How good are you at Scrabble? If you’re anything like me, then the answer is probably “not very.” I used to be terrible with words and spelling.

However, there are skills that can help to make a difference in your gameplay. There are skills that will increase your chances of winning against an opponent who might be better than you.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss skills that anyone can develop to become more successful when playing Scrabble!

What is Scrabble & how do you play it?

Scrabble is a game of skills, strategy, and luck. The skills needed to play it are not just spelling or vocabulary skills, but also arithmetic skills. You have a limited number of letter tiles to play on the board in any order at all times!

The game is usually played with two players.

  • One player builds words from their letters first using a blank grid;
  • Then the opponent places words by trying to find an unused space next to the other player’s word. This must connect orthographically (according to dictionary rules). And form valid English phrases within five spaces horizontally or four spaces vertically.
  • Players score points for each word they lay down based on its length and point value displayed after it.

In Scrabble, there is no limit as to how many words you can use to create your own word.

How do you win a Scrabble game?

  • The first player to rack up enough points or scoring more than 100 million points before their opponent does, wins.
  • You can also win if you have used all of the tiles. This means you have no more possible plays left. This should happen about halfway through a game. The reason is there are ten times as many letters in English than that the Scrabble board has.

The game starts out simple but quickly becomes complex. There are so many skills needed just for this one little game. From arithmetic skills to skills for spelling and grammar skills. You need so many skills to ace this game of Scrabble.

Skills to be successful in Scrabble

Strong Vocabulary

Obvious isn’t it? You are playing a game of words, so word knowledge is the primary requirement.  If you don’t know many words, how can you play the game?

To master the board you’ll need strong vocabulary skills since it is a word-based game. With a good vocabulary, you can quickly come up with words on seeing the letters.

People who are good at Scrabble learn a lot of word skills and spelling skills. It’s because they want to be better at playing.

How do you improve your vocabulary?

  • Read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers, etc… This way you get exposed to various words that you have never come across
  • Spend some time in a dictionary to look up a couple of new words every day.
  • Reread poems, books, and articles.  Create a list of words that you find difficult to remember. Study them by looking up the meaning in an English dictionary or using the word skills app on your phone.
  • Write down new words with their meanings and quiz yourself every day to retain what you learned. 
  • Do not use words that you don’t know the meaning of while playing Scrabble. Unless it’s very close to a word in your rack and there is no other alternative, don’t do it.
  • When reading books or magazines, take notes on new words (or write them down) so that they are easier to remember later on.

Spelling skills

Words again come with one another most important aspect – the spelling. A word spelled wrong is no longer the same word.

If you don’t know how to spell, your chances of winning are slim. You may not even be able to find the word in a dictionary if you misspell it!

Learning skills on spelling can help improve your vocabulary skills as well. It is because all words have different meanings with variations in spelling.

How to improve your spelling skills?

  • Read books and magazines.
  • Take notes on new words to help remember them easily later.
  • As you learn how to spell, use flashcards or some other form of memorizing skills. This can make the word is easier for you when it comes time to write it down.
  • Write down words multiple times to remember the spelling. Practice is important.
  • Improve your writing habit. Write short stories, articles or simply write a journal.

Creative Thinking skills

In order to come up with words that fit on the board, you need to be able to think creatively. You must think out of the box and not be afraid to use long words or uncommon combinations of letters.

But the best part is, the more you play the scrabble game, the more your creative skills get triggered.

Spontaneous thinking skills

You need to be very quick and spontaneous on the game.  You need to think as many words with the letters you have in your hand. You will probably not be able to use all of them, but you can get a word that is more than just three or four letters long.

The best way to practice this skill is by playing two-player games where each person has one minute per turn.

Also, when time gets short and there are few tiles left on the board, it becomes even more important for you to react quickly and come up with new words every turn.

These skills come naturally over time but practicing spontaneity skills can help develop these skills faster!

Understanding prefixes & suffixes

Scrabble is all about forming words. It is not very easy to get words from giving letters just like that.

Adding prefixes and suffixes to existing words can get you points in scrabble. So, a better understanding of prefix & suffix can help you in the game.

Prefixes are words that come before the original word. For eg. un-, ir-, pro-, dis-.

Suffixes are words that come after. For eg, -er, -ly, -ist.

When you feel void of any ideas, these can come in handy.

Decision-making skills

Being decisive is an important skill for the scrabble game. You need to come up with the right words quickly. Similarly, you have to be quick in decision-making as well.

Say, you come up with 2 or more words for certain letters. Being indecisive about which one to finalize can cost you the game.

Hence, improving your decision-making skills can help you stay ahead in the game of scrabble.

Strong organizational skills

It may sound odd when a game like scrabble seems to give importance to organizational skills. It is a game of strategy. You need to ensure that you have organized the tiles properly. This helps in finding the words easily. The more organized you are, the more free-flowing it would be to play the game.

Patience

Patience & good emotional control is something any game needs. Without this, you cannot handle a game when under pressure.

Even when there seems no way out, you need to be calm to find the light. Without being patient, even an easy situation can make your game against you.

Playing Scrabble

Anagramming skills

Anagramming is nothing but unjumbling the letters to form proper words. This is what precisely scrabble is all about.

All the above-mentioned skills support being an anagrammer.

Analytical skills

For Scrabble, you need to be good at analyzing the game. You must understand every move of the opponent. Analyze it and deduce what words can best suit to break that game.

With this, you can come up with a proper & Effective strategy to ace your game.

Mathematical skills

You need to know the value of each letter and how they add up. You also need skills like deductive reasoning, inductive logic skills, spatial skills, pattern recognition skills, etc. 

All these mathematical skills can take you towards victory in this scrabble game.

What skill will most likely be developed or improved in playing Scrabble?

You now know that the above skills are needed to improve your scrabble game. But, what skills will be developed if you play Scrabble?

Precisely, What are the benefits of playing scrabble?

Here are a few of the skills or talents that can be developed or improved by Scrabble.

  • Memory – Your ability to memorize words & recall them when needed improves drastically.
  • Math skills – Basic calculation skills like adding improves as you keep on adding up your scores in the game
  • Cognitive skills – The most essential life skills of cognition & problem solving can be improved with this game
  • Vocabulary – Scrabble is a game that improves your vocabulary so much. You learn new words every time you play it. As it comes in the form of a fun game, the words stay longer in your memory.
  • Dexterity & motor skills – More importantly for children, it develops hand-eye coordination and motor skills. You play with small tiles. You carry it and keep it inside the desired boxes

Conclusion

Scrabble is a game that tests your language skills in many ways. It requires you to know the spelling of words, and be able to find them on the board quickly.

You need to understand how two letter tiles can make longer words or even entire phrases! 

In addition, it’s also important to have an understanding of basic English grammar rules.

With all these skills at your fingertips, you should easily be able to improve your scrabble game as well as increase your vocabulary. 

Get practicing today by grabbing some friends and playing a round of online scrabble right now!