Rules for Scrabble

By Amber Taylor
Alfred Mosher Butts

Alfred Mosher Butts invented Scrabble during the Great Depression. After many unsuccessful attempts at trying to market the game, it finally became popular in the 1950s. Almost 70 years later, Scrabble is a common household board game. The main objective of Scrabble is to spell a word no longer than seven letters and receive high-scoring points.

Letters and Points

The letters, The letters Q, Z

The key in Scrabble is to build a letter with a high point value. A Scrabble game includes 100 tiles, but only 98 contain letters. The remaining two are blank tiles, which are wild. Wild means the tile can be used as any letter in the alphabet when trying to form a word.

A blank tile is not worth any points. The letters A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T and U are worth one point. D and G are worth two points. B, C, M and P are worth three points. F, H, V, W and Y are worth four points. K is worth five points. J and X are worth eight points. The big point makers are Q and Z, with 10 points.

Get Ready to Score

Spell well!

Scrabble requires two to four players before play. The letter tiles come in a bag. Each player removes a tile from the bag without looking at the tiles. The player that draws a tile with a letter closest to the beginning of the alphabet goes first. If a blank tile is drawn, it is considered the best. The play with the closest letter or a blank tile goes first. After the first player is determined, the tiles are placed into the bag once again.

Each player then draws seven tiles. The player deemed first starts the game by placing his word on the star square in the center of the Scrabble board. The center star acts as a double word score. Note that the star cell doesn't count as a double-word score for subsequent players playing off the center square. After the first move, plays move clockwise around the board.


What's Your Word?

A player has different options at her turn. A word may be played at this time. The option to exchange tiles or pass is available if a word cannot be played. If these options are chosen, they do have consequences. If a player exchanges tiles, it allows a player to replace tiles anywhere between one and all on the player's rack. If this option is chosen, the player basically freezes and cannot do anything else this turn. Keep in mind, a tile exchange cannot be performed if the player already placed a word on the board. If a player passes, it's his option, but if all players pass twice in a row, the game is then over.

If play continues normally, and all the tiles are used from the bag or a player has used all of the tiles on his rack, the game is over. The player who ended the game receives a bonus. To add the bonus, obtain the total of all points from each remaining player with tiles left. The total is then added to the final score of the player who went out first.

The Scrabble player with the highest score wins.

About the Author

Amber Taylor attended American Broadcasting School and East Central University, but her writing days began in high school as a reporter for her high school newspaper. Amber's writing branched out into writing commercial advertisements once she became hired in the radio industry two years ago.