Letter Distributions in Word Games
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Are you a word game fan? mb Haven't you always wanted to see this information in one place? Well, here it is!

The only catch is, you have to help create it. I don't own every single word game with letters on tiles, cards, or dice, but I put in the ones I have.

I am particularly interested in comparing the letter distribution in these games to the actual letter distribution in English.

And many games have two-letter tiles/cards. How well to they correspond to the actual frequency of bigrams in English?

If you add a game to this list, be sure to include the distribution of any "special" cards/tiles/dice/whatever - two-letter cards, wild/blank tiles, etc. Also, if the game has different point values for different letters, include those points as well.

I'm using a format where the first number is how many of that letter are in the game, and if there's a second number, that's how many points that letter is worth in the game. If there's no second number, then all all letters are worth the same amount.

For those of you who also find it interesting to compare these distributions with the actual distribution of letters in the English language, those frequencies are:

A 8.167% F 2.228% K 0.772% P 1.929% U 2.758% Z 0.074%
B 1.492% G 2.015% L 4.025% Q 0.095% V 0.978%
C 2.782% H 6.094% M 2.406% R 5.987% W 2.360%
D 4.253% I 6.966% N 6.749% S 6.327% X 0.150%
E 12.702% J 0.153% O 7.507% T 9.056% Y 1.974%

But those figures aren't exactly what we might care about in word games. Those are the frequencies of letters in general text - books, newspapers, magazines, etc. In other words, not just words, but sentences and paragraphs. In most word games, we're only interested in letters as they appear in individual words. What are the frequencies for letters appearing in the English vocabulary? Here they are:

A 8.497% 42 G 2.471% 12 M 3.013% 15 S 5.735% 29 Y 1.778% 9
B 2.072% 10 H 3.003% 15 N 6.654% 33 T 6.951% 35 Z 0.272% 1
C 4.539% 23 I 7.545% 38 O 7.164% 36 U 3.631% 18
D 3.384% 17 J 0.197% 1 P 3.167% 16 V 1.007% 5
E 11.161% 56 K 1.102% 6 Q 0.196% 1 W 1.290% 6
F 1.812% 9 L 5.489% 27 R 7.581% 38 X 0.290% 1

Note that while the most common letters in English text are ETAOINSHRDLU, the most common letters in English vocabulary are EARIOTNSLCUD.

The third column in the table above would be the letter distribution in a hypothetical game that tried to have a proportion of letters that more closely corresponds to the actual appearances of letters in words - and about 500 tiles/cards! To be "accurate" a game would have to have about 57 times as many E's as Q's.

As you can see from the games in this geeklist, most games don't have nearly 500 cards/tiles, and yet they still need to include at least one Z, one Q, etc., thus these rarest letters are "overrepresented".

PLEASE ADD MORE GAMES TO THIS LIST! Thank you! I'll probably give some geekgold to anyone who contributes the letter distribution for a game that isn't yet on this list. Please use something at least similar to the format I've used below, customized as necessary for whatever unique characteristics the game has.
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1. Board Game: Ad-Lib [Average Rating:5.14 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
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(Note: NOT the same as Scribbage; this game used 3-D plastic letters on a board with the point values printed on the squares; the same distribution used by E.S. Lowe's 1972 game "Head To Head".

100 3-dimensional plastic letters:
A 10
B 2
C 2
D 3
E 10
F 2
G 2
H 2
I 8
J 1
K 1
L 4
M 3
N 7
O 8
P 3
Q 1
R 7
S 6
T 6
U 4
V 2
W 2
X 1
Y 2
Z 1
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2. Board Game: Ad-Lib Crossword Cubes [Average Rating:5.25 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
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(Originally Scribbage; later renamed Ad-Lib Crossword Cubes)

13 cubes:
A B E S X Y
A C E F I Z
A D E J N R
A D E T V W
A E H L S T
A F G I L Q
B M N O S U
C K N O U V
D E I R S ♢
E H N O R T
E G I M P ♢
E I L O R T
M O P U W Y

Point values:
A 1
B 4
C 4
D 3
E 1
F 4
G 4
H 3
I 2
J 6
K 5
L 2
M 3
N 2
O 1
P 4
Q 8
R 2
S 2
T 2
U 3
V 4
W 4
X 8
Y 4
Z 10
♢ 0
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3. Board Game: Addaword [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
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120 tiles:

