Playing Scrabble is an excellent pastime, something that the whole family can enjoy for family game night. It is also a great choice for getting young people together for a youth group or social event without presenting any material that parents would not approve of. It is not difficult to learn the basics of playing Scrabble. Just follow a few simple steps and always be on the lookout for great words to create high scoring combinations throughout the game.
• Start by setting up the board. Since it lays flat with no extra pieces, this step takes only a few seconds.
• Shake the tile bag to mix up the tiles and spread them on the table in a pile. Turn all tiles facedown and rearrange to make sure no one memorizes letter placement.
• Each player should draw a tile to determine who goes first. The player closest to A gets the first turn. In case of a tie, tied players should draw again until only one player is closest to A.
• All players draw seven tiles and place them on their respective bases. Organize the letters however works for you: alphabetically, reverse order, grouping methods, or random placement.
• Create the first word by placing any word from the acceptable Scrabble word list with more than two letters on the board, with one letter covering the red star at the center of the board. This word is automatically doubled. Count your score, draw tiles so that you have seven on your base again, and move to the next player.
• The next player can build horizontally or vertically on or against the first word. At least one letter should join the two words, either by adding to the word (“add” becomes “adds”) or creating a new word (“depend” using the D in “add”). Score that word.
• As you score your word, make sure to include bonus tiles that affect the letter or word. There are bonuses that double or triple the letter or word, creating high scoring words that boost your score. Start by adding letter bonuses, then account for word bonuses to get your final score.
• Using all seven tiles from your base in one turn creates a 50-point bonus word called a bingo. This bonus comes in addition to the word’s regular score, so you can really rack up some points this way.
• Once the word is scored, draw tiles so that you are back at seven. Move to the next player.
• Gameplay should progress in this manner until there are no more tiles to draw. When one player runs out of moves (skips three times), and no one else can play, or someone runs out of tiles, the game is over.
• All players should count their total scores and compare them. Players should deduct for any tiles still remaining on the base, and the player who ran out of tiles gets a bonus for this number from each person. The person with the highest score wins!
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