The Complete Guide to Scrabble

Word lists, strategy tips, and more to help you become a better Scrabble player.

Scrabble, designed by Alfred Mosher Butts when he was a jobless architect in the Depression, was first published commercially in 1948 by James Brunot, a friend of Butts. Eventually, Scrabble became the world's most popular word game, and it has now sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

  • 01 of 09
    Scrabble Diamond Edition
    Scrabble Diamond Edition. Image courtesy of Hasbro

    I believe that Scrabble is one of the 50 most culturally and historically significant games published since 1800. This profile explains why.

  • 02 of 09

    This word game presents a number of unique challenges to its players. Memorizing the entire Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary would be great, but it's also unrealistic. Start with these basics first.

  • 03 of 09

    Becoming a world-class Scrabble player requires years of study and practice. But casual Scrabble players can become significantly better with a relatively modest investment of time. One of the best ways is to learn some of the keywords every great player knows, and these Scrabble word lists are a great place to start.

  • 04 of 09

    When playing a game of Scrabble, your opponent might play a word that you think is illegal. If so, you will want to "challenge" the word to prevent your opponent from gaining points with it. Here's how to challenge a word in Scrabble.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Scrabble Online at Pogo.com
    Scrabble Online at Pogo.com. Image courtesy of Pogo.com

    There are several ways to play Scrabble online, including some officially sanctioned sites and some unofficial sites where you can play Scrabble-like crossword games. This article links to my picks for the best places to play Scrabble online.

  • 06 of 09

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Scrabble Basic Edition
    Scrabble Basic Edition. Image courtesy of Hasbro

    This set of frequently asked questions about the board game Scrabble covers gameplay, scoring, related games, and more. When a question involves the rules of Scrabble, the answer refers to the official Scrabble rules. Some people use and love playing with unofficial house rules, but this FAQ does not attempt to address those situations.

  • 07 of 09

    One of the first thing that beginner Scrabble players should learn is the game's tile distribution. It's vital to know that, for example, only one J, K, Q, X and Z are in the bag -- and that they provide the best opportunities for high scores.

  • 08 of 09

    Scrabble is, hands down, the most popular word game in the world. It's played even by people who can't speak English -- and some players devote as much time to its study as do the grandest of Chess grandmasters. Most of the books on this list can help improve your Scrabble skills; one puts you inside the minds of the top Scrabble players.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
    Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis. Image courtesy of Penguin

    Stefan Fatsis' Word Freak is a well-written, first-person dive into competitive Scrabble. If you've ever become obsessed with a game, you'll recognize yourself in the many interesting personalities found in Word Freak.