A 10 10
B 4 10
C 4 10
D 5 10
E 12 10
F 3 10
G 3 10
H 2 10
I 11 10
J 1 15
K 1 20
L 6 10
M 5 10
N 6 10
O 10 10
P 3 10
Q 1 30
R 6 10
S 6 10
T 6 10
U 6 10
V 2 15
W 3 15
X 1 20
Y 2 20
Z 1 25
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4. Board Game: Addiction [Average Rating:4.77 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
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13 cubes:
A B D E K R
A C I K R T
A D O U Y •
A E L O S X
A E M O Q T
A G I N O V
A H I P U W
A L O S X •
B C E I J R
E F H I U W
E F J N O U
E G O P U V
E I M O S Z

Point Values:
A 2
B 4
C 4
D 4
E 2
F 6
G 4
H 6
I 2
J 8
K 8
L 4
M 4
N 4
O 2
P 4
Q 9
R 4
S 4
T 4
U 2
V 8
W 6
X 8
Y 8
Z 9
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5. Board Game: Alfreds Other Game [Average Rating:5.11 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
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144 tiles, in two sets of 72 (light and dark)

A 5 0
B 2 5
C 2 5
D 3 0
E 8 0
F 2 5
G 2 5
H 2 5
I 5 0
J 1 10
K 1 10
L 3 0
M 2 5
N 4 0
O 5 0
P 2 5
Q 1 20
R 4 0
S 4 0
T 3 0
U 3 0
V 1 10
W 2 5
X 1 10
Y 2 5
Z 1 10
blank 1 0
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6. Board Game: Alpha Bandits [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:11734]
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United States
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94 double-sided tiles. First letter listed is blue; second letter red.
Number in parenthesis denotes multiple copies of tile.

A/A
A/E (3)
A/O (2)
A/T
A/U
B/H
B/L
C/D
C/E
D/C
D/G
D/H
D/N
E/A (2)
E/E (2)
E/H
E/I (2)
E/L
E/O
E/R
E/T (2)
E/U
F/N
F/P
G/B
G/N
H/G
H/I
H/N
H/O
H/T
I/A (2)
I/E (2)
I/O (2)
L/C
L/D
L/F
L/P
M/S
M/T
N/E
N/H
N/M
N/R
N/S (2)
O/A (2)
O/E (2)
O/N
O/O
O/U
P/C
P/R
R/E
R/I
R/L
R/M
R/T
R/W
R/Y
S/N
S/R
S/T
S/W
T/D
T/F
T/H
T/I
T/L
T/R
T/S
T/Y
U/A
U/E
U/I
V/D
W/R
W/T
X/K
Y/J
Y/S
Z/Q
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7. Board Game: Alpha Blitz [Average Rating:5.03 Overall Rank:15371]
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United States
Fountain Valley
California
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108 cards:

A 8
B 3
C 3
D 4
E 8
F 3
G 4
H 3
I 7
J 1
K 1

L 4
M 4
N 4
O 7
P 4
Qu 1
R 4
S 4
T 4
U 5
V 3
W 3
X 1
Y 4
Z 1
"Blitz" 10

The red cards are worth one bonus point each time they are used.
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8. Board Game: Alpha Playing Cards [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:10039]
United States
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This deck's vowel cards are dual-lettered. For example, there is an "A/E" that can be played as either an "A" or an "E". I don't know how to sensibly present the vowel stats in the context of this list, but the consonants follow:
letter
B
C
D
F
G
H
J
K
L
M
N
P
Q
R
S
T
V
W
X
Y
Z
wild
count
2
2
2
2
2
3
1
1
3
2
3
2
1
3
3
3
1
2
1
2
1
2
points
8
4
4
5
6
3
10
9
3
5
1
6
10
2
2
1
8
7
9
7
10
0
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9. Board Game: Alphabok [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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200 tiles:

A 10
B 4
C 6
D 10
E 22
F 5
G 6
H 5
I 14
J 1
K 4
L 8
M 6
N 12
O 14
P 6
Q 1
R 12
S 17
T 17
U 6
V 2
W 6
X 2
Y 2
Z 2
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10. Board Game: Anagrams [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:8751]
A
United States
Texas
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Letter tile distribution data from http://www.gtoal.com/wordgames/#anagrams4720

"Game 4720. 200 wooden letters"

