How to Play Scrabble

In Scrabble, players earn points by constructing words with letter tiles and placing them on a grid. Each letter has a different point value, there are 100 letter tiles, and only one letter tile can fit in a grid space.

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Turn off the TV and get the family involved in a good old-fashioned parlor game; the rules are all here in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • 2 to 4 players
  • Bag of Scrabble tiles
  • Scrabble board
  • Pen and paper

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Draw seven letter tiles

    Have each player remove one tile out of the tile bag. The player that gets the letter closest to the letter "A" goes first. Each player then draws seven tiles from the tile bag.

  2. The first player begins the game by placing a word on the star square at the center of the board, either horizontally or vertically. This star acts as a double-word score.

  3. Step 2

    Score each word

    Tally each word score by adding point values for each letter in the word. Point values range from 0 points for a blank tile to 10 points for the letters "Q" and "Z." Use a paper and a pen to keep track of the word scores for each player.

  4. Some squares on the board allow you to multiply the tile's value by two or three.

  5. Step 3

    Continue play

    Continue playing in a counterclockwise direction around the board. During each turn, a player can decide to place a word on the board, exchange tiles, or pass.

  6. If a player decides to exchange tiles, replace them with an equivalent number from the tile bag. If they choose this option, they cannot do anything else on that turn.

  7. Step 4

    Choose new tiles

    After placing a word on the board, draw an equal number of new tiles from the tile bag so that each player always has seven tiles.

  8. Step 5

    Continue until game ends

    Continue playing. All letters played must touch at least one letter that is already on the board to form at least one complete word. When one player has used all of their tiles or no one can make any more words, the game ends.

  9. If a player uses all seven of their tiles in one turn, they add a 50-point bonus to their word score.

  10. Step 6

    Challenge words

    Consult a dictionary only if you're challenging another player's word. If the word isn't in the dictionary, the player loses their turn. If the word is allowed, the challenger loses their turn.

  11. Step 7

    Calculate the scores

    Calculate each player's final score by adding up the points from all of their word scores. Then, subtract the sum of their unplayed letters. If one player has used up all of their letters, add the sum of everyone else's unplayed letters to their score. The player with the highest score wins.

  12. Invented in the 1930s, Scrabble did not achieve widespread popularity until the early 1950s when, according to legend, the president of Macy's played the game on vacation, and then ordered it for his store.

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