Paul Allan, left, discusses his winning board with defeated opponent Allan Simmons, right, at the 42nd British National Scrabble Championships in London / Richard Lewis / Mattel

Score and leave, think parallel — here's how best to beat the scramble for words

I became the World Scrabble Champion in November last year, beating American Chris Lipe 3-1 in the final at the ExCeL London, winning a cool £3,000. It was the climax of 5 days of gruelling competition with over 100 Scrabblers from all over the globe.

Learn the two letter words. This is the important thing if you want to play Scrabble well. They should become second nature after regular play. If not then keep having a look through them.

Score and leave. Scrabble is fundamentally about scoring the most points, but when you play a move you also need to think about what you leave on your rack. Try to balance your vowels and consonants, avoiding duplicates letters to give you more options.

Q without U. There are a lot of useful words out there to help you in this awkward situation. QI, QIN, QAT, FIQH, QAID, QADI, QOPH, WAQF, FAQIR, QORMA, TALAQ, TRANQ to name a few. You can add an S to all of them.

Think parallel. You can often score a lot more by playing words parallel to others, making numerous short words in the process.

Know their worth. A single blank tile is worth around 25-30 points, generally that means you need to score at least an additional 25 points using the blank to make it worthwhile. S similarly is worth around 8 points. Bad tiles you should happily sacrifice the odd point to get rid of, such as a V or U.

Don't be afraid to change. Sometimes you just can't play your way out of an awful rack, don't be tempted to play off 1-2 tiles for meagre points over and over as you're just delaying the inevitable.

Craig Beevers is taking part in a world record attempt to mark World Scrabble Day on Monday. In the unique 24 hour marathon, fans are taking on the world champion in a challenge that can be watched online.

Comments