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How to Play Scrabble Word Game?

Scrabble is a popular board-and-tile word game where two, three, or four players interlock lettered tiles to form words and score points.

The information in this section will help you understand the official Scrabble rules and become familiar with the game board and high scoring tiles.

SCRABBLE RULES UK: The main goal in playing the popular word game is to score more points than the other players.

Scrabble game rules are for players age eight (8) and up – mainly because of its wordiness.

Players achieve high scores by combining lettered square tiles to create proper words (e.g. placed strategically onto a Scrabble game board).

Each tile displays one letter from the English alphabet. Thus, players score points by placing several tiles in a row to form a word.

Players must set out the words that they create in a ‘crossword-like fashion’ on the board. Hence, words will flow in rows across the board from left to right or drop downward in columns.

The letters used in the official Scrabble rules game have different point values. So, each player must collect their points tally after setting each word on the board.

And how does that work?

Playing words that produce high score tallies is the main strategy of Scrabble rules and regulations. The highest scores are based on the optimal combination of high-scoring letter tiles.

Play continues until one player has played all their tiles and there are no more to draw into play. In this case, the rules for playing Scrabble board games state that normal play would then finish.

Equipment Used in Scrabble

Scrabble Game Board

A traditional board consists of 225 cells inside a large square grid. The grid of squares runs 15 high and 15 wide – making 225 cells in total.

Note: Super Scrabble game board has 441 grid squares (21 cells high by 21 cells wide).

Scrabble Letter Tiles

A game of standard Scrabble rules uses one hundred (100) tiles. Even so, there will only be 98 tiles that contain a letter and associated point value.

There will be two (2) blank tiles without letters or point values. The two ‘wild tiles’ allow players to nominate any letter when played on the board. However, blank tiles do not contain any point values.

Different letters will score various point values. In general, it depends on how rare the letter is used in spoken English language. It also relates to how difficult it could be to lay that particular letter in the game.

Note: The special rules of Scrabble word game apply to playing a blank tile. The nominated letter must remain in play as the substituted letter.

Start of a Scrabble Game

Unlike many of the games for children and adults, Scrabble rules do not begin with a coin toss. Instead, players take a single tile from the bag of 100 letter tiles.

They do so without looking inside the Scrabble bag. Thus, the choice of letter is based more on luck than skill to start the game.

The player who chooses a letter ‘A‘ or one closest to the letter ‘A‘ will start the game. Pulling out a blank tile also means you can start the game off. Players must replace all the tiles back into the bag for use during the game.

Each player takes their turn after drawing out seven (7) tiles from the bag. During each turn players have three options:

  1. Place a word on the game board.
  2. Exchange some or all their current tiles for new tiles from the bag.
  3. Choose to give up their turn and pass.

Note: As a general rule in Scrabble instructions, players will try to score by placing a word. The other two options do not result in any score.

Exchanging tiles on your turn means you lose your turn. Players cannot exchange tiles and place a word on the board in the same turn.

Official Scrabble rules allow players to pass their turn at any time. They lose that turn with the aim of playing next time around. Even so, the game ends if any player passes twice in a row. In this case the player with the highest score would win the game.

Scrabble Tile Values English

  • 0 Points: Blank tile
  • 1 Point: Letters A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T and U
  • 2 Points: Letters D and G
  • 3 Points: Letters B, C, M and P
  • 4 Points: Letters F, H, V, W and Y
  • 5 Points: Letter K
  • 8 Points: Letters J and X
  • 10 Points: Letters Q and Z

General Scrabble Rules and Regulations

Scrabble First Word Score

There is a special rule for the first word score as the game begins. The first player must place their word in the center of the board – marked start spin. In fact, placing a word on this star offers a double word score.

Further word play extends off the first word score to occupy other squares on the game board. The rotation of play is a clockwise direction based on the players at the Scrabble board.

Multipliers: Extra Point Values

Some of the squares offer ‘score multipliers’ as part of the rules for playing Scrabble. Building a tile on one of these squares boosts the score value of the tile in multiples. The score doubles (by two) or trebles (by three) depending on the extra point value.

Some of the squares also multiply the total value of the word score as well as the single point value of one tile.

  • Double Letter Scores: These cells are light blue in colour. Occupying a ‘double letter score‘ means the value of the tile placed on that square gets doubled.
  • Triple Letter Scores: These cells are dark blue in colour. Occupying a ‘triple letter score‘ means the value of the tile placed on that square gets trebled.
  • Double Word Scores: These cells are light red in colour running in a diagonal direction on the board. Occupying a ‘double word score‘ means the entire value of the word placed on that square gets doubled.
  • Triple Word Scores: These cells are dark red in colour located on the outer edges of the board. Occupying a ‘triple word score‘ means the entire value of the word placed on that square gets tripled.

Note: The extra point values are single use only. That means any player can only use the multiplier once when placing words on these squares.

Replacing Played Scrabble Tiles

Each player should draw new tiles from the bag to replace those played on the board. They should replace the same number of tiles used so that they always have seven tiles during the game.

Note: Scrabble rules UK does not allow players to look into the bag so they do not know which letters they take.

Scrabble Fifty Point Bonus

Using all seven tiles in the creation of a single word earns a 50 point bonus. The fifty points get awarded on top of the value of the word created. But, the bonus points only occur if all 7 tiles get used in a seven letter word.

How to Play Scrabble and Win!

The game ends when all the tiles are gone from the bag and a single player has placed all their tiles on the board. At this point, the player with the highest score is the winner of the Scrabble game.

Tallying Scrabble Scores

Players need to tally up their scores when the game ends. That means they need to count all the points remaining on any unplaced tiles. The next step is to deduct that tally from their game score to determine their final score.

A player ending the game with no remaining tiles gets an extra bonus. Add the remaining tile values of the other players to the score of the player who used all their tiles. Tallying Scrabble scores in this way produces a final score for the outcome of the game.

Accepted Scrabble Words

Rules of Scrabble UK allow any word found in a Standard English dictionary. Players can also buy Official Scrabble Dictionaries to get enhanced wordy options.

But, some words are not allowed. They include abbreviations (such as using acronyms), prefixes, and suffixes. You cannot use a word that requires a hyphen or an apostrophe. The same Scrabble word rules apply to those requiring a capital letter.

Foreign words are not allowed on the board when playing the English version of the game. But, exceptions apply to foreign words that appear in a Standard English dictionary. The rationale is that the word gets spoken enough and considered to be part of the English language.

Related Help Guides

Note: The short video presentation [2:53 seconds] explains Scrabble instructions and basic fundamentals you need to get started.

Disclaimer: The UK Rules website presents the regulations of Scrabble game for information and better understanding. We are not affiliated in any way with the SCRABBLE® brand and registered trademark or property rights belonging to Hasbro, Inc.

Scrabble Rules and Regulations for Beginners in United Kingdom