Chances are you don’t know Nigel Richards. Here’s a short bio: Richards is a three-time English-language World Scrabble Champion. Even more incredible is the fact that he won the French equivalent of the game in 2015 despite not knowing a single word of French. Want to guess the best part? You too can pull off a Richards whenever you’re play Scrabble next. Read on to know how to become a pro at Scrabble.

Know Small Words

An essential rule to learning how to win at Scrabble is to learn all the small words. This essentially means all the two-letter words and most of the three-letter words. Learn their meaning and the combinations in which they can be used and play them when you have difficult alphabets, such as X or Q. Especially when it comes to Q words, think out of the box to form words like ‘qat’, ‘qintar’ and ‘qwerty’ to increase your scoring chances. Need some two-letter words to start off with? How about ‘ex’, ‘jo’, ‘oy’, ‘sh’ and ‘xi’.

Learn Using Apps

The reason Richards is considered one of the greatest Scrabble masters is because of his almost-photographic memory, which he uses to learn words that he can’t even speak. Since we’re lesser mortals than Richards, there’s always apps like Memrise and DuoLingo that you can use to learn words in another language. It might take time to settle your thoughts and form a regimen that allows you to remember words, but nothing difficult was ever achieved easily.

Block with Purpose

Okay, if you want to make it easier to win Scrabble, there is one old trick to know – blocking. In fact, it is probably just as important to learn how to block as it is to attack while playing with an opponent smarter than you. The objective here is to block by using words such as ‘next’ or ‘this’ onto which your partner cannot suffix or add any alphabets to form new words and gain advantage.

Save These Alphabets

One of the biggest challenges you’re likely to face is deciding which words to use and which ones to hold on to while a game is ongoing. Try to save the vowels A, E and I, as well as the alphabets N, R and S, as they are the most commonly used letters used to create big words. To make optimal use of this strategy, it is necessary to plan ahead and save certain letters until the end. You can use this to create BINGO words that use your entire tile in one turn and earns you bonus points.

Love The ‘Ish’

One of the biggest lessons that 101 Ways To Win At Scrabble author, Barry Grossman, dispenses in his book is the liberal usage of words that end with ‘ish’. So, don’t be squeamish about using childish words in your scrabble game. It’s a legitimate way of scoring easy points off someone who might not think of doing so in the first place. On a related note, also make a point to learn words like ‘psst’ or ‘myrrh’ that most players don’t normally think of since they have no vowels. Obviously, the bigger the words you can create, the more valuable it is for your cause.

Like this article? Also read: 7 Indian Biographies To Add To Your Reading List

Cover Image Courtesy: Laboo Studio / Shutterstock.com

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