Obscure Scrabble Rules Serious Players Should Know

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If you want to improve your game and start thinking – and playing! – as a tournament player, be sure to familiarize yourself with these lesser-known Scrabble rules.

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Matthew Cohen / rd.com

Scrabble rule: tournament players use shiny tiles

Tile sets you buy from your local store likely have lettering engraved, which isn’t tournament legal. “Players could bawl at the letters or at least know when they are drawing a blank,” said David Koenig, who has been playing Scrabble since 2002 and is ranked among the top ten players in North America. Tournament legal tiles have letters that cannot be identified by touch, and players must hold the bag above eye level when drawing tiles. outraged Scrabble, these are the classic board games you should own.

20180327_Scrabble-6Matthew Cohen / rd.com

Scrabble Rule: Keep Your Rack Balanced

“Most people mistakenly think that good vocabulary is necessary,” says Richard Silberg, who has played in Scrabble tournaments for decades. “In fact, the skill tries to score well and balance your rack.” Balancing means recording a mixture of vowels and consonants on your rack which can help you score well on your next turn. Silberg gives this example: “If you have ‘ACKRSTU’ you can play ‘track’, ‘truck’ or ‘hit’. the ‘U’, and keeping the ‘S’ is usually worth dropping a few points.


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