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If there’s one thing me and my co-editor have any aptitude at, it’s Scrabble Go – the app version of the Scrabble board game. And if I’m being painfully honest, he beats me more often than not.
That’s why I’ve roped him in to help me write a guide to Scrabble Go – the tactics that will help you win, how it differs from the board game and the bonus modes that you might not have found.
Quick tips for winning at Scrabble Go
- Learn the two-letter words, especially those concerning the high-value letters such as X and Z. If you can place those letters on triple-letter squares, you can score big. You’ll find the full list of two-letter words here.
- Cherish the blank tiles. They can often be used to create bingos – words that use all of your tiles and score you 50 bonus points. Don’t throw away those tiles on low-scoring words.
- Try and try again. Scrabble Go doesn’t punish you with a missed turn for placing down a word that’s not in the dictionary – you just won’t be able to play that word. So, if you’re stuck, experiment with different words until you find one that is in the dictionary. It feels dirty, but everyone else is doing it, trust us!
- Look out for word patterns in your hand, such as -IER, -ING and -ATE, as separating these out can make it easier to spot bingos using the remaining tiles.
- Don’t just look at your hand – look at the board. This will provide “hooks” for you to hang your words from and often adds valuable letters that turn seven useless letters into an eight-letter bingo.
- Always keep a look-out for bingos; you have time on your side, so it’s worth spending a minute just to make sure there isn’t an “obvious” bingo sitting there.
- Keep a balanced hand. Sometimes it’s worth scoring low just to get rid of the Cs, Us and Vs that can otherwise stop you from scoring big.
- In a similar way, it’s often worth keeping the likes of A, T, E, S, R and N rather than throwing them away for the sake of a couple of points.
- At the same time, you should try and play longer words if you can. Why? To increase your chances of picking up friendly letters and those all-important blank tiles.
- Ideally, aim to leave your opponent with one or two tiles to pick up at the end – this means they can’t play a bingo on their final turn and steal victory.
- Play lots of different people. Don’t feel obliged to accept every opponent Scrabble Go fires your way – especially if they are clearly of a much higher or lower standard than you – but it pays to be promiscuous, as you may well find someone of a similar standard that leads to great tussles.
- Adjust your style of play to that of your opponent. If you’re confident you can beat an opponent (their average word score provides a strong clue as to their ability) then you might take more risks, opening up more triple-word opportunities, for example. Tighten up if you’re playing a regular bingo-getter, leaving them fewer chances to play those big-scoring bingos.
- Don’t pay for the bundles – you can earn “gems” by winning mini battles called Duels, and these often include diamonds.
- Stop when you’ve had enough. Don’t feel obliged to play just because Scrabble Go is nagging you.
Take control of notifications
Scrabble Go loves to pester every five seconds or so with a new notification, but if you use the nuclear option and switch off the app’s notifications then it removes your “VIP” status – and that means fewer rewards.
To keep the rewards, but reduce notifications, head into the Notifications area and fine tune what you receive notifications for. I’ve told it to stop telling me whenever someone takes a turn, and find it now just about bearable.
While there is much about Scrabble Go that purists will hate with all their hearts, it does add “fun” elements that go beyond puerile colours and attempts to part you with your money.
Duels, in particular, can actually be quite enjoyable. They also give you a chance to earn rewards such as gems and cards.
You’re pitted against one randomly chosen opponent in a short game. For example, a smaller board where you get five turns to play words in 90 seconds. They can be a welcome change of pace if your other games are epic, tactical marathons.
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