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Make sure everyone knows the rules. Flickr/Virginia State Parks

The problem is that theserules leave too much room for ambiguity: dictionaries evolve over time, as does language and inflection. The easiest way to solve this rule is to buy (or look up) a Scrabble dictionary, and have all participating players agree on one dictionary prior to beginning the game.

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You can fake a word. Betsssssy/Flickr

According toDavid Bukszpan, author of "Is That A Word? From AA to ZZZ: The Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble" bluffing — or making up "phoney" words (the Scrabble term for bluffing) is totally ok.

He goes so far as to claim that it"s a "critical aspect of the game," as is the ability to recognize when someone is lying, and calling them out on their falsehoods.


A woman cheering. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A "bingo" occurs in Scrabble when a player uses all of their tiles in one turn. If you get a bingo, you earn all the points for the word you played, plus an additional 50 points.


The play is known as a "triple-triple." angela n./Flickr/Attribution

This play is known as a "triple-triple," and you calculate the score by first adding the values of the individual tiles in the word (while making sure to factor in any double letter score bonuses, if possible), and then multiplying that number by nine.

Words can be extended. Flickr/Jono235

For example, if the word "arm" is on the board, but you have the letters "c", "h", "e", and "d", you could legally play the word "charmed."

"Tsktsks" is a valid word to play. David Martyn Hunt/Flickr

Scrabble doesn"t count the letter "y" as a vowel, and as such, you can successfully play quite a few words without vowels for points. Two of the7-letter words without vowels that the Scrabble dictionary recognizes include "tsktsks" and "glycyls."

Opponents can challenge a play, but players need to agree whether a lost challenge loses points or a turn before the game begins.

You can challenge words in Scrabble. invision/AP

If you suspect that your competitor is attempting to play a word that doesn"t exist, you can challenge and check their play — just make sure you and your fellow players reach a consensus on how to treat a challenged play before the game begins.

For example, most people agree that if a challenged word is proven to be false, the person who played the fake word must take back their tiles and lose their turn.

Some versions of Scrabble go one step further, adhering to the "Double Challenge Rule," whereby the challengerstands to lose their turn, should they challenge a word that ends up being acceptable for play.

Competitive Scrabble players often adapt the Double Challenge Rule, and agree thatchallenging players should lose five points for an incorrect challenge, rather than lose their turn.

Sometimes you don't have any good letters. Stocksnap

Sometimes, you just can"t make any words on the board with your tiles.

Make sure not to pass more than six times in a row. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

If zero points are scored insix consecutive turns(whether through false words being successfully challenged, or passes), the match ends.

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A scrabble tournament. Patty Hocker/NASPA

Once the bag is empty, as soon as one player uses up all of their tiles, the game ends. If the bag is empty, but no players are able to use up their tiles, the game continues until no players can play any more words on the board.