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Common intro Scrabble O intro Scrabble I intro Scrabble II intro Scrabble III intro
Common rules Scrabble O rules Scrabble I rules Scrabble II rules Scrabble III rules Scrabble III sample games
Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers is the fourth and (for the time being, at least) final step in the Scrabble For Word Lovers suite. Now you can play the biggest words in your brain on a Scrabble board. Scrabble III builds on the lower level games, so, if you haven't already, please visit the Scrabble For Word Lovers intro page to quickly familiarize yourself with Scrabble O, Scrabble I, and Scrabble II.
Scrabble III goes beyond Scrabble II in these three ways:
1. Six-letter minimum requirement.
2. JQXZ wild! Play right-side up for a deserved bonus, or flip for a blank.
3. Pick off 1 or 2 letters from the end of a word in the service of stretching that word into a bigger word.
The last two actions may be seen as going beyond "pure", classic Scrabble for the first time in the Scrabble For Word Lovers suite.
The J, Q, X, and Z have always held a special place in Scrabble. In the "old days", their difficulty of use combined with their big point values made them hot potatoes. You could make a killing with them... or they could kill you. This continued until 1978, when the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary came along and turned the JQXZ into gobs and gobs of mindless points.
In Scrabble III the JQXZ are wild. Play one right-side-up in a big word for a fitting 10, 20 or 30 point bonus, depending on word length, or... flip it over for a blank! Now they pull you in two directions, each requiring more Scrabble thinking than ever.
To gain access to the biggest words in the language, you may pick off one or two letters from the trailing end of a word in the service of stretching that word into a bigger word. For example, you could pick off the silent E from COGITATE to form cogitatION (a 2-letter stretch.)
For more detail and discussion, please visit the Scrabble III rules page, but this handy Scrabble III on a Slip about says it all:
SCRABBLE III BIG BOARD and 8-TILE RACK. SWAP for the blank. MAIN WORD: 6-letter minimum. JQXZ wild: flip for a blank. TILES: random scoop, nice 300-tile set. GOOD WORDS ONLY: regular dictionary; all words checked. BIG PLAY BONUS STRETCH BONUS NATURAL JQXZ BONUS Tiles Pts (on sixes and up) Wd Length Pts 6 20 Letters Pts 6 10 7 50 1 0 7 20 8 80 2 30 8... 30 (cap) 3 50 4 70 5 90 6... 100 (cap) All bonuses additive. PICK OFF 1-2 tiles from free, trailing end of word you will STRETCH. Small Word Point Cap. Swap final racks? Two-letter words (RESPECTABLE and bearable): ab AD AG AH ai AM AN ar AS AT aw AX AY BE BI BY DO ED ef eh EL EM EN er EX FA GO HA HE HI ho ID IF IN IS IT LA li LO MA ME MI MU MY NO NU OF OH ON OR os ow OX PA PI RE sh SI SO ta TI TO uh um UP US ut WE wo XI YE yo
Here are 5 real Scrabble III games played by regular people. As you scroll down, consider that your own Scrabble boards average upwards of 40 words, and that your Scrabble words average little more than 3 letters.
Game 1: "REORGANIZING SHRUBS"
Game 1 Statistics 14: REENCOUNTERING 12: REORGANIZING 11: UNFAILINGLY 9: EXPECTING 8: OPENINGS SNORTING RAPTURES 7: LEAFIER BANDANA DEFIANT WOOLIER 6: SHRUBS OUTAGE 3: END 2: LI Tiles: 104 total; 98 played; unplayed B T O C O W Tile oddities: no K no M 13N no V Power tiles: 8 X Z _ _ _ S S S Percent expected vowels: 99% Words on board: 15 total, 15.0 normalized. Average word length: 7.67 letters.
Game 2: "ENLIVENED HOSTAGES"
Game 2 Statistics 10: RELATIONAL 9: ENLIVENED PREJUDGES DAMPENERS 8: CHAMISES REMOTELY HOSTAGES 7: STIRRED SNEEZED FOOTAGE 6: THAWED TENTHS TAXING UPTAKE BOOZER Tiles: 107 total; 98 played; unplayed M D U I I W A G D Tile oddities: 1C Power tiles: 11 J X _ _ _ S S S S S S Percent expected vowels: 96% Words on board: 15 total; 15.0 normalized. Average word length: 7.47 letters.
