Scrabble is a classic word game loved by millions, known for its perfect blend of strategy and vocabulary prowess. What sets Scrabble apart from other word games is the strategic use of premium squares scattered across the board game.
So, if you’re an aspiring Scrabble champion or simply want to elevate your Scrambling skills, read on to master the art of premium squares on Scrabble.
Scrabble’s Premium Squares
Before we dive deep into the world of premium squares, let’s understand what they are and where they are located on the Scrabble board. Premium squares are special spaces on the Scrabble board that offer word and letter score multipliers when a tile is placed on them. They come in four distinct types, each marked by a specific color and abbreviation.
Understanding the Function of Premium Squares
Premium Letter Squares (DL and TL)
Premium letter squares significantly impact the value of individual tiles in Scrabble. Here’s how they function:
- Double Letter (DL) Squares: When you place a letter tile on a light blue “DL” square, the value of that letter is doubled. For instance, if you place the letter “B” on a DL square, its value increases from 3 points to 6 points.
- Triple Letter (TL) Squares: Placing a letter tile on a dark blue “TL” square triples the value of that tile. For example, if you place the letter “Q” on a TL square, its value soars from 10 points to a remarkable 30 points.
Using these premium letter squares strategically can help you capitalize on the inherent value of high-scoring tiles and turn the game in your favor. Premium Word Squares (DW and TW), on the other hand, have a broader impact on your score. Here’s how they work:
- Double Word (DW) Squares: When you place a complete word over a light pink “DW” square, the score for that word is doubled. For instance, if you create the word “LOVE” over a DW square, the total score for “LOVE” is doubled.
- Triple Word (TW) Squares: Placing a word over a dark pink “TW” square triples the score of the entire word. If you form the word “GENIUS” over a TW square, the score for “GENIUS” is tripled.
Strategically utilizing premium word squares is an essential part of maximizing your Scrabble score, as it not only boosts individual word scores but can lead to remarkable word combinations that rack up points.
Scrabble’s Premium Squares Strategy
Now that we know how premium squares work let’s delve into some Scrabble strategies to make the most of these game-changing squares.
Focus on High-Scoring Tiles
Whenever possible, aim to place high-scoring tiles like “Q,” “Z,” and “X” on premium letter squares (DL or TL). This can lead to enormous point gains in a single move.
Focus on High-Scoring Tiles
To capitalize on the benefits of both premium letter and word squares, try to create overlapping words. For example, if you form a new word crossing both a DL and a DW square, you’ll enjoy double and triple word score multipliers, respectively.
Save Your Bingo
In Scrabble, playing all seven of your tiles in a single turn is known as a “bingo” or a “bonus.” This earns you 50 additional points on top of your regular word score. Try to save your highest-value tiles for your bingo move and, if possible, place them on premium squares for even more significant gains.
Block Your Opponent
If your opponent is eyeing a premium square, consider strategically blocking them to prevent them from taking advantage of it. This can be a game-changer in competitive Scrabble matches.
Use a Scrabble Dictionary
A reliable Scrabble dictionary is an invaluable tool for players, helping them discover high-scoring words and plan their moves strategically. It also helps ensure that you can settle on any debates regarding if the word is valid or not. Check out this online Scrabble resource before your next game to gain a competitive edge and explore words that can make the most of those premium squares on the board.
Calculating Point Totals with Premium Squares
Now, let’s break down how to calculate point totals when premium squares come into play.
- Single Word Score: When you place a word on the board without using any premium squares, you calculate the score by adding up the face value of each tile in the word.
- Double Letter (DL) or Triple Letter (TL) Squares: If a letter in your word is placed on a DL square, double the value of that individual letter. If it’s on a TL square, triple it. Continue to calculate the word score based on these adjusted values.
- Double Word (DW) or Triple Word (TW) Squares: If your word is placed over a DW square, double the score for the entire word. If it’s over a TW square, triple it. Then, apply the bonus from premium letter squares if any tiles are on DL or TL squares. Calculate your word’s total score based on these combined multipliers.
- Multiple Words on One Play: If you form multiple words on a single play using premium squares, apply the bonuses for each word formed. Calculate individual word scores considering any premium squares used.
- Bingo Bonus: If you manage to play all seven of your tiles in one turn (a “bingo”), you receive a 50-point bonus in addition to the regular word score. Take advantage of premium squares when playing bingos to maximize your score even further.
Scrabble’s premium squares are the secret sauce that adds excitement and strategy to this classic word game. They have the potential to turn the tide of a game, elevate your scores, and create those “wow” moments in every match. Understanding the role of premium letter and word squares, along with strategic placement, is key to becoming a Scrabble champion.