By MH Staff - Posted on 18th September 2013
Hammer the competition with these strategies from three-time American national Scrabble champion Joe Edley
Yes, early in the game (or later on, if you’re losing), you want a “bingo” that uses all seven tiles, racks up 50 bonus points, and crushes your opponents’ hopes. But, if you’re ahead by more than 70 points, go into defensive mode: block, or use double- or triple-word-score tiles wherever possible.
To build those bingos, you’ll need to manage your tiles. Try to keep your balance of vowels and consonants relatively equal. Cultivate prefixes (pre-, over-) and suffixes (-ing, -able, -ive). Then deploy them on the board to create common words such as overcome, staying, capable, or preface.
Think “entrails”. Its letters (in order, SRNTL for consonants and EAI for vowels) are the most versatile bingo builders in the game. Those high-point tiles (Q, X, Z, J)? Rookies may hoard them, but you know better. Get rid of them quickly (see “Go small”), because they’re tough to use in long, game-changing words.
Most players associate long words with big points, but unless it’s a bingo, stretching letters across the board gives your opponent access to scoring points from the bonus squares. Short words (OX, QI, XI, AXE) boost your score, use up tough-to-play letters, and help you keep the game under your control.