General information

INFO: A word to play is in CAPITALS. Letters already on the board are shown as the S here: WORM(S). Premium Score squares: DL = Double letter: TL = Triple letter: DW = Double Word: TW = Triple Word. The blanks have no score letter on the Top right! A bingo (using all 7 of your letters) gets +35.
Useful word lists are in the first post "ALL MY TIPS. This is the post to read first" and on some other posts. I welcome comments and suggestions.
Had a great play, score or a move you think should have been allowed? Take a screen shot and post it somewhere (Picasa?). Send me the link.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Use a Word Finder or Not?

I have seen various discussions on Words with Friends discussion boards concerning the use of Word finders. Remember that the Words with Friends application already has a word checker. You simply cannot place an illegal word.

I have three views on using Word finders

1. Be Open: There should be an agreement between the players whether to allow their use or not. As I said above, I play Scrabble in French and I use, with my friend’s permission, a dictionary. As I have improved it is used now mostly for checking spelling or for checking French verb conjugation which is 50 times more complicated than my beloved English.

2. It can teach:  I would encourage novice players to ask if they could use one, when playing a better player. As I have proved to myself, a novice player will benefit from their use because the word finder will suggest words that they had not though about and the novice will begin to understand the versatility of the game and their vocabulary will improve.

3. Otherwise: If there is no agreed use or no discussion about their use it is simply cheating.


  1. If you agree to play with a word finder it is a good idea to be specific about which one because there are a variety of helper/cheat/word finder apps for the iPhone and online, ranging from simple word checkers to programs which will take the screenshot of your game as input and return the highest scoring play.

  2. I absolutely agree. I will do a résumé of what does what. That is important.

  3. Regarding your second point, that a word finder can help a novice player improve, I'd like to think that the app Word Hooks does just that. (OK, being the developer I am biased, but I think as the admin of this blog you can just delete this post right?)

  4. WordHooker, Your App does that, I agree. But I thought it a bit complicated for a novice. Nevertheless it is another valuable tool for learning. Using a word-finder gives most players confidence to go that one step further and eventually they reach the stage that a word-finder is not as important as it might have seemed in the beginning. I maintain that Placement is 60%+ of the strategy of these games. Check my post on high scoring. That is not about hooking or vocabulary but placement and it is that that gets those big scores.

  5. I think word finders are okay, as I associate this with the idea that it isn't considered cheating to look up clues for crossword puzzles.

    I use them to check spelling, as I prefer to cull words from my own vocabulary. Game is more fun to me played that way.

  6. @bobbcat: I agree that using a word finder or word checker is not cheating. I use a dictionary when I play Scrabble in French! However as I said on this blog it is nice to say to your opponent that I am using a word checker.

    The Scrabble app that I saw actually has a "best word" button and that makes playing a bit pointless!

    To me cheating is using a program like Lexical word finder. And if you use it there is really not much point in playing.