Game 3: "UNMOTIVATED MOSQUITOS"
Game 3 Statistics 11: UNMOTIVATED 10: WRESTLINGS RETRACKING 9: MOSQUITOS REPULSING 8: STATUARY PILEATED TUITIONS BRAINIER 7: BOTCHED AWAITED AGITATE ANNOYED MANLESS CZARIST 6: WISDOM 2: AM TI US AS Tiles: 114 total; 112 played; unplayed D I Tile oddities: 1C no F 1G 12I 8S 14T Power tiles: 14 Q Z _ _ _ _ S S S S S S S S Percent expected vowels: 94% (slightly consonant heavy) Words on board: 20 total; 17.5 normalized. Average word length: 6.85 letters.
Game 4: "SO OS NO"
Game 4 Statistics 11: UNBRACKETED 9: EXERCISED 8: SOFTENER COVERERS DOCTORED 7: CARTOON PARTIER HAZIEST FIGHTER UNLOVED PLOUGHS OVERACT 6: DUSTED PAVING 2: SO OS NO Tiles: 100 total; 94 played; unplayed A Y E G O N Tile oddities: 7D 3I 1L no M 4V no W Power tiles: 9 X Z _ _ _ S S S S Percent expected vowels: 95% Words on board: 17 total; 17.7 normalized. Average word length: 6.53 letters.
Game 5: "BLESSED WEEKENDS"
Game 5 Statistics 9: PERMEATED EQUIPMENT RESORTING 8: REZONING WEEKENDS REOPENED 7: SLOPING BECKONS AVAILED BLESSED 6: CHATTY LOANED BLEEDS DAWNED EXTRAS SUITES 2: OS WE BE Tiles: 105 total; 98 played; unplayed V W C L O U U Tile oddities: no F 10N Power tiles: 10 Q X Z _ _ S S S S S Percent expected vowels: 93% (slightly consonant heavy) Words on board: 19 total; 19.0 normalized. Average word length: 6.37 letters.
I hope you'll scroll back up taking a look at the "tile oddities" which arise from the random scoop, such as a game with 14T.
Did you see the difference with your own Scrabble boards in regards to bigger, more respectable words? If not, read on...
Let's see how those five games stack up against "regular" Scrabble played at the very highest level; specifically, the five-game championship play-off at the 2015 National Scrabble Tournament. (You can view the games here: Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5.)
Here are all 199 words on the five Championship Play-off boards, and the 86 words on the five Scrabble III boards above. (Words in red would be disallowed in Scrabble For Word Lovers, which uses a regular dictionary.)
Champions: (199 words) ELATERITE RETINULAE BANTENGS ENACTORY EPINASTY IMPINGED LEAGUING LEUCOMAS LIGNEOUS NONELITE OUTFOUND SATURANT VESTIGES ALEWIFE AUDILES BIGHEAD CAUTION EMBRUTE PRALINE SAILING SIMPLER THERIAN AERUGO AVENGE BANDIT CENSER CITERS HUIPIL JEWING JOCUND MATZAH PAEONS PANTED REECHO WEIRDO WHINEY WHINNY ZOOIER ARROW BARFI COMPS DOLOR DONEE DREAM DRYER FIERY GLOBE HORAL INDOW INLET JESTS KIVAS MEALY OAKED QUERN REUSE ROOTY SEGNO SLEEK SOJUS TRIOS VARVE VOLTI XENON ALIT BALE BRIO CLIT CLUE DEFI DOAT DOOB DORK DUST FAVA GOAD HOED IRID JIGS LOAF MAKI ORCA RELY SOCK SYLI TYRE WEPT YUZU ADO ANA ARF AWA AWL CON DUG ERE ERG FAG FED FOB HAG JOE KIS MAN MOI MOO PAY PIU POL POW QUA RAI RIB SAE SUQ TOY VAC VOX WUD ZEK AA AB AB AG AG AH AI AL BE BE DA DA DE EF EF EH EM ES EX EX FA FE HA ID IF IF IN IN IN IN IS IT JO KA LA LI MI MU NA NE NO NU OD OE OH OH OI ON OP OW OW OW OX OY PA PE PE QI QI RE SO SO TA TA TE TE TI UM UN UP US WE XI XI XI XI YO ZA ZA
Scrabble III: (86 words) REENCOUNTERING REORGANIZING UNBRACKETED UNFAILINGLY UNMOTIVATED RELATIONAL RETRACKING WRESTLINGS DAMPENERS ENLIVENED EQUIPMENT EXERCISED EXPECTING MOSQUITOS PERMEATED PREJUDGES REPULSING RESORTING BRAINIER CHAMISES COVERERS DOCTORED HOSTAGES OPENINGS PILEATED RAPTURES REMOTELY REOPENED REZONING SNORTING SOFTENER STATUARY TUITIONS WEEKENDS AGITATE ANNOYED AVAILED AWAITED BANDANA BECKONS BLESSED BOTCHED CARTOON CZARIST DEFIANT FIGHTER FOOTAGE HAZIEST LEAFIER MANLESS OVERACT PARTIER PLOUGHS SLOPING SNEEZED STIRRED UNLOVED WOOLIER BLEEDS BOOZER CHATTY DAWNED DUSTED EXTRAS LOANED OUTAGE PAVING SHRUBS SUITES TAXING TENTHS THAWED UPTAKE WISDOM END AM AS BE LI NO OS OS SO TI US WE
Here are some statistics distilled from the above. Take note of the Average Word Length, which in Scrabble III is about 6.9 letters, or 85% bigger than in the Championship Play-off games.
