The popular spin-off of Scrabble, Upwords, has been around for years and is still played by many people today. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it may be confusing at first, but you can quickly learn by reading the rules. Home games allow for rule bending as well so you can create a custom game that is more catered to your fun and style. Learning how to play only takes a few steps and after one time of playing the game, you will start to build your skills and your vocabulary.
Place all of the letters upside down in the top of the game’s box or put them in a bag. Give each player a game rack and choose the order of game play. The easiest way to play is in clockwise order. Have each player choose seven tiles for their rack. Prepare a scorekeeping pad and a dictionary to challenge words.
A player starts by forming a two- or more letter word at the center of the board. The next player may either build that word up or branch off the word. Words must read from either left or right or top to bottom. Tiles can only be placed a maximum of five high. If tiles are used on top of other tiles to create words, there must be at least one letter showing from the tiles below. Words cannot be built by simply adding an “S.”
Points are counted for every word made. If a word is made with all single tiles, each tile is worth two points. For example, the word “life” would be worth eight points. If a tile is added, all the tiles, including the ones underneath, are worth one point. For example, if “life” was changed to “Wipe” by adding a “W” and a “P” that would give a total of six points. Two bonus points are issued for single-stacked words that use the “Qu” tile. If you use all seven tiles in one turn, you receive 20 bonus points. Multiple word scores are counted separately, including repeated tiles.
Any word can be challenged by other players during the game. A word is considered illegal for multiple reasons. These reasons include misspellings, proper nouns like names, words like foreign symbols like hyphens and apostrophes, and foreign words. If you want to be more lenient, use an official Scrabble dictionary that features thousands of words a standard dictionary does not.
The winner of the game is declared when all the tiles have run out or there are no moves left. Five points are deducted for any remaining tiles and whoever has the best score is declared the winner. During a team game, team scores are added together to declare a winner.
Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.