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, January 1, 2018

ALL MY TIPS! This is the Post to read first.

Feb 23rd 2014. Just a thank you for all the positive and nice comments you have all made. I do not play as often as I did when I started this blog but that does not change the fact that I love both Words with Friends and Scrabble - the father of them all.  Life is short and I have so many other interests that need nurturing. My daughter, my sons and my grand children, my wife, skiing and making a living! Keep reading, keep playing and I hope this blog has helped. Henry



 “Words With Friends” Tips

(DL TL DW TW refer to double, triple letter, double, triple word squares)
(Words played are shown in Capital Letters. Where a letter is already on the board it is in brackets. Example VA(L)UE - means the L was on the board.)

“Words With Friends”  has two important differences to Scrabble.

(I have been playing Scrabble for years and have recently started to play in French! That is hard as our natural dictionary in our native language is probably 100 times greater but it helps my French grammar.)


1. Bad Word, Good Word? Firstly in Scrabble, if you place a word that is not in the official SOWPODS dictionary, it is up to your opponent to challenge the word. If there is no challenge the word stands. If the challenge is valid you lose your turn. However in Words With Friends you place a word and if it is not in their official dictionary (based on the ENABLE dictionary) you get the message “Sorry. That is not an acceptable word” and you play again and again and again until…   Use that rule to your advantage.

2. Better Value: Secondly another difference between Scrabble and Words With Friends is the placement of the premium squares. Words With Friends has something better that the TW squares and often overlooked! It has the 2 DW squares on the second row from each edge and they are near enough (5 squares apart) that you can get a 2 x 2 or 4 times the word value score.

3. Learn the 2 letter words. There are 98 in scrabble but Words With Friends has 6 more. DA FE FI GI KI and OI. We used to be able to play ZO, a Himalayan ox and I’ve seen one too but alas it’s now illegal. Perhaps they are extinct! Now it’s ZA – a pizza none the less.

4. Remember: Remember the odd 2-letter words like: AA AB AD AE AG AI AL AR AW BA BI BO DA DE DI ED EF EL ES ET FE FI GI HM ID LI LO MI MO NA NE OD OE OM OS OP OW OY PE PI  SI WO
Remember the high value 2-letter words like: AX EX JO KA KI OX QI XI XU ZA 
Remember the interjection 2-letter words like: AH AY EH ER HA HI HO MM OH OI SH YA YO
Remember the very useful 2-letter words ending or beginning in U; MU NU UH UN UM UT and XU
or even the notes! DO RE MI FA SO LA TI and as then song goes "back to DO"!

That's 79 of them. The other 27 should be natural: AM AN AS AT BE BY EM EN GO HE IF IN IS IT MA ME MY NO OF ON OR PA TA TO UP US WE YE

Try to remember some of the strange 3-letter words with J, K, Q, W, X, and Z

JUS KOA KOI  QAT QUA WAB WAT WAX WIZ WOK XIS YOK ZAG ZAS ZAX ZED ZEE ZEK ZOA  
To name just a few. There are more.

5. Study: Go to a Words With Friends website and print out the 2 and 3 letter words. Take them to bed with you and study.

Remember that Scrabble uses the SOWPODS dictionary but Words With Friends uses its own version that is based on the ENABLE dictionary (Google that for a BIG list) and it is constantly updated. SOWPODS and ENABLE do not have identical lists. The Words With Friends dictionary is part of the app so keep your Words With Friends app up to date.

6. How many left? Also print out this letter distribution and memorise it. There is no point waiting for a U for your Q if none are left!

A=9 B=2 C=2 D=5 E=13 F=2  G=3 H=4 I=8 J=1 K=1 L=4 M=2 N=5 O=8 P=2 Q=1 R=6 S=5 T=7 U=4 V=2 W=2 X=1 Y=2 Z=1 Blanks=2 (Total 104)

Or put another way there are:

13 E
9 A
8 I O
7 T
6 R
5 D  N  S  
4 H  L  U
3 G
2 B  C  F  M  P  V  W Y 
1 J K Q X  Z
2 Blanks

7. Waste not want not: The ‘S’ and the Blanks are very valuable. Try not to use the S in the middle of a word or just at the end unless that hits say the TW score. Rather use it to hook two words together. 

Now let's play

8. Play on or Resign? : Please do not resign too quickly. Being far behind is in fact a good reason to stay. OK you have lost but Words With Friends needs practice to get better. In this case you can experiment placing words where you might not have done and giving your opponent openings that might help your game later. You can exchange letters at will etc. 

9. When to Pass: There is probably only one time to pass and that is at the end when you cannot go. In the middle of the game it is better to exchange letters or at least some. At the end no letters left, no place to go with yours and you are ahead by only a few points.Pass and hope your opponent will be those few points short of a win. He might be left with a high value letter Q? (see tip 20 below) that's a difference of 10 points in your favour. (It's 20 if you've emptied your rack)

10. Opening move: The opening is important. If you like to play an open game then play a long word to the left of the centre star. That forces your opponent to play that side and it is easier to add to the end of a word than to the beginning.
If you prefer a closed game (I hate them!) play a short word to the right.

11. Placement: Sometimes you see a nice word and down it goes for a dozen points. However had you looked closer at the board you could have played fewer letters and scored say 16. (I've lost games I should have won because I didn't look around enough) As they say look outside the box when playing Words With Friends. When you are playing a quick game you should study the board and look for higher scoring placements than the obvious ones. When playing a game over several days take the time to do the same.

12. Use the board letters: Use any high value letters already placed on the board. In fact this strategy highlights why some players get consistently high total scores. Their average score per letter is high. Placing an A to make ZA is 11 minimum where the A only is only worth 1*.

