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Scrabble For Word Lovers suite - main page.
Scrabble II introduction.
Scrabble II rules.
It was created before the Nice Letter Distribution and Stretch Bonuses were implemented. Back then, Scrabble II words averaged about 5 letters; now they average about 6 letters. So, no matter how impressively Scrabble II stacked up against "regular" Scrabble in this old page, it would go a quantum leap beyond that now.
Mike Cresta and Wayne Yorra played a record-breaking game at the Lexington, Massachusettes Scrabble Club on October 12 2006. Mike set the record for the highest score in a sanctioned club game, 830. Wayne scored an impressive 490 points, probably good enough to win 99% of your Scrabble games, and so the combined score, 1320, was also a record-breaker.
By way of comparison, the average score for the players in the top-ranked game of each of the 31 rounds at the 2010 National Scrabble Championship was 407 points, or an average combined score of 814 points for the 31 "Table 1" games.
Here is a recreation of Mike and Wayne's final board:
Not bad at all, as far as official Scrabble games go, but I'd like to show that this once in a millenium game is pretty mundane by Dover Scrabble Club (Delaware) standards.
The Dover Scrabble Club plays Scrabble II, which is pure Scrabble with the straitjacket removed. A few very small and natural adjustments move Scrabble out of the quagmire of the twos and threes and up into the glorious realm of the sixes through nines. And we do it using a conventional dictionary and with no one ever scoring a point for an invalid word. (No bluffing!) The details can be found in Appendix 1 at the bottom of this page, and you can easily find further discussion on other web pages of mine.
I view the final Scrabble board as the product of a team effort of all the players. (In the Dover club, we prefer threesomes and foursomes.) Here are the words formed on Mike and Wayne's final board (as distinct from their individual plays):
8: FLATFISH LADYLIKE QUIXOTRY SCAMSTER UNDERDOG
5: BATED BLEEP VROWS
4: BUNT GIBE HAIR HEIR MITE VROW
3: ADO AIR AWA COR KAS NAM RAX ZAS
2: AN AW EH ES NO NO OM OP TA UP ZA
IMPORTANT NOTE: Words in red would not be acceptable in the Dover Scrabble Club. Generally, this means that the word is not recognized by the American Heritage 4th Edition. (See Appendix 3 below.)
Rather than stack the deck against this one game by handpicking a few slam-bang Scrabble II games, I will use the same 31 Dover games I used for my comparison with the 2010 National Scrabble Championship. (Which see.)
World's Greatest Scrabble Game: (14 out of 35 words) QUIXOTRY SCAMSTER VROWS VROW AWA COR KAS NAM RAX ZAS ES OM OP ZA
Dover Scrabble Club: (0 out of 835 words)
Note well: About 40% of the words in The World's Greatest Scrabble Game would not be found in an up-to-date, conventional dictionary.
World's Greatest Scrabble Game: 11 Twos + 8 Threes → 19 Shorties/35 words = 54.3% Shorties
Dover Scrabble Club: 142 Twos + 106 Threes → 248 Shorties/835 words = 29.7% Shorties
Note well: Over half of the words in The World's Greatest Scrabble Game are just two and three letters long.
World's Greatest Scrabble Game: 1 Six + 1 Seven + 5 Eights + 0 Nines + 0 Tens → 7 Long Words/35 words = 20% Long Words
Dover Scrabble Club: 115 Sixes + 129 Sevens + 88 Eights + 20 Nines + 1 Ten → 353 Long Words/835 words = 42.3% Long Words
Note well: The Dover Scrabble Club plays more than twice as many long words, on the average, as in The Word's Greatest Scrabble Game.
World's Greatest Scrabble Game: 138 letters/35 words = 3.94 letters/word
Dover Scrabble Club: 4134 letters/835 words = 4.95 letters/word
Note well: The Dover Scrabble Club plays words about one letter longer, on the average. Put another way, our words are about 26% longer than those in The World's Greatest Scrabble Game.
Scrabble II: half the shorties, twice the long words, and none of the artificiality of modern Scrabble - even when pitted against The World's Greatest Scrabble Game!
The Dover Scrabble Club (Delaware) plays Scrabble II, which is pure Scrabble with a few very small, very natural, long overdue fixes which rescue the game from the army of outlandish midget words which have taken over Scrabble in the decades since the game was invented. The game has been broken wide open, but, otherwise, all the strategies remain the same. In a nutshell, Scrabble II is . . .
Moreover, we use a conventional dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary 4th Edition, to further keep our boards from looking like Greek or Martian. The American Heritage is probably about 75% as inclusive as the Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary (OSPD), but it has more words than you'll ever use, in life or in Scrabble. You've seen in this study that, by not having some weird little word to get you out of each and every jam, you are nudged into playing longer, more respectable words. I urge you to consider a conventional dictionary. A smaller, more refined word set in Scrabble has just the opposite effect to what you would think.
Here's a quick look at some completed Scrabble II boards.
. . . is any of the following:
1. Give it a try!
2. Give it a try and report back!
3. A quality Scrabble II program placed prominently on the internet. I'll pay reasonable programming costs!
4. A dear, old benefactor to bankroll a Scrabble II tournament with the largest ever cash prizes for a Scrabble tournament (which would still only amount to chicken change!)
In moving up from the second to the fourth edition of the American Heritage a few years ago, I found a few words were added which I couldn't bear fouling up my Scrabble boards. While I was rejecting those words, I took the opportunity to "retire" all the Hebrew letters (letters aren't words; Hebrew is foreign) and a few old-timers, including AZO and ZOA, which never pop up in real life and which have long since worn out their welcome on the Scrabble board. See my Dover Scrabble Club rules page for a list of charges against the condemned:
AA AE JO PE QI ZA
AZO DEX DIS HOS IGG JEE MEM SUQ TAV VAU VAV WAW ZAG ZIG ZEP ZOA
May they rest in peace.
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