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Maybe scrabble isn't the most exiting game ever, but I got this idea in my head and had to make it happen.
All you need is some graph paper, a pencil or two, a standard pack of playing cards and lastly some tables for letter points and number in the alpahbet.
You start by making a grid and putting some bonuses on it if you want. Then you shuffle the cards. I also recommend tearing off two smallish pieces of the paper to use as letter hands.
The game works like normal scrabble except you write the letters down on the grid instead of placing them.
When you begin the game you deal out a hand of seven cards to each player, then by looking up the value of the card in the alphabet number table if it's a black card. That will be one of your letters (this can be done faster than it sounds). If it's a red card you do the same thing but add 13 to the value of the card. Mark each letter down on your piece of paper!
When you have made your word, out the points by looking up the letters in the scrabble letter points table.
Then just continue like normal scrabble using these rules.
alphabet number table:
1A 2B 3C 4D 5E 6F 7G 8H 9I 10J 11K 12L 13M
14N 15O 16P 17Q 18R 19S 20T 21U 22V 23W 24X 25Y 26Z
Scrabble letter points table:
1: L S U N R T O A I E
2: D G
3: B C M P
4: F H V W Y
8: J X
10: Q Z
Let me know what you think. Feedback for improvement is of course always welcome.
With a custom card deck and a dry-erase miniboard & marker, you've got a travel edition with fewer tiny bits to lose
And I think Scrabble is a great game !
With this method you'll have some letters overrepresented - Zs and Qs each make up around 0.1% of written English, so having them appear as about 4% of your useable letters makes things tricky.
You'll also have some letters underrepresented - just under 13% of written Egnlish is the letter E, so 2 copies in a deck of 52 will mean it's appearing less than a third as often as it ought to.
These numbers are slightly different from the frequency analysis table I used when making Dexikon (those tables were from Simon Singh's the Code Book), but they're pretty close.