13. Long is not always best: Look for premium squares that could be used twice. Say that already on the board are the words (down) ‘BETTER’ (and across) ‘FLIPPER’ both sharing the ‘R’ then placing an H to form ‘HE’ twice, nets 8 if the ‘H’ falls on a premium square then it’s 14 (DL) or even (20) TL just with one letter*. Make the ‘HE’ into a longer word combining TL and TW makes for very high scores. In the above game look at "HILLY" on the right. The L on the TW and the H  was on a TL so on its own the H earned 10 across plus 30 for its part in HILLY (64).


14. Word beginnings and endings: Look at your letters and put those letters that form word endings to one side and see what’s left. Letter groups like: “ER” “ATE” “ITE” “ED” "IER" etc. “PR” “RE” “TR” “TH” "TION" with of course “S” "ST" and "SP"

15. Seven letter words. You nearly have a 7-letter word on your rack but you are missing a letter. How long do you wait? I think you only wait if you can only score a few points. The value of your “perhaps” 7-letter word diminishes rapidly the longer you wait. You sacrifice say 10 points by waiting and that’s a third of the bonus!

You have a 7-letter word on your rack but there is nowhere on the board to place it, sigh, and move on.

16. Exchange or not?  If you have all vowels or all constants and you are about level is it better to struggle for a few points or exchange the rack? Probably exchange is best.

If you have a “Q” or “Z” and cannot place them, you loose too many points by waiting for a ” U” or the other “A”. If I cant use them to score big I will play “QI” or “ZA” but I would exchange them as a “10” value letter left in your rack is worth -20. +10 to your opponent for finishing and -10 to you as a penalty. BUT be a good sport and don't dump them on your opponent if they have no chance of using them. Gamesmanship?

17. Prevention 1: Try to block your opponent if they place a high value letter that could be used again but you can’t use it.

18. Prevention 2: Do not leave premium TW squares available for your opponent. Rather use them with a small score. Example you could score 30 somewhere else but only 21 on the TW. If you opponent is left the TW your 9 point advantage is soon gone.

19. Be careful: Most high scores come towards the end of the game when the TW or the 2 DW squares become accessible. Work towards them but try not to give direct access. Leave that to your opponent to do for you.

20. Count: I said before that you should try to remember what letters are left. That’s where the word count is important. It makes a difference if there are no blanks left and you have the only “S” Knowing how many letters your opponent has left at the end can be the difference between winning and losing.

21. Your rack: You just played and have some new letters. Look for obvious words but remember they have to hook onto something. Look at the board and see if there are any words that take a letter that you have. Example from the above game: onto "VIA" I placed an "L" and then I saw the that 7-letter word. First I saw Lapse then I saw that the D made lapsed then the E made elapsed.  As I say often "Use the board to try placements while you are waiting for your turn. In Words With Friends your opponent cannot see the letters you are placing and if Words With Friends says "Sorry that word is not acceptable" try again. When the play your letters get returned automatically to your rack.

22. End game: The value of the letters left on your rack when your opponent finishes will count double for them. (See “Exchange or not?” above) So if there are only a few points between you then play the higher value letters first because the value of your remaining letters count DOUBLE against you at the end! 

Play a lot and those funny words become implanted. Enjoy the game.

Henry (user name if you want to play me is Henryb65)

PS I scored 500 in that game above. One of my best scores. 

PPS Must go now as I have 4 games waiting for my move.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I've only been playing a couple of weeks and have been awed at how some folks rack up huge scores with such little words. Nice to see the strategy laid out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strategy is the name of the game.… aside from having the luck of the draw!! Here's one you forgot to mention… one must place as many letters as possible because it leaves less for your opponents… and more for you to score on!
    I love the south of France, my native land! France is a gorgeous country where the food is sublime.

    REST OF COMMENT MODERATED

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree, more or less, but to be more subtle it's your average score per letter that counts. Playing a long word might not get you a high score and may well leave the board too open.

    France is, as you say a lovely country. The food, the wine and of course the people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are there 3 or 4 G tiles? See your lists. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this ... Lots of great info!

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  6. Great info..been playing @ 3 weeks & really enjoy it...I've lost twice..one really bad..won 3 and hungry for more..so thx for these great tips!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the info take care this really helped

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yesterday I played my highest scoring word yet. Oxide for 86 points. To my dismay, the game disappeared. It is nowhere to be found. Is it possible for my oppotent to
    delete a game that they would have lost by a very big margin? I saw nothing that showed they resigned.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can someone help me download words with friends

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to ur app store on ur Droid type in words with friends free. Then accept, install. Then play & have fun....

      Delete
  10. Great info!!!! Now I know how many letters of each one there are. Plus, other useful tips. I've lost only 2 games since I started @ a month or two ago thx to endless games w/my mother (passed on now) when I was young. It was a fun way learn my spelling and has really paid off. I would suggest others to so the same. Quality time together and fun!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is amazing. Comment if u wanna hmu n play wit me

    ReplyDelete
  12. How do I get started

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. juanitawoodward86@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. yes I play with u please.

    ReplyDelete
  16. i believe there are 6 tiles with the letter S and not 5 see your example screen shot. the are 6 on out

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  17. You spelled lose wrong.

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  18. Two days ago I played my personal best word score of 179 points. I almost missed it and I am one to take a long time scouring the board for the best placement, so your advice not to jump too quickly when you see a good word is key. I had two very good words I almost played (in the 50-point range) before I saw GRAPPLED. It used an existing R. The G was on a DW, the second P on a TL, the L was a blank, and the D hit the TW. So it was managed even without combining two words, and with one tile scoring 0 points. Blew away my previous personal best by 29 points so I was pretty proud of it. Still waiting to see if I get a personal best game score out of it.

    ReplyDelete
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