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Subject: Scrabble - 2nd [session post] rss

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For casual gaming at our local coffee bar, Scrabble was a good alternative to Monopoly since the latter can drag out and get one sided. That, and we played games that were available to borrow from the coffee bar. Something worth mentioning is this coffee bar offers free wifi. On the other hand, several months back, I have purchased a Palm Tungsten X to satisify my "techie-tooth" and especially because it was half off MSRP. It's the black Palm PDA with the big, portrait oriented screen.... the last of its kind in terms of standalone PDAs, at least from Palm. Everything Palm makes now are smartphones (750, 755, and now the Centros). It wasn't my primary PDA, but still, I don't know why it took me this long to make the connection (pun intended), but I could use the device to go online and access Hasbro's official Scrabble dictionary here....

http://www.hasbro.com/games/adult-games/scrabble/home.cfm?pa...

.... so that we wouldn't have to call friends/family to settle challenges or leave them unresolved. After my last Scrabble game, I went online to confirm last game's challenges and out of curiosity to see just what words were 'allowed'.

This game went better for me than last game. See here for more details on that http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/290820. With access to the official Scrabble dictionary, one which is updated often (at least I would sure hope so, since that's one of the beauties of having such an online reference), the game would new levels of pacing and "zen". I challenged her several times, she challenged me about the same # of times, but all said and done, I ended up losing slightly more challenges than she did. At least this time, I got to learn what those legit words meant since the site also provides brief denition(s). "Qaid" anyone? It really isn't necessary to know the definition of these words, but for future reference, one can provide actual definitions to make them "more believable" as real words other than the standard "trust me, it is sooo official". Apparently, "scrabble" and "QWERTY" are also valid Scrabble words. Both surprising since the former sounds made up to me, and the latter I thought wouldn’t be acceptable since it’s a (somewhat of a) proper, tech term.

As mentioned, this game was pretty much in my favor. I believe my friend had some good words, but she resorted to poorer ones to keep me from the bonuses. In the end, I ended up scoring 227, while she a still respectable 198. I hear it’s not uncommon for 2p games for people to score over 300, but frankly, I’m not THAT kind of scrabble freak and expert for that to bring me down.
 
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Bill Gallagher
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The keys to doing well in Scrabble are:
--- Learning the two-letter words. There are over 100 of them in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD), Fourth Edition. Among the more unusual ones are XU, QI, and ZA.
--- Setting up for "bingos" (and the resulting 50 point bonus) by playing all seven tiles in one play. There are many fine strategy articles here and elsewhere on this; thus I won't go into much detail. One basic strategy tip: Try not to use a blank unless you can get a bingo (or a high scoring play).
--- Learn the words with J, Q, and Z - especially the short (2-4 letter) ones.

FYI, the top tournament players average 430+ a game. The record in tournament play by one player in a game is 770; I do know that the record in club play is higher still. Regular "recreational" level club players average between 280-320 points per game.

Note that the OSPD is NOT the official tourmanent word list. That word source - available only to members of the National Scrabble Association - contains everything in the OSPD plus some "politically incorrect" words that were purged to make the OSPD "family friendly".
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