online dictionaries, Scrabble word finders and word checkers, and even anagram solvers which solve anagrams and unscramble letters for players. These can be great tools for learning new words and strategies to apply in your next game as they allow players to easily find words or memorize the best words to score big.

In summary, there are many resources available for Scrabble players from in-person communities to blogs, and word finders. We recommend having a good look at what’s available if you’re looking to join a Scrabble community or are a serious player looking to improve your game.


In conclusion, we hope you now know more about the timeless classic that is Scrabble. Whether you’re just starting or have been playing for years, the game offers something for everyone. It is a game that requires strategy, critical thinking, and creativity, making it both fun and mentally stimulating to play.

So, gather your tiles, invite your friends and family, and get ready for a fun and challenging game of Scrabble. Whether you play for fun or competition, Scrabble is sure to provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. Happy playing!

Stephen Lunt is Word Checker's founder and primary content writer. He loves to share his experiences and knowledge of word games through writing and creating handy online tools for players to use.

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