A 16
B 8
C 8
D 10
E 20
F 6
G 8
H 8
I 16
J 2
K 6
L 6
M+W 10 ("Can't tell difference between M and W tiles")
N 10
O 14
P 4
Q 2
R 8
S 10
T 10
U 6
V 4
W ("See above for M")
X 2
Y 4
Z 2
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11. Board Game: Anagrams [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:8751]
A
United States
Texas
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Letter tile distribution data from http://www.gtoal.com/wordgames/#anagramsembossededition

"Anagrams, Embossed Edition published by Selchow & Righter, 1953. Game #79. 90 tiles. No copyright statement or dates anywhere on this set but justcollectors.com lists it as 1953 and adds that the blocks are maple."

A 7
B 4
C 3
D 4
E 7
F 4
G 4
H 3
I 7
J 2
K 2
L 4
M 4
N 4
O 5
P 2
Q 1
R 4
S 5
T 3
U 3
V 2
W 2
X 1
Y 2
Z 1
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12. Board Game: Anex-A-Gram [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Craig Bursey
United States
Massachusetts
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Reaching into the real oldies to bring you this one!

70 tiles:

Letter Count
A 5
B 2
C 2
D 3
E 5
F 2
G 2
H 3
I 4
J 1
K 2
L 3
M 2
N 3
O 4
P 2
Q 1
R 3
S 3
T 4
U 4
V 2
W 2
X 1
Y 2
Z 1
+ 2

Tiles marked with a "+" are wild.
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13. Board Game: Appletters [Average Rating:5.39 Overall Rank:14432]
Madeline B
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110 tiles:

A 10
B 2
C 2
D 4
E 12
F 2
G 2
H 3
I 9
J 1
K 1
L 5
M 3
N 7
O 8
P 4
Q 1
R 8
S 8
T 8
U 3
V 1
W 1
X 1
Y 3
Z 1
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14. Board Game: Bali [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:6488]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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(Information taken from 1980 edition.)
2 decks of cards; 54 cards in each deck.

A 4 0
B 1 2
C 2 1
D 2 1
E 5 0
F 1 2
G 2 1
H 2 1
I 4 0
J 1 4
K 1 3
L 2 1
M 1 2
N 3 1
O 4 0
P 2 1
Q 1 5
R 3 1
S 2 1
T 3 1
U 2 0
V 1 3
W 1 2
X 1 4
Y 1 3
Z 1 4
Bali 1 5
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15. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:1597] [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
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United States
Fountain Valley
California
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144 tiles:

A 13
B 3
C 3
D 6
E 18
F 3
G 4
H 3
I 12
J 2
K 2
L 5
M 3
N 8
O 11
P 3
Q 2
R 9
S 6
T 9
U 6
V 3
W 3
X 2
Y 3
Z 2
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16. Board Game: Big Boggle [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1710]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
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Big Boggle (1979)

25 cubes:
A A A F R S
A A E E E E
A A F I R S
A D E N N N
A E E E E M
A E E G M U
A E G M N N
A F I R S Y
B J K Qu X Z
C C E N S T
C E I I L T
C E I L P T
C E I P S T
D D H N O T
D H H L O R
D H L N O R
D H L N O R
E I I I T T
E M O T T T
E N S S S U
F I P R S Y
G O R R V W
I P R R R Y
N O O T U W
O O O T T U

Boggle Master (1993)
Boggle Deluxe (1997)


same as Big Boggle (1979), except:
* C C E N S T changed to C C N S T W
* D D H N O T changed to D H H N O T
* one D H L N O R cube changed to D D L N O R
* I P R R R Y changed to H I P R R Y
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17. Board Game: Bild-A-Word [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
A
United States
Texas
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"More Fascinating than Any Card Game", says the cover.

Letter card distribution data from http://www.gtoal.com/wordgames/#bildaword

"36 letter cards, and 70-off 5-point and 75-off 10-point small scoring cards."