Championship Play-off Scrabble O Scrabble I Scrabble II Scrabble III -------------- ---------- ---------- ----------- ------------ Total Words (5 boards) 199 words 120 words 104 words 96 words 86 words Average Words on Board 40 24 20.8 19.2 16.9 Average Word Length 3.7 letters 5.1 letters 5.8 letters 6.1 letters 6.9 letters (36% longer!) (54% longer!) (63% longer!) (85% longer!) Weird Werdz 53 (27% of none none none none (ok, maybe total) WRESTLINGS)
Now look at the vast gulf in JQXZ usage:
Champions: JEWING JOCUND MATZAH ZOOIER JESTS QUERN SOJUS XENON JIGS YUZU JOE QUA SUQ VOX ZEK EX EX JO OX QI QI XI XI XI XI ZA ZA
Scrabble III: REORGANIZING EQUIPMENT EXERCISED EXPECTING MOSQUITOS PREJUDGES REZONING CZARIST HAZIEST SNEEZED BOOZER EXTRAS TAXING
Yes, only one of the 27 championship JQXZ words would have survived on a Scrabble III board!
Here, at a glance, are the differences between modern, "regular" Scrabble and Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers.
"Regular" Scrabble Scrabble O Scrabble I Scrabble II Scrabble III ------------------ ---------- ---------- ----------- ------------ Word list memorization Vocabulary-based (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) Overloaded OSPD Regular dictionary (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) Weird two-letter words Refined 2-letter word list (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) Invalid words allowed Points for good words only (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) Bluffing No bluff element (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) 2-letter minimum 3-letter minimum (ditto) (ditto) 6-letter minimum Big points for tiny (ditto, but main word must (ditto) Small Word Point (ditto) plays be at least 3 letters) Cap Cheap JQXZ points Tougher JQXZ (regular (ditto) (ditto) JQXZ wild: dictionary, 3-ltr min) Play for bonus, or flip for blank. Classic 7 tile rack (ditto) (ditto) 8 tile rack (ditto) Single bonus for Stepped bonuses for Big (ditto) Bonuses for plays (ditto) playing all 7 tiles Plays of 5, 6, 7 tiles of 6, 7, 8 tiles No reason to stretch Stretch bonus (ditto) (ditto, adjusted (ditto, plus pick off words for 8 tiles) 1-2 tiles to stretch) Classic 100-tile set 100-tile set with Nice 300-tile letter (ditto) Same, but with with I overload (9I) one "I" removed (8I) distribution 1 JQXZ_ per 100 Same 100 tiles every (ditto) Fresh 100-tile scoop (ditto) (ditto) game for each game 2 blanks 3 blanks Average 3 blanks/game (ditto) Average 1 JQXZ_ per game Single use blanks Reusable blanks (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) Classic 15x15 board (ditto) Extended board (3 (ditto) (ditto) extra rows each side) A few thousand Tens of millions of (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) players players? Top players wallow in Top players rich (ditto) (ditto) (ditto) in obscurity $uper$tars!
Find me a programmer first.
But for the time being you can have fun playing along with some real life sample Scrabble III games.
I retain the rights to these additions, adjustments, and modifications giving rise to Scrabble III, singly or in combination, insofar as I may be allowed.
But I will give Scrabble O, Scrabble I, and Scrabble II in their entirety to Hasbro for free if that's what it takes to make the Scrabble world safe again for word lovers. Anyone out there with the connections to talk to them?
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