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Subject: The official variant - recycle the blanks - opinions? rss

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Sky blaze
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Yes that rule variant - a blank is played and the player says what letter the blank is meant to be. Any player with that letter in their rack can swap that letter with the blank on the board and re-use the blank

This was always a bone of contention in a group I hosted where half the people liked the rule and the other half didnt - We reached a point once when a serious player said its not part of the rules BUT I recall it being a suggested variant in the official rules and had to find them to prove it

I just dont like it and in my experience the "better" players tend to NOT use this variant - I think it distorts the balance too much in some way (sorry I just cannot pinpoint why it does - possibly because blanks tend to be played to represent the lower scoring letters and the people swapping them out have to swap with a low scoring letter - and if its high scoring why swap that for a blank?)

I have met some people who are excellent at using or more appropriately re-using the blank but tend to always come in 2nd when 4 people are playing - I think there is a tendency for them to get fixated on using the blank rather than winning the game
 
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Alex Drazen
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Doesn't sound much like Scrabble. Want to swap a tile? Pass your turn and exchange. It wasn't meant to guarantee you a blank.

I suppose someone might swap a high value tile if they also get the points for just that tile as if they had played the word themselves?
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Sky blaze
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I think you maybe misunderstanding so I'll clarify

a player lays the word FORMAT but does not have the A for some reason and uses the blank tile instead so the board has FORM_T. Any player at the start of their turn after that lay can swap that blank tile on the board which substitutes for an A with an A in their rack AND then play a word which may utilise that blank - note they do NOT score for the original word FORMAT but of course score for the word/s they form

Personally its a variant I do not like but I know many people do
 
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Alex Drazen
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The only thing I was off on was the timing of when people swap (the extra scoring was just a thought experiment as to why you might swap a high-value tile for a blank).

Still don't like the idea, as it is essentially a free 1 tile swap that guarantees a blank, without the usual loss of turn, which would normally be an extremely low probability result.
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Dave C
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You Greeks are always children!
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I think this is an interesting variant and may help those just learning the game. I've heard of taking the blanks out and setting them aside for the newbie. When he or she could use a blank, it is taken and the unwanted tile is thrown back in the bag.
 
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Max DuBoff
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This sounds just like Rummikub...
 
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Sky blaze
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ime its confusing for new players and I have yet to see a really good player who likes this variant - I do play this variant if a majority in a group wants it - go with the flow and all that. I think adds a bit too much randomness to the game - I can see the appeal but its not my cup of tea
 
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