I love Scrabble. To me, the intent of the game is more important than the outcome (yes, really). I happen to be very language-oriented, and I get more pleasure out of recognizing patterns in the words created in a game than out of scoring a double-triple-triple; this can lead to some fascinating strategies involving prefixes, compound words, and other exciting word-play. And before I get started on those obscure 2-letter words we all love to hate, here’s what I’ve learned from playing Scrabble.
1. Keep your eye on the big picture. I have often found myself taken by surprise when my opponent suddenly claims a triple-word-score spot— and then I realize that I was so engrossed in planning my next word that I didn’t notice that she was positioning herself for the TWS on a different part of the board.
2. Strategic creativity trumps powerful weapons. I’ve won plenty of games without the help of any of the “Big 3” letters (Q, X, Z). Yes, this frequently requires a bit more creative thought, like those turns where 4 or more new words are created, but those low-value letters can add up!
3. Just let go. I sometimes get so determined to make a particular word happen that I hang on to letters too long, in the usually vain hope that that one missing letter will magically appear; meanwhile, my opponent continues racking up the points.
Bonus lesson: It’s just a game! Let’s not take it too seriously! I mean, hello— most of the time, I’m playing against an iPhone.
Image credit: The Scrabble box image is from Hasbro.com; I created and added the L, I, F, E letters.