Two to four players play in any game of Scrabble. The object of Scrabble is to score more points than one's opponent. A player collects points by placing words on the game board. Each letter has a different point value, so the strategy becomes to play words with high scoring letter combinations.
The Scrabble Board
A Scrabble game board is made of up cells in a square grid. The Scrabble board is 15 cells wide by 15 cells high. The Scrabble tiles fit within these cells one to a cell.
Scrabble is played with exactly 100 tiles. 98 of these tiles contain letters on them, while there are 2 blank tiles. These blank tiles add a wildcard aspect to Scrabble. The blanks substitute for any letter in the alphabet. Once played, a blank tile remains for the remainder of the game the letter for which it was substituted when first played.
Various letters have different point values, depending on the rarity of the letter and the difficulty in playing it. Blank tiles have no point value.
Here are the point values for each letter in Scrabble.
0 Points - Blank tile.
1 Point - A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T and U.
2 Points - D and G.
3 Points - B, C, M and P.
4 Points - F, H, V, W and Y.
5 Points - K.
8 Points - J and X.
10 Points - Q and Z.
Extra Point Values
Some squares on the Scrabble board represent multipliers. If a tile is placed on this square, then the tile's value is multiplied by a factor or either 2x or 3x. Certain tiles multiply the point value of an entire word and not simply the tile on that space.
Double Letter Scores - Light blue cells are found isolated on the board. When a tile is placed on this space, that tile's point value is multiplied by two.
Triple Letter Score - This is a dark blue cell on the Scrabble. The tile placed on this square has its points multiplied by three.
Double Word Score - Light red cells are found running diagonally towards the four corners of the board. When a player plays a word on one of these squares, the point value of the entire word is multiplied by two.
Triple Word Score - This is a dark red square on the Scrabble board. These are found on the four sides of the board equidistant from the four corners of the board. When a word is played using this square, then the points for the word are multiplied by three.
One Single Use - Note that extra point squares are only usable once. If one player plays a word using this cells, then the next time that space is used to make a word, the point value is not multiplied.
Starting the Game
Without looking into the tile bag, each of the Scrabble players takes one tile out of the tile bag. Whichever player has the letter closest to the beginning of the alphabet goes first. A blank tile is considered better than an "A". These tiles are placed into the bag once more.
Starting the game, each player begins their turn by drawing seven tiles apiece from the bag. The player can do one of three things on a turn. The player can place a word, exchange tiles or pass. Most of the time, the player will take the option of playing a word.
Exchanging tiles allows a player to replace anywhere between one and all of the tiles on the player's rack. If this option is taken, the player cannot do anything else that hand. Therefore, a tile exchange cannot be performed on a turn when the player places a word on the board.
A player may pass at any time. If all player's pass twice in a row, then the game ends.
The First Word Score
A player begins the game by placing a word on the star square at the center of the board. This star acts as a double word score. The star cell does not act as a double word score for subsequent players playing off the center square.
Play continues in a clockwise direction around the Scrabble board.
Replacing Scrabble Tiles
When a player places tiles on the Scrabble board, that player draws new tiles from the tile bag, adding until that player's number of tiles equals seven. The player must not look at the tiles when choosing new ones. Tile selection is usually done by holding the bag above the eye line, then reaching into the bag to add tiles one by one.
The Fifty Point Bonus
When a player is able to place all seven tiles from the tile rack on the board at the same time, that player receives a 50 point bonus. In end game scenarios, when the players hold less than the standard seven tiles, a player does not get the 50 point bonus for using all the tiles on the rack.
The End of a Scrabble Game
When all of the tiles have been taken from the bag and one player has used all of the tiles on their rack, then the game ends.
Tallying Scrabble Scores
Once the game has ended, each player counts the points on the tiles left remaining in their rack. Each player has that number deducted from their final score.
The player who ended the game and who therefore has no more tiles remaining is given an added bonus. Add the total of all points of all remaining players with tiles left on their racks. This number is added to the final score of the player who is "out" of tiles.
The Scrabble player with the highest score after all final scores are tallied wins.
Accepted Scrabble Words
Players may place any word which can be found in a standard English language dictionary. Official Scrabble dictionaries also can be found in bookstores and online.
Types of words which cannot be used are abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes. Words that require a hyphen or an apostrophe cannot be played. Words that are spelled with a capital letter cannot be used.
Generally speaking in an English-language game of Scrabble, foreign words cannot be placed on the Scrabble board. If those words appear in a standard English dictionary, then the word is allowable. This is because the word is spoken often enough by native English-speakers that it has become a part of the English language.