A 2
B 1
C 1
D 1
E 3
F 1
G 1
H 1
I 1
J 1
K 1
L 2
M 1
N 2
O 2
P 1
Q 1
R 2
S 2
T 1
U 1
V 1
W 1
X 1
Y 1
Z 1
Blockade (bull) 1
Blockade (policeman) 1
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18. Board Game: Boggle [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2082]
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United States
Fountain Valley
California
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16 dice (6 sides each, for a total of 96 letters):

AACIOT
ABILTY
ABJMOQu
ACDEMP
ACELRS
ADENVZ
AHMORS
BFIORX
DENOSW
DKNOTU
EEFHIY
EGINTV
EGKLUY
EHINPS
ELPSTU
GILRUW

For a total of:

A 8*
B 3
C 3
D 4
E 10*
F 2
G 3
H 3
I 7
J 1
K 2
L 5
M 3
N 5
O 6
P 3
Qu 1 - This bigram appears on one die face, and is two letters for scoring.
R 4
S 5
T 5
U 4
V 2
W 2
X 1
Y 3
Z 1

*A and E are the only letters that appear twice on one die, thus the maximum number of A's or E's that can be rolled is one less than the total number on all the dice.
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19. Board Game: Boggle Bowl [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:12529]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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22 cubes (2 sets off 11 cubes, red and blue)
(Subset of the 1979 "Big Boggle" cube set.)

A A F I R S
A E E E E M
A E E G M U
A E G M N N
C C E N S T
C E I P S T
D D H N O T
D H L N O R
E N S S S U
I P R R R Y
O O O T T U
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20. Board Game: Build-A-Word Phonics [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Craig Bursey
United States
Massachusetts
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42 chips:

Letter Count
A 3
B 1
C 1
D 1
E 3
F 1
G 1
H 1
I 3
J 1
K 1
L 1
M 1
N 3
O 3
P 1
Q 1
R 3
S 3
T 3
U 1
V 1
W 1
X 1
Y 1
Z 1

The 13 chips with A, E, I, O, or U are green. The other 29 chips are red.
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21. Board Game: BuyWord [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:3113]
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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A 8 - 1
B 2 - 3
C 4 - 2
D 4 - 2
E 12 - 1
F 2 - 3
G 4 - 2
H 4 - 2
I 7 - 1
J 2 - 4
K 2 - 2
L 4 - 2
M 3 - 3
N 6 - 1
O 8 - 1
P 4 - 2
Q 1 - 4
R 6 - 1
S 5 - 1
T 6 - 1
U 4 - 1
V 3 - 3
2 2 - 3
X 1 - 4
Y 2 - 3
Z 2 - 4
WILD 9 - 1
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22. Board Game: Buzzword [Average Rating:5.55 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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2 sets (red and green) of 12 cubes:

A B E J O S
A C E K S Y
A D L T U X
A E H I Q T
A E M P R V
A F G N O W
B E I L O P
C I K M U V
D E I L R Y
D H I N O S
E F N O R Z
E G J T U W

Point values:
A 1
B 2
C 2
D 2
E 1
F 3
G 2
H 3
I 1
J 6
K 5
L 1
M 2
N 1
O 1
P 2
Q 8
R 1
S 1
T 1
U 1
V 5
W 3
X 8
Y 3
Z 8
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23. Board Game: By the Numbers [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
↓ first, last name ↓
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
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There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
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Just happened to stumble across this one, because the image number that is the same as my user number is an image for this game. All I know about it is what it says in the description, and from that, I have to conclude that it is probably the dumbest wordgame ever. And it also has a rather dumb name for a word game.

One of each letter from A-Z, 4 blanks. The letters are worth 10 points each - if you're lucky enough to make a word by chance.

You can't even make the image on the cover of the box with this game. "YOU BUILD WORDS" would require 2 U's, 2 O's, and 2 D's, but there's only one of each.

The second half of the game is a "select a word" type, so the distribution of the letters they make available doesn't really matter.
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24. Board Game: Catchword [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Four sets of 60 tiles (red, blue, green, yellow)

A 4
B 2
C 4
D 3
E 5
F 2
G 2
H 3
I 4
J 1
K 1
L 2
M 2
N 3
O 4
P 1
Q 1
R 3
S 2
T 3
U 2
V 1
W 2
X 1
Y 1
Z 1
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25. Board Game: Cross Up [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
R. S. K.
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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108 cards:

A 8
B 4
C 4
D 4
E 12
F 3
G 3
H 3
I 9
J 2 (double)
K 2 (double)
L 4
M 3
N 6
O 8
P 3
Q 1 (double)
R 6
S 4
T 6
U 4
V 2 (double)
W 2 (double)
X 1 (double)
Y 2 (double)
Z 1 